History Main / WellDoneSonGuy

21st Aug '16 2:39:30 PM supergod
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', Fate is desperately seeking her AbusiveMom's approval. She never does get it, but she overcomes her insecurities after being [[DefeatMeansFriendship befriended]] by Nanoha and HappilyAdopted by Lindy.

to:

* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''
**
Fate is desperately seeking her AbusiveMom's approval. She never does get it, but she overcomes her insecurities after being [[DefeatMeansFriendship befriended]] by Nanoha and HappilyAdopted by Lindy.



** Indy's relationship with his own father, Henry Jones Sr., as shown in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Papa Jones always made

to:

** Indy's relationship with his own father, Henry Jones Sr., as shown in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Papa Jones always mademade Indy feel like, to use his own words, people who had been dead for centuries were more important to him than his own son. By the end of the adventure, however, Indy knows for sure just how much his dad loves him and how proud of him he is.
* Toyed with in ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember''. Austin is partially wrong in his assumptions about his father, Nigel- he does respect Austin, and loves him, but he spent Austin's childhood trying too hard to be Austin's best friend, when he should have been trying to be a father. He even sings a song about it: "[[DaddyDidntShow Daddy Wasn't There]]."
* Used straight in ''Film/TheKarateKid1984''. In this film, Mr. Miyagi is so well-developed as a father figure for Daniel that in the final scene, the thronging crowds or the trophy pale against the sight of the OldMaster's face, beaming with pride at his student's triumph.
* Faramir and Denethor in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movie trilogy, especially ''The Return of the King''. Even though Denethor clearly doesn't deserve his son's respect, it obviously breaks Faramir's heart when his father tells him he wishes he had died instead of his older brother Boromir. [[spoiler: Somewhat improved when he thinks his son is dead and proceeds to suffer an emotional breakdown...though still played rather dark as Faramir was clearly just unconscious, but he's too messed up to acknowledge this and tries to cremate himself and the "body" while Gondor is in the middle of an orcish invasion. Then played more nicely when Faramir opens his eyes and he is visibly shocked, but relieved, that his son really was okay (but catches fire and dies himself anyway). Still, Faramir seems more cheerful for the rest of the movie, perhaps partly knowing that his dad- while crazy and dead- in the end really did love him.]]
** This was visible in the books, too, but much less so, as Denethor was considerably less of a scumbag and more of a tragic figure whose pride allowed Sauron to destroy him.
** This is made even more pronounced in the extended editions of the film, with an extended scene in ''The Two Towers'' devoted to Faramir trying, and failing, to win his father's approval.
* In ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'', all The Kid wants is the respect of his evil bastard father. As such, he enters a gunfighting competition, eventually facing his father down. The father tries to talk him out of the duel. [[spoiler:It doesn't work, and the father shoots him dead.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Obi-Wan and Anakin share such a moment in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', where Anakin expresses his anger over being allowed on the Jedi Council while not being advanced to being a Jedi Master. Obi-Wan expresses that his skill and talent is what got him on the Council in the first place, and not to be distraught over the disapproval of the other Jedi. Unfortunately, this doesn't help.
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' had a scene where Obi-Wan apologized Qui-Gon for criticizing his sometimes peculiar actions (taking Jar Jar with them and betting their ship on Anakin winning the Pod Race). Qui-Gon quickly praised Obi-Wan for his willingness to learn and told him he would someday become a greater Jedi than Qui-Gon himself ever was. The novelization added other moments where Qui-Gon was critical of Obi-Wan's callousness (making jokes during combat) and lack of foresight (forgetting to turn his lightsaber battery off before jumping into swamp water), as well as the fact that Qui-Gon was known for seeking the "will of the force" over the immediate issues.
* In ''Film/SonOfTheMask'', Loki, the [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse god of mischief]], is hunting down the Mask because his [[SadlyMythtaken dad]], Odin the All-Father, thinks it has caused too much trouble in the human world. Odin and Loki hate each other, but at the end of the movie, are taught AnAesop by the main character about the importance of getting along with your family.
* Spock gets one of these in ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' when Sarek admits he was wrong to disapprove of Spock's decision to join Starfleet.
* Emphasized in the Music/JohnnyCash biopic ''Film/WalkTheLine'', where it seems like every failure or achievement Johnny experiences, he challenges his father about it. This is a bit of Flanderization though, if you compare the source material ''The Man in Black''.
* Spoofed in ''Film/WalkHardTheDeweyCoxStory'', in which Dewey's father's response to anything his son does since accidentally cutting his brother in half with a machete is to growl "Wrong kid died!" [[spoiler:He ends up engaging in an attempt at OffingTheOffspring.]]
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/X2XMenUnited'':
*** Bobby Drake. As his visit to his parents shows.
*** One of Stryker's commands for Jason was "make me proud." In turn, Jason's illusory self can be heard whimpering, "He's going to be so mad at me!" when Storm disrupts his control of Xavier..
** In ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', Angel wanted to take the cure to please his father. [[spoiler:Later gets his respect by saving daddy from falling to death.]]
** In ''Film/TheWolverine'', [[spoiler:when Yashida's obsession with obtaining immortality nearly drove the company to bankruptcy, Shingen assured stockholders and investors to continue supporting them. Though trying to be a good son and hoping to be rewarded, he was still passed over Mariko to run the company.]]
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** There is a quasi-mother/son dynamic between M and Creator/PierceBrosnan's 007 (who is more of a ManChild than the other versions of the character). She frequently scolds him for one thing or another, yet there's an underlying affection between the two of them. In ''Film/{{GoldenEye}}'', they both share an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther moment after M delivers a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to him. In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Bond is somewhat mortified when he discovers that M knows about his past sexual encounters (almost like a naughty boy who has been caught by his stern mother), and he even tries to defend his promiscuous behaviour with, "That was a long time ago, M, ''before'' [Paris] was married." In ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', M mentions to Elektra that Bond is her best agent, but she'd never tell him that in person. In ''Film/DieAnotherDay'', Bond's delivery of "You burn me, and now you want my help" is petulant and resentful, and the hurt he feels towards M for not trusting him earlier is more personal than professional.
** The reboot of the franchise (''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' and ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'') subtly implies the same relationship. M is constantly berating Bond and, in the first movie, severely doubts his abilities while doubting his sanity in the second. However, in ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', he utters to himself while alone in his car, "I love you, too, M" after he receives forwarded documents from her office. In ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', Bond himself says that the BigBad tried to kill someone very close to him (the attempted murder of M at the beginning of the movie), to which Camille asks if it was his mother. Bond replies "She likes to think so." Then, at the very end of the movie, M tells Bond that they need him at MI6.
*** It becomes explicit in the third film of the reboot, ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''.
--->'''Raoul Silva''': She sent you here knowing you were not prepared, knowing you would likely die... Mommy was very bad.
--->[[spoiler:'''M''': [[SoProudOfYou At least I got one thing right...]] ''([[TearJerker dies, as Bond closes her eyes and weeps over her body]])'']]
* Linus Caldwell in the ''Film/OceansEleven'' trilogy: Danny hooks him in the first movie by promising that after this heist "dad'll be trading on his name"; in the second movie he's upset that [[spoiler:his mom helps to bust him out of prison and that his dad knows this, as he will never let Linus live it down]] and in the third movie he [[spoiler:''finally'' gets a part in on one of his dad's schemes after being doubted by him through the whole movie.]] Then again, it's pretty hard to outdo an experienced thief who's legitimate/cover job is [[spoiler:''an '''FBI''' agent''.]]
* In ''[[Film/TheThinMan The Thin Man Goes Home]]'', Detective Nick Charles seems to have a casual (almost indifferent) relationship with his critical father, Dr. Charles, who has never forgiven Nick for not going into the family business. Nick is obviously downhearted by the fact that the old man has never been proud of him, so his wife, Nora, schemes to shake up the neighborhood in hopes of uncovering a mystery that Nick can solve in front of his father, and so gain the praise he silently longs for.
* A female version is Casey Seeger from ''Film/AnOfficerAndAGentleman''. She pushes herself to be the Navy's first female aviator because she wants to win the approval of her father, who had wanted a son. She suffers a HeroicBSOD when DrillSergeantNasty Foley calls her out on it during training.
* The catalyst for the plot in ''Film/HotRod'' is that Rod has to earn the money for his stepfather's heart transplant so that he can defeat him in a fight in order to win the man's love and respect.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush is desperate for [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush "Poppy's"]] approval in ''Film/{{W}}'' (the political life was apparently meant for brother Jeb), and a nightmare shows how terrified W is:
-->'''Dream!Poppy:''' A hundred years it took to build up the Bush name ''and you single-handedly destroyed it!''
* In ''The Greatest Game Ever Played'', Francis Ouimet wants to prove to his disapproving coal-mining father that he's able to play and win the U.S. Open against all the upper-class golfers, even though he wouldn't get any money for winning since he's an amateur. Results in a major TearJerker when [[spoiler:Francis wins the U.S. Open and his father shows up in the crowd to wordlessly congratulate him]].
* In ''Film/{{Babe}}'', the relationship between Pig and his owner has shades of this. "That'll do, pig. That'll do."
* In ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'', Mozart felt tremendously guilty for living a life that his father disapproved of. Mozart's rival, Salieri, was able to use that guilt to "haunt" Mozart to death by dressing up in a costume his late father had worn and then goading him into composing a requiem mass (a mass which Salieri hoped to steal and take credit for).
* ''Film/BlankCheck'' has Preston seeking the approval from his capitalist father, who looks down upon him for not having a job. The kid is around ''ten years old''. His father does get the message, late in the movie, and Preston forgives him.
* Robert Fischer of ''Film/{{Inception}}'', giving him full woobie qualifications from the get-go. Made worse in that his father expressed his disappointment with his dying breath. Naturally, the plot relies on exploiting his Daddy-related insecurities mercilessly.
* In ''Film/EverAfter'' ("Literature/{{Cinderella}}" remade as a historical drama), Drew Barrymore played Danielle, who desperately tried to win the approval and love of her WickedStepmother, the Well Done Daughter Gal Rodmilla de Ghent, the only family she had left. After she destroys any hope of Danielle being with her prince, Rodmilla taunts her relentlessly until finally Danielle asks if she had ever loved her at all. De Ghent cruelly replied, [[KickTheDog "Who could love a pebble in their shoe?"]] before selling Danielle into slavery. The next time they meet, Danielle is betrothed to her PrinceCharming, while de Ghent and her equally nasty older daughter are [[HumiliationConga stripped of their status and forced to work as servants in the castle]]. Danielle happily announces at that point, "I want you to know, that after this moment I will forget you and never think of you again. But you, I am quite sure, will think of me every day for the rest of your life."
** The step-mother ''is'' given some rationale for her hatred/resentment of Danielle. As her beloved husband lay on his deathbed, he all but pushed her aside in favor of his daughter from his previous wife. You can see the hurt and pain on her face turn into anger and resentment for the little girl.
* In ''Film/{{Thor}}'', Loki's motive behind the villainous acts he committed [[spoiler:(bringing Laufey to Asgard to assassinate Odin, but then killing him to make it look as if he had saved Odin)]] was solely to gain his father's pride and affection. Tragically, Odin was already very proud of his son, although he was dreadful at communicating this fact.
-->'''Loki:''' I never wanted the throne! I only ever wanted to be your (Thor's) equal!
* George V to his sons in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'', being a bit of a JerkAss towards his own children when they were young. However, unlike most instances of this case, he does approve of the adult Albert (though still frustrated by his speech problems), much more than his oldest son. In real life, he expressed preference for Albert and ''his nine year old granddaughter Elizabeth'' over Edward for the throne near the end of his life.
* ''Film/OctoberSky'' has Homer Hickam, who does want his father's approval, and his mounting frustration when his father fails to see the worth of his achievements [[spoiler:until the last rocket is launched. He also earns it when he goes to work in the mine to support the family, but loses it when he quits.]]
* Billy in ''Film/{{Buffalo 66}}'' hates both of his parents but still thrives to impress them, going so far as to kidnap a beautiful woman so he can pretend she's his wife.
* In ''Film/TheGuardian'', rescue swimmer trainee keeps trying to earn the respect of the class instructor, Ben Randall.
* ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'' -- the title character's father, being from a long line of miners, doesn't know what to make of Derek's job as a male model at first, but once Derek unveils the ultimate look "Magnum", he's more than proud to tell everyone "that's my son!"
* In ''[[Film/{{Pusher}} Pusher 2]]'', Tonny's motivation for most of the film is to make his father proud of him. [[spoiler:It doesn't happen.]]
* [[Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra Storm]] [[Film/GIJoeRetaliation Shadow]] was this as a boy.
* Explored in ''Film/IronMan2'', as Tony has some shades of this. [[spoiler:[[SoProudOfYou He finally gets his "well done" from Howard in the video he left behind]]...even as he begins to realize just how brilliant his dad was.]]
* A large chunk of the plot in ''Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins'' is that successful TV talk show host Roscoe (Martin Lawrence), TheUnfavorite, still can't get his father (James Earl Jones) - or anyone in his family except for his mother - to recognize and/or congratulate him for his accomplishments while still showering love and praise on his cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) for his car dealerships.
* Role reversed in the 2007 remake of ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma'' in which Dan Evans (Christian Bale) desperately wants to earn the love and respect of his bratty, ungrateful son William (Logan Lerman), thus inspiring him to take criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the train that will take him to prison (which will also provide him with some extra cash as a reward).
* In ''Film/MrBrooks'', Tracy Atwood inherited millions, but is still devoted to her career as a hard-working homicide detective, all because her father was very disappointed that she was born a girl, and he let her know it, so she has spent her whole life trying to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/InAWorld...'': Carol is this to father Sam Soto, a StrawMisogynist who feels there is no market for female voice-over in movie trailers. At least part of her drive to say [[InAWorld the titular phrase]] in a professional movie trailer is to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/TheGreenHornetSerials'': Britt Reid starts out with this motivation -- he and Kato build the [[CoolCar super-car that will become the Black Beauty]] simply to show Britt's dad that Britt isn't just a playboy. This vanishes as soon as he adopts the role of the Hornet. (Dad probably would have been happy with his son taking an active role running " The Sentinel", which also happens at that time.)
* ''Film/TroubleWithTheCurve'': Mickey has spent her life trying to prove herself to her father due to a lingering fear that he left her because she wasn't good enough for him.
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', Eggsy soon wants to prove himself to Galahad by passing the Kingsmen candidacy.
* In ''Film/AntMan'', Darren Cross sees himself as Hank's surrogate son, and is motivated by a desire to prove to Hank that he's better than him after years of being pushed aside.
* ''Film/{{Kenau}}'': Don Fadrique, the commander of the Spanish forces besieging Haarlem, visibly turns into a little boy when his father General Alba makes an unexpected visit to berate him for failing to subdue the city.
* In ''Film/TheJungleBook2016''', Mowgli wants Bagheera's approval of him using human tools to survive among the wolves. But Bagheera's stern attitude and disapproval of these "tricks", wanting to keep things between Man and the jungle separated to the point of near dogmatism, puts a bit of strain on their relationship. Fortunately, Bagheera does learn to appreciate these "tricks" after Mowgli saves an elephant calf with these tools and even encourages him to use these tools during the final battle with Shere Khan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Neville Longbottom from ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Throughout the series Neville is the ButtMonkey, the lamest, most pathetic wizard in existence. All he wants is to live up to his parents' legacy, and it's mentioned how his grandmother was so ashamed of his clumsiness. Then after his actions in both The Battle at the Ministry, and in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', his grandma finally tells him how proud she is of him, and how he's just like his parents.
** Also, to some extent, Ron Weasley. He's always been [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed by his brothers]] and simply wants to be set apart, and earn the recognition of his parents. However, the Weasley family is an extremely loving one, so while he doesn't necessarily feel "special" in their eyes, he does know that he's loved.
** Also Draco Malfoy, although more so in the films than in the books. Draco obviously worships his father and is constantly trying to live up to his considerable reputation.
** Barty Crouch, Jr. It eventually led him to join [[BigBad Voldemort]].
* Variation: In OrsonScottCard's ''{{Homecoming}}'' series, protagonist Nafai longs for the love and approval of his eldest brother, Elemak. He ''knows'' this isn't very rational, as Elemak is an openly bullying JerkAss who sees Nafai as a useless mama's boy responsible for ruining his life, and would happily crush his head with a rock.
* Odile in Creator/MercedesLackey's retelling of ''Swan Lake'' (''Literature/TheBlackSwan'') is one of these. When she finally realizes Baron von Rothbart is only using her for her magical potential, she turns on him.
** In the ''Last Herald-Mage'' trilogy of The ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'', Vanyel gets a great helping of this, as a great deal of his life is spent in trying to [[ChronicHeroSyndrome be heroic enough]] to get his father to accept him as a person, thanks to his "flaw" of being gay.
** Lena Marchand is a female example, desperate for her father's approval. It doesn't help that Master Bard Tobias Marchand is an egotistical JerkAss who doesn't even recognize Lena when they accidentally run into each other at the beginning of ''Intrigues''.
** Princess Andromeda spends most of ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms One Good Knight]]'' as a Well Done Daughter Girl. As it turns out (and as anyone with a passing knowledge of mythology will know), Queen Cassiopeia is ''not'' a nice person.
** Silverblade, Tadrith, and Keenath (from ''The Silver Gryphon'') are all examples in different ways. Tadrith is frustrated with the default "he's almost as good at X as Skandranon" "compliments" he gets from everyone, and wants his father to see him as an independent gryphon. Keenath loves Skan, but knows he has nothing in common with his father. Silverblade is simply convinced that Amberdrake will never be able to accept Blade's chosen life-path.
** Subverted in ''Winds of Fate'' with Darkwind and his father. In his youth, Darkwind was close to his parents. But when the Heartstone was sabotaged, and Darkwind's mother died, his father turned against him. [[spoiler:It turns out that Darkwind's father is Mind Controlled by the Big Bad and is deliberately trying to drive his son away to protect him, in the only way he can. When the spell is broken, Darkwind is amazed at the change in his personality and wonders how he could have failed to notice.]]
* Tywin Lannister plays this role in George R.R. Martin's ''ASongOfIceAndFire''; the desire to please him pushes Tyrion and Jaime, though neither would admit it. As is typical of the series, Tywin never provides validation, especially for Tyrion. Well, not the ''typical'' form of validation. [[spoiler:This leads to him contracting an unfortunate fatal case of crossbow-bolt-through-bowels [[KarmicDeath at the hands of, naturally, his son Tyrion]].]] Even after that, it serves to motivate Jaime, to the point that one aunt has to point out to him that Tyrion is much more Tywin-esque than Jaime.
** It seems to drive [[SmugSnake Cersei]] (to a lesser extent) as well, although she flip flops between [[DaddysGirl wanting to make him proud]] and wanting to become so much greater than him that he would only be remembered as her father, [[NeverASelfMadeWoman instead of the other way around.]]
** Theon Greyjoy seems to have a case of this towards his father Balon. His feelings toward Ned Stark are even more conflicted, which is unsurprising given Theon's dual role of hostage/ward. He at times finds himself wondering what Stark would say to some particular deed and then becomes angry with himself for caring.
** In a ''very'' twisted sense, Joffrey Baratheon is like this towards Robert, irritating Tywin immensely as he had been given to understand Joffrey did not care for Robert and is pissed the little brat shows some pride at being a Baratheon rather than a Lannister. Which is ironic, considering he's ''all'' Lannister-he's actually the result of BrotherSisterIncest between his mother and her brother.
** [[KnightInSourArmor Jon Snow]] seems to greatly desire [[TheStoic Eddard Stark's]] approval, to the point that he has a few dreams about being [[SoProudOfYou accepted as a true Stark]] and given the rights to Winterfell. He suffers a lot of guilt over that last part though, given [[HeroicBastard his status]]. [[spoiler:While Ned did love and respect him and wanted to tell him so, [[OffWithHisHead Joffrey's interference]] meant he would never get the chance. Made more complex by recent hints that Ned [[SecretLegacy might not actually be Jon's father at all.]] ]]
** Also the Martell children. [[TheChessmaster Doran's]] apparent ambivalence towards his daughter Arianne is a source of great grief to her, and though it isn't made explicit, her younger brother [[CruelAndUnusualDeath Quentyn's]] [[TooDumbToLive actions]] indicate that he too is searching for his father's approval.
** LovableCoward Samwell Tarly spends an undue amount of time thinking if any of his actions will wind up netting him some small measure of approval from his father Randyll, who believes ARealManIsAKiller and is ''deeply'' disappointed Sam isn't.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''Fulgrim'', when Horus tells Fulgrim that the Emperor intends to become a god and dispose of them, Fulgrim speaks of how he has longed for his love and respect.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/WarOfTheDreaming Mists of Everness]],'' there are not one but two examples in the same family. [[HandicappedBadass Peter]] regarding his father's AncientTradition; Peter's son [[KidHero Galen]] regarding his [[IJustWantToBeNormal father]].
* In Steve Perry's ''[[Literature/MatadorSeries Black Steel]]'', it's revealed that the brash revolutionary Sleel is the son of the two most famous botanists alive - who are both {{Absent Minded Professor}}s who care only about their work. Sleel's father in particular is very dismissive of everything his son has ever achieved, since it doesn't involve botany or genetic engineering. Sleel has known all this from childhood, but can't help trying to get their acknowledgment and approval when visiting them during the course of the book.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'', the captain of the Eisenstein comments on how the Astartes strive to be independent of the Emperor as if he were their father -- and yet crave his approval.
** Prior to the storyline Captain Nathaniel Garro had craved validation from Mortarion but finds himself moving away from his primarch's ideals at the time the book starts and Solun Decius is desperate to live up to Garro's expectations [[spoiler: despite the cancer from hell (pun intended) infecting his body]]. By extension this trope probably applies to most of the Deathguard, considering that those who sided with Mortarion are known for worshipping ''Father'' Nurgle.
* In the third ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' book, Damien Howe, grandson of the founder of the Fantasia Corporation, seems to have been seeking his grandfather’s approval in vain all his life (or at least since his mother’s premature death). [[spoiler: In the end, it drives him to bring about the destruction of Fantasia.]]
* Jochi in the ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books is constantly trying to gain some small measure of the respect his father, Genghis Khan, [[ParentalFavoritism showers on his younger brothers]]. No matter how successful as a warrior and general Jochi is, he never gets more than a reluctant, grunting acknowledgement that he's done something right.
* A couple in ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** Breezepelt. The ironic thing is, [[AbusiveParents Crowfeather]] only had Breezepelt so his Clanmates would accept ''him''.
** Bluestar, whose father Stormtail was just distant from his kits.
** Crookedstar. His mother Rainflower doted on him and his brother, but when he broke his jaw as a kit ruining his "handsome" appearance, [[AbusiveParents she became outright abusive]], rarely visiting him in the medicine cat's den and refusing to let the other kits visit him to keep his spirits up, renaming him from Stormkit to Crookedkit, making him sleep alone in the nursery, and frequently saying that he would never be as good as his brother. One of his goals in life was to make her proud of him.
** Tallstar, whose father wants him to be a tunneler like him. When he gets chosen to be a moor-runner, Sandgorse starts ignoring him in his worst moods or trying to get him to be like him in his best moods. So Tallstar wants to be a tunneler like him so that he could be proud of him.
** Thunder, who grew up [[spoiler: without a mother, due to her dying.]] To make things worse, his father [[spoiler: Clear Sky]] was becoming increasingly unhinged and violent, and refused to take care of him. When they meet, Thunder is fascinated and wants nothing more than to impress him. However, [[AbusiveParents his father tries to emotionally manipulate Thunder,]] and... [[spoiler: it works for some time, but Thunder eventually realizes what's going on, and they become enemies.]]
* In Simon Spurrier's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/NightLords novel ''Lord of the Night'', Sahaal remembers how the Night Haunter had been this, and the Emperor had treated him with contempt. Thus justifying, in the Night Haunter's eyes and Sahaal's own, his revolt against the Emperor.
* The title character Adeline from ''Chinese Cinderella'' is this trope cranked UpToEleven. She constantly tries to get approval from everyone in the household. Feeling honored to play with her siblings, anyone?
* Jeb's son Ari becomes this in ''Literature/SchoolsOutForever'', hanging out with the copycat Max to make Jeb mad, and also coming up with a plan to take Max for his own. The plan eventually gets Jeb to notice him, which makes him happy enough to go out and steal a Game Boy. So...
* Plenty of the demigods in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' long for their god parent to acknowledge them. Especially Percy. Grover even says it when he tried to deny it.
-->''You're glad that your dad is alive. You feel good that he's claimed you and part of you wants to make him proud. That's why you mailed Medusa's head to Olympus. You want him to notice what you'd done.''
** Luke took this even more seriously. Many children of Hermes tend to feel very ignored, considering they get put with all 'the others', meaning those who aren't claimed. Furthermore, Hermes [[spoiler: accidentally caused Luke's mother's mental deterioration and left the boy to be raised by her.]] Eventually Luke became so bitter that he changed sides and tried to take down the gods. Although eventually he had a last minute change of heart and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath sacrificed himself]] it shows just what an effect this trope can have. Percy even makes it a rule that all gods and goddesses must claim their children so that less of this kind of thing will happen. Considering that in this series, Winston Churchill was the son of Poseidon, it means he got a double-dose: both his biological father, ''and'' his step-father, as seen below.
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', Miles Vorkosigan started out an odd variant of this. It is not so much his father Aral's feelings of contempt or disapproval that he strives against as his feelings of guilt (Aral blames himself for the sequence of events that led to his son's prenatal poisoning and resultant physical disabilities). Miles's grandfather Piotr has enough disapproval for both Aral and Miles to go around. If he didn't Aral and Piotr are such towering giants of Barayaran history Miles nearly kills himself trying to measure up.
* The title character of the Donald Barthelme novel ''The Dead Father'' is this in spades.
* Inverted in one of the two third Literature/RedDwarf novels (it's confusing), ''Last Human''. Arnold Rimmer is understandably dejected when his [[spoiler:long lost son has been sorely disappointed to learn that the heroic feats of his father were a fiction invented by his mother and that the reality is that his father is a sniveling coward. Then, in the end, Rimmer performs an incredibly brave (if a bit reckless) feat; even though he kind of screws up the execution (though it does accomplish the intended end) his son, looking on, is incredibly proud of the act. Seeing his son beaming with pride, Rimmer is finally freed of the neurosis that have plagued his entire existence which ultimately leads to him selflessly volunteering for a HeroicSacrifice]].
* In ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'', despite knowing her mother loves her, Aly feels that her mother doesn't understand her and underestimates her abilities. In one of her dreams where she can see what her mother is doing, she realizes that Alanna does understand and trust Aly and knows she has the talents to survive.
* There's a bit of an inversion in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. After he dies, Anakin Skywalker becomes a Force ghost. He appears briefly to Luke in ''ReturnOfTheJedi'' but says nothing; a hundred twenty years later, in StarWarsLegacy, he speaks to a {{wangst}}y descendent, but in the meantime he's only been written speaking to one person - [[Literature/TheTruceAtBakura Leia]]. He wants to apologize to her, tell her how proud he is of her, and be forgiven. However, she is furious and ''horrified'' at the sight of him, doesn't want to know that any part of him survived, still considers Bail to be her real father, and doesn't believe that [[KarmaHoudini redemption equaled death at all]]. Even after he fades out she's angry and deeply disturbed; by the end of the book she hasn't changed her mind, but decides that if he wants to be proud of her, fine.
** Later in the EU she doesn't quite forgive him, but she does come to terms with who he was; she names her third child "Anakin" (who, for his part, was not too happy for being saddled with such a name, but it sort of helped keep him from the Dark Side).
* One could also say that Heather Acosta from the ''Literature/SammyKeyes'' books qualifies. Heather's relationship with her mother and father is a far cry from what Sammy has with her grandmother. Her mom seems to be going through some sort of mid-life crisis and her father admitted that he'd want a retraining order against her. The fact the Casey seems to be their father's favorite has led to some problems (among other things) between the siblings. It's been hinted in the series that this maybe the reason why Heather act's out -- to gain attention.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': As noted in the Film category, Faramir was TheUnfavorite, though he fared better than his movie counterpart.
* Will in ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' grew up never knowing his father, and states outright in ''The Subtle Knife'' that he wants to find his father so that he can hear the words "Well done, son." When they finally do meet, [[spoiler: his father is killed within seconds of Will realizing it's him.]] However, [[spoiler: Will finally gets his wish in the third book when he meets his father in ghost-form.]]
** Also Lyra, who is extremely annoyed at having saved Lord Asriel by warning him about the wine and bringing him the alethiometer and he didn't even thank her. Things go straight to hell shortly after the latter event, though, and any desire she has for his approval [[spoiler:evaporates at that point]].
* Michael in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' struggles in the first book to try and stave off his father's disapproval for the life he chose. When his father [[spoiler:has him marked as an unredeemable criminal]] to try and force a 'better' life on him in the second book he claims that he's stopped caring, but in the third book when trying to escape death one of the things that unlocks his 'needs' driven magic is his desire to prove to his father that he can make it.
* The relationship dynamic between Chris and his father in ''Literature/ThePaleKing''. Chris is fully aware of how disappointed his father is of him, but is usually too stoned or selfish to care. It's not until [[spoiler: his father dies]] that Chris feels guilty enough to change his life.
** This is made depressingly clear when the father comes home early to find Chris and his buddies in his living room, high out of their minds, surrounded by discarded Taco Bell wrappers, and their feet resting lazily on one his prized pieces of furniture. The father doesn't yell; he simply says, ''Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'', walks into his bedroom and shuts the door.
* Will from ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' grew up an orphan; his father-figure is Halt, his mentor. Gaining Halt's approval means more to Will than anything - even just a small smile from Halt means more to Will than any amount of praise his friends and his king laud on him.
* ''Literature/TimeScout'':
** Margo wants to be a time scout to rub it in her dying father's face.
** Skeeter also fits this trope. When he says "My father made me the man I am today." he means it as the absolute truth. He just don't know which father. One he hates, the other he loves and fears.
* In ''EastOfEden'', Cyrus Trask is this to his son Charles, who's TheUnfavorite. Thanks to GenerationXerox, his brother Adam becomes this to his own eldest son, Cal.
* In ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'', Charlie senselessly pursues ''both'' his parents after he becomes a genius, hoping that they'll be impressed by his newfound intelligence and finally acknowledge him. He's ashamed of this, but it's deeply embedded in his personality, since he always thought that his parents would love him if he became "smart". [[spoiler: In the end, he was unable to reveal his identity to his father, his mother was too senile to appreciate it, and he ended up losing his intelligence anyway. At least his sister was proud of him.]]
* Lt Armstrong from ''Literature/PhulesCompany'' is revealed to have been that. By the start of the series his father is long dead and it's clear to Armstrong that the approval never was an option, but he's already so set in his by-the-book ways that he has long become a caricature of an officer. [[ReassignedToAntarctica He ends up in The Omega Company]].
%% * In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' Jace spent most of his life being this - until he found out who his father really was. And even then....
* David Rain from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]] around [[ParentalSubstitute Liz]], usually.
* Orrec in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'' is eager to please his father as a young child, but grows more restive as he gets older and the Caspro gift continually fails to manifest--which is bad news since you need the gift to be a brantor. He grows increasingly desperate until he's struck with PowerIncontinence.
* ''Literature/KindlingAshes'': Corran's every action is driven by his desire to prove to father that he is his father's son and become a dragonslayer. [[spoiler: His father disowning him drives him over the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* In the ''Literature/SabinaKane'' series Sabina's main motivation for most of her life has been to earn at least the ''respect'' of her grandmother Lavinia, the ruler of all vampires and her only living family member. [[spoiler:By the end of the first book she's determined that not only does her grandmother not give half a hump whether she lives or dies, but that the Dominae in general is not worthy of her respect either.]]
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Alex. More toward his mother than his father. [[spoiler:He has to get over it.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Relativity}},'' Ravenswood is an alcoholic and a failure for most of his life. When he climbs out of it and becomes a successful coffee-shop owner, his father is still unimpressed. Unfortunately, he can't tell his father anything about his really impressive accomplishments, because he needs to keep his superhero identity secret.
* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', vaillainous count Falk is one of the finest warriors of the Empire, yet has something of a masochistic relationship with his mother. He despises her, yet craves her approval; he desperately wants her to appreciate his accomplishments, yet knows it will never happen; he tries anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr.'': Brisco gets his "Well Done, Son!" moment after an encounter with the ghost of his father (who was murdered in the first episode of the series).
* ''Series/AgainstTheWall'': Has both Donnie and Abby searching for ways to gain their father's approval and pride during different parts of the show. Abby in particular has strained relationship with her senior uniform-cop father since joining the InternalAffairs division as a detective.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** Wesley goes through the same rigamarole with what turns out to be his father's [[EvilTwin Evil Imposter]]. But the impersonation was perfect, because Wesley's real father ''is'' that bad both as a father and as a ruthless bastard. It was previously mentioned that he locked Wesley under the stairs. And let's not forget their phone conversation in ''Angel'' season 2; Wes calls up his dad, hoping for his approval now that he's become the leader of Angel Investigations, but dear ol' Dad only cares about when, what, and how he'll screw up next.
** Angel himself clearly feels this about his strict father. One of the first things he did after becoming a vampire was kill him, thinking that would prove who had the real power. Darla pointed out that now he would ''never'' be able to approve of him.
** Angelus later sired an enthusiastic but unimaginative protege named Penn who re-enacted the murder of his family over the centuries over the issue.
** In a deliberate parallel to Angel, Kate Lockley is implied to have had a strained relationship with her father. While not a cruel man, her father never showed her any approval or affection after her mother died -- Kate recalls that as a child, she found more parental affection in the mother of one of girlfriends. Her father never even told her "a beautiful lie" (ie: Heaven) to comfort her after her mother's death. It's implied that she became a policewoman to follow in his footsteps, but rarely received more than curt acknowledgement from him.
*** The Sensitivity Training Guy with his magic stick causes her to have a breakdown and express her feelings about this at his retirement party. He finds this deeply embarrassing and files it under 'We Shall Never Speak Of This Again.' Later he dies without ever having formally approved of her. This is not in the least Angel's fault, for once, but it involves vampires and puts the final nail in the coffin of his friendship with Kate until After The Fall.
*** The former episode throws in a weird perspective on Angel's issues re: this trope. This is before the flashback, but Sensitivity Training Guy says "tell me about your parents" and ''Angel'' snarls "They were delicious." Sounds like the kind of smack he talks when trying to scare bad guys and actually seems to lower the probability that he killed them, but then it turns out he ''did'', and can make ''jokes'' about it. Sick puppy even at his best.
** Connor with Holtz, not Angel.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'':
** Used almost straight, in which Michael is constantly trying to get his father--who tried to "toughen him up" by shouting down ''all'' his ideas--to recognize his accomplishments, while GOB is sick of being in Michael's shadow. Michael gets his father's approval (although it would have been a more touching moment if he weren't on the lam); GOB doesn't and doesn't deserve to.
** Michael is so busy trying to save the company and get his father's approval he doesn't notice his own son's attempts to gain his approval.
** With Tobias so focused on his acting dream and Lindsay being a SpoiledBrat, plus the two mostly concerned about their own rocky relationship, they can be seen as this to Maeby.
* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Elijah learns the auction business at his dad's request. Jon also tends towards this, but not towards his dad, but rather Paul.
* ''Series/{{Batman}}'': Legs in "The Greatest Mother of them All"/"Ma Parker."
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Flashbacks in the finale revealed that Dr. Gaius Baltar, resident narcissistic genius, not only tried to overcome his shame of having been born on a farm planet as son of a farmer, but had taken his old senile father with him to Caprica and secretly visited him every day, desperately trying to please the cranky old man.
** The show also features the less common mother-daughter variant of this trope, when Kara Thrace goes to see her mother [[spoiler: after earning her commission as a Colonial officer - the first in her family to do so - only to be berated for not graduating higher in her class]]. The fact that her mother was frequently abusive during her childhood in the belief that Kara had a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo "special destiny"]] means their relationship was already....''strained''.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** Leonard wants his mother's (near impossible to receive) approval and affection. He's not at all helped in this area by the fact she's more likely to thank his roommate for picking her from the airport when Leonard is the one driving and she views Leonard's (actually very complex) work as the embodiment of laziness and ripping off others (he works in designing experiments to test theories and validating experiments). To a lesser extent, Penny has some Daddy approval issues, feeling the need to lie to him about still dating Leonard (the only one of hers boyfriends he's ever approved of) and feels like he less accepting of her because she's not a boy and rejects a lot of the tomboy activities she was involved with as a child. Although it's implied that she over blows it a bit and compared to her siblings (who from what we know from mentioned [[NoodleIncident noodle incidents]] include a brother that makes meth and a sister that once shot her husband) she might just be the golden girl of the family.
** It also does not help that Leonard's mother is a DistaffCounterpart of [[InsufferableGenius Sheldon]], making any form of emotional reciprocation practically impossible or done in a way that Leonard did not expect.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'': Frankie Stecchino. One episode even revolved around him faking a love of wrestling just to bond with his father.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': Though they're only father and son on a more symbolic level, [[VillainProtagonist Walt]] can be this for Jesse. He has complimented Jesse all of once, and that was to say that his meth is as good as Walt's. It was enough to get Jesse to partner up with him again. Basically, anytime Walter compliments Jesse, especially in later seasons, it's nothing more than a [[ManipulativeBastard manipulation tactic]] to keep Jesse on his side.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': Amy Santiago has an obsessive need for approval from Captain Holt, which is often [[PlayedForLaughs played for laughs]] as she goes to great lengths to impress him.
* ''Series/TheCloser'': Whenever Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson delivers a rare compliment, whichever member of PHD is being complimented lights up like a supernova.
* ''Series/TheColbertReport'':
** Stephen Colbert makes occasional vague references such as "the fathers we can never seem to please." His need for paternal approval appears to have been mostly displaced onto substitutes such as "Papa Bear" BillOReilly.
** Ironic since Colbert fears and hates bears -- a hint at the [[AlterEgoActing actor's]] real opinion of Bill.
* ''Series/CombatHospital'': Has trauma surgeon Major Rebecca Gordon, who accuses ''herself'' of daddy issues in a group therapy session.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** Pierce Hawthorne is shown to have behavioral issues due to never receiving acceptance from his father.
** Jeff, too, has several trust issues stemming from his DisappearedDad.
* Will had this with his father to the point that an originally CrowningMomentOfAwesome scene in ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' drove him to break down and deliver [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgkqTFasfmA this]] CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming between him and Uncle Phil.
* ''Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart'': One segment of "Even Steven" concerning the Elián González debacle dealt with Steve Carell's daddy issues. In a weird reversal, considering the aforementioned ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Colbert Report]]'' example, Stephen Colbert roleplayed as Carell's father.
** And in ''Series/TheDailyShowWithTrevorNoah'', Ronny Cheng has... a number of issues that come to light in a segment on Virtual Reality.
--->'''Trevor''': Oh man, Ronnie, it sounds like nothing's good enough for you, man.\\
'''Ronny''': Yeah, I know. Now I know how my dad feels, am I right? (''Forced laughter'')
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'':
** Debra Morgan had this kind of relationship with her father Harry, even following in his footsteps as a cop to gain his attention. It's not that he wasn't proud of her, but honing her brother Dexter's [[SerialKillerKiller extra-curricular activities]] (to which Deb wasn't invited for obvious reasons) meant that he couldn't spend as much time with his daughter.
** Likewise with [[spoiler:Christine Hill]], the daughter of [[spoiler:Arthur Mitchell/Trinity]]. She even killed [[spoiler:Frank Lundy]] to gain her father's approval. After she accidentally put him at risk of being discovered, he disowns her. [[DrivenToSuicide She doesn't take it well]].
** Dexter, too. Everything was to live up to Harry's expectations. When he realizes that a) Harry was using him as an outlet for his own vigilante impulses and b) Harry was deeply revolted by what he'd made him into, to the point of suicide, he...takes it pretty hard.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Rory seemed to have a mild case of this with his father Brian Williams, as seen in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". While Brian clearly loved his son, their banter during the episode implied that Brian thought Rory wasn't "manly" enough (didn't carry a trowel in his pockets, was a professional nurse). He also implied that Amy was a better wife than Rory deserved. During the course of the episode, as Brian is accidentally whisked along into one of his son's adventures with the Doctor, he starts to respect Rory more.
* The ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' episode "The Day of the Mum" featured Damian's mother, along with home movies of his childhood. It quickly becomes apparent that his FreudianExcuse for being a {{Jerkass}} obsessed with fame is getting ''some'' kind of acknowledgement from a woman whose CatchPhrase is "Ignore him, he's just doing it to get attention."
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': Played with in the case of Joan Watson and her mother. She shows hints of this which Sherlock is quick to point out she's dressing for a job interview rather than a brunch with her mother. Subverted in that Joan's mother isn't criticizing her current job occupation because it's not as respectable as a surgeon but because it doesn't make Joan happy. Joan's mother is actually glad that Joan is working with Sherlock because this ''does'' make her happy.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': The relationship between Frasier, Niles and Martin has echoes of this; much of Frasier and Niles' SiblingRivalry exists as a result of their attempts to gain Martin's favour, which given the near-insurmountable differences in taste and personality between father and sons to begin with, was a difficult task in itself.
* There are a couple in ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** It's implied that Sam Tarly had this relationship with his father Randyll, [[spoiler:at least before he threatened to kill him if he didn't renounce being his heir and join the Night's Watch]].
** Robert Baratheon to Joffrey, [[spoiler:despite, of course, unknowingly not being his biological father.]]
** Balon Greyjoy to Theon.
** Tywin Lannister to both Jaime and Cersei, although [[spoiler:Jaime gets over it by the time Tywin presides over a [[KangarooCourt sham trial]] of Tyrion for Joffrey's murder.]]
** Roose Bolton to his BastardBastard Ramsay Snow, before [[spoiler:eventually giving him a "Well Done, Son!" moment by having him legitimized as Ramsay Bolton.]]
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': Variation: Lorelai has long since resigned herself to never earning the respect of her MeddlingParents, though she's pleasantly surprised to finally get it from her father after she helps him set up his new business. In a total reversal, though, she's actually ''[[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame horrified]]'' whenever she earns the respect of her mother.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Kurt, especially in "Preggers" and "Laryngitis."
** Blaine too. In "Sexy", he mentions to Kurt's father (who at this point has a healthy, supportive, relationship with his son) that he isn't exactly close with his father, and that he felt the reason his father once had him help rebuild a car was because his father thought it would make him straight.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'': Chuck Bass.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** Both Mohinder Suresh and Elle Bishop have seeking the approval of their fathers as their driving motivation. Mohinder is try to prove the theories of his deceased father, while Elle's father sends her out to kill people for him.
** For all of his wacky murderous brain-stealing shenanigans, it seems all Sylar really wanted from life was the approval of his parents. Then again Sylar has a ''lot'' of problems, obviously. So he could have either mommy issues, daddy issues, neither, or both. Though in the past few episodes he has apparently developed his dead mother's personality, going so far as to shapeshift into her (and use her voice) when he's talking to ''himself''. Clever camera angles make this hard to determine but when he's with another character [[spoiler: Michah]] the camera shows him change back and forth. Creeeeeepy.
** Mohinder and Sylar twitted one another about their daddy issues back in season two. Specifically vis-a-vis Chandra Suresh, whom Sylar had temporarily adopted as a surrogate father figure.
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** In the episode "Son of Coma Guy", House reveals that all he wanted to hear from his abusive, non-biological father were the words, "You were right. You did the right thing."
** Additionally, Chase fulfills the trope to the extent that a UK advertising campaign for the show used "What price approval?" as his tagline. In typical Housian fashion, he finally got it as he was being fired.
*** Chase had issues with his own biological father, who left him when he was a kid and never voiced any approval of him. He did not even tell Chase he was dying of cancer, and it is speculated this caused Chase's need to get approval from House at any cost.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'':
** When his parents were coming to the House, Alfie was desperate to make them think he was smart and important, even pretending to be the nonexistent "head of house". [[WhyAreYouNotMySon Unfortunately, his dad and Jerome hit it off, leaving Alfie with none of the spotlight or praise.]]
** Victor is a tragic, but then heartwarming, example, and this serves as a bit of a FreudianExcuse. His father [[AbusiveParents was cold and unloving, forcing him to betray his own best friend Sarah Frobisher-Smythe in order for him to get the Cup of Ankh and the elixir of life recipe.]] Victor spent his adulthood trying to fulfill his father's goal, and reacted very defensively to any criticisms about him as well. His father, at this point, was long dead. When Nina met his father's ghost and managed to make an ally of him, his father eventually told Nina to pass along the message, along with a ring [[spoiler:containing the final tear of gold that Victor had been trying to acquire the entire season.]]
---> '''Victor Rodenmaar Senior''': Tell my worthless son...I'm sorry. And that I was the worthless one after all.
** Eddie also seems to be an example. Despite initially rejecting and despising Mr. Sweet for abandoning him years ago without reason or contact, when they start trying to be father and son, it was revealed that Eddie used to write him letters, and it seemed the main reason he was so angry was because he was under the impression that he was never wanted at all. [[WellDoneDadGuy Mr. Sweet also seems to have been desperate for his respect as well.]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** It was revealed that the six words Robin wants to hear her dad say are "Robin, I'm proud of you, [[CanadaEh eh]]."
** This is a huge issue of Barney's, as multiple episodes show, most notably "Showdown" and "Cleaning House", and he doesn't even know who his father is. And now that he has met his father, and after getting radically worse, he may actually be getting better.
* ''Series/ICarly'': Spencer Shay in during the episode ''iHire An Idiot'', but with his grandfather.
* ''It Runs In The Family'': This TV movie aired on the Disney Channel in the '90s. Set in the summer months circa 1940 and taken from Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" (the same source material as ''Film/AChristmasStory''). During the movie, Ralphie and the Old Man (Charles Grodin) go fishing every weekend, but fail to catch anything. Until one day when Ralphie is hauling in one huge fish after another, while his father, who didn't get a nibble, looks on in genuine surprise. After awhile, other boats on the lake start to crowd Ralphie and his dad. Jean Shepherd narrates at this point: "My old man never said in so many words, 'I'm proud of you, Ralphie,' but somehow he always let me know that he was proud of me." The Old Man then stands up and shouts to the other boats, "Hey, get lost, we've got a fisherman at work here, give him some room!"
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Lieutenant Williams in "Desert Son" feels that his father has always considered him a failure. What's worse, is he's right, and his father's low opinion of him is well-founded.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' has a non-comedic mother-son case in Rafael Barba, who at one point describes his mother's faith and high hopes for Barba's childhood friend. Then he notes, with some bitterness: "She never said that about me."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Jack's father, Christian, has, in his own words "sacrificed certain elements of [his] relationship" with Jack in order to mold Jack into a great surgeon. An emotional conversation in which Sawyer relays Christian's last thoughts about his son to Jack gives him some closure...but it's not until the series finale that [[spoiler:Jack encounters his father in the "flashsideways," subsequently revealed to be the afterlife, and they have their true reunion]].
** Jack almost follows in his father's footsteps when dealing with his own son, David...except [[spoiler:David doesn't exist and is a creation of Jack's afterlife used to help him with his father issues]].
* ''Series/{{Luther}}'': In addition to the relatively normal tactic of serving in the military to follow in his father's footsteps, the killer in the second episode is so desperate for his father's approval that when the latter, behind bars for killing a cop, orders him to embark on a terror campaign against the police to get him released, he obeys without question.
* ''Series/MadMen'':
** May as well be subtitled "How our horrible childhoods have ruined our adult lives". Exhibit A: Walking inferiority complex Pete Campbell, whose father died in a plane crash before giving Pete the validation he craves. By season five, it's clear that no matter how high Pete rises at the agency, he's never going to feel he gets the respect he's owed.
** Exhibit B: Peggy Olsen busts her back trying to get Don Draper to say things like, "Good work, Peggy", or "I'm proud of you." Eventually, his failure to do so leads to [[spoiler:her leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce entirely]]... which may have actually been necessary before [[spoiler:he finally could say it, in the season 5 finale]]. This is a doubly-rare case: it crosses gender lines (the approval-seeker is a different gender from the one she's seeking approval from - and, to Mad Men's credit, they never even bat an eye at that aspect) ''and'' the approval-seeker isn't genetically related to the "father" figure at all (but she definitely considers him a mentor, and says so when she's [[spoiler:giving notice from SCDP]]).
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Margaret Houlihan seeks validation from her distant father.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Throughout the series, Arthur (yes, [[KingArthur that]] Arthur) attempts to gain his father's approval, frequently risking his life in order to impress him/follow orders. His success is decidedly mixed. Uther may not show it overtly, but he loves Arthur, and willingly risks his own life several times to save him, such as drugging Arthur and taking his place in a duel with an undead knight. And if you're wondering, he did that because the undead knight could not be defeated and would cut down anyone in his way to kill Uther (then and only then would he go away), and unless Uther took his place, Arthur was the one in the way.
* ''Series/MockTheWeek'': Parodied in a "Scenes We'd Like To See" round. "I've just climbed Mount Everest without any food or survival gear. ({{Beat}}) NOW DO YOU LOVE ME, DADDY?!"
* ''Series/ModernFamily'': Phil is sometimes seen wondering why Jay does not like him. He is also sometimes seen having to remind Jay of the few manly things he does. For example, in the episode "The Kiss", as one of the running plots, Phil attempts to fix Jay's printer with the hopes of impressing him. When it finally does get fixed, Phil consistently reminds Jay of it in subsequent episodes when Jay calls Phil's manhood into question.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** Tony. So. Much. When he's not being a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, his desperate need to impress [[BigBrotherMentor Gibbs]] makes him almost TheWoobie.
** Tony's real dad appears in an episode originally aired in January 2009. Yes, ''that'' Dad -- the one who [[spoiler:left him in Maui by himself for a week when he was a child.]] By the end of the episode, it's fairly clear that while Tony nevertheless loves his father and would still like his approval, he doesn't need it as badly as he once did because he has Gibbs.
** In season nine episode "The Penelope Papers" it is revealed [[spoiler:that [=McGee-=] has almost exactly same issues with his own father.]] Since before it has also been clear that Ziva was brought up with a authoritarian father, seeking his approval.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'': Even after her death, it's very clear that everything Del does is because he wants to make his Mum proud.
* ''Series/PerfectStrangers'': Larry ends up [[LockedInAFreezer locked in a flooding basement]] trying to prompt his father to for once say, "Well done, son," as something other than the response to "How would you like your steak?"
* The ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' series has several characters who are out to impress their fathers and/or close relatives.
** ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'': Wes Collins and both his [[MeddlingParents controlling father]] and his AlwaysSomeoneBetter [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Descendant]] Alex.
** ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'': Shane and his brother. (Funny that {{superhero}}es would need so much validation.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'': RJ and his dad, who's disappointed he didn't follow family tradition and become a Shark-style Pai Zhua master. (RJ's still a master, he just went with Wolf-style instead.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'': Scott and Flynn, with Scott's brother being AlwaysSomeoneBetter and Flynn's dad not thinking much of his [[WideEyedIdealist Wide-Eyed Idealism]]. The latter is resolved in Flynn's flashback episode, while the former is an ongoing thread in the series.
** ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'': In a villainous version, [[spoiler:both Vrak and Vekar do all sorts of schemes to destroy and conquer Earth -- all in the name of impressing their father, Emperor Mavro.]]
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'':
** Shawn appears to have spent most of his life either trying to live up to his strict, not-easily impressed father Henry's expectations or actively rebelling against Henry's attempts to mold him. For his part, Henry isn't exactly shy about letting Shawn know when he's disappointed with him. Henry even arrested at east once.
** [[CharacterDevelopment This has changed]] over time: Henry and Shawn have a much better relationship and have shown a great respect for each other.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': SubvertedTrope in the episode "Better Than Life", when Rimmer reflects he never heard his father say he was proud of him, before entering the titular LotusEaterMachine. In the fantasy world he is an incredibly popular and successful figure, but when his father appears, it's to fulfill the Cat's fantasy of hearing him call Rimmer a total smeghead. It's after this point that Rimmer's subconscious rebels against him and converts the fantasy world into a horrible nightmare. Subverted again in the episode "The Beginning", when Rimmer learns [[spoiler: that his father is actually the gardener]], and is [[EpiphanyTherapy instantly freed of the crusing weight of expectations upon him]].
* Series/TheRanch: Both Colt and Rooster long for their father's approval.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Jason Neville's relationship with his father Tom Neville is...dysfunctional. In the episode "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains The Same]]", Jason asked his father, "What'd I do wrong? I did everything you asked me to. I hurt people. Killed people. For you." The sad thing is that before the blackout, their relationship was happy and normal, as shown in a flashback in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E5SoulTrain Soul Train]]".
* ''RupaulsDragRace'': Taken to {{tearjerker}} levels whenever the {{drag queen}}s talk about less-than-accepting parents, especially fathers. It can lead to a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming when a queen's father (especially if formerly estranged) sends a supportive video message.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Many stories relate to J.D.'s need to have Dr. Cox (his mentor and father figure, since his actual father was never there for him) say he's proud of him...no matter how many times he already has.
** Also, in one episode, Turk pined after Dr. Cox's acceptance.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** Lex's (arguably) main reason for becoming evil is the fact his father never gave him any credit. So one of the richest men in the world, who created an [[spoiler: army of clones, studied spaceships and had a prison for superhumans]], was unhappy, ''all because his father (Lionel) wouldn't say "Well done, son."'' And then he [[spoiler:kills Lionel in Season 7.]] Talk about messed up.
** Considering what kind of father he had, that last action makes a whole lot of sense.
** Actually, the worst thing is that, after a lifetime of trying to get Lex to be a good evil strong worthy successor, [[MagnificentBastard Lionel]] went and had a ''HeelFaceTurn'' right after Lex finally crossed serious lines, and wound up as a replacement father figure to ''Clark'' by way of the Jor-El AI, meaning that the same person he always envied for having an incredibly supportive father he could never get to accept him (Jonathan Kent) now had ''his'' father, the one who'd put him through so much. Too cruel.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has an interesting example with Vala and her DarkMessiah daughter, Adria. Adria is an unrepentant BigBad, but she won't harm her mother and tries repeatedly to convince Vala to join her side. Vala, and the rest of her team, try to figure out how to use Adria's need for her mother's approval to their advantage, but Adria is extremely hard to manipulate since she has fancy mind-reading powers.
-->'''Vala''': She has the knowledge of Ascended Beings, twisted as it may be, but I sense that there is a part of her that is just like any other kid, that wants her mother's approval. So I'm hoping I can use that somehow. I mean, why else would she care what I think, right?
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
*** In the episode "Journey to Babel", it's revealed Spock has this problem with his father who disapproved of his decision to enlist in Starfleet instead of following his father into the Vulcan Science Academy. Spock even refuses to give a blood transfusion to his father because he's trying to be the perfectly logical vulcan his father would expect him to be (the ship is in danger, the captain is incapacitated, and if Spock is confined to Sickbay, the ship will be without both its commanding officers during a time of crisis). Kirk has to fake recovery to ensure Spock gives the transfusion that will save his father's life. The audience does learn that Sarek is actually proud of Spock (he just won't admit it to Spock) and at the end of the episode he does indicate approval of Spock.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In the episode "Final Mission" (the one where Wesley Crusher departs), Wes confides that everything he's done on the Enterprise was to make surrogate father figure Captain Picard proud. Picard states at the end that he's always been proud of Wesley (despite never having said so). Cue the FullHouseMusic.
*** Will Riker doesn't get along with his father. As it turns out, his father is the kind of jerk who would cheat at playing games against his own son.
*** When Picard is near-death, Q conjures a vision of Picard's father, a winemaker, who apparently never wanted his son to join Starfleet. It is unclear if Picard's dad really disapproved, or if Q was just being a dick as always.
*** ExpandedUniverse novels suggest the senior Picard really did disapprove, greatly, of his son joining Starfleet.
*** Lore is normally extremely arrogant and considers himself superior to both humans and Data, but when speaking with his "father" Dr. Soong he breaks down and reveals that his creator's opinion of what constitutes a defect is more important to him than his own.
--> '''Lore:''' Why didn't you just ''fix'' me? It was within your power to fix me!
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** Enabran Tain is first introduced in Series 2 as TheSpymaster who controlled the Obsidian Order, recruited and mentored Garak. Over the next few years of the show it becomes clear that Garak will bend over backwards to do anything Tain asks of him even though Tain both exiled him and tried to assassinate him. Despite this guaranteed loyalty, Tain always criticises Garak and treats him quite harshly. [[spoiler:Only when Tain is on his deathbed is it revealed that Garak spent his entire life seeking a moment when Tain would treat him like a son instead of a subordinate or a protégé. The last thing Tain ever does is give him that approval.]]
*** Despite their antagonistic (and definitely non-biological) relationship, this seems to be what Quark seeks from Odo. Quark's final comment on the relationship is "That guy loves me -- ''it's written all over his back''."
*** Odo had a strained relationship with the scientist who was assigned to study him when he was first discovered and with whom he does have a sort of parent/child relationship with since Dr Pol was responsible for Odo learning how to shapeshift and take humanoid form in particular. At one point, an alien infection does make Odo lash out at Pol, bringing Odo's desire into the open - even for Odo himself, who hadn't realised just how deep his own feelings ran. They are eventually reconciled.
*** [[TheNthDoctor Jadzia Dax]] spent years fearing that she didn't live up to predecessor Curzon's expectations, especially because he washed her out of the academy programme and never explained why he allowed her to re-apply. Only by CallingTheOldManOut does she finally learn the truth. [[spoiler:He let personal feelings for her get in the way of his job by throwing her out of the academy to avoid temptation (something he felt deeply guilty for doing) and her successful re-application let him off the hook]].
*** [[MagnificentBastard Dukat's]] relationship with Sisko is, in part, a twisted variation of this. Despite [[ArchEnemy all differences]], Dukat respects his opponent, to the point of calling him an "old friend", and expects Sisko to behave the same way towards him (without much success). This culminates in a long discussion in "Waltz", where Dukat is desperately trying to force some kind of approval out of the Captain:
---> '''Dukat''': I don't think you're being entirely honest with me, Benjamin. You're not a man who hesitates to make snap judgements when the situation calls for it. It's one of the signs of a good commander. Now I'm asking for your opinion of me and I find it hard to believe you don't have one.
--->'''Sisko''': [[BlatantLies All right. I think you're right. You have been judged unfairly. I've judged you unfairly. But I think you probably had good reasons for everything you did on Bajor.]]
*** Dukat also seemed to be somewhat obsessed with what Kira thought of him, that getting her to "understand" what he did (including to her) in the occupation would somehow vindicate him. Sort of like an abusive parent trying to justify themselves that way, years later.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** This is the plot of the episode "Life Line". The Doctor, an artificially intelligent hologram, learns that his creator (and the man whose image he's based on), holographic genius Dr Lewis Zimmerman, is dying. The Doctor pleads with Captain Janeway to be transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant, assuming Zimmerman will be proud of how he's exceeded his programming... only to find his creator is a cantankerous jerk who believes he's an obsolete model better suited to scrubbing plasma conduits on waste transfer barges. Needless to say, much angst and hilarity ensue before the two are reconciled.
*** Tom Paris's father Owen Paris was a Starfleet admiral and Tom never felt that he could live up to his reputation. Things were strained between them and only became worse once Tom had joined the Maquis and then ended up in a Federation penal colony. It was only after the ''Voyager'' got lost in the Delta Quadrant and later established communications to Earth that the two re-connected, especially once Tom and B'Elanna became a couple and had a child. In the novels, things became strained between them again due to circumstances in part beyond Tom's control and Owen died in a Borg attack.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': It is safe to say that this entire universe has {{daddy issues}}.
** Dean has gotten so little show of his dad's approval despite always following his orders and being a good hunter that in the Season One Finale, when his dad (possessed by the BigBad) tells Dean how proud he is that Dean brought the Colt and used a bullet to save Sam's life, Dean realizes he's possessed and puts the gun on him--correctly thinking that the real John would have been furious instead of proud. Even when Dean gets an attaboy and sign of trust from his father, it comes with a DarkSecret that endangers his relationship with his brother, and then his dad dies for him. Since Dean just wants his family to be with him and happy, that's about the worst sort of fatherly recognition he could get.
** Sam feels the same need for his father's approval, but acts out against his father's wishes instead of trying to act as the perfect son Dean struggles to be. Mainly because Sam feels like his flaw is what he ''is'', and not something he can change, whereas Dean thinks that if he just ''does'' enough, he can earn approval.
** ''All'' the angels suffer this, more or less, because ''{{God}}'' is a [[ParentalAbandonment crappy parent]].
*** Castiel's devotion to his Father leads him to start rebelling against fellow angels and siding with humans, whom he thinks of as his father's "works of art". He undergoes death by explosion, eventual power loss, and various human indignities during his exile from Heaven, but he seems to be taking it all in stride--''until'' he hears from Joshua that his father doesn't give a crap about any of it, and would rather stay away and let the Apocalypse happen. Castiel then gives up, drinks a liquor store, and begins his downward spiral. At the end of Season 5, however, God does show some kind of intervention and raises Castiel from the dead a second time, and a re-angelfied Castiel flies back home at the first opportunity. Come Season 6, he's still carrying out his father's wishes by leading one faction of Heaven against the archangel Raphael. And that's since GoneHorriblyRight...
*** Lucifer, despite his rebellion, is basically a kid throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted Daddy to notice him again and return his affections. Michael's relationship with God intentionally parallels Dean's with John, except Michael is perfectly willing to kill what used to be his favorite brother if he believes that's what Daddy wants. Raphael has retreated into nihilism ("You're living in a godless universe.") and Gabriel into hedonism, and that's the four that have ever actually "''met'' the Man."
*** Uriel's faction have actively given up and want to side with Lucifer. Anna is probably the closest to indifferent to God's opinion of any angel appearing on the show; it's fitting she's also the only one with a consistently female appearance.
*** Joshua is so Zen it's creepy, but then he's the only one God actually talks to. He may also be Jesus. Zachariah comes down somewhere between Gabriel's hedonism and Raphael's nihilism, but less tastefully, and it's harder to link to God as such. He may just genuinely be a self-interested racist dick, though his preoccupation with making things play out in accordance with divine prophecy, the only thing God left behind for his children, may indicate issues of this type. Angels were created to serve and He gives no feedback for thousands of years, how are they not going to be legions of daddy issues?
** The demon Azazel, original nemesis of the Winchesters, evidently had this with Lucifer, based on his desperately devoted behavior in the convent flashback, and his whole program was geared toward [[spoiler: getting Hell open to free Lilith so she could bust out Lucifer, in both cases using the 'very special child' Lucifer told him to procure; i.e. Sam]], but Lucifer doesn't betray any awareness that he died for it. He in turn encouraged this from his own 'children,' such as the demon known as Meg.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'':
** Often the entire premise behind this show, where Christopher is always ready for his father's condescending remarks. Hilariously done in the first episode, while joking role-playing Titus recalls every proud moment he had being shot down by Papa Titus (graduation, first job, becoming a manager, etc.) When he finishes with "I opened my own car shop and now I make more money in one year then you ever made in any year of your life, what do you think about that?!" The real Papa Titus appears behind him, cracks open a beer and says, "I think without me pushing you boy, you never would have made it."
** Reiterated in the stand-up show ''Creator/NormanRockwell is Bleeding'' (the ''Anti-Dad!'' part), ending with
--->'''Christopher:''' I have my own TV show and production company!\\
'''Dad:''' And that shit got cancelled, didn't it!
* * ''Series/TrailOfLies'': Felix always felt that his father favored his younger sister Paloma and that no matter how well he did in his job at the family's hospital, it would never be enough for him.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'':
** "The Two Bartlets", Toby points out that the President is haunted by the need to make his father like him. This is expanded on in "Night Five," when Josh's therapist is called in because Bartlet has been unable to sleep for five nights straight (because of this conversation." It's summed up in this devastatingly simple exchange:
--->'''Bartlet''': I'm not trying to get my father to like me.
--->'''Dr Stanley Keyworth''': Good. 'Cuz that's never going to happen.
** "Two Cathedrals," where it's pretty strongly implied that Bartlet's impassioned rant in the National Cathedral is directed more at his father than at God.
*** President Bartlet may not have been able to get his own father to love or approve of him, but his real "Well Done, Son!" Guy is his chief of staff, Leo [=McGarry=] (played by the late John Spencer). Just before a debate between Bartlet and the Republican candidate, Leo gives Bartlet a beautiful smile and says "There's no such thing as too smart. There's nothing you can do that's not going to make me proud of you."
** The President himself is the guy to [[TheUnfavorite his daughter Ellie.]] [[TearJerker "The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was to come home at the end of the day."]]
** Josh has strong tendencies of this but not towards his real father (who is deceased and, by all accounts, was very proud of him). Instead he craves the approval of Leo [=McGarry=], who became a father figure to him after his own father's death. At one point one of the characters notes that Josh is not afraid of losing but he is afraid of letting Leo down.
* ''Series/TheWire'': Lester Freamon is this trope personified. [[NotSoAboveItAll Daniels]] does a humorous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE9-u26NOWI Freamon imitation]].
--->'''Daniels''': He stares at you from the top of his reading glasses, with that look that says ''I'm the father you never had'' ''and I don't want to be disappointed on you ever again''.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Agent Dana Scully spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove to her parents, but especially her dad, that her decision to join the FBI was a good one. She doesn't find out how proud of her her dad actually was until he's dead.
** Agent Spender had this going for [[spoiler:the Cigarette-Smoking Man, his biological father]], of all people. Well, at least until he tried killing his mom.
* ''Series/YoungDracula'': Ingrid. Her father gives Vlad all the attention, even though Vlad doesn't even want to be a vampire and she does.
* One of the recurring parental issues of ''Series/TheSopranos''. Tony goes out of his way to please his contemptible mother, who resents her children for being happier than her. At the same time, Chris, Tony's nephew, and A.J., Tony's son, try hard to earn praise from the old man or just live up to his perceived expectations, only to get frustrated when he doesn't give them any real credit.
* Gretchen on ''Series/YoureTheWorst'' behaves completely differently and lies about her life around her parents out of fear of disappointing them. She goes to great length to hide Jimmy from them, and when he finally meets them, he [[CallingTheOldManOut calls them out on that]].
* ''Series/BeringSeaGold'': At the end of season 3, Steve Pomrenke finally congratulates his son Shawn for his improved gold-catching performance that year, in spite of their normally contentious relationship.
* ''Series/DeadliestCatch'': Captain Phil with his sons, Jake and Josh; Captain Jonathan with his son, Scotty; the captains in general to the greenhorns.
** Sig outright said he considers Jake Anderson as his son.
** Subverted in Season 6 King Crab with Wild Bill's son, Zack Larson, though it got better as Zack Larson is on the ''Kodiak'' for Season 7. Season 8 revealed that Bill didn't think he was pulling his weight, though Zack's tweets seemed to indicate he didn't see anything unusual about it (or at least didn't consider it to be "yelling").
*** Wild Bill: "Zack's a great kid, he just has no balls". Considering Wild Bill's dad was a ''[[DrillSergeantNasty Marine drill sergeant]]'' who was so scary that young Bill would leave as soon as he got home, Bill's concern for his son -- who he didn't even want to become a crabber -- is positively cuddly. The other captains chime in that their dads were the same (with the addition that their dads would tell everyone ''but'' their kids how proud they were of them), although BadAssGrandpa[=s=] tended to be pretty cool.
* ''Series/PennyDreadful'': Peter Murray, son of Sir Malcolm and a sickly child, undertakes an expedition to Africa with his father only to win his approval and recognition as a man. [[spoiler:He dies of dysentery in the Congo.]]
* ''Series/DeathInParadise'': Humphrey Goodman. Humphrey's father is convinced that Humphrey is wasting his life playing a game of cops-and-robbers instead of becoming a barrister like him (and his brother). In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son", Humphrey's father comes to the island to convince him to come back home to England for his ex-wife, Sally. Finally having had enough, Humphrey tells his father that he is a very good detective and that he is happier on Saint Marie than then he ever was in England and is staying there. After watching his son solve the case, Humphrey's father realises he is happy for him to remain in Saint Marie.
* Colin Jost has turned this into a semi-running gag on [[Series/SaturdayNightLive "Weekend Update"]]:
-->Wednesday was National Hug Day...Dad.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The Music/SimplePlan song "Perfect" is about this.
-->"And now I just try to make it,\\
I just want to make you proud\\
I'm never gonna be good enough for you"
** Later:
--->"I'm sorry I can't be [[TitleDrop perfect]]."
* James Hetfield of Music/{{Metallica}}: his lyrics of "The Day That Never Comes" and "The Unforgiven".
* Kellin Quinn from the band Sleeping With Siren wrote the song "A Trophy Father's Trophy Son". The song was written about/from the point of view of his stepkids whose father basically abandoned them and Kellin's wife.
* Pink in ''TheWall''; especially bad because Pink never knew his father at all ("Daddy's flown across the ocean..."). It's twice as tragic because of the gigantic void that his absence leaves behind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''BlissStage:'' The definition of Josh Preston's relationship to the [[{{GMPC}}the Authority Figure --]] his father Jim Preston.
* The Emperor to the Primarchs of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', though the relationship sours with many of them. [[Literature/HorusHeresy One in particular]] results in CallingTheOldManOut, OffingTheOffspring, CainAndAbel, the destruction of several planets, trillions of people dying, and a new dark age for the galaxy. Yeah, 40k is that kind of franchise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Biff starts out like this in ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''.
** Happy is still like this, but to a slightly lesser extent.
* Cory from ''Theatre/{{Fences}}'', full on. Even remarked on almost by name:
-->'''Rose:''' Everything that boy do... he do for you. He wants you to say, "Good job, son." That's all.
* Norman and Chelsea from ''Theatre/OnGoldenPond'' are a father-daughter version of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Kid, from ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'', a game whose [[StoryToGameplayRatio extremely peripheral story]] involves nothing more than an incredibly hard quest to become The Guy. The Kid wants to become The Guy. The Father of The Kid is The Guy. The Kid is sent on his quest by Former Grandfather The Guy, who was replaced as The Guy by The Father The Guy, who The Kid now seeks to replace in turn to become The Guy. It doesn't get much more "Well Done, Son!" Guy than that.
* The Prince in KatamariDamacy seeks nothing but the King of All Cosmos' approval, and for good reason: disapproval means MoreDakka eye beams.
** In later games we find out that the King had a similar relationship with his father.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series Lee and Jin (a "Well Done Grandson Guy") all at some point or another felt this way towards Heihachi. Eventually they learn that doing this won't get them anywhere and thus went off their own way.
** Kazuya started this way as well. Heihachi throwing him off a cliff kind of ended that dream, though.
*** Adopting Lee into the family was actually supposed to ''induce'' this emotion in Kazuya, giving him someone to compete with and pushing him to achieve. Again, though, the cliff thing derailed that.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'':
** For most of the game, Gwendolyn is constantly trying to prove herself as a warrior so that her father King Odin would be proud of and love her - a fact which Odin repeatedly uses to manipulate her. [[spoiler:Eventually Gwendolyn wises up and gives up on her father in favor of choosing to be with Oswald, who earnestly cares for her.]]
** Oswald himself strives single-mindedly to do whatever his adoptive father orders and admits that he could die happy as long as his father approved of him and loved him. Unfortunately, on his deathbed, his father spitefully rejects him for his failure and admits he never loved him, viewing Oswald as only a means to an end for his ambitions, little more than a tool. Soon after,[[spoiler: Oswald dies himself, in despair. With several chapter of his story left to go, however.]]
** Before the final boss of Velvet's book, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the destruction of Valentine was caused by Ingway, who tampered with the Cauldron in order to save Odin from being killed in battle against Valentine's superior forces and didn't anticipate the scale of the reaction that would result. In the aftermath, Odin claimed the cauldron with nothing but a callous "Well done, traitor" for Ingway, inspiring Ingway to go to rather extreme lengths to [[CallingTheOldManOut call him out]] for it later on.]]
* Even though he hates his father, Tidus from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' desperately seeks to measure up to him, especially after realizing he's following his exact same footsteps. Likewise, Yuna wishes to make her own father, High Summoner Braska, proud of her own pilgrimage. In the end, they exceed both of their parents, by [[spoiler: destroying Sin rather than just delaying it until next time]].
** Braska obviously loved Yuna, and she just didn't want his death to be in vain.
** Revisited in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', where Jecht was specifically chosen as the villain representative of ''Final Fantasy X'' due to his emotional connection with the hero. It's especially visible in the cutscene after Tidus beats him:
--->'''Tidus:''' I hate you. I hated you so much. I've always wished you'd be gone. But deep down what I really wanted was just... your approval. For you to... tell me that I've grown strong.
--->'''Jecht:''' Looks like the kid will never grow up.
--->'''Tidus:''' That's not my fault. I can't help it. I'm your son, after all.
--->'''Jecht:''' Hehe... I guess you are.
--->''[Both laugh.]''
--->'''Jecht:''' Hey, cry-baby... You've grown strong.
* In an example of the hero's friend, Sora reveals at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' that he's always striven to be as good at everything as his best friend, Riku. This was hinted at in the beginning of the original game, as well. In true form, Riku also reveals that he was always jealous of the way his friend lived his life.
* Bosch from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' is ''seriously'' messed up because of this reason. All throughout his childhood, his dad put him through ridiculous training (including making him fight a monster ''three times'' his size) and still wouldn't give him the praise he wanted. This left him willing to do anything necessary to get ahead in life which included [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness nearly murdering his former partner,]] [[AppendageAssimilation grafting a monster's arm onto himself]] and [[SealedEvilInACan linking with an ancient, evil dragon in return for it's powers.]]
* Liquid Snake from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' may have been this at one point, but has built up a deep-rooted resentment for his father as well as the one his father ''did'' show approval of: Solid Snake.
** ''TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' [[CharacterExaggeration exaggerates]] this part of Liquid's character to ridiculous proportions. Then it's revealed that Big Boss is doing it on purpose to help manipulate the boy better.
** Solid Snake himself in ''MetalGearSolid4'' doesn't feel like he's accomplished anything until [[spoiler: Big Boss shows up to tell him 'well done'.]]
* This is one of the basics for the MayDecemberRomance between GeniusBruiser Oswin and WhiteMagicianGirl Serra in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword]]''. She treats him more respectfully than [[SlapSlapKiss her other possible love interests]] (FragileSpeedster Matthew and KidAnova Erk) and seeks for his approval, but when Oswin reprehends her in their B support, Serra mistakes this as him hating her as a person and almost has an HeroicBSOD. Their A support is about them clearing the misunderstanding.
** Speaking of ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', Prince Zephiel. Ever dutiful, ever charismatic Prince of Bern whose wish is just for his family to reconcile, by having his father acknowledge him. Poor kid doesn't know that his father is very much a {{jerkass}} who really wants him dead. When Zephiel learns it the hard way, [[NietzscheWannabe take a wild guess what Zephiel turns into]].
** Another ''[[FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword]]'' example is [[BadassAdorable Nino]]. All she wants is to earn Sonia's love and approval, and agrees to go on a dangerous mission in which she would very well be killed ''just'' for the reward of her mother holding her hand and stroking her face.
** A less harsh example is Erk towards his mentor and adoptive father Pent, especially in their B support.
** Forrest in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' starts out angry at his father for criticizing his WholesomeCrossdresser habit, but once they start communicating better he expresses a desire to make his father proud despite being afraid to fight, and to wield the tome Leo uses and that Forrest will someday inherit.
* While not his father, Richard from ''SuikodenV'' is wicked attached to his father figure, Mueller, and is always trying to get his attention, impress him, and make him happy. Seriously, this kid's entire world revolves around Mueller, so much that he's willing to carry any IdiotBall if it's for Mueller and it ''embarrasses'' Mueller.
** An observant or min-maxing player might notice that Richard's stats and skills make him the most powerful character in the game. Presumably not a coincidence.
** A straighter example is SuikodenIV's Snowe Vingerhut, who longs to please his powerful, manipulative father. He even [[ICallItVera calls his sword]] 'Daddy Blade'.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', [[spoiler:Raz]]'s "inner demon" is a manifestation of his father, constantly taunting him for being a disappointment and [[spoiler:a psychic.]] Eventually [[spoiler:his ''real'' father, who looks nothing like the twisted monster that is Raz's internal interpretation of him, enters his mind and tells him that he just wanted Raz to be happy and safe.]]
** [[spoiler:It's actually even nicer than this - Raz believed the entire time that his father hated psychics and that he would hate Raz if he knew that Raz was psychic - when in fact his father is a psychic himself, and didn't want Raz displaying his talents, not out of resentment but out of fear that ACTUAL psychic haters would persecute or harm him.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear XX'', this discussion can occur when Kliff Undersn fights his adoptive son, Testament:
-->'''Testament:''' Father... I...\\
'''Kliff:''' You've grown to be a fine man.... I have no further regrets.
** Considering that at that point Testament has completed his HeelFaceTurn and is TheLancer to FriendToAllLivingThings Dizzy, it's no wonder that the LawfulGood BadassGrandpa approves.
* Various dialogue in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' shows that the player character is frustrated at his foster father's lack of praise and emotional reactions. However said foster father (Daeghun Farlong) has emotional problems of his own and did spend months looking for the player character after he vanished after the battle with the king of shadows.
* There is...quite a lot of this in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. To start with, there's Garrus, whose father is a standard, by-the-book military-minded turian. Garrus feels that rules are good and all, but following them to the point of blindness will let the bad guys get away with worse stuff, so it's necessary to break the rules every once in a while. This leads to his eventually uncomfortable position as a CowboyCop on the Citadel. Then there's Tali, whose father is a member of the Admiralty Board which controls the Quarian Flotilla, and the quarian race. Accordingly, everyone expects her to bring back some massively important gift from her Pilgrimage, and she hopes doing so will get her some notice from her otherwise distant father. No pressure. And then there's Liara T'Soni, whose mother is an extremely important spiritual figure. Her mother apparently mated with another member of the same species, which is a big no-no in their culture, so she's been ostracised nearly her entire life, leading her to run away from home and go on archeological digs in the hopes of being known for something other than being her mother's daughter. That's the ''first'' game.
** Wrex, who attended a Crush (meeting of tribes) at his father's request despite ''knowing'' that it was most likely a trap. (Granted, Wrex got to resolve his father issues by killing him, but Wrex spends the rest of his life fighting against his father's policies and beliefs, which most Krogan still share.)
** It would take way too long to list all examples from the second game. Suffice to say, there are few characters who ''aren't'' on either the giving or the receiving end of this trope to some degree.
** At the very least we have to mention Thane and [[spoiler:his son Kolyat]]. Thane's whole loyalty mission is him trying to [[spoiler:stop Kolyat from following in his footsteps and becoming an assassin, and in the end convincing his son that he was always proud of him is what really turns him away from it in the end.]] There's a reason it's called "Cat's in the Cradle."
--->'''Thane:''' I've taken many bad things out of the world. You're the only good thing I ever added to it.
** Meanwhile, if you have the spacer background, [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] gets to have a nice friendly chat with his/her mother.
** [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure David Anderson]] in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for the second game is revealed to have this relationship with his own son due to Anderson's workaholic nature estranging him from his family.
** It may be easier to mention the characters who don't have fathers like these: [[TheHero Shepard]], due to his/her parents being either dead, absent, or [[AvertedTrope in the military themselves]], [[TokenEvilTeammate Jack]], who never knew her parents, but [[AxCrazy makes up for it in other ways]], Ashley, who was very much DaddysGirl before her father died and is more concerned with general family honor, and Kaidan, who seems to get along with his. [[LadyOfWar Samara]] and [[ProfessionalKiller Thane]] are this to their children, the rest have daddy issues except for Legion, who's a robot. This trope is lampshaded and mocked when Shepard talks with [[RobotGirl EDI]] in the third game.
-->'''Shepard:''' How's your focus, EDI? Any big questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any small questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any lingering issues?\\
'''EDI:''' About what?\\
'''Shepard:''' An imperfect designer who could be seen as a warped father figure, maybe?\\
'''EDI:''' ''Definitely'' not. Did something prompt this line of questioning?\\
'''Shepard:''' [[GenreSavvy I've just learned you have to ask about these things.]]
** The Geth are a race of robots who suffer from this. It turns out that the ''Quarians'' initiated the RobotWar and the Geth only fought back to defend themselves, with every time the Geth attempted to lay down arms, the Quarians took advantage of the situation by opening fire, thus leading the Geth to believe they would ''never'' back down. Despite this, they ''don't'' want to hurt them and ''still'' desperately want their creators' approval.
*** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard sees a recording of a Geth in the middle of being dismantled by a Quarian engineer, desperately asking to know what they did ''wrong''? What did it do that was so terrible, you might wonder? [[spoiler: Ask if it had a ''soul''.]]
** A comic has Garrus remembering how his father taught him to shoot. This fast-forwards to his days as the Archangel on Omega to the point of his one-man stand-off against three gangs. He calls his father to have one last chat. When asked why so urgent, Garrus calmly states that there are too many targets. His father tells him to forget the final father-son conversation and gets all business about Garrus's assets and ammo, insisting that he survive so that he can come back to Palaven and talk things over. Garrus takes another look in the scope and sees the N7 logo on an armor. He tells his dad that the odds just went up before ending the call.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' isn't quite as...overwhelming with its parental issues (though there's no shortage of missing or dead ones). ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has a few examples.
** Saemus Dumar, the rebellious and idealistic son of Kirkwall's SlaveToPR Viscount, is the standout.
** Aveline is the daughter of an Orlesian chevalier exiled [[DeadlyDecadentCourt when his patron was killed]]. He raised her to be a knight and sold everything they had so she could join King Cailan's army. Instead, she grew up a principled but ''very'' pragmatic soldier, and eventual City Guard.
** Sebastian was the spare to the SpareToTheThrone who tactfully describes his parents as "rather traditional". He acted out by turning into a womanizing hedonist, and was given to the church in his teens to prevent further embarrassment (and any illegitimate children who could have caused a SuccessionCrisis further down the line). He ended up liking it there, but his parents and older brothers were assassinated not long after.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy and TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou aside, all Bass of ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' infamy wanted was for his creator Dr. Wily to acknowledge him as his greatest creation. Sadly, with the advent of [[spoiler:Wily creating Maverick Zero and the [[TheVirus Maverick Virus]],]] Bass ''might'' be wrong.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' has Anomen; his dad is a [[AbusiveParents bad-tempered]], [[MissingMom widowed]] [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]] who thoroughly disapproves of his son's aspirations to join TheOrder of the Radiant Heart. How Anomen deals with this depends upon player choice and the PC's relationship with him. [[spoiler: Trying to win his father's approval causes Anomen to fail his test of knighthood and start SlowlySlippingIntoEvil. Refusing to put his father's wishes over his morals will cause [[IHaveNoSon his father to reject him]], but it helps Anomen become a knight and a better person. No matter what he does at first, he has to give up this trope altogether to successfully complete his romance.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', after Vieri de'Pazzi is assassinated, Ezio acquires a letter where the writer informs Vieri's father Francesco that all the young man wanted was his father's attention and approval.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' Episode I and the first bits of Episode II have M.O.M.O. obviously trying to get approval from Juri Mizrahi. [[spoiler:Since she looks so much like her big sister, Sakura, Juri is less than accepting, if not outright frightened of the girl, giving her manipulative bitch status when she told M.O.M.O. that they can live together only to keep her stabe during the Y-Data analysis. It's sad when Ziggy shows more parental love for the poor thing who went through being kidnapped, mind-raped, possibly raped for real. and helping save Second Miltia. It takes Ziggy's advice and M.O.M.O. shutting down her mind to prevent Albedo from grabbing the Y-data]] to wake Juri up. By III, it seems M.O.M.O. and Juri have finally become a real family.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': According to the "Meet the Sniper" video, the Sniper's parents do not care for the Sniper's career choice. He spends quite a bit of the video speaking on the phone to his unseen father, who seems to think that the Sniper's some kind of crazed gunman. [[spoiler:The "Old Wounds" comic reveals that they came to terms with their son's job before being KilledOffForReal, though it took Sniper temporarily dying and going to Heaven for this to come to light and it may or may not have been a hallucination.]]
** This ends up becoming an IdiotBall of epic proportions when [[spoiler:it turns out the the REAL Sniper's biological parents are pure evil. He doesn't stop putting blind faith in them even though they're basically what would happen if the Mann brothers got married (The father created the world's first successful spaceship... by destroying his own city and using one ton of Australium as PAINT. The mother's a bickering alcoholic. Then they both bail on their kid in a self-destructing ruin).]]
** The Demoman's mother, on the other hand, disapproves of the fact that he only works three jobs and hasn't yet rid himself of more than a single eye.
*** The reason Mama Degroot (once herself a Demowoman) chases after her son to make as much money as possible is because she knows that he'll eventually be blinded in the line of duty and unable to work.
----> '''Mama Degroot:''' Mark me, Boy! No Demoman worth his sulfur has had an eye in his head past thirty!
* Mondo Zax of ''VideoGame/WildStar'' had a terrible, terrible childhood, being [[TheRuntAtTheEnd the #13 of 13 children,]] tiny, and constantly looked over by his father. The mysterious disappearances of all 12 of his siblings [[BlatantLies (which he had no part of)]] was helpful in trying to get his attention, but unfortunately, "a heated argument over engineering principles led to a familial schism between the two - one that was left unresolved when Mondo's father was inexplicably vaporized during a routine bot recalibration."[[note]]From the official [=WildStar=] [[http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/mondo_zax_and_victor_lazarin.php blog post]] about Mondo Zax and Victor Lazarin.[[/note]]
* Luke from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has this sort of feelings towards [[spoiler:Van]] till the end of the game, even after [[spoiler:discovering his true intentions]]. He manages to outlive it though, finding his reason to live.
--> '''Luke''': I finally understand what it is I wanted. I wanted you to acknowledge me. To accept me as [[spoiler:a human being, not a replica.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Van]]''': Yes. And you have become a [[spoiler:human being.]]
--> '''Luke''': ...But that's not enough.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Bowser Jr. will do anything to make his father proud. However, it's a downplayed example, as SelfDemonstrating/{{Bowser}} is already extremely proud of his son, and he knows it; he just wants to ''keep'' making his dad proud.
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': Satan has a fit of rage when you cheat, revealing he is secretly desperate to win his [[GodOfGood father's praise]].
* Several conversations in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' suggest that Pharah's relationship with her late mother is somewhere between this and CallingTheOldManOut.
--> '''Mercy:''' Your mother always wanted you to follow in her footsteps.\\
'''Pharah:''' She did? Funny, she never mentioned that to me...\\
\\
'''Soldier 76:''' Your mother would have been proud of you.\\
'''Pharah:''' ''(drily)'' You didn't know my mother very well, then.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' game focusing on Miles Edgeworth shows that this is most likely true for Franziska. In the fourth case, 13-year-old Franziska competes with Miles, presumably to receive her father's attention. Considering he barely seems to acknowledge her skills compared to Miles, this explains a lot about how caught up she was in Manfred's worldview.
** In the sequel, [[spoiler:Sebastian Debeste]] is eventually revealed to be this for his father, having built up his entire career just to gain his approval. As it turns out, [[spoiler:Blaise was exploiting this trope by building up his son's credentials in order to use him as a pawn, which eventually leads to Sebastian CallingTheOldManOut]].
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has Eva Ushiromiya, towards [[AbusiveParents her father Kinzo]]. [[DrunkWithPower This]] [[CainAndAbel causes]] [[KillEmAll problems]].
** Natsuhi, Kinzo's daughter-in-law, also has this attitude towards him, perhaps even moreso than Eva. [[spoiler:So much so that when he dies of natural causes, her attempts to [[OfCorpseHesAlive cover up his death]] combined with the stress from upholding the Ushiromiya family name causes her to snap, and as a result she imagines his ghost as a kindly figure who supports and encourages her. In [=EP5=] Bernkastel tells Natsuhi, using [[LanguageOfTruth the red truth]], that Kinzo never actually thought she was good enough.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': If [[spoiler:Tohsaka]] had ''just'' been a little bit less of a bitch to her sister [[spoiler:[[TheWoobie Sakura]]]] and a bit more supportive instead of, say, threatening to kill her (even if she's just insecure herself), then [[spoiler:Sakura]] wouldn't have snapped and [[spoiler:tried to destroy the world]].
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', it is very strongly implied that Shizune Hakamichi's SpiritedCompetitor personality stems largely from a desire to earn the approval of her {{Jerkass}} AbusiveDad Jigoro. Unfortunately, he seems to view most of her accomplishments, including her position as StudentCouncilPresident, with contempt.
** Shizune is looked down upon by her father FOR her deafness, Jigoro thinks he gave life to a faulty human being who will never match his own standards.
* In ''VisualNovel/EfAFairyTaleOfTheTwo'', [[spoiler:Miyako became TheAce in an eventually fruitless bid to impress her parents, who were always quarreling each other before deciding to divorce.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}'', Souji Okita wants nothing more than to be helpful to his father figure Isami Kondou, and to earn his approval. This mostly leads to heartache for everybody, because although Kondou loves Souji like a little brother, he's somewhat oblivious to how strong his feelings run and how jealous he is of Kondou's reliance on Hijikata. Meanwhile, Souji quickly comes to the conclusion (helped along by the manipulation of Kamo Serizawa) that the only way he can be of help to Kondou is to use his prodigious talent for swordsmanship to kill Kondou's enemies... whether Kondou approves or not.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The plot of the "So What IS a [=McNinja=]?" arc in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Dan and Mitzi [=McNinja=] are very disappointed in their son for becoming a Doctor rather than an assassin. Interestingly, the Doctor realizes that gaining his parents' respect with his medical skills is a hopeless task, so he decides to show them that he's "a damn good ninja!" as well.
** Meanwhile, his younger brother Sean still has "Well Done, Son!" Guy as a major motivation, hiding his technical wizardry behind a mask of misused slang. When a ghost wizard puts Sean in his ultimate fantasy world, his Dad is hugging him, saying, "Computers are pretty cool, son. They are pretty cool." [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/11p37/ He's brought to tears.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{DDG}}'' Zip, it turns out, feels this way towards 'Netta since she see 'Netta as a [[http://www.sincomics.com/phpAlbum/main.php?cmd=imageview&var1=DDG%2FPages+100%2B%2FDDG120.jpg&var2=2 surrogate mother]] and could never get validation from her own mum.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/2009/02/21/issue-1-page-4/ Cole stole her mother's Endstone to attempt to win her father's love.]]
* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' spends his every waking moment (when not obsessing over Agatha) trying to live up to his Machiavellian father's expectations (who pushes Gil to the breaking point so that Gil [[ZenSurvivor won't go through what he did]]). Klaus ''does'' praise Gil upon completing difficult tasks, but the poor kid is usually too annoyed by the circumstances to really appreciate it. Klaus is [[SeenItAll rarely visibly impressed]] and thus easily comes across as dismissive. He was [[SoProudOfYou really enthusiastic]] only when saw Gil [[OneManArmy defeating a mechanized army, single-handed]].
** Though, eventually, Klaus spells it out. Ironically, it's a mistake (he thinks Gil ''intentionally'' sent to catch Agatha someone guaranteed to kill her, rather than doing so by accident).
--->'''Klaus:''' It seems I have misjudged you. [[WellDoneSonGuy Well done, son.]]\\
'''Gil:''' [suspicious] Is this another test?\\
'''Klaus:''' Erk. Please, don't make me laugh. Owch. No. No more tests, my son. The time for such things is over.
** Gil made it to the age of ten or so completely ignorant of his heritage, and Klaus only revealed it when he broke into his own records and found the embarrassing decoy story. This was probably primarily to keep him safe, but combined with all the tests later on it instilled in Gil the conviction that he had to ''earn'' the right to be Gilgamesh Wulfenbach.
*** Which conveniently averted the "[[RoyalBrat spoiled second-generation conqueror]]" problem. Take that, Ibn Khaldun!
** That said, they have a strong mutual affection and Gil never seems to doubt that his father ''cares'', or even that he ''wants'' him...it's just that he can't be completely sure Klaus won't kill him or set him aside if he has to for the good of Europa. On the other hand, Klaus frequently looks down on the kid, but hasn't tried to shape his personality for anything but generic 'strength;' his lab at the beginning of the story contained no weapons whatsoever. (Subsequent events have required him to develop a more militant bent. Klaus seems to have been relying on the Spark to bring those qualities out when they were actually needed.) The closest to a healthy version of this trope you can get, considering there's an empire involved and both parties are [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder congenitally insane]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the reason Roy Greenhilt took on the story's main quest was to prove his worth to his egocentric, self-centered father. He eventually comes to realise that his father simply isn't worth it, and that nothing he can say will ever make him change. He gives up on him entirely, not even bothering with CallingTheOldManOut, and goes so far as to make his father promise not to ever visit his family from the afterlife -- which his father does easily and casually without a single worry -- to have the privilege of helping Roy.
** Nale also feels this way to his EvilOverlord father. Nale wants to prove that he can be even better BigBad material than the old man, and he wants him to acknowledge that. Of course, in this case it's less "I want your approval" and more "I can take care of myself, get out of my life"
* Kazuo of ''Webcomic/RedString'' wants his father's approval so badly that he dumps his girlfriend that he loves dearly, resigns himself to an arranged marriage with a childhood friend he doesn't love that way, works at a job he hates, stops doing any of his hobbies--including cooking, which he actually wants to do as a career--and seems to be developing a drug problem to cope. Even when Kazuo shows some weak defiance, he always goes back to groveling for his father's love soon after. As of this writing, all his father's done in response is slap him repetitively, call him worthless, and point-blank tell the boy he's only good as a bargaining chip. [[spoiler:And [[DrivenToSuicide driven Kazuo to attempt suicide]]. Luckily, he survives.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheSpecialists'', [[http://thespecialistscomic.com/page-85/ Henry]]. He's a jerk, a bigot and a Casanova Wannabe -- but you still feel sorry for him.
* It isn't something that [[TheStoic Dave Strider]] of ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' likes to talk about, but he's clearly very deeply invested in following in his AloofOlderBrother [[spoiler:(who turns out to be his genetic father)]] and father-figure's example.
** Uniquely, Dave sort of gets ''both'' of the typical resolutions to this plotline. Eventually he comes to recognize that [[BrokenPedestal his Bro was a terrible person]] who never deserved his respect. But later on he also gets to meet an alternate universe version of Bro who is actually a decent person, and who is able to give him the praise and validation and affection he always wanted but never got from his real Bro.
** Inverted with his best friend John; John resents his father's doting on him, although [[spoiler: Given John [[ItMakesSenseInContext unconsciously covers his room in grafiti refering to himself as stupid]]]], it's rather understandable.
* [[TheCaptain Kaff Tagon]] from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' looks like that [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-11-26 when we first hear about his father]]. But [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-30 a later flashback]] shows that there's more to their story: each blames the other one and himself for [[spoiler:not saving the rest of their family from assassination]] a couple decades ago.
* Hurmiz from ''Webcomic/{{Harbourmaster}}'' already has its progenitor Kema's respect. What it ''doesn't'' have is Kema's love--an understandable lack, since Kema [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove still hasn't mastered the idea of love in general]]. This means Hurmiz is supportive of [[spoiler: Gilou]]'s efforts to force Kema to question its old habits more thoroughly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[MemeticMutation The Internet]] has been exposed to a [[ImageBoards 4chan]] meme of this nature, [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/son-i-am-disappoint SON, I AM DISAPPOINT.]]
** There is also [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/high-expectations-asian-father/photos High Expectations Asian Father.]]
* Rosa Fiametta and to a lesser extent her sister Frankie of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' have this type of relationship with their father, who has pretty blatent favouritism for their brother Ilario and doesn't seem to care very much about his daughters. Both want acknowledgement/attention from their father, neither is exactly going about getting it in the right way.
* Jobe Wilkins of the ''WhateleyUniverse''. He's still trying to get his father's approval, even though at fourteen he's already one of the greatest bio-devisers ''on the entire planet''. His dad is the supervillain Gizmatic, who only approves of deviser stuff that's mechanical, so lots of luck on that one.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick sympathizes with the daughters of the ''MyLittlePony'' movie because she knows how it feels to have a mother who thinks you're a disappointment.
* Until they realize he's actually fairly worthless, newbies from WebSite/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses are desperate to please WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic. He never notices them. Film Brain still kept his crush until WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, but that ends bittersweetly.
* In ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv'', Light with his father. [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain Souichiro]] sees Light as nothing but a disappointment because not only is he [[{{Gayngst}} gay]] but [[spoiler: he's a WhiteSheep and [[MuggleBornOfMages he didn't inherit any of the cool]] [[HalfHumanHybrid Shinigami powers]].]]
* In the Drunk History series, Ben Franklin is said to have acted this way toward his son William, calling him "my bastard son" and at one point sitting under an umbrella while William conducts the famous kite experiment in the rain, unenthusiastically cheering "Good job, William....you're my kid."
* Tacoma Narrows from WebVideo/DemoReel. All he's ever wanted to do is make somebody proud, and as he sent his dad to jail and his mother hates him, he finally gets it in bromance buddy/boss/best friend Donnie.
** Rebecca too. Her parents openly criticize her every chance they get, from sexual partners to jobs to interests, but she still tries to make them happy and get their approval.
** Donnie ends up taking the cake, as he beats himself up over not being able to be as hopeful as ''[[spoiler: his mother who died from suicide]]''.
* In WebVideo/AbridgedOnTitan, when Carla blurted out before she died that her adopted child [[TheAce Mikasa]] was her favorite, [[TheUnfavorite Eren]] ends up with such a raging inferiority complex because of it that he actually hallucinates his mother belittling him and taunting him about how Mikasa is better than him. His motivation for killing the Titans is less about avenging her death and more about proving to Carla and Mikasa once and for all that he is the best.
* A RunningGag on Website/{{Cracked}} is that the columnist's parents (and sometimes grandparents) are excessively disappointed by their offspring being nerdy, pasty internet writers instead of getting real jobs.
* In Season 7 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Simmons sneaks into the {{Holodeck}}...and the fantasy he enacts is Sarge expressing his appreciation for Simmons's input and opinions. This is interrupted by the ''real'' Sarge...who wants Simmons to come [[YesMan agree with him]] at a staff meeting, and sees no reason why Simmons might need to know in advance what he is agreeing to.
* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The primary motivation for all the desperate lengths that Prince Zuko goes to, and the terrible decisions he makes, is to get the approval of the father [[AbusiveParents who burned, scarred, and exiled him]] under the pretext of a SnipeHunt. Eventually [[spoiler: Zuko is allowed to come home and receives his father's approval, only to discover that it is not as fulfilling as he had expected, precipitating his Heel Face Turn]]. Occasionally, he shows traits of this towards his uncle Iroh. [[spoiler: After his HeelFaceTurn, he accepts Iroh as a ParentalSubstitute and becomes this full time.]]
** Sokka also wants his father to accept and acknowledge him as a warrior. When he does finally meet up with his father, he gets a YouDidntAsk type answer when his dad asks him, "Why do you think I left you in charge of the village?" Furthermore, when Fire Nation forces appear, Sokka's father orders his men to prepare for battle; when Sokka asks what he should do, his father warmly responds to him, "I said 'The rest of you ''men'' prepare for battle!'," which is the most thrilling thing Sokka could have heard.
** A similar setup is played for tragedy with [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] and [[DaddysLittleVillain Princess Azula]]. She took on ''[[PhysicalGod the Avatar]]'' and his teachers armed with ''nothing but a knife'' for the man, while he hid out in his bunker during the eclipse. Even as a MagnificentBastard who's aware that the opponents are {{Technical Pacifist}}s, that's devotion right there and the poor girl's only ''fourteen years old''. When Ozai announces she will replace him as Fire Lord it's only because he's going to conquer the rest of the world and become the Phoenix King, [[KickedUpStairs thus making 'Fire Lord' an impotent title.]] Her mother Ursa clearly favored Zuko, being a nice person and [[spoiler:feeling rejected by both of her parents ''and'' her friends, Azula descends into an epic VillainousBreakdown.]]
** Ozai seems to have learned his parenting skills from his father, Fire Lord Azulon. It is shown in his single appearance that Azulon shows little if any concern for his younger son and clearly favors Iroh, even after the latter gives up conquering Ba Sing Se.
** Eventually, this wound up repeated in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' with Aang's kids. Aang plays favorites with Tenzin, being he's the only Airbender among the three and the only way for Aang to continue the legacy. This leaves the other two feeling like they were disappointments to their dad for being "born wrong," especially Bumi who wasn't even a Waterbender like Kya. To compensate, Bumi wound up a general and Kya spent many of her years traveling the world (tellingly coming back home only after Aang died). Even Tenzin wound up hurt by this as he feels the burden of being the carrier for the Airbender culture, and being picked as Aang's successor means he's the one with the monumental task of filling his shoes.
** Also in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' there is Toph's daughter Lin, who followed her mother's footsteps to become a police officer (later the chief of the police force), hoping to please her mother. [[spoiler:It didn't work. [[TearJerker Toph wasn't pleased]]. Much angst ensued as Toph's NeverMyFault attitude to her own failures as a mother led to Lin becoming alienated from both Toph herself and from her younger half-sister Suyin. Apparently Toph ended up regretting this years later when Lin refused to get in touch with either of them.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', the character Goose Lee fills this role for Darkwing. He was Darkwing's sensei in the art of quack fu, and he perpetually refers to Darkwing as a disappointment, for his reliance on crime-busting gadgets and machines, his poor judgment around ninja, and his inability to master the all-important quack fu technique, the belly bounce.
** Darkwing's sidekick Launchpad [=McQuack=] in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' episode "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E12TopDuck Top Duck]]". Launchpad thinks that his parents are ashamed of him and wants to show them he's a real [=McQuack=]. (In Launchpad's defense, it's easy to be intimidated when your dad's an {{Expy}} of Creator/JohnWayne!) However, he learns that his parents [[SoProudOfYou actually couldn't be prouder of him.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' parodies this mercilessly, with Peter even hiring a band to play the sappy SitCom music. Subverts the usual ending when his father admits, "Of course I love you. I just don't like you." "Nah nah nah, keep playing, I think this is as close as it's gonna get," Peter tells the band.
** It was played unusual serious through the rest of that episode. Peter even became depressed and apathetic when his father [[KickTheDog called him a lousy son and father]].
*** In a later episode, he at least earns [[spoiler: his biological father]]'s respect.
** A similar example happens in another episode, but with the daughter Meg instead. She gains Peter's respect at the end of the episode and he reveals to her that he actually does love her, despite his inexplicable abuse. He tells her that when they're alone, he'll be nice to her, but he'll be a jerk to her whenever anyone else is around.
* Jonas Venture Sr. in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is the quintessential "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and he's even more impossible to please because he's dead. Dr. Venture can never be as smart, powerful or well-liked as he believes his father was, and his super-science business mostly consists of repackaging his father's old projects and cheating off his father's old notes. All of Dr. Venture's insecurities, shortcomings, and bad habits come (or so Dr. Killinger says) from one childhood incident in which he saw the size of his father's penis.
** Somewhat repeated with the boys. Although the fact they are mostly dense doesn't help. Hank has this towards Brock mostly, but both of them often show the desire to be praised by their cold, uncaring, {{jerkass}} dad.
*** Episodes in the third season revealed that Jonas Sr. was a complete {{jerkass}}. An episode in season four reveals [[spoiler:that the dads or caretakers of boy adventurers seem to be terrible in one way or another.]] However by the end Rusty decides that for all his faults he's better off than others who shared his fate.
* Harry of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' is TheUnfavorite (even though he's an ''only child'') and is constantly trying to prove himself to his dad. That explains why he steals the Globulin Green performance-enhancing drug, and consequently develops a SuperpoweredEvilSide, the Green Goblin - he wants his father to be proud of him. It doesn't work.
** Norman did eventually say that he was proud of Harry. But it may have been a hollow victory for Harry since it happened just after Norman was unmasked as the true Green Goblin. As it turned out, Harry's own father had personally [[AbusiveParent dressed him up as a pyschotic supervillain while he was passed out, even twisting Harry's ankle to maintain the illusion.]]
* The short-lived edutainment show ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' suggested this as a motivation for Alexander the Great in one sketch where the conqueror was receiving therapy from UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud. This, after suggesting [[FreudWasRight mother issues]], pushed Alexander's BerserkButton.
-->'''Philip of Macedon:''' Pretty good, Al. Not great; pretty good.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': ''Zim's'' feelings toward the Almighty Tallest. He'll do anything to gain their favor or attention.
-->'''Zim:''' [[OverlyLongGag My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! Hey! Hey! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Taaaaaaaaaallest! My Tallest! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest!]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', this is basis for a good half of Hank Hill's personality. In one episode, Hank has a hallucination involving his deepest desires while in a steam room and the entirety of the vision is his father happily saying he's proud of him (with a firm handshake to boot).
** This shows up quite a bit. One wonders if Creator/MikeJudge [[FreudWasRight might have an issue on this front]]. Hank is a bit of one of these for Bobby, as Bobby is all too aware that he's artsy, comedic, lazy, and generally not the kind of son his father wanted. Peggy's mother absolutely refuses to identify any good her daughter ever does, even when Peggy goes so far as to save her mother's ranch from foreclosure. Also, Kahn wanted a boy, so he named his daughter Kahn Jr. (everyone calls her Connie). Almost nothing she does is good enough for him, except when he needs to brag about how much better he and his family are than his hillbilly neighbors.
** Hank's dad did admit at one point that Hank was the better father... in his own way.
--->"After all, you made Bobby! All ''I'' made was ''you.''"
** However, Hank is [[PapaWolf fiercely protective of Bobby]] despite his difficulties in expressing his affection for his son.
** The final episode has Bobby discovering a gift for grilling, something that Hank can finally approve of. An earlier episode also had Bobby taking home economics, with Hank at about the halfway point of the episode coming to enjoy what Bobby was able to create with those skills. However, that episode had ''Peggy'' as the disapproving parent, due to being jealous that Bobby was a better homemaker than she could ever be.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', Kalibak's primary reason for antagonizing [[FanNickname Big Blue]] was to please his father, Darkseid.
** Shoot, the first episode he appeared in was called "Father's Day".
* A daughter example with Helen and her dad in ''TheGoodeFamily''. Charlie frequently ridicules his daughter's liberal belief and insults her in any given opportunity. Helen is so desperate for his approval that she even let an ugly animal he adopts stay with her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''
** The only person who ever got under the skin of David Xanatos and the only one whose criticism of his amorality he seems to take seriously, is his father. His infinite wealth and feared reputation may not get him his father's approval, but his PapaWolf {{Determinator}} attitude when Oberon comes after his own son does.
** Xanatos's wife Fox completely inverts this trope: her father just wants her to show the slightest respect for honor, morality, respect for other people's property rights, and he'd give her his full approval and mega-corporation in an instant. Instead, she tries to bankrupt him so her husband can buy the business, because she considers corporate espionage and sabotage ''more fun''.
** Goliath and Angela get a moment of this when he finally acknowledges her as his daughter - not because he hadn't approved of her, but because gargoyles in his clan traditionally didn't keep track of who is whose offspring ("...the children of the entire clan") and he doesn't like abandoning or changing 'the gargoyle way'. He later also admits to Elisa that he knows Angela, who was raised by humans, doesn't see it that way, but he had another motivation: he definitely ''doesn't'' want Angela seeking the approval of her ''[[EvilMatriarch mother]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''.
** Jeff's one and only motivation.
** Poor Grim! He pretended to become a country rock star just to please his father, only to discover later that his father would have preferred having the Grim Reaper for a son (and now will not believe Grim to be the Reaper).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', it's been often implied through flashbacks and certain episodes that Homer very much had a relationship like this with his father Abe, which would explain why Homer has such a numb and uncaring sentiment towards his dad now during Abe's old age. This was particularly looked at in the episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy".
%%* Ulrich Stern from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', especially in Season 1.
%%* Cleveland Jr. is developing shades of this in ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow''.
%%* Remy Buxaplenty on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' has this trope real bad.
* Jake Morgendorffer in ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' has a case of this that borders on the pathological—he bends himself over backwards to be a supportive (read: embarrassing) father to Daria and Quinn because his own father, who is presumably dead, encouraged emotional repression. This created a desperate sense of emotional neediness in Jake that in one episode gave him a ''heart attack!''
* Danny from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' wants this. His parents are ghost hunters, and his alter-ego is the ghost Phantom that they hate and want to 'rip apart molecule by molecule.' He's understandably afraid of this, and tries to make them grow to respect his ghost-half.
** [[OppositeSexClone Danielle]] wanted to appeal to her creator, Vlad Plasmius, her "daddy", until learning he was fine with letting her melt to create a perfect clone of Danny for a son. She sided with her genetic donor and renounced Vlad as her father afterwards.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Lucius and Beezy's relationship has shades of this. Beezy wants his father to accept him for [[LazyBum who he is]], but Lucius most certainly does not. There is the occasional SoProudOfYou moment, but this show [[SadistShow being what it is]], it doesn't last long.
* Surprisingly, {{Superman}} in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' to Superboy, his clone. Superboy desperately craves some sort of attention and affection from Superman, who wants nothing to do with him and actively avoids him [[spoiler:until Superboy saves his life and the Justice League in the season one finale]].
** Subverted with Robin. While he does want Batman's acknowledge, he does not want to be ''the'' Batman since [[spoiler:he isn't able to pull off a GoodIsNotNice mindset in "Failsafe".]]
*** Batman himself averts this trope because he makes it clear to the Justice League in "Agendas" that he doesn't want Robin to be like him and took Robin in as a partner because he wanted to give Robin a chance to avenge the death of his parents. It's especially sad because as stated above, Robin feels that Batman wants him to take up his mantle.
---> '''Wonder Woman''': So he'd become just like you?
---> '''Batman''': So he wouldn't.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Norm the robot feels this way towards Doofenshmirtz, who created him. He wants to be acknowledged as his son, but Doof simply thinks of him as a servant.
** Which is nothing compared to Doof's feelings about his own AbusiveParents.
-->"So, what am ''I'' gonna do with the [[OutOfCharacterMoment Least-Likely-Inator]], you ask? Make my [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter daughter]] ''obey'' me, make my father ''love'' me? No, and double-no! Well, maybe later."
** To a minor degree, Django Brown wants to be an artist like his father, but feels his drawings can't be compared to his dad's work (who makes giant sculptures). His father didn't get to see the giant version of his drawing, but he does like the normal sized version.
* Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is this not toward her parents, but her mentor [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]]. She values being a good student and the idea of not being able to send a letter about what she's learned about friendship in time during [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero "Lesson Zero"]] is enough to give her [[SanitySlippage mental breakdown]]. She doesn't seem to understand that Celestia's approval isn't as conditional as she thinks it is. She also show signs of this towards her brother Shining Armor during the two-parter episode, [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E25ACanterlotWeddingPart1 "A Canterlot]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 Wedding"]].
** To a lesser degree, Sweetie Belle is this toward her older sister, Rarity.
** Scootaloo is revealed to be this to her idol, Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash hugs her and makes it feel all better.
* Ahsoka Tano from ''StarWarsTheCloneWars''. The only thing that genuinely worries her, is disappointing her master, Anakin. [[spoiler:Well was, until the Season 3 finale.]]
* Head dog catcher Lenard [=McLeish=] in the 2010 version of ''[[WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010 Pound Puppies]]''. His mother Agatha is extremely rich and lives in a mansion. Lenard... is not as successful. Whenever she visits, [=McLeish=] pines for some sort of affection from her, only to be denied every time.
* In the AnimatedAdaptation of ''Literature/{{Franklin}}'', Bear is sometimes this in trying to get his Mom's attention over his sister.
* Oddly enough, Starscream [[TheStarscream (yes, that one)]] has been suggested to have a certain level of this mixed in to his usual treacherous shenanigans in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. The character's as pathologically treacherous as ever, perhaps even more so because he doesn't suck at it quite as much as his previous incarnations, but there is the odd implication that he waffles on if being in command or just being acknowledged by anybody as worthy of respect is more important to him.
--> '''Agent Fowler''': He can't seem to decide if he wants Megatron's ''job'' or his ''approval''.
* There are several PJ-centered episodes of ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' that have this as a major part of the conflict. Over the course of the series, he has felt neglected and like a complete idiot when his father Pete favored his best friend, struggled with keeping the family business afloat and felt inadequate at doing so, been actively used as an unwitting spy when Pete pretended to have a change of heart and let him be on his team, worked himself much harder than he already was (which is saying ''a lot'') when he thought a new baby was going to get all the attention, and felt like a complete and utter failure for not being able to live up to Pete's unrealistic (and [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocritical]]) expectations. He is shown to be hurt in the first movie when Pete offers to give him a high-five and takes it back and in the sequel when Pete becomes impatient for him to move out. Pete ''deliberately'' exploits this the majority of the time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Dogstar}}'', all Dino really wants is his father's respect.
* In ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'', the Cereal Master's daddy issues are lampshaded, discussed, and resolved in less than five minutes. It's a, uh... [[WidgetSeries rather strange series.]]
* ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'': Commander Nebula is this for XR [[spoiler: and XR's predecessor XL]]. (Both see him as their father because he signed the work orders for their construction).
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries''. In the episode "Yesteryear" Spock wants to prove to his father Sarek that he is a true Vulcan by undergoing the Kahs-wan ordeal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The case of Alexander III and Nicholas II, the last two Tsars of Russia before the Russian Revolution put an end to the monarchy. Alexander had nothing but contempt for Nicholas, his son and heir, deriding him as weak and worthless and demeaning him to his face. He also did little in the way of actually preparing Nicholas for the heavy responsibility of ruling the Russian Empire, leaving the young man woefully unprepared for the job when Alexander died in 1894. Throughout his reign, Nicholas proved timid and indecisive, and lacked strong leadership and political skills. Nicholas was a devoted father and husband, and an all-around family man... but in large part thanks to his father, he simply wasn't cut out to be a king, and couldn't manage his own autocracy. Later Alex Kerensky took over, and, [[AndNowYouKnow well]]....
* Political commentary and biopics tend to paint UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush as suffering from this trope.
** This despite G.W. himself, his mother, and pretty much everyone else in the family stating in print and on video, in public and private, that George H.W. has never been less than a doting father whose children have always known they have his unstinting love and support.
* UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill's early life was driven by a desire to form a close relationship with his aloof and uninterested father, Lord Randolph; Churchill envisioned quickly getting to Parliament as the best means of being able to work closely together, father and son, a dream that was shattered when his father died young.
* Though exceptionally well-educated and provided for, as children [[UsefulNotes/MaryTudor Mary I]] and UsefulNotes/ElizabethI were desperate for attention and approval from their misogynistic father, UsefulNotes/HenryVIII, which had a lot to do with their respective styles of ruling and general personalities. That, and the way he treated their mothers (though this is judging him by [[ValuesDissonance modern, Anglospheric cultural standards]]; he was, according to some, [[FairForItsDay a pretty good fellow for his day]]).
* UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria, according to several biographers, had this type of relationship with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and the Duchess's [[EvilChancellor evil advisor]], Sir John Conroy. The only thing of value the Duchess "owned" was her daughter, the heiress presumptive to the throne, and in order to capitalize on the fact, they demanded that Victoria be ''perfect''. Nothing was ever good enough, which Victoria's diary entries show caused her a great deal of angst.
* Creator/SylviaPlath wrote in her journal about how she wanted her mother to love her. She realized that her writing would never be hers until she stopped writing for her mother's approval and started writing for herself.
* As Japan was tearing apart the film ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea'' by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki (who had a long-term rift with his son and was skeptical of his son's filmmaking abilities) unexpectedly came to its premiere. Then he wrote a note to his son. "It was made honestly. I liked it."
* Creator/HenryFonda was described by his famous children, [[Creator/JaneFonda Jane]] and Peter as cold and detached. Jane wrote in her autobiography that her father was more open to strangers than to her: "Often I run into people who describe finding themselves sitting next to him on transatlantic flights and go on about what an open person he was, how they drank and talked with him “for eight hours nonstop.” It makes me angry. I never talked to him for thirty minutes nonstop!"
* The traditional dynastic model for much of the Muslim world is that formulated by the fourteenth-century North African historiographer Ibn Khaldun, which assumes that dynasties are formed generally by the leader of some powerful nomadic people conquering a settled region and replacing the current rulers while leaving everything in place. It holds that the first generation is still savage, but very strong, the second generation is adapted to civilized living, and inherits his father's connections and vision, the third generation begins to be soft, arrogant, and insufficiently political, and from the fourth generation it's all downhill until the new conquerors come.
* [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204652904577191440888199840.html This]] ''Wall Street Journal'' piece argues that the last four presidents, including Obama, all have daddy issues: They either have a hero figure as their father and a privileged background or no relationship to their father at all: '''"No recent presidents can boast paternity that seems ordinary or normal, finding middle ground between the intense expectations of a powerful, prominent parent and the disasters of badly broken families with absent birth fathers."'' Makes you wonder if that explains their political decisions. Oh, and all 2012 candidates as well as many candidates from the previous elections (e.g. Al Gore, John [=McCain=]) also fell into this pattern ...
[[/folder]]

----
20th Aug '16 2:03:23 PM Gamermaster
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Chantez from ''[[Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid ViVid]]'' entered the Inter-Middle Championship to make Schach proud of her (and inspire more girls to join the Saint Church). Although their relationship is a lot healthier than Fate and Precia's since Schach is a SternTeacher rather than an AbusiveParent.



** Indy's relationship with his own father, Henry Jones Sr., as shown in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Papa Jones always made Indy feel like, to use his own words, people who had been dead for centuries were more important to him than his own son. By the end of the adventure, however, Indy knows for sure just how much his dad loves him and how proud of him he is.
* Toyed with in ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember''. Austin is partially wrong in his assumptions about his father, Nigel- he does respect Austin, and loves him, but he spent Austin's childhood trying too hard to be Austin's best friend, when he should have been trying to be a father. He even sings a song about it: "[[DaddyDidntShow Daddy Wasn't There]]."
* Used straight in ''Film/TheKarateKid1984''. In this film, Mr. Miyagi is so well-developed as a father figure for Daniel that in the final scene, the thronging crowds or the trophy pale against the sight of the OldMaster's face, beaming with pride at his student's triumph.
* Faramir and Denethor in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movie trilogy, especially ''The Return of the King''. Even though Denethor clearly doesn't deserve his son's respect, it obviously breaks Faramir's heart when his father tells him he wishes he had died instead of his older brother Boromir. [[spoiler: Somewhat improved when he thinks his son is dead and proceeds to suffer an emotional breakdown...though still played rather dark as Faramir was clearly just unconscious, but he's too messed up to acknowledge this and tries to cremate himself and the "body" while Gondor is in the middle of an orcish invasion. Then played more nicely when Faramir opens his eyes and he is visibly shocked, but relieved, that his son really was okay (but catches fire and dies himself anyway). Still, Faramir seems more cheerful for the rest of the movie, perhaps partly knowing that his dad- while crazy and dead- in the end really did love him.]]
** This was visible in the books, too, but much less so, as Denethor was considerably less of a scumbag and more of a tragic figure whose pride allowed Sauron to destroy him.
** This is made even more pronounced in the extended editions of the film, with an extended scene in ''The Two Towers'' devoted to Faramir trying, and failing, to win his father's approval.
* In ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'', all The Kid wants is the respect of his evil bastard father. As such, he enters a gunfighting competition, eventually facing his father down. The father tries to talk him out of the duel. [[spoiler:It doesn't work, and the father shoots him dead.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Obi-Wan and Anakin share such a moment in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', where Anakin expresses his anger over being allowed on the Jedi Council while not being advanced to being a Jedi Master. Obi-Wan expresses that his skill and talent is what got him on the Council in the first place, and not to be distraught over the disapproval of the other Jedi. Unfortunately, this doesn't help.
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' had a scene where Obi-Wan apologized Qui-Gon for criticizing his sometimes peculiar actions (taking Jar Jar with them and betting their ship on Anakin winning the Pod Race). Qui-Gon quickly praised Obi-Wan for his willingness to learn and told him he would someday become a greater Jedi than Qui-Gon himself ever was. The novelization added other moments where Qui-Gon was critical of Obi-Wan's callousness (making jokes during combat) and lack of foresight (forgetting to turn his lightsaber battery off before jumping into swamp water), as well as the fact that Qui-Gon was known for seeking the "will of the force" over the immediate issues.
* In ''Film/SonOfTheMask'', Loki, the [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse god of mischief]], is hunting down the Mask because his [[SadlyMythtaken dad]], Odin the All-Father, thinks it has caused too much trouble in the human world. Odin and Loki hate each other, but at the end of the movie, are taught AnAesop by the main character about the importance of getting along with your family.
* Spock gets one of these in ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' when Sarek admits he was wrong to disapprove of Spock's decision to join Starfleet.
* Emphasized in the Music/JohnnyCash biopic ''Film/WalkTheLine'', where it seems like every failure or achievement Johnny experiences, he challenges his father about it. This is a bit of Flanderization though, if you compare the source material ''The Man in Black''.
* Spoofed in ''Film/WalkHardTheDeweyCoxStory'', in which Dewey's father's response to anything his son does since accidentally cutting his brother in half with a machete is to growl "Wrong kid died!" [[spoiler:He ends up engaging in an attempt at OffingTheOffspring.]]
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/X2XMenUnited'':
*** Bobby Drake. As his visit to his parents shows.
*** One of Stryker's commands for Jason was "make me proud." In turn, Jason's illusory self can be heard whimpering, "He's going to be so mad at me!" when Storm disrupts his control of Xavier..
** In ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', Angel wanted to take the cure to please his father. [[spoiler:Later gets his respect by saving daddy from falling to death.]]
** In ''Film/TheWolverine'', [[spoiler:when Yashida's obsession with obtaining immortality nearly drove the company to bankruptcy, Shingen assured stockholders and investors to continue supporting them. Though trying to be a good son and hoping to be rewarded, he was still passed over Mariko to run the company.]]
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** There is a quasi-mother/son dynamic between M and Creator/PierceBrosnan's 007 (who is more of a ManChild than the other versions of the character). She frequently scolds him for one thing or another, yet there's an underlying affection between the two of them. In ''Film/{{GoldenEye}}'', they both share an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther moment after M delivers a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to him. In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Bond is somewhat mortified when he discovers that M knows about his past sexual encounters (almost like a naughty boy who has been caught by his stern mother), and he even tries to defend his promiscuous behaviour with, "That was a long time ago, M, ''before'' [Paris] was married." In ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', M mentions to Elektra that Bond is her best agent, but she'd never tell him that in person. In ''Film/DieAnotherDay'', Bond's delivery of "You burn me, and now you want my help" is petulant and resentful, and the hurt he feels towards M for not trusting him earlier is more personal than professional.
** The reboot of the franchise (''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' and ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'') subtly implies the same relationship. M is constantly berating Bond and, in the first movie, severely doubts his abilities while doubting his sanity in the second. However, in ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', he utters to himself while alone in his car, "I love you, too, M" after he receives forwarded documents from her office. In ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', Bond himself says that the BigBad tried to kill someone very close to him (the attempted murder of M at the beginning of the movie), to which Camille asks if it was his mother. Bond replies "She likes to think so." Then, at the very end of the movie, M tells Bond that they need him at MI6.
*** It becomes explicit in the third film of the reboot, ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''.
--->'''Raoul Silva''': She sent you here knowing you were not prepared, knowing you would likely die... Mommy was very bad.
--->[[spoiler:'''M''': [[SoProudOfYou At least I got one thing right...]] ''([[TearJerker dies, as Bond closes her eyes and weeps over her body]])'']]
* Linus Caldwell in the ''Film/OceansEleven'' trilogy: Danny hooks him in the first movie by promising that after this heist "dad'll be trading on his name"; in the second movie he's upset that [[spoiler:his mom helps to bust him out of prison and that his dad knows this, as he will never let Linus live it down]] and in the third movie he [[spoiler:''finally'' gets a part in on one of his dad's schemes after being doubted by him through the whole movie.]] Then again, it's pretty hard to outdo an experienced thief who's legitimate/cover job is [[spoiler:''an '''FBI''' agent''.]]
* In ''[[Film/TheThinMan The Thin Man Goes Home]]'', Detective Nick Charles seems to have a casual (almost indifferent) relationship with his critical father, Dr. Charles, who has never forgiven Nick for not going into the family business. Nick is obviously downhearted by the fact that the old man has never been proud of him, so his wife, Nora, schemes to shake up the neighborhood in hopes of uncovering a mystery that Nick can solve in front of his father, and so gain the praise he silently longs for.
* A female version is Casey Seeger from ''Film/AnOfficerAndAGentleman''. She pushes herself to be the Navy's first female aviator because she wants to win the approval of her father, who had wanted a son. She suffers a HeroicBSOD when DrillSergeantNasty Foley calls her out on it during training.
* The catalyst for the plot in ''Film/HotRod'' is that Rod has to earn the money for his stepfather's heart transplant so that he can defeat him in a fight in order to win the man's love and respect.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush is desperate for [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush "Poppy's"]] approval in ''Film/{{W}}'' (the political life was apparently meant for brother Jeb), and a nightmare shows how terrified W is:
-->'''Dream!Poppy:''' A hundred years it took to build up the Bush name ''and you single-handedly destroyed it!''
* In ''The Greatest Game Ever Played'', Francis Ouimet wants to prove to his disapproving coal-mining father that he's able to play and win the U.S. Open against all the upper-class golfers, even though he wouldn't get any money for winning since he's an amateur. Results in a major TearJerker when [[spoiler:Francis wins the U.S. Open and his father shows up in the crowd to wordlessly congratulate him]].
* In ''Film/{{Babe}}'', the relationship between Pig and his owner has shades of this. "That'll do, pig. That'll do."
* In ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'', Mozart felt tremendously guilty for living a life that his father disapproved of. Mozart's rival, Salieri, was able to use that guilt to "haunt" Mozart to death by dressing up in a costume his late father had worn and then goading him into composing a requiem mass (a mass which Salieri hoped to steal and take credit for).
* ''Film/BlankCheck'' has Preston seeking the approval from his capitalist father, who looks down upon him for not having a job. The kid is around ''ten years old''. His father does get the message, late in the movie, and Preston forgives him.
* Robert Fischer of ''Film/{{Inception}}'', giving him full woobie qualifications from the get-go. Made worse in that his father expressed his disappointment with his dying breath. Naturally, the plot relies on exploiting his Daddy-related insecurities mercilessly.
* In ''Film/EverAfter'' ("Literature/{{Cinderella}}" remade as a historical drama), Drew Barrymore played Danielle, who desperately tried to win the approval and love of her WickedStepmother, the Well Done Daughter Gal Rodmilla de Ghent, the only family she had left. After she destroys any hope of Danielle being with her prince, Rodmilla taunts her relentlessly until finally Danielle asks if she had ever loved her at all. De Ghent cruelly replied, [[KickTheDog "Who could love a pebble in their shoe?"]] before selling Danielle into slavery. The next time they meet, Danielle is betrothed to her PrinceCharming, while de Ghent and her equally nasty older daughter are [[HumiliationConga stripped of their status and forced to work as servants in the castle]]. Danielle happily announces at that point, "I want you to know, that after this moment I will forget you and never think of you again. But you, I am quite sure, will think of me every day for the rest of your life."
** The step-mother ''is'' given some rationale for her hatred/resentment of Danielle. As her beloved husband lay on his deathbed, he all but pushed her aside in favor of his daughter from his previous wife. You can see the hurt and pain on her face turn into anger and resentment for the little girl.
* In ''Film/{{Thor}}'', Loki's motive behind the villainous acts he committed [[spoiler:(bringing Laufey to Asgard to assassinate Odin, but then killing him to make it look as if he had saved Odin)]] was solely to gain his father's pride and affection. Tragically, Odin was already very proud of his son, although he was dreadful at communicating this fact.
-->'''Loki:''' I never wanted the throne! I only ever wanted to be your (Thor's) equal!
* George V to his sons in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'', being a bit of a JerkAss towards his own children when they were young. However, unlike most instances of this case, he does approve of the adult Albert (though still frustrated by his speech problems), much more than his oldest son. In real life, he expressed preference for Albert and ''his nine year old granddaughter Elizabeth'' over Edward for the throne near the end of his life.
* ''Film/OctoberSky'' has Homer Hickam, who does want his father's approval, and his mounting frustration when his father fails to see the worth of his achievements [[spoiler:until the last rocket is launched. He also earns it when he goes to work in the mine to support the family, but loses it when he quits.]]
* Billy in ''Film/{{Buffalo 66}}'' hates both of his parents but still thrives to impress them, going so far as to kidnap a beautiful woman so he can pretend she's his wife.
* In ''Film/TheGuardian'', rescue swimmer trainee keeps trying to earn the respect of the class instructor, Ben Randall.
* ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'' -- the title character's father, being from a long line of miners, doesn't know what to make of Derek's job as a male model at first, but once Derek unveils the ultimate look "Magnum", he's more than proud to tell everyone "that's my son!"
* In ''[[Film/{{Pusher}} Pusher 2]]'', Tonny's motivation for most of the film is to make his father proud of him. [[spoiler:It doesn't happen.]]
* [[Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra Storm]] [[Film/GIJoeRetaliation Shadow]] was this as a boy.
* Explored in ''Film/IronMan2'', as Tony has some shades of this. [[spoiler:[[SoProudOfYou He finally gets his "well done" from Howard in the video he left behind]]...even as he begins to realize just how brilliant his dad was.]]
* A large chunk of the plot in ''Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins'' is that successful TV talk show host Roscoe (Martin Lawrence), TheUnfavorite, still can't get his father (James Earl Jones) - or anyone in his family except for his mother - to recognize and/or congratulate him for his accomplishments while still showering love and praise on his cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) for his car dealerships.
* Role reversed in the 2007 remake of ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma'' in which Dan Evans (Christian Bale) desperately wants to earn the love and respect of his bratty, ungrateful son William (Logan Lerman), thus inspiring him to take criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the train that will take him to prison (which will also provide him with some extra cash as a reward).
* In ''Film/MrBrooks'', Tracy Atwood inherited millions, but is still devoted to her career as a hard-working homicide detective, all because her father was very disappointed that she was born a girl, and he let her know it, so she has spent her whole life trying to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/InAWorld...'': Carol is this to father Sam Soto, a StrawMisogynist who feels there is no market for female voice-over in movie trailers. At least part of her drive to say [[InAWorld the titular phrase]] in a professional movie trailer is to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/TheGreenHornetSerials'': Britt Reid starts out with this motivation -- he and Kato build the [[CoolCar super-car that will become the Black Beauty]] simply to show Britt's dad that Britt isn't just a playboy. This vanishes as soon as he adopts the role of the Hornet. (Dad probably would have been happy with his son taking an active role running " The Sentinel", which also happens at that time.)
* ''Film/TroubleWithTheCurve'': Mickey has spent her life trying to prove herself to her father due to a lingering fear that he left her because she wasn't good enough for him.
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', Eggsy soon wants to prove himself to Galahad by passing the Kingsmen candidacy.
* In ''Film/AntMan'', Darren Cross sees himself as Hank's surrogate son, and is motivated by a desire to prove to Hank that he's better than him after years of being pushed aside.
* ''Film/{{Kenau}}'': Don Fadrique, the commander of the Spanish forces besieging Haarlem, visibly turns into a little boy when his father General Alba makes an unexpected visit to berate him for failing to subdue the city.
* In ''Film/TheJungleBook2016''', Mowgli wants Bagheera's approval of him using human tools to survive among the wolves. But Bagheera's stern attitude and disapproval of these "tricks", wanting to keep things between Man and the jungle separated to the point of near dogmatism, puts a bit of strain on their relationship. Fortunately, Bagheera does learn to appreciate these "tricks" after Mowgli saves an elephant calf with these tools and even encourages him to use these tools during the final battle with Shere Khan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Neville Longbottom from ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Throughout the series Neville is the ButtMonkey, the lamest, most pathetic wizard in existence. All he wants is to live up to his parents' legacy, and it's mentioned how his grandmother was so ashamed of his clumsiness. Then after his actions in both The Battle at the Ministry, and in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', his grandma finally tells him how proud she is of him, and how he's just like his parents.
** Also, to some extent, Ron Weasley. He's always been [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed by his brothers]] and simply wants to be set apart, and earn the recognition of his parents. However, the Weasley family is an extremely loving one, so while he doesn't necessarily feel "special" in their eyes, he does know that he's loved.
** Also Draco Malfoy, although more so in the films than in the books. Draco obviously worships his father and is constantly trying to live up to his considerable reputation.
** Barty Crouch, Jr. It eventually led him to join [[BigBad Voldemort]].
* Variation: In OrsonScottCard's ''{{Homecoming}}'' series, protagonist Nafai longs for the love and approval of his eldest brother, Elemak. He ''knows'' this isn't very rational, as Elemak is an openly bullying JerkAss who sees Nafai as a useless mama's boy responsible for ruining his life, and would happily crush his head with a rock.
* Odile in Creator/MercedesLackey's retelling of ''Swan Lake'' (''Literature/TheBlackSwan'') is one of these. When she finally realizes Baron von Rothbart is only using her for her magical potential, she turns on him.
** In the ''Last Herald-Mage'' trilogy of The ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'', Vanyel gets a great helping of this, as a great deal of his life is spent in trying to [[ChronicHeroSyndrome be heroic enough]] to get his father to accept him as a person, thanks to his "flaw" of being gay.
** Lena Marchand is a female example, desperate for her father's approval. It doesn't help that Master Bard Tobias Marchand is an egotistical JerkAss who doesn't even recognize Lena when they accidentally run into each other at the beginning of ''Intrigues''.
** Princess Andromeda spends most of ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms One Good Knight]]'' as a Well Done Daughter Girl. As it turns out (and as anyone with a passing knowledge of mythology will know), Queen Cassiopeia is ''not'' a nice person.
** Silverblade, Tadrith, and Keenath (from ''The Silver Gryphon'') are all examples in different ways. Tadrith is frustrated with the default "he's almost as good at X as Skandranon" "compliments" he gets from everyone, and wants his father to see him as an independent gryphon. Keenath loves Skan, but knows he has nothing in common with his father. Silverblade is simply convinced that Amberdrake will never be able to accept Blade's chosen life-path.
** Subverted in ''Winds of Fate'' with Darkwind and his father. In his youth, Darkwind was close to his parents. But when the Heartstone was sabotaged, and Darkwind's mother died, his father turned against him. [[spoiler:It turns out that Darkwind's father is Mind Controlled by the Big Bad and is deliberately trying to drive his son away to protect him, in the only way he can. When the spell is broken, Darkwind is amazed at the change in his personality and wonders how he could have failed to notice.]]
* Tywin Lannister plays this role in George R.R. Martin's ''ASongOfIceAndFire''; the desire to please him pushes Tyrion and Jaime, though neither would admit it. As is typical of the series, Tywin never provides validation, especially for Tyrion. Well, not the ''typical'' form of validation. [[spoiler:This leads to him contracting an unfortunate fatal case of crossbow-bolt-through-bowels [[KarmicDeath at the hands of, naturally, his son Tyrion]].]] Even after that, it serves to motivate Jaime, to the point that one aunt has to point out to him that Tyrion is much more Tywin-esque than Jaime.
** It seems to drive [[SmugSnake Cersei]] (to a lesser extent) as well, although she flip flops between [[DaddysGirl wanting to make him proud]] and wanting to become so much greater than him that he would only be remembered as her father, [[NeverASelfMadeWoman instead of the other way around.]]
** Theon Greyjoy seems to have a case of this towards his father Balon. His feelings toward Ned Stark are even more conflicted, which is unsurprising given Theon's dual role of hostage/ward. He at times finds himself wondering what Stark would say to some particular deed and then becomes angry with himself for caring.
** In a ''very'' twisted sense, Joffrey Baratheon is like this towards Robert, irritating Tywin immensely as he had been given to understand Joffrey did not care for Robert and is pissed the little brat shows some pride at being a Baratheon rather than a Lannister. Which is ironic, considering he's ''all'' Lannister-he's actually the result of BrotherSisterIncest between his mother and her brother.
** [[KnightInSourArmor Jon Snow]] seems to greatly desire [[TheStoic Eddard Stark's]] approval, to the point that he has a few dreams about being [[SoProudOfYou accepted as a true Stark]] and given the rights to Winterfell. He suffers a lot of guilt over that last part though, given [[HeroicBastard his status]]. [[spoiler:While Ned did love and respect him and wanted to tell him so, [[OffWithHisHead Joffrey's interference]] meant he would never get the chance. Made more complex by recent hints that Ned [[SecretLegacy might not actually be Jon's father at all.]] ]]
** Also the Martell children. [[TheChessmaster Doran's]] apparent ambivalence towards his daughter Arianne is a source of great grief to her, and though it isn't made explicit, her younger brother [[CruelAndUnusualDeath Quentyn's]] [[TooDumbToLive actions]] indicate that he too is searching for his father's approval.
** LovableCoward Samwell Tarly spends an undue amount of time thinking if any of his actions will wind up netting him some small measure of approval from his father Randyll, who believes ARealManIsAKiller and is ''deeply'' disappointed Sam isn't.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''Fulgrim'', when Horus tells Fulgrim that the Emperor intends to become a god and dispose of them, Fulgrim speaks of how he has longed for his love and respect.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/WarOfTheDreaming Mists of Everness]],'' there are not one but two examples in the same family. [[HandicappedBadass Peter]] regarding his father's AncientTradition; Peter's son [[KidHero Galen]] regarding his [[IJustWantToBeNormal father]].
* In Steve Perry's ''[[Literature/MatadorSeries Black Steel]]'', it's revealed that the brash revolutionary Sleel is the son of the two most famous botanists alive - who are both {{Absent Minded Professor}}s who care only about their work. Sleel's father in particular is very dismissive of everything his son has ever achieved, since it doesn't involve botany or genetic engineering. Sleel has known all this from childhood, but can't help trying to get their acknowledgment and approval when visiting them during the course of the book.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'', the captain of the Eisenstein comments on how the Astartes strive to be independent of the Emperor as if he were their father -- and yet crave his approval.
** Prior to the storyline Captain Nathaniel Garro had craved validation from Mortarion but finds himself moving away from his primarch's ideals at the time the book starts and Solun Decius is desperate to live up to Garro's expectations [[spoiler: despite the cancer from hell (pun intended) infecting his body]]. By extension this trope probably applies to most of the Deathguard, considering that those who sided with Mortarion are known for worshipping ''Father'' Nurgle.
* In the third ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' book, Damien Howe, grandson of the founder of the Fantasia Corporation, seems to have been seeking his grandfather’s approval in vain all his life (or at least since his mother’s premature death). [[spoiler: In the end, it drives him to bring about the destruction of Fantasia.]]
* Jochi in the ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books is constantly trying to gain some small measure of the respect his father, Genghis Khan, [[ParentalFavoritism showers on his younger brothers]]. No matter how successful as a warrior and general Jochi is, he never gets more than a reluctant, grunting acknowledgement that he's done something right.
* A couple in ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** Breezepelt. The ironic thing is, [[AbusiveParents Crowfeather]] only had Breezepelt so his Clanmates would accept ''him''.
** Bluestar, whose father Stormtail was just distant from his kits.
** Crookedstar. His mother Rainflower doted on him and his brother, but when he broke his jaw as a kit ruining his "handsome" appearance, [[AbusiveParents she became outright abusive]], rarely visiting him in the medicine cat's den and refusing to let the other kits visit him to keep his spirits up, renaming him from Stormkit to Crookedkit, making him sleep alone in the nursery, and frequently saying that he would never be as good as his brother. One of his goals in life was to make her proud of him.
** Tallstar, whose father wants him to be a tunneler like him. When he gets chosen to be a moor-runner, Sandgorse starts ignoring him in his worst moods or trying to get him to be like him in his best moods. So Tallstar wants to be a tunneler like him so that he could be proud of him.
** Thunder, who grew up [[spoiler: without a mother, due to her dying.]] To make things worse, his father [[spoiler: Clear Sky]] was becoming increasingly unhinged and violent, and refused to take care of him. When they meet, Thunder is fascinated and wants nothing more than to impress him. However, [[AbusiveParents his father tries to emotionally manipulate Thunder,]] and... [[spoiler: it works for some time, but Thunder eventually realizes what's going on, and they become enemies.]]
* In Simon Spurrier's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/NightLords novel ''Lord of the Night'', Sahaal remembers how the Night Haunter had been this, and the Emperor had treated him with contempt. Thus justifying, in the Night Haunter's eyes and Sahaal's own, his revolt against the Emperor.
* The title character Adeline from ''Chinese Cinderella'' is this trope cranked UpToEleven. She constantly tries to get approval from everyone in the household. Feeling honored to play with her siblings, anyone?
* Jeb's son Ari becomes this in ''Literature/SchoolsOutForever'', hanging out with the copycat Max to make Jeb mad, and also coming up with a plan to take Max for his own. The plan eventually gets Jeb to notice him, which makes him happy enough to go out and steal a Game Boy. So...
* Plenty of the demigods in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' long for their god parent to acknowledge them. Especially Percy. Grover even says it when he tried to deny it.
-->''You're glad that your dad is alive. You feel good that he's claimed you and part of you wants to make him proud. That's why you mailed Medusa's head to Olympus. You want him to notice what you'd done.''
** Luke took this even more seriously. Many children of Hermes tend to feel very ignored, considering they get put with all 'the others', meaning those who aren't claimed. Furthermore, Hermes [[spoiler: accidentally caused Luke's mother's mental deterioration and left the boy to be raised by her.]] Eventually Luke became so bitter that he changed sides and tried to take down the gods. Although eventually he had a last minute change of heart and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath sacrificed himself]] it shows just what an effect this trope can have. Percy even makes it a rule that all gods and goddesses must claim their children so that less of this kind of thing will happen. Considering that in this series, Winston Churchill was the son of Poseidon, it means he got a double-dose: both his biological father, ''and'' his step-father, as seen below.
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', Miles Vorkosigan started out an odd variant of this. It is not so much his father Aral's feelings of contempt or disapproval that he strives against as his feelings of guilt (Aral blames himself for the sequence of events that led to his son's prenatal poisoning and resultant physical disabilities). Miles's grandfather Piotr has enough disapproval for both Aral and Miles to go around. If he didn't Aral and Piotr are such towering giants of Barayaran history Miles nearly kills himself trying to measure up.
* The title character of the Donald Barthelme novel ''The Dead Father'' is this in spades.
* Inverted in one of the two third Literature/RedDwarf novels (it's confusing), ''Last Human''. Arnold Rimmer is understandably dejected when his [[spoiler:long lost son has been sorely disappointed to learn that the heroic feats of his father were a fiction invented by his mother and that the reality is that his father is a sniveling coward. Then, in the end, Rimmer performs an incredibly brave (if a bit reckless) feat; even though he kind of screws up the execution (though it does accomplish the intended end) his son, looking on, is incredibly proud of the act. Seeing his son beaming with pride, Rimmer is finally freed of the neurosis that have plagued his entire existence which ultimately leads to him selflessly volunteering for a HeroicSacrifice]].
* In ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'', despite knowing her mother loves her, Aly feels that her mother doesn't understand her and underestimates her abilities. In one of her dreams where she can see what her mother is doing, she realizes that Alanna does understand and trust Aly and knows she has the talents to survive.
* There's a bit of an inversion in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. After he dies, Anakin Skywalker becomes a Force ghost. He appears briefly to Luke in ''ReturnOfTheJedi'' but says nothing; a hundred twenty years later, in StarWarsLegacy, he speaks to a {{wangst}}y descendent, but in the meantime he's only been written speaking to one person - [[Literature/TheTruceAtBakura Leia]]. He wants to apologize to her, tell her how proud he is of her, and be forgiven. However, she is furious and ''horrified'' at the sight of him, doesn't want to know that any part of him survived, still considers Bail to be her real father, and doesn't believe that [[KarmaHoudini redemption equaled death at all]]. Even after he fades out she's angry and deeply disturbed; by the end of the book she hasn't changed her mind, but decides that if he wants to be proud of her, fine.
** Later in the EU she doesn't quite forgive him, but she does come to terms with who he was; she names her third child "Anakin" (who, for his part, was not too happy for being saddled with such a name, but it sort of helped keep him from the Dark Side).
* One could also say that Heather Acosta from the ''Literature/SammyKeyes'' books qualifies. Heather's relationship with her mother and father is a far cry from what Sammy has with her grandmother. Her mom seems to be going through some sort of mid-life crisis and her father admitted that he'd want a retraining order against her. The fact the Casey seems to be their father's favorite has led to some problems (among other things) between the siblings. It's been hinted in the series that this maybe the reason why Heather act's out -- to gain attention.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': As noted in the Film category, Faramir was TheUnfavorite, though he fared better than his movie counterpart.
* Will in ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' grew up never knowing his father, and states outright in ''The Subtle Knife'' that he wants to find his father so that he can hear the words "Well done, son." When they finally do meet, [[spoiler: his father is killed within seconds of Will realizing it's him.]] However, [[spoiler: Will finally gets his wish in the third book when he meets his father in ghost-form.]]
** Also Lyra, who is extremely annoyed at having saved Lord Asriel by warning him about the wine and bringing him the alethiometer and he didn't even thank her. Things go straight to hell shortly after the latter event, though, and any desire she has for his approval [[spoiler:evaporates at that point]].
* Michael in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' struggles in the first book to try and stave off his father's disapproval for the life he chose. When his father [[spoiler:has him marked as an unredeemable criminal]] to try and force a 'better' life on him in the second book he claims that he's stopped caring, but in the third book when trying to escape death one of the things that unlocks his 'needs' driven magic is his desire to prove to his father that he can make it.
* The relationship dynamic between Chris and his father in ''Literature/ThePaleKing''. Chris is fully aware of how disappointed his father is of him, but is usually too stoned or selfish to care. It's not until [[spoiler: his father dies]] that Chris feels guilty enough to change his life.
** This is made depressingly clear when the father comes home early to find Chris and his buddies in his living room, high out of their minds, surrounded by discarded Taco Bell wrappers, and their feet resting lazily on one his prized pieces of furniture. The father doesn't yell; he simply says, ''Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'', walks into his bedroom and shuts the door.
* Will from ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' grew up an orphan; his father-figure is Halt, his mentor. Gaining Halt's approval means more to Will than anything - even just a small smile from Halt means more to Will than any amount of praise his friends and his king laud on him.
* ''Literature/TimeScout'':
** Margo wants to be a time scout to rub it in her dying father's face.
** Skeeter also fits this trope. When he says "My father made me the man I am today." he means it as the absolute truth. He just don't know which father. One he hates, the other he loves and fears.
* In ''EastOfEden'', Cyrus Trask is this to his son Charles, who's TheUnfavorite. Thanks to GenerationXerox, his brother Adam becomes this to his own eldest son, Cal.
* In ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'', Charlie senselessly pursues ''both'' his parents after he becomes a genius, hoping that they'll be impressed by his newfound intelligence and finally acknowledge him. He's ashamed of this, but it's deeply embedded in his personality, since he always thought that his parents would love him if he became "smart". [[spoiler: In the end, he was unable to reveal his identity to his father, his mother was too senile to appreciate it, and he ended up losing his intelligence anyway. At least his sister was proud of him.]]
* Lt Armstrong from ''Literature/PhulesCompany'' is revealed to have been that. By the start of the series his father is long dead and it's clear to Armstrong that the approval never was an option, but he's already so set in his by-the-book ways that he has long become a caricature of an officer. [[ReassignedToAntarctica He ends up in The Omega Company]].
%% * In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' Jace spent most of his life being this - until he found out who his father really was. And even then....
* David Rain from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]] around [[ParentalSubstitute Liz]], usually.
* Orrec in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'' is eager to please his father as a young child, but grows more restive as he gets older and the Caspro gift continually fails to manifest--which is bad news since you need the gift to be a brantor. He grows increasingly desperate until he's struck with PowerIncontinence.
* ''Literature/KindlingAshes'': Corran's every action is driven by his desire to prove to father that he is his father's son and become a dragonslayer. [[spoiler: His father disowning him drives him over the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* In the ''Literature/SabinaKane'' series Sabina's main motivation for most of her life has been to earn at least the ''respect'' of her grandmother Lavinia, the ruler of all vampires and her only living family member. [[spoiler:By the end of the first book she's determined that not only does her grandmother not give half a hump whether she lives or dies, but that the Dominae in general is not worthy of her respect either.]]
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Alex. More toward his mother than his father. [[spoiler:He has to get over it.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Relativity}},'' Ravenswood is an alcoholic and a failure for most of his life. When he climbs out of it and becomes a successful coffee-shop owner, his father is still unimpressed. Unfortunately, he can't tell his father anything about his really impressive accomplishments, because he needs to keep his superhero identity secret.
* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', vaillainous count Falk is one of the finest warriors of the Empire, yet has something of a masochistic relationship with his mother. He despises her, yet craves her approval; he desperately wants her to appreciate his accomplishments, yet knows it will never happen; he tries anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr.'': Brisco gets his "Well Done, Son!" moment after an encounter with the ghost of his father (who was murdered in the first episode of the series).
* ''Series/AgainstTheWall'': Has both Donnie and Abby searching for ways to gain their father's approval and pride during different parts of the show. Abby in particular has strained relationship with her senior uniform-cop father since joining the InternalAffairs division as a detective.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** Wesley goes through the same rigamarole with what turns out to be his father's [[EvilTwin Evil Imposter]]. But the impersonation was perfect, because Wesley's real father ''is'' that bad both as a father and as a ruthless bastard. It was previously mentioned that he locked Wesley under the stairs. And let's not forget their phone conversation in ''Angel'' season 2; Wes calls up his dad, hoping for his approval now that he's become the leader of Angel Investigations, but dear ol' Dad only cares about when, what, and how he'll screw up next.
** Angel himself clearly feels this about his strict father. One of the first things he did after becoming a vampire was kill him, thinking that would prove who had the real power. Darla pointed out that now he would ''never'' be able to approve of him.
** Angelus later sired an enthusiastic but unimaginative protege named Penn who re-enacted the murder of his family over the centuries over the issue.
** In a deliberate parallel to Angel, Kate Lockley is implied to have had a strained relationship with her father. While not a cruel man, her father never showed her any approval or affection after her mother died -- Kate recalls that as a child, she found more parental affection in the mother of one of girlfriends. Her father never even told her "a beautiful lie" (ie: Heaven) to comfort her after her mother's death. It's implied that she became a policewoman to follow in his footsteps, but rarely received more than curt acknowledgement from him.
*** The Sensitivity Training Guy with his magic stick causes her to have a breakdown and express her feelings about this at his retirement party. He finds this deeply embarrassing and files it under 'We Shall Never Speak Of This Again.' Later he dies without ever having formally approved of her. This is not in the least Angel's fault, for once, but it involves vampires and puts the final nail in the coffin of his friendship with Kate until After The Fall.
*** The former episode throws in a weird perspective on Angel's issues re: this trope. This is before the flashback, but Sensitivity Training Guy says "tell me about your parents" and ''Angel'' snarls "They were delicious." Sounds like the kind of smack he talks when trying to scare bad guys and actually seems to lower the probability that he killed them, but then it turns out he ''did'', and can make ''jokes'' about it. Sick puppy even at his best.
** Connor with Holtz, not Angel.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'':
** Used almost straight, in which Michael is constantly trying to get his father--who tried to "toughen him up" by shouting down ''all'' his ideas--to recognize his accomplishments, while GOB is sick of being in Michael's shadow. Michael gets his father's approval (although it would have been a more touching moment if he weren't on the lam); GOB doesn't and doesn't deserve to.
** Michael is so busy trying to save the company and get his father's approval he doesn't notice his own son's attempts to gain his approval.
** With Tobias so focused on his acting dream and Lindsay being a SpoiledBrat, plus the two mostly concerned about their own rocky relationship, they can be seen as this to Maeby.
* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Elijah learns the auction business at his dad's request. Jon also tends towards this, but not towards his dad, but rather Paul.
* ''Series/{{Batman}}'': Legs in "The Greatest Mother of them All"/"Ma Parker."
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Flashbacks in the finale revealed that Dr. Gaius Baltar, resident narcissistic genius, not only tried to overcome his shame of having been born on a farm planet as son of a farmer, but had taken his old senile father with him to Caprica and secretly visited him every day, desperately trying to please the cranky old man.
** The show also features the less common mother-daughter variant of this trope, when Kara Thrace goes to see her mother [[spoiler: after earning her commission as a Colonial officer - the first in her family to do so - only to be berated for not graduating higher in her class]]. The fact that her mother was frequently abusive during her childhood in the belief that Kara had a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo "special destiny"]] means their relationship was already....''strained''.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** Leonard wants his mother's (near impossible to receive) approval and affection. He's not at all helped in this area by the fact she's more likely to thank his roommate for picking her from the airport when Leonard is the one driving and she views Leonard's (actually very complex) work as the embodiment of laziness and ripping off others (he works in designing experiments to test theories and validating experiments). To a lesser extent, Penny has some Daddy approval issues, feeling the need to lie to him about still dating Leonard (the only one of hers boyfriends he's ever approved of) and feels like he less accepting of her because she's not a boy and rejects a lot of the tomboy activities she was involved with as a child. Although it's implied that she over blows it a bit and compared to her siblings (who from what we know from mentioned [[NoodleIncident noodle incidents]] include a brother that makes meth and a sister that once shot her husband) she might just be the golden girl of the family.
** It also does not help that Leonard's mother is a DistaffCounterpart of [[InsufferableGenius Sheldon]], making any form of emotional reciprocation practically impossible or done in a way that Leonard did not expect.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'': Frankie Stecchino. One episode even revolved around him faking a love of wrestling just to bond with his father.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': Though they're only father and son on a more symbolic level, [[VillainProtagonist Walt]] can be this for Jesse. He has complimented Jesse all of once, and that was to say that his meth is as good as Walt's. It was enough to get Jesse to partner up with him again. Basically, anytime Walter compliments Jesse, especially in later seasons, it's nothing more than a [[ManipulativeBastard manipulation tactic]] to keep Jesse on his side.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': Amy Santiago has an obsessive need for approval from Captain Holt, which is often [[PlayedForLaughs played for laughs]] as she goes to great lengths to impress him.
* ''Series/TheCloser'': Whenever Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson delivers a rare compliment, whichever member of PHD is being complimented lights up like a supernova.
* ''Series/TheColbertReport'':
** Stephen Colbert makes occasional vague references such as "the fathers we can never seem to please." His need for paternal approval appears to have been mostly displaced onto substitutes such as "Papa Bear" BillOReilly.
** Ironic since Colbert fears and hates bears -- a hint at the [[AlterEgoActing actor's]] real opinion of Bill.
* ''Series/CombatHospital'': Has trauma surgeon Major Rebecca Gordon, who accuses ''herself'' of daddy issues in a group therapy session.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** Pierce Hawthorne is shown to have behavioral issues due to never receiving acceptance from his father.
** Jeff, too, has several trust issues stemming from his DisappearedDad.
* Will had this with his father to the point that an originally CrowningMomentOfAwesome scene in ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' drove him to break down and deliver [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgkqTFasfmA this]] CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming between him and Uncle Phil.
* ''Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart'': One segment of "Even Steven" concerning the Elián González debacle dealt with Steve Carell's daddy issues. In a weird reversal, considering the aforementioned ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Colbert Report]]'' example, Stephen Colbert roleplayed as Carell's father.
** And in ''Series/TheDailyShowWithTrevorNoah'', Ronny Cheng has... a number of issues that come to light in a segment on Virtual Reality.
--->'''Trevor''': Oh man, Ronnie, it sounds like nothing's good enough for you, man.\\
'''Ronny''': Yeah, I know. Now I know how my dad feels, am I right? (''Forced laughter'')
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'':
** Debra Morgan had this kind of relationship with her father Harry, even following in his footsteps as a cop to gain his attention. It's not that he wasn't proud of her, but honing her brother Dexter's [[SerialKillerKiller extra-curricular activities]] (to which Deb wasn't invited for obvious reasons) meant that he couldn't spend as much time with his daughter.
** Likewise with [[spoiler:Christine Hill]], the daughter of [[spoiler:Arthur Mitchell/Trinity]]. She even killed [[spoiler:Frank Lundy]] to gain her father's approval. After she accidentally put him at risk of being discovered, he disowns her. [[DrivenToSuicide She doesn't take it well]].
** Dexter, too. Everything was to live up to Harry's expectations. When he realizes that a) Harry was using him as an outlet for his own vigilante impulses and b) Harry was deeply revolted by what he'd made him into, to the point of suicide, he...takes it pretty hard.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Rory seemed to have a mild case of this with his father Brian Williams, as seen in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". While Brian clearly loved his son, their banter during the episode implied that Brian thought Rory wasn't "manly" enough (didn't carry a trowel in his pockets, was a professional nurse). He also implied that Amy was a better wife than Rory deserved. During the course of the episode, as Brian is accidentally whisked along into one of his son's adventures with the Doctor, he starts to respect Rory more.
* The ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' episode "The Day of the Mum" featured Damian's mother, along with home movies of his childhood. It quickly becomes apparent that his FreudianExcuse for being a {{Jerkass}} obsessed with fame is getting ''some'' kind of acknowledgement from a woman whose CatchPhrase is "Ignore him, he's just doing it to get attention."
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': Played with in the case of Joan Watson and her mother. She shows hints of this which Sherlock is quick to point out she's dressing for a job interview rather than a brunch with her mother. Subverted in that Joan's mother isn't criticizing her current job occupation because it's not as respectable as a surgeon but because it doesn't make Joan happy. Joan's mother is actually glad that Joan is working with Sherlock because this ''does'' make her happy.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': The relationship between Frasier, Niles and Martin has echoes of this; much of Frasier and Niles' SiblingRivalry exists as a result of their attempts to gain Martin's favour, which given the near-insurmountable differences in taste and personality between father and sons to begin with, was a difficult task in itself.
* There are a couple in ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** It's implied that Sam Tarly had this relationship with his father Randyll, [[spoiler:at least before he threatened to kill him if he didn't renounce being his heir and join the Night's Watch]].
** Robert Baratheon to Joffrey, [[spoiler:despite, of course, unknowingly not being his biological father.]]
** Balon Greyjoy to Theon.
** Tywin Lannister to both Jaime and Cersei, although [[spoiler:Jaime gets over it by the time Tywin presides over a [[KangarooCourt sham trial]] of Tyrion for Joffrey's murder.]]
** Roose Bolton to his BastardBastard Ramsay Snow, before [[spoiler:eventually giving him a "Well Done, Son!" moment by having him legitimized as Ramsay Bolton.]]
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': Variation: Lorelai has long since resigned herself to never earning the respect of her MeddlingParents, though she's pleasantly surprised to finally get it from her father after she helps him set up his new business. In a total reversal, though, she's actually ''[[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame horrified]]'' whenever she earns the respect of her mother.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Kurt, especially in "Preggers" and "Laryngitis."
** Blaine too. In "Sexy", he mentions to Kurt's father (who at this point has a healthy, supportive, relationship with his son) that he isn't exactly close with his father, and that he felt the reason his father once had him help rebuild a car was because his father thought it would make him straight.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'': Chuck Bass.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** Both Mohinder Suresh and Elle Bishop have seeking the approval of their fathers as their driving motivation. Mohinder is try to prove the theories of his deceased father, while Elle's father sends her out to kill people for him.
** For all of his wacky murderous brain-stealing shenanigans, it seems all Sylar really wanted from life was the approval of his parents. Then again Sylar has a ''lot'' of problems, obviously. So he could have either mommy issues, daddy issues, neither, or both. Though in the past few episodes he has apparently developed his dead mother's personality, going so far as to shapeshift into her (and use her voice) when he's talking to ''himself''. Clever camera angles make this hard to determine but when he's with another character [[spoiler: Michah]] the camera shows him change back and forth. Creeeeeepy.
** Mohinder and Sylar twitted one another about their daddy issues back in season two. Specifically vis-a-vis Chandra Suresh, whom Sylar had temporarily adopted as a surrogate father figure.
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** In the episode "Son of Coma Guy", House reveals that all he wanted to hear from his abusive, non-biological father were the words, "You were right. You did the right thing."
** Additionally, Chase fulfills the trope to the extent that a UK advertising campaign for the show used "What price approval?" as his tagline. In typical Housian fashion, he finally got it as he was being fired.
*** Chase had issues with his own biological father, who left him when he was a kid and never voiced any approval of him. He did not even tell Chase he was dying of cancer, and it is speculated this caused Chase's need to get approval from House at any cost.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'':
** When his parents were coming to the House, Alfie was desperate to make them think he was smart and important, even pretending to be the nonexistent "head of house". [[WhyAreYouNotMySon Unfortunately, his dad and Jerome hit it off, leaving Alfie with none of the spotlight or praise.]]
** Victor is a tragic, but then heartwarming, example, and this serves as a bit of a FreudianExcuse. His father [[AbusiveParents was cold and unloving, forcing him to betray his own best friend Sarah Frobisher-Smythe in order for him to get the Cup of Ankh and the elixir of life recipe.]] Victor spent his adulthood trying to fulfill his father's goal, and reacted very defensively to any criticisms about him as well. His father, at this point, was long dead. When Nina met his father's ghost and managed to make an ally of him, his father eventually told Nina to pass along the message, along with a ring [[spoiler:containing the final tear of gold that Victor had been trying to acquire the entire season.]]
---> '''Victor Rodenmaar Senior''': Tell my worthless son...I'm sorry. And that I was the worthless one after all.
** Eddie also seems to be an example. Despite initially rejecting and despising Mr. Sweet for abandoning him years ago without reason or contact, when they start trying to be father and son, it was revealed that Eddie used to write him letters, and it seemed the main reason he was so angry was because he was under the impression that he was never wanted at all. [[WellDoneDadGuy Mr. Sweet also seems to have been desperate for his respect as well.]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** It was revealed that the six words Robin wants to hear her dad say are "Robin, I'm proud of you, [[CanadaEh eh]]."
** This is a huge issue of Barney's, as multiple episodes show, most notably "Showdown" and "Cleaning House", and he doesn't even know who his father is. And now that he has met his father, and after getting radically worse, he may actually be getting better.
* ''Series/ICarly'': Spencer Shay in during the episode ''iHire An Idiot'', but with his grandfather.
* ''It Runs In The Family'': This TV movie aired on the Disney Channel in the '90s. Set in the summer months circa 1940 and taken from Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" (the same source material as ''Film/AChristmasStory''). During the movie, Ralphie and the Old Man (Charles Grodin) go fishing every weekend, but fail to catch anything. Until one day when Ralphie is hauling in one huge fish after another, while his father, who didn't get a nibble, looks on in genuine surprise. After awhile, other boats on the lake start to crowd Ralphie and his dad. Jean Shepherd narrates at this point: "My old man never said in so many words, 'I'm proud of you, Ralphie,' but somehow he always let me know that he was proud of me." The Old Man then stands up and shouts to the other boats, "Hey, get lost, we've got a fisherman at work here, give him some room!"
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Lieutenant Williams in "Desert Son" feels that his father has always considered him a failure. What's worse, is he's right, and his father's low opinion of him is well-founded.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' has a non-comedic mother-son case in Rafael Barba, who at one point describes his mother's faith and high hopes for Barba's childhood friend. Then he notes, with some bitterness: "She never said that about me."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Jack's father, Christian, has, in his own words "sacrificed certain elements of [his] relationship" with Jack in order to mold Jack into a great surgeon. An emotional conversation in which Sawyer relays Christian's last thoughts about his son to Jack gives him some closure...but it's not until the series finale that [[spoiler:Jack encounters his father in the "flashsideways," subsequently revealed to be the afterlife, and they have their true reunion]].
** Jack almost follows in his father's footsteps when dealing with his own son, David...except [[spoiler:David doesn't exist and is a creation of Jack's afterlife used to help him with his father issues]].
* ''Series/{{Luther}}'': In addition to the relatively normal tactic of serving in the military to follow in his father's footsteps, the killer in the second episode is so desperate for his father's approval that when the latter, behind bars for killing a cop, orders him to embark on a terror campaign against the police to get him released, he obeys without question.
* ''Series/MadMen'':
** May as well be subtitled "How our horrible childhoods have ruined our adult lives". Exhibit A: Walking inferiority complex Pete Campbell, whose father died in a plane crash before giving Pete the validation he craves. By season five, it's clear that no matter how high Pete rises at the agency, he's never going to feel he gets the respect he's owed.
** Exhibit B: Peggy Olsen busts her back trying to get Don Draper to say things like, "Good work, Peggy", or "I'm proud of you." Eventually, his failure to do so leads to [[spoiler:her leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce entirely]]... which may have actually been necessary before [[spoiler:he finally could say it, in the season 5 finale]]. This is a doubly-rare case: it crosses gender lines (the approval-seeker is a different gender from the one she's seeking approval from - and, to Mad Men's credit, they never even bat an eye at that aspect) ''and'' the approval-seeker isn't genetically related to the "father" figure at all (but she definitely considers him a mentor, and says so when she's [[spoiler:giving notice from SCDP]]).
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Margaret Houlihan seeks validation from her distant father.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Throughout the series, Arthur (yes, [[KingArthur that]] Arthur) attempts to gain his father's approval, frequently risking his life in order to impress him/follow orders. His success is decidedly mixed. Uther may not show it overtly, but he loves Arthur, and willingly risks his own life several times to save him, such as drugging Arthur and taking his place in a duel with an undead knight. And if you're wondering, he did that because the undead knight could not be defeated and would cut down anyone in his way to kill Uther (then and only then would he go away), and unless Uther took his place, Arthur was the one in the way.
* ''Series/MockTheWeek'': Parodied in a "Scenes We'd Like To See" round. "I've just climbed Mount Everest without any food or survival gear. ({{Beat}}) NOW DO YOU LOVE ME, DADDY?!"
* ''Series/ModernFamily'': Phil is sometimes seen wondering why Jay does not like him. He is also sometimes seen having to remind Jay of the few manly things he does. For example, in the episode "The Kiss", as one of the running plots, Phil attempts to fix Jay's printer with the hopes of impressing him. When it finally does get fixed, Phil consistently reminds Jay of it in subsequent episodes when Jay calls Phil's manhood into question.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** Tony. So. Much. When he's not being a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, his desperate need to impress [[BigBrotherMentor Gibbs]] makes him almost TheWoobie.
** Tony's real dad appears in an episode originally aired in January 2009. Yes, ''that'' Dad -- the one who [[spoiler:left him in Maui by himself for a week when he was a child.]] By the end of the episode, it's fairly clear that while Tony nevertheless loves his father and would still like his approval, he doesn't need it as badly as he once did because he has Gibbs.
** In season nine episode "The Penelope Papers" it is revealed [[spoiler:that [=McGee-=] has almost exactly same issues with his own father.]] Since before it has also been clear that Ziva was brought up with a authoritarian father, seeking his approval.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'': Even after her death, it's very clear that everything Del does is because he wants to make his Mum proud.
* ''Series/PerfectStrangers'': Larry ends up [[LockedInAFreezer locked in a flooding basement]] trying to prompt his father to for once say, "Well done, son," as something other than the response to "How would you like your steak?"
* The ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' series has several characters who are out to impress their fathers and/or close relatives.
** ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'': Wes Collins and both his [[MeddlingParents controlling father]] and his AlwaysSomeoneBetter [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Descendant]] Alex.
** ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'': Shane and his brother. (Funny that {{superhero}}es would need so much validation.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'': RJ and his dad, who's disappointed he didn't follow family tradition and become a Shark-style Pai Zhua master. (RJ's still a master, he just went with Wolf-style instead.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'': Scott and Flynn, with Scott's brother being AlwaysSomeoneBetter and Flynn's dad not thinking much of his [[WideEyedIdealist Wide-Eyed Idealism]]. The latter is resolved in Flynn's flashback episode, while the former is an ongoing thread in the series.
** ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'': In a villainous version, [[spoiler:both Vrak and Vekar do all sorts of schemes to destroy and conquer Earth -- all in the name of impressing their father, Emperor Mavro.]]
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'':
** Shawn appears to have spent most of his life either trying to live up to his strict, not-easily impressed father Henry's expectations or actively rebelling against Henry's attempts to mold him. For his part, Henry isn't exactly shy about letting Shawn know when he's disappointed with him. Henry even arrested at east once.
** [[CharacterDevelopment This has changed]] over time: Henry and Shawn have a much better relationship and have shown a great respect for each other.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': SubvertedTrope in the episode "Better Than Life", when Rimmer reflects he never heard his father say he was proud of him, before entering the titular LotusEaterMachine. In the fantasy world he is an incredibly popular and successful figure, but when his father appears, it's to fulfill the Cat's fantasy of hearing him call Rimmer a total smeghead. It's after this point that Rimmer's subconscious rebels against him and converts the fantasy world into a horrible nightmare. Subverted again in the episode "The Beginning", when Rimmer learns [[spoiler: that his father is actually the gardener]], and is [[EpiphanyTherapy instantly freed of the crusing weight of expectations upon him]].
* Series/TheRanch: Both Colt and Rooster long for their father's approval.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Jason Neville's relationship with his father Tom Neville is...dysfunctional. In the episode "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains The Same]]", Jason asked his father, "What'd I do wrong? I did everything you asked me to. I hurt people. Killed people. For you." The sad thing is that before the blackout, their relationship was happy and normal, as shown in a flashback in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E5SoulTrain Soul Train]]".
* ''RupaulsDragRace'': Taken to {{tearjerker}} levels whenever the {{drag queen}}s talk about less-than-accepting parents, especially fathers. It can lead to a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming when a queen's father (especially if formerly estranged) sends a supportive video message.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Many stories relate to J.D.'s need to have Dr. Cox (his mentor and father figure, since his actual father was never there for him) say he's proud of him...no matter how many times he already has.
** Also, in one episode, Turk pined after Dr. Cox's acceptance.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** Lex's (arguably) main reason for becoming evil is the fact his father never gave him any credit. So one of the richest men in the world, who created an [[spoiler: army of clones, studied spaceships and had a prison for superhumans]], was unhappy, ''all because his father (Lionel) wouldn't say "Well done, son."'' And then he [[spoiler:kills Lionel in Season 7.]] Talk about messed up.
** Considering what kind of father he had, that last action makes a whole lot of sense.
** Actually, the worst thing is that, after a lifetime of trying to get Lex to be a good evil strong worthy successor, [[MagnificentBastard Lionel]] went and had a ''HeelFaceTurn'' right after Lex finally crossed serious lines, and wound up as a replacement father figure to ''Clark'' by way of the Jor-El AI, meaning that the same person he always envied for having an incredibly supportive father he could never get to accept him (Jonathan Kent) now had ''his'' father, the one who'd put him through so much. Too cruel.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has an interesting example with Vala and her DarkMessiah daughter, Adria. Adria is an unrepentant BigBad, but she won't harm her mother and tries repeatedly to convince Vala to join her side. Vala, and the rest of her team, try to figure out how to use Adria's need for her mother's approval to their advantage, but Adria is extremely hard to manipulate since she has fancy mind-reading powers.
-->'''Vala''': She has the knowledge of Ascended Beings, twisted as it may be, but I sense that there is a part of her that is just like any other kid, that wants her mother's approval. So I'm hoping I can use that somehow. I mean, why else would she care what I think, right?
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
*** In the episode "Journey to Babel", it's revealed Spock has this problem with his father who disapproved of his decision to enlist in Starfleet instead of following his father into the Vulcan Science Academy. Spock even refuses to give a blood transfusion to his father because he's trying to be the perfectly logical vulcan his father would expect him to be (the ship is in danger, the captain is incapacitated, and if Spock is confined to Sickbay, the ship will be without both its commanding officers during a time of crisis). Kirk has to fake recovery to ensure Spock gives the transfusion that will save his father's life. The audience does learn that Sarek is actually proud of Spock (he just won't admit it to Spock) and at the end of the episode he does indicate approval of Spock.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In the episode "Final Mission" (the one where Wesley Crusher departs), Wes confides that everything he's done on the Enterprise was to make surrogate father figure Captain Picard proud. Picard states at the end that he's always been proud of Wesley (despite never having said so). Cue the FullHouseMusic.
*** Will Riker doesn't get along with his father. As it turns out, his father is the kind of jerk who would cheat at playing games against his own son.
*** When Picard is near-death, Q conjures a vision of Picard's father, a winemaker, who apparently never wanted his son to join Starfleet. It is unclear if Picard's dad really disapproved, or if Q was just being a dick as always.
*** ExpandedUniverse novels suggest the senior Picard really did disapprove, greatly, of his son joining Starfleet.
*** Lore is normally extremely arrogant and considers himself superior to both humans and Data, but when speaking with his "father" Dr. Soong he breaks down and reveals that his creator's opinion of what constitutes a defect is more important to him than his own.
--> '''Lore:''' Why didn't you just ''fix'' me? It was within your power to fix me!
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** Enabran Tain is first introduced in Series 2 as TheSpymaster who controlled the Obsidian Order, recruited and mentored Garak. Over the next few years of the show it becomes clear that Garak will bend over backwards to do anything Tain asks of him even though Tain both exiled him and tried to assassinate him. Despite this guaranteed loyalty, Tain always criticises Garak and treats him quite harshly. [[spoiler:Only when Tain is on his deathbed is it revealed that Garak spent his entire life seeking a moment when Tain would treat him like a son instead of a subordinate or a protégé. The last thing Tain ever does is give him that approval.]]
*** Despite their antagonistic (and definitely non-biological) relationship, this seems to be what Quark seeks from Odo. Quark's final comment on the relationship is "That guy loves me -- ''it's written all over his back''."
*** Odo had a strained relationship with the scientist who was assigned to study him when he was first discovered and with whom he does have a sort of parent/child relationship with since Dr Pol was responsible for Odo learning how to shapeshift and take humanoid form in particular. At one point, an alien infection does make Odo lash out at Pol, bringing Odo's desire into the open - even for Odo himself, who hadn't realised just how deep his own feelings ran. They are eventually reconciled.
*** [[TheNthDoctor Jadzia Dax]] spent years fearing that she didn't live up to predecessor Curzon's expectations, especially because he washed her out of the academy programme and never explained why he allowed her to re-apply. Only by CallingTheOldManOut does she finally learn the truth. [[spoiler:He let personal feelings for her get in the way of his job by throwing her out of the academy to avoid temptation (something he felt deeply guilty for doing) and her successful re-application let him off the hook]].
*** [[MagnificentBastard Dukat's]] relationship with Sisko is, in part, a twisted variation of this. Despite [[ArchEnemy all differences]], Dukat respects his opponent, to the point of calling him an "old friend", and expects Sisko to behave the same way towards him (without much success). This culminates in a long discussion in "Waltz", where Dukat is desperately trying to force some kind of approval out of the Captain:
---> '''Dukat''': I don't think you're being entirely honest with me, Benjamin. You're not a man who hesitates to make snap judgements when the situation calls for it. It's one of the signs of a good commander. Now I'm asking for your opinion of me and I find it hard to believe you don't have one.
--->'''Sisko''': [[BlatantLies All right. I think you're right. You have been judged unfairly. I've judged you unfairly. But I think you probably had good reasons for everything you did on Bajor.]]
*** Dukat also seemed to be somewhat obsessed with what Kira thought of him, that getting her to "understand" what he did (including to her) in the occupation would somehow vindicate him. Sort of like an abusive parent trying to justify themselves that way, years later.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** This is the plot of the episode "Life Line". The Doctor, an artificially intelligent hologram, learns that his creator (and the man whose image he's based on), holographic genius Dr Lewis Zimmerman, is dying. The Doctor pleads with Captain Janeway to be transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant, assuming Zimmerman will be proud of how he's exceeded his programming... only to find his creator is a cantankerous jerk who believes he's an obsolete model better suited to scrubbing plasma conduits on waste transfer barges. Needless to say, much angst and hilarity ensue before the two are reconciled.
*** Tom Paris's father Owen Paris was a Starfleet admiral and Tom never felt that he could live up to his reputation. Things were strained between them and only became worse once Tom had joined the Maquis and then ended up in a Federation penal colony. It was only after the ''Voyager'' got lost in the Delta Quadrant and later established communications to Earth that the two re-connected, especially once Tom and B'Elanna became a couple and had a child. In the novels, things became strained between them again due to circumstances in part beyond Tom's control and Owen died in a Borg attack.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': It is safe to say that this entire universe has {{daddy issues}}.
** Dean has gotten so little show of his dad's approval despite always following his orders and being a good hunter that in the Season One Finale, when his dad (possessed by the BigBad) tells Dean how proud he is that Dean brought the Colt and used a bullet to save Sam's life, Dean realizes he's possessed and puts the gun on him--correctly thinking that the real John would have been furious instead of proud. Even when Dean gets an attaboy and sign of trust from his father, it comes with a DarkSecret that endangers his relationship with his brother, and then his dad dies for him. Since Dean just wants his family to be with him and happy, that's about the worst sort of fatherly recognition he could get.
** Sam feels the same need for his father's approval, but acts out against his father's wishes instead of trying to act as the perfect son Dean struggles to be. Mainly because Sam feels like his flaw is what he ''is'', and not something he can change, whereas Dean thinks that if he just ''does'' enough, he can earn approval.
** ''All'' the angels suffer this, more or less, because ''{{God}}'' is a [[ParentalAbandonment crappy parent]].
*** Castiel's devotion to his Father leads him to start rebelling against fellow angels and siding with humans, whom he thinks of as his father's "works of art". He undergoes death by explosion, eventual power loss, and various human indignities during his exile from Heaven, but he seems to be taking it all in stride--''until'' he hears from Joshua that his father doesn't give a crap about any of it, and would rather stay away and let the Apocalypse happen. Castiel then gives up, drinks a liquor store, and begins his downward spiral. At the end of Season 5, however, God does show some kind of intervention and raises Castiel from the dead a second time, and a re-angelfied Castiel flies back home at the first opportunity. Come Season 6, he's still carrying out his father's wishes by leading one faction of Heaven against the archangel Raphael. And that's since GoneHorriblyRight...
*** Lucifer, despite his rebellion, is basically a kid throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted Daddy to notice him again and return his affections. Michael's relationship with God intentionally parallels Dean's with John, except Michael is perfectly willing to kill what used to be his favorite brother if he believes that's what Daddy wants. Raphael has retreated into nihilism ("You're living in a godless universe.") and Gabriel into hedonism, and that's the four that have ever actually "''met'' the Man."
*** Uriel's faction have actively given up and want to side with Lucifer. Anna is probably the closest to indifferent to God's opinion of any angel appearing on the show; it's fitting she's also the only one with a consistently female appearance.
*** Joshua is so Zen it's creepy, but then he's the only one God actually talks to. He may also be Jesus. Zachariah comes down somewhere between Gabriel's hedonism and Raphael's nihilism, but less tastefully, and it's harder to link to God as such. He may just genuinely be a self-interested racist dick, though his preoccupation with making things play out in accordance with divine prophecy, the only thing God left behind for his children, may indicate issues of this type. Angels were created to serve and He gives no feedback for thousands of years, how are they not going to be legions of daddy issues?
** The demon Azazel, original nemesis of the Winchesters, evidently had this with Lucifer, based on his desperately devoted behavior in the convent flashback, and his whole program was geared toward [[spoiler: getting Hell open to free Lilith so she could bust out Lucifer, in both cases using the 'very special child' Lucifer told him to procure; i.e. Sam]], but Lucifer doesn't betray any awareness that he died for it. He in turn encouraged this from his own 'children,' such as the demon known as Meg.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'':
** Often the entire premise behind this show, where Christopher is always ready for his father's condescending remarks. Hilariously done in the first episode, while joking role-playing Titus recalls every proud moment he had being shot down by Papa Titus (graduation, first job, becoming a manager, etc.) When he finishes with "I opened my own car shop and now I make more money in one year then you ever made in any year of your life, what do you think about that?!" The real Papa Titus appears behind him, cracks open a beer and says, "I think without me pushing you boy, you never would have made it."
** Reiterated in the stand-up show ''Creator/NormanRockwell is Bleeding'' (the ''Anti-Dad!'' part), ending with
--->'''Christopher:''' I have my own TV show and production company!\\
'''Dad:''' And that shit got cancelled, didn't it!
* * ''Series/TrailOfLies'': Felix always felt that his father favored his younger sister Paloma and that no matter how well he did in his job at the family's hospital, it would never be enough for him.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'':
** "The Two Bartlets", Toby points out that the President is haunted by the need to make his father like him. This is expanded on in "Night Five," when Josh's therapist is called in because Bartlet has been unable to sleep for five nights straight (because of this conversation." It's summed up in this devastatingly simple exchange:
--->'''Bartlet''': I'm not trying to get my father to like me.
--->'''Dr Stanley Keyworth''': Good. 'Cuz that's never going to happen.
** "Two Cathedrals," where it's pretty strongly implied that Bartlet's impassioned rant in the National Cathedral is directed more at his father than at God.
*** President Bartlet may not have been able to get his own father to love or approve of him, but his real "Well Done, Son!" Guy is his chief of staff, Leo [=McGarry=] (played by the late John Spencer). Just before a debate between Bartlet and the Republican candidate, Leo gives Bartlet a beautiful smile and says "There's no such thing as too smart. There's nothing you can do that's not going to make me proud of you."
** The President himself is the guy to [[TheUnfavorite his daughter Ellie.]] [[TearJerker "The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was to come home at the end of the day."]]
** Josh has strong tendencies of this but not towards his real father (who is deceased and, by all accounts, was very proud of him). Instead he craves the approval of Leo [=McGarry=], who became a father figure to him after his own father's death. At one point one of the characters notes that Josh is not afraid of losing but he is afraid of letting Leo down.
* ''Series/TheWire'': Lester Freamon is this trope personified. [[NotSoAboveItAll Daniels]] does a humorous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE9-u26NOWI Freamon imitation]].
--->'''Daniels''': He stares at you from the top of his reading glasses, with that look that says ''I'm the father you never had'' ''and I don't want to be disappointed on you ever again''.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Agent Dana Scully spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove to her parents, but especially her dad, that her decision to join the FBI was a good one. She doesn't find out how proud of her her dad actually was until he's dead.
** Agent Spender had this going for [[spoiler:the Cigarette-Smoking Man, his biological father]], of all people. Well, at least until he tried killing his mom.
* ''Series/YoungDracula'': Ingrid. Her father gives Vlad all the attention, even though Vlad doesn't even want to be a vampire and she does.
* One of the recurring parental issues of ''Series/TheSopranos''. Tony goes out of his way to please his contemptible mother, who resents her children for being happier than her. At the same time, Chris, Tony's nephew, and A.J., Tony's son, try hard to earn praise from the old man or just live up to his perceived expectations, only to get frustrated when he doesn't give them any real credit.
* Gretchen on ''Series/YoureTheWorst'' behaves completely differently and lies about her life around her parents out of fear of disappointing them. She goes to great length to hide Jimmy from them, and when he finally meets them, he [[CallingTheOldManOut calls them out on that]].
* ''Series/BeringSeaGold'': At the end of season 3, Steve Pomrenke finally congratulates his son Shawn for his improved gold-catching performance that year, in spite of their normally contentious relationship.
* ''Series/DeadliestCatch'': Captain Phil with his sons, Jake and Josh; Captain Jonathan with his son, Scotty; the captains in general to the greenhorns.
** Sig outright said he considers Jake Anderson as his son.
** Subverted in Season 6 King Crab with Wild Bill's son, Zack Larson, though it got better as Zack Larson is on the ''Kodiak'' for Season 7. Season 8 revealed that Bill didn't think he was pulling his weight, though Zack's tweets seemed to indicate he didn't see anything unusual about it (or at least didn't consider it to be "yelling").
*** Wild Bill: "Zack's a great kid, he just has no balls". Considering Wild Bill's dad was a ''[[DrillSergeantNasty Marine drill sergeant]]'' who was so scary that young Bill would leave as soon as he got home, Bill's concern for his son -- who he didn't even want to become a crabber -- is positively cuddly. The other captains chime in that their dads were the same (with the addition that their dads would tell everyone ''but'' their kids how proud they were of them), although BadAssGrandpa[=s=] tended to be pretty cool.
* ''Series/PennyDreadful'': Peter Murray, son of Sir Malcolm and a sickly child, undertakes an expedition to Africa with his father only to win his approval and recognition as a man. [[spoiler:He dies of dysentery in the Congo.]]
* ''Series/DeathInParadise'': Humphrey Goodman. Humphrey's father is convinced that Humphrey is wasting his life playing a game of cops-and-robbers instead of becoming a barrister like him (and his brother). In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son", Humphrey's father comes to the island to convince him to come back home to England for his ex-wife, Sally. Finally having had enough, Humphrey tells his father that he is a very good detective and that he is happier on Saint Marie than then he ever was in England and is staying there. After watching his son solve the case, Humphrey's father realises he is happy for him to remain in Saint Marie.
* Colin Jost has turned this into a semi-running gag on [[Series/SaturdayNightLive "Weekend Update"]]:
-->Wednesday was National Hug Day...Dad.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The Music/SimplePlan song "Perfect" is about this.
-->"And now I just try to make it,\\
I just want to make you proud\\
I'm never gonna be good enough for you"
** Later:
--->"I'm sorry I can't be [[TitleDrop perfect]]."
* James Hetfield of Music/{{Metallica}}: his lyrics of "The Day That Never Comes" and "The Unforgiven".
* Kellin Quinn from the band Sleeping With Siren wrote the song "A Trophy Father's Trophy Son". The song was written about/from the point of view of his stepkids whose father basically abandoned them and Kellin's wife.
* Pink in ''TheWall''; especially bad because Pink never knew his father at all ("Daddy's flown across the ocean..."). It's twice as tragic because of the gigantic void that his absence leaves behind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''BlissStage:'' The definition of Josh Preston's relationship to the [[{{GMPC}}the Authority Figure --]] his father Jim Preston.
* The Emperor to the Primarchs of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', though the relationship sours with many of them. [[Literature/HorusHeresy One in particular]] results in CallingTheOldManOut, OffingTheOffspring, CainAndAbel, the destruction of several planets, trillions of people dying, and a new dark age for the galaxy. Yeah, 40k is that kind of franchise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Biff starts out like this in ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''.
** Happy is still like this, but to a slightly lesser extent.
* Cory from ''Theatre/{{Fences}}'', full on. Even remarked on almost by name:
-->'''Rose:''' Everything that boy do... he do for you. He wants you to say, "Good job, son." That's all.
* Norman and Chelsea from ''Theatre/OnGoldenPond'' are a father-daughter version of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Kid, from ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'', a game whose [[StoryToGameplayRatio extremely peripheral story]] involves nothing more than an incredibly hard quest to become The Guy. The Kid wants to become The Guy. The Father of The Kid is The Guy. The Kid is sent on his quest by Former Grandfather The Guy, who was replaced as The Guy by The Father The Guy, who The Kid now seeks to replace in turn to become The Guy. It doesn't get much more "Well Done, Son!" Guy than that.
* The Prince in KatamariDamacy seeks nothing but the King of All Cosmos' approval, and for good reason: disapproval means MoreDakka eye beams.
** In later games we find out that the King had a similar relationship with his father.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series Lee and Jin (a "Well Done Grandson Guy") all at some point or another felt this way towards Heihachi. Eventually they learn that doing this won't get them anywhere and thus went off their own way.
** Kazuya started this way as well. Heihachi throwing him off a cliff kind of ended that dream, though.
*** Adopting Lee into the family was actually supposed to ''induce'' this emotion in Kazuya, giving him someone to compete with and pushing him to achieve. Again, though, the cliff thing derailed that.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'':
** For most of the game, Gwendolyn is constantly trying to prove herself as a warrior so that her father King Odin would be proud of and love her - a fact which Odin repeatedly uses to manipulate her. [[spoiler:Eventually Gwendolyn wises up and gives up on her father in favor of choosing to be with Oswald, who earnestly cares for her.]]
** Oswald himself strives single-mindedly to do whatever his adoptive father orders and admits that he could die happy as long as his father approved of him and loved him. Unfortunately, on his deathbed, his father spitefully rejects him for his failure and admits he never loved him, viewing Oswald as only a means to an end for his ambitions, little more than a tool. Soon after,[[spoiler: Oswald dies himself, in despair. With several chapter of his story left to go, however.]]
** Before the final boss of Velvet's book, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the destruction of Valentine was caused by Ingway, who tampered with the Cauldron in order to save Odin from being killed in battle against Valentine's superior forces and didn't anticipate the scale of the reaction that would result. In the aftermath, Odin claimed the cauldron with nothing but a callous "Well done, traitor" for Ingway, inspiring Ingway to go to rather extreme lengths to [[CallingTheOldManOut call him out]] for it later on.]]
* Even though he hates his father, Tidus from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' desperately seeks to measure up to him, especially after realizing he's following his exact same footsteps. Likewise, Yuna wishes to make her own father, High Summoner Braska, proud of her own pilgrimage. In the end, they exceed both of their parents, by [[spoiler: destroying Sin rather than just delaying it until next time]].
** Braska obviously loved Yuna, and she just didn't want his death to be in vain.
** Revisited in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', where Jecht was specifically chosen as the villain representative of ''Final Fantasy X'' due to his emotional connection with the hero. It's especially visible in the cutscene after Tidus beats him:
--->'''Tidus:''' I hate you. I hated you so much. I've always wished you'd be gone. But deep down what I really wanted was just... your approval. For you to... tell me that I've grown strong.
--->'''Jecht:''' Looks like the kid will never grow up.
--->'''Tidus:''' That's not my fault. I can't help it. I'm your son, after all.
--->'''Jecht:''' Hehe... I guess you are.
--->''[Both laugh.]''
--->'''Jecht:''' Hey, cry-baby... You've grown strong.
* In an example of the hero's friend, Sora reveals at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' that he's always striven to be as good at everything as his best friend, Riku. This was hinted at in the beginning of the original game, as well. In true form, Riku also reveals that he was always jealous of the way his friend lived his life.
* Bosch from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' is ''seriously'' messed up because of this reason. All throughout his childhood, his dad put him through ridiculous training (including making him fight a monster ''three times'' his size) and still wouldn't give him the praise he wanted. This left him willing to do anything necessary to get ahead in life which included [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness nearly murdering his former partner,]] [[AppendageAssimilation grafting a monster's arm onto himself]] and [[SealedEvilInACan linking with an ancient, evil dragon in return for it's powers.]]
* Liquid Snake from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' may have been this at one point, but has built up a deep-rooted resentment for his father as well as the one his father ''did'' show approval of: Solid Snake.
** ''TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' [[CharacterExaggeration exaggerates]] this part of Liquid's character to ridiculous proportions. Then it's revealed that Big Boss is doing it on purpose to help manipulate the boy better.
** Solid Snake himself in ''MetalGearSolid4'' doesn't feel like he's accomplished anything until [[spoiler: Big Boss shows up to tell him 'well done'.]]
* This is one of the basics for the MayDecemberRomance between GeniusBruiser Oswin and WhiteMagicianGirl Serra in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword]]''. She treats him more respectfully than [[SlapSlapKiss her other possible love interests]] (FragileSpeedster Matthew and KidAnova Erk) and seeks for his approval, but when Oswin reprehends her in their B support, Serra mistakes this as him hating her as a person and almost has an HeroicBSOD. Their A support is about them clearing the misunderstanding.
** Speaking of ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', Prince Zephiel. Ever dutiful, ever charismatic Prince of Bern whose wish is just for his family to reconcile, by having his father acknowledge him. Poor kid doesn't know that his father is very much a {{jerkass}} who really wants him dead. When Zephiel learns it the hard way, [[NietzscheWannabe take a wild guess what Zephiel turns into]].
** Another ''[[FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword]]'' example is [[BadassAdorable Nino]]. All she wants is to earn Sonia's love and approval, and agrees to go on a dangerous mission in which she would very well be killed ''just'' for the reward of her mother holding her hand and stroking her face.
** A less harsh example is Erk towards his mentor and adoptive father Pent, especially in their B support.
** Forrest in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' starts out angry at his father for criticizing his WholesomeCrossdresser habit, but once they start communicating better he expresses a desire to make his father proud despite being afraid to fight, and to wield the tome Leo uses and that Forrest will someday inherit.
* While not his father, Richard from ''SuikodenV'' is wicked attached to his father figure, Mueller, and is always trying to get his attention, impress him, and make him happy. Seriously, this kid's entire world revolves around Mueller, so much that he's willing to carry any IdiotBall if it's for Mueller and it ''embarrasses'' Mueller.
** An observant or min-maxing player might notice that Richard's stats and skills make him the most powerful character in the game. Presumably not a coincidence.
** A straighter example is SuikodenIV's Snowe Vingerhut, who longs to please his powerful, manipulative father. He even [[ICallItVera calls his sword]] 'Daddy Blade'.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', [[spoiler:Raz]]'s "inner demon" is a manifestation of his father, constantly taunting him for being a disappointment and [[spoiler:a psychic.]] Eventually [[spoiler:his ''real'' father, who looks nothing like the twisted monster that is Raz's internal interpretation of him, enters his mind and tells him that he just wanted Raz to be happy and safe.]]
** [[spoiler:It's actually even nicer than this - Raz believed the entire time that his father hated psychics and that he would hate Raz if he knew that Raz was psychic - when in fact his father is a psychic himself, and didn't want Raz displaying his talents, not out of resentment but out of fear that ACTUAL psychic haters would persecute or harm him.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear XX'', this discussion can occur when Kliff Undersn fights his adoptive son, Testament:
-->'''Testament:''' Father... I...\\
'''Kliff:''' You've grown to be a fine man.... I have no further regrets.
** Considering that at that point Testament has completed his HeelFaceTurn and is TheLancer to FriendToAllLivingThings Dizzy, it's no wonder that the LawfulGood BadassGrandpa approves.
* Various dialogue in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' shows that the player character is frustrated at his foster father's lack of praise and emotional reactions. However said foster father (Daeghun Farlong) has emotional problems of his own and did spend months looking for the player character after he vanished after the battle with the king of shadows.
* There is...quite a lot of this in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. To start with, there's Garrus, whose father is a standard, by-the-book military-minded turian. Garrus feels that rules are good and all, but following them to the point of blindness will let the bad guys get away with worse stuff, so it's necessary to break the rules every once in a while. This leads to his eventually uncomfortable position as a CowboyCop on the Citadel. Then there's Tali, whose father is a member of the Admiralty Board which controls the Quarian Flotilla, and the quarian race. Accordingly, everyone expects her to bring back some massively important gift from her Pilgrimage, and she hopes doing so will get her some notice from her otherwise distant father. No pressure. And then there's Liara T'Soni, whose mother is an extremely important spiritual figure. Her mother apparently mated with another member of the same species, which is a big no-no in their culture, so she's been ostracised nearly her entire life, leading her to run away from home and go on archeological digs in the hopes of being known for something other than being her mother's daughter. That's the ''first'' game.
** Wrex, who attended a Crush (meeting of tribes) at his father's request despite ''knowing'' that it was most likely a trap. (Granted, Wrex got to resolve his father issues by killing him, but Wrex spends the rest of his life fighting against his father's policies and beliefs, which most Krogan still share.)
** It would take way too long to list all examples from the second game. Suffice to say, there are few characters who ''aren't'' on either the giving or the receiving end of this trope to some degree.
** At the very least we have to mention Thane and [[spoiler:his son Kolyat]]. Thane's whole loyalty mission is him trying to [[spoiler:stop Kolyat from following in his footsteps and becoming an assassin, and in the end convincing his son that he was always proud of him is what really turns him away from it in the end.]] There's a reason it's called "Cat's in the Cradle."
--->'''Thane:''' I've taken many bad things out of the world. You're the only good thing I ever added to it.
** Meanwhile, if you have the spacer background, [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] gets to have a nice friendly chat with his/her mother.
** [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure David Anderson]] in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for the second game is revealed to have this relationship with his own son due to Anderson's workaholic nature estranging him from his family.
** It may be easier to mention the characters who don't have fathers like these: [[TheHero Shepard]], due to his/her parents being either dead, absent, or [[AvertedTrope in the military themselves]], [[TokenEvilTeammate Jack]], who never knew her parents, but [[AxCrazy makes up for it in other ways]], Ashley, who was very much DaddysGirl before her father died and is more concerned with general family honor, and Kaidan, who seems to get along with his. [[LadyOfWar Samara]] and [[ProfessionalKiller Thane]] are this to their children, the rest have daddy issues except for Legion, who's a robot. This trope is lampshaded and mocked when Shepard talks with [[RobotGirl EDI]] in the third game.
-->'''Shepard:''' How's your focus, EDI? Any big questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any small questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any lingering issues?\\
'''EDI:''' About what?\\
'''Shepard:''' An imperfect designer who could be seen as a warped father figure, maybe?\\
'''EDI:''' ''Definitely'' not. Did something prompt this line of questioning?\\
'''Shepard:''' [[GenreSavvy I've just learned you have to ask about these things.]]
** The Geth are a race of robots who suffer from this. It turns out that the ''Quarians'' initiated the RobotWar and the Geth only fought back to defend themselves, with every time the Geth attempted to lay down arms, the Quarians took advantage of the situation by opening fire, thus leading the Geth to believe they would ''never'' back down. Despite this, they ''don't'' want to hurt them and ''still'' desperately want their creators' approval.
*** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard sees a recording of a Geth in the middle of being dismantled by a Quarian engineer, desperately asking to know what they did ''wrong''? What did it do that was so terrible, you might wonder? [[spoiler: Ask if it had a ''soul''.]]
** A comic has Garrus remembering how his father taught him to shoot. This fast-forwards to his days as the Archangel on Omega to the point of his one-man stand-off against three gangs. He calls his father to have one last chat. When asked why so urgent, Garrus calmly states that there are too many targets. His father tells him to forget the final father-son conversation and gets all business about Garrus's assets and ammo, insisting that he survive so that he can come back to Palaven and talk things over. Garrus takes another look in the scope and sees the N7 logo on an armor. He tells his dad that the odds just went up before ending the call.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' isn't quite as...overwhelming with its parental issues (though there's no shortage of missing or dead ones). ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has a few examples.
** Saemus Dumar, the rebellious and idealistic son of Kirkwall's SlaveToPR Viscount, is the standout.
** Aveline is the daughter of an Orlesian chevalier exiled [[DeadlyDecadentCourt when his patron was killed]]. He raised her to be a knight and sold everything they had so she could join King Cailan's army. Instead, she grew up a principled but ''very'' pragmatic soldier, and eventual City Guard.
** Sebastian was the spare to the SpareToTheThrone who tactfully describes his parents as "rather traditional". He acted out by turning into a womanizing hedonist, and was given to the church in his teens to prevent further embarrassment (and any illegitimate children who could have caused a SuccessionCrisis further down the line). He ended up liking it there, but his parents and older brothers were assassinated not long after.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy and TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou aside, all Bass of ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' infamy wanted was for his creator Dr. Wily to acknowledge him as his greatest creation. Sadly, with the advent of [[spoiler:Wily creating Maverick Zero and the [[TheVirus Maverick Virus]],]] Bass ''might'' be wrong.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' has Anomen; his dad is a [[AbusiveParents bad-tempered]], [[MissingMom widowed]] [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]] who thoroughly disapproves of his son's aspirations to join TheOrder of the Radiant Heart. How Anomen deals with this depends upon player choice and the PC's relationship with him. [[spoiler: Trying to win his father's approval causes Anomen to fail his test of knighthood and start SlowlySlippingIntoEvil. Refusing to put his father's wishes over his morals will cause [[IHaveNoSon his father to reject him]], but it helps Anomen become a knight and a better person. No matter what he does at first, he has to give up this trope altogether to successfully complete his romance.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', after Vieri de'Pazzi is assassinated, Ezio acquires a letter where the writer informs Vieri's father Francesco that all the young man wanted was his father's attention and approval.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' Episode I and the first bits of Episode II have M.O.M.O. obviously trying to get approval from Juri Mizrahi. [[spoiler:Since she looks so much like her big sister, Sakura, Juri is less than accepting, if not outright frightened of the girl, giving her manipulative bitch status when she told M.O.M.O. that they can live together only to keep her stabe during the Y-Data analysis. It's sad when Ziggy shows more parental love for the poor thing who went through being kidnapped, mind-raped, possibly raped for real. and helping save Second Miltia. It takes Ziggy's advice and M.O.M.O. shutting down her mind to prevent Albedo from grabbing the Y-data]] to wake Juri up. By III, it seems M.O.M.O. and Juri have finally become a real family.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': According to the "Meet the Sniper" video, the Sniper's parents do not care for the Sniper's career choice. He spends quite a bit of the video speaking on the phone to his unseen father, who seems to think that the Sniper's some kind of crazed gunman. [[spoiler:The "Old Wounds" comic reveals that they came to terms with their son's job before being KilledOffForReal, though it took Sniper temporarily dying and going to Heaven for this to come to light and it may or may not have been a hallucination.]]
** This ends up becoming an IdiotBall of epic proportions when [[spoiler:it turns out the the REAL Sniper's biological parents are pure evil. He doesn't stop putting blind faith in them even though they're basically what would happen if the Mann brothers got married (The father created the world's first successful spaceship... by destroying his own city and using one ton of Australium as PAINT. The mother's a bickering alcoholic. Then they both bail on their kid in a self-destructing ruin).]]
** The Demoman's mother, on the other hand, disapproves of the fact that he only works three jobs and hasn't yet rid himself of more than a single eye.
*** The reason Mama Degroot (once herself a Demowoman) chases after her son to make as much money as possible is because she knows that he'll eventually be blinded in the line of duty and unable to work.
----> '''Mama Degroot:''' Mark me, Boy! No Demoman worth his sulfur has had an eye in his head past thirty!
* Mondo Zax of ''VideoGame/WildStar'' had a terrible, terrible childhood, being [[TheRuntAtTheEnd the #13 of 13 children,]] tiny, and constantly looked over by his father. The mysterious disappearances of all 12 of his siblings [[BlatantLies (which he had no part of)]] was helpful in trying to get his attention, but unfortunately, "a heated argument over engineering principles led to a familial schism between the two - one that was left unresolved when Mondo's father was inexplicably vaporized during a routine bot recalibration."[[note]]From the official [=WildStar=] [[http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/mondo_zax_and_victor_lazarin.php blog post]] about Mondo Zax and Victor Lazarin.[[/note]]
* Luke from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has this sort of feelings towards [[spoiler:Van]] till the end of the game, even after [[spoiler:discovering his true intentions]]. He manages to outlive it though, finding his reason to live.
--> '''Luke''': I finally understand what it is I wanted. I wanted you to acknowledge me. To accept me as [[spoiler:a human being, not a replica.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Van]]''': Yes. And you have become a [[spoiler:human being.]]
--> '''Luke''': ...But that's not enough.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Bowser Jr. will do anything to make his father proud. However, it's a downplayed example, as SelfDemonstrating/{{Bowser}} is already extremely proud of his son, and he knows it; he just wants to ''keep'' making his dad proud.
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': Satan has a fit of rage when you cheat, revealing he is secretly desperate to win his [[GodOfGood father's praise]].
* Several conversations in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' suggest that Pharah's relationship with her late mother is somewhere between this and CallingTheOldManOut.
--> '''Mercy:''' Your mother always wanted you to follow in her footsteps.\\
'''Pharah:''' She did? Funny, she never mentioned that to me...\\
\\
'''Soldier 76:''' Your mother would have been proud of you.\\
'''Pharah:''' ''(drily)'' You didn't know my mother very well, then.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' game focusing on Miles Edgeworth shows that this is most likely true for Franziska. In the fourth case, 13-year-old Franziska competes with Miles, presumably to receive her father's attention. Considering he barely seems to acknowledge her skills compared to Miles, this explains a lot about how caught up she was in Manfred's worldview.
** In the sequel, [[spoiler:Sebastian Debeste]] is eventually revealed to be this for his father, having built up his entire career just to gain his approval. As it turns out, [[spoiler:Blaise was exploiting this trope by building up his son's credentials in order to use him as a pawn, which eventually leads to Sebastian CallingTheOldManOut]].
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has Eva Ushiromiya, towards [[AbusiveParents her father Kinzo]]. [[DrunkWithPower This]] [[CainAndAbel causes]] [[KillEmAll problems]].
** Natsuhi, Kinzo's daughter-in-law, also has this attitude towards him, perhaps even moreso than Eva. [[spoiler:So much so that when he dies of natural causes, her attempts to [[OfCorpseHesAlive cover up his death]] combined with the stress from upholding the Ushiromiya family name causes her to snap, and as a result she imagines his ghost as a kindly figure who supports and encourages her. In [=EP5=] Bernkastel tells Natsuhi, using [[LanguageOfTruth the red truth]], that Kinzo never actually thought she was good enough.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': If [[spoiler:Tohsaka]] had ''just'' been a little bit less of a bitch to her sister [[spoiler:[[TheWoobie Sakura]]]] and a bit more supportive instead of, say, threatening to kill her (even if she's just insecure herself), then [[spoiler:Sakura]] wouldn't have snapped and [[spoiler:tried to destroy the world]].
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', it is very strongly implied that Shizune Hakamichi's SpiritedCompetitor personality stems largely from a desire to earn the approval of her {{Jerkass}} AbusiveDad Jigoro. Unfortunately, he seems to view most of her accomplishments, including her position as StudentCouncilPresident, with contempt.
** Shizune is looked down upon by her father FOR her deafness, Jigoro thinks he gave life to a faulty human being who will never match his own standards.
* In ''VisualNovel/EfAFairyTaleOfTheTwo'', [[spoiler:Miyako became TheAce in an eventually fruitless bid to impress her parents, who were always quarreling each other before deciding to divorce.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}'', Souji Okita wants nothing more than to be helpful to his father figure Isami Kondou, and to earn his approval. This mostly leads to heartache for everybody, because although Kondou loves Souji like a little brother, he's somewhat oblivious to how strong his feelings run and how jealous he is of Kondou's reliance on Hijikata. Meanwhile, Souji quickly comes to the conclusion (helped along by the manipulation of Kamo Serizawa) that the only way he can be of help to Kondou is to use his prodigious talent for swordsmanship to kill Kondou's enemies... whether Kondou approves or not.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The plot of the "So What IS a [=McNinja=]?" arc in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Dan and Mitzi [=McNinja=] are very disappointed in their son for becoming a Doctor rather than an assassin. Interestingly, the Doctor realizes that gaining his parents' respect with his medical skills is a hopeless task, so he decides to show them that he's "a damn good ninja!" as well.
** Meanwhile, his younger brother Sean still has "Well Done, Son!" Guy as a major motivation, hiding his technical wizardry behind a mask of misused slang. When a ghost wizard puts Sean in his ultimate fantasy world, his Dad is hugging him, saying, "Computers are pretty cool, son. They are pretty cool." [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/11p37/ He's brought to tears.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{DDG}}'' Zip, it turns out, feels this way towards 'Netta since she see 'Netta as a [[http://www.sincomics.com/phpAlbum/main.php?cmd=imageview&var1=DDG%2FPages+100%2B%2FDDG120.jpg&var2=2 surrogate mother]] and could never get validation from her own mum.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/2009/02/21/issue-1-page-4/ Cole stole her mother's Endstone to attempt to win her father's love.]]
* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' spends his every waking moment (when not obsessing over Agatha) trying to live up to his Machiavellian father's expectations (who pushes Gil to the breaking point so that Gil [[ZenSurvivor won't go through what he did]]). Klaus ''does'' praise Gil upon completing difficult tasks, but the poor kid is usually too annoyed by the circumstances to really appreciate it. Klaus is [[SeenItAll rarely visibly impressed]] and thus easily comes across as dismissive. He was [[SoProudOfYou really enthusiastic]] only when saw Gil [[OneManArmy defeating a mechanized army, single-handed]].
** Though, eventually, Klaus spells it out. Ironically, it's a mistake (he thinks Gil ''intentionally'' sent to catch Agatha someone guaranteed to kill her, rather than doing so by accident).
--->'''Klaus:''' It seems I have misjudged you. [[WellDoneSonGuy Well done, son.]]\\
'''Gil:''' [suspicious] Is this another test?\\
'''Klaus:''' Erk. Please, don't make me laugh. Owch. No. No more tests, my son. The time for such things is over.
** Gil made it to the age of ten or so completely ignorant of his heritage, and Klaus only revealed it when he broke into his own records and found the embarrassing decoy story. This was probably primarily to keep him safe, but combined with all the tests later on it instilled in Gil the conviction that he had to ''earn'' the right to be Gilgamesh Wulfenbach.
*** Which conveniently averted the "[[RoyalBrat spoiled second-generation conqueror]]" problem. Take that, Ibn Khaldun!
** That said, they have a strong mutual affection and Gil never seems to doubt that his father ''cares'', or even that he ''wants'' him...it's just that he can't be completely sure Klaus won't kill him or set him aside if he has to for the good of Europa. On the other hand, Klaus frequently looks down on the kid, but hasn't tried to shape his personality for anything but generic 'strength;' his lab at the beginning of the story contained no weapons whatsoever. (Subsequent events have required him to develop a more militant bent. Klaus seems to have been relying on the Spark to bring those qualities out when they were actually needed.) The closest to a healthy version of this trope you can get, considering there's an empire involved and both parties are [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder congenitally insane]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the reason Roy Greenhilt took on the story's main quest was to prove his worth to his egocentric, self-centered father. He eventually comes to realise that his father simply isn't worth it, and that nothing he can say will ever make him change. He gives up on him entirely, not even bothering with CallingTheOldManOut, and goes so far as to make his father promise not to ever visit his family from the afterlife -- which his father does easily and casually without a single worry -- to have the privilege of helping Roy.
** Nale also feels this way to his EvilOverlord father. Nale wants to prove that he can be even better BigBad material than the old man, and he wants him to acknowledge that. Of course, in this case it's less "I want your approval" and more "I can take care of myself, get out of my life"
* Kazuo of ''Webcomic/RedString'' wants his father's approval so badly that he dumps his girlfriend that he loves dearly, resigns himself to an arranged marriage with a childhood friend he doesn't love that way, works at a job he hates, stops doing any of his hobbies--including cooking, which he actually wants to do as a career--and seems to be developing a drug problem to cope. Even when Kazuo shows some weak defiance, he always goes back to groveling for his father's love soon after. As of this writing, all his father's done in response is slap him repetitively, call him worthless, and point-blank tell the boy he's only good as a bargaining chip. [[spoiler:And [[DrivenToSuicide driven Kazuo to attempt suicide]]. Luckily, he survives.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheSpecialists'', [[http://thespecialistscomic.com/page-85/ Henry]]. He's a jerk, a bigot and a Casanova Wannabe -- but you still feel sorry for him.
* It isn't something that [[TheStoic Dave Strider]] of ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' likes to talk about, but he's clearly very deeply invested in following in his AloofOlderBrother [[spoiler:(who turns out to be his genetic father)]] and father-figure's example.
** Uniquely, Dave sort of gets ''both'' of the typical resolutions to this plotline. Eventually he comes to recognize that [[BrokenPedestal his Bro was a terrible person]] who never deserved his respect. But later on he also gets to meet an alternate universe version of Bro who is actually a decent person, and who is able to give him the praise and validation and affection he always wanted but never got from his real Bro.
** Inverted with his best friend John; John resents his father's doting on him, although [[spoiler: Given John [[ItMakesSenseInContext unconsciously covers his room in grafiti refering to himself as stupid]]]], it's rather understandable.
* [[TheCaptain Kaff Tagon]] from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' looks like that [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-11-26 when we first hear about his father]]. But [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-30 a later flashback]] shows that there's more to their story: each blames the other one and himself for [[spoiler:not saving the rest of their family from assassination]] a couple decades ago.
* Hurmiz from ''Webcomic/{{Harbourmaster}}'' already has its progenitor Kema's respect. What it ''doesn't'' have is Kema's love--an understandable lack, since Kema [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove still hasn't mastered the idea of love in general]]. This means Hurmiz is supportive of [[spoiler: Gilou]]'s efforts to force Kema to question its old habits more thoroughly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[MemeticMutation The Internet]] has been exposed to a [[ImageBoards 4chan]] meme of this nature, [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/son-i-am-disappoint SON, I AM DISAPPOINT.]]
** There is also [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/high-expectations-asian-father/photos High Expectations Asian Father.]]
* Rosa Fiametta and to a lesser extent her sister Frankie of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' have this type of relationship with their father, who has pretty blatent favouritism for their brother Ilario and doesn't seem to care very much about his daughters. Both want acknowledgement/attention from their father, neither is exactly going about getting it in the right way.
* Jobe Wilkins of the ''WhateleyUniverse''. He's still trying to get his father's approval, even though at fourteen he's already one of the greatest bio-devisers ''on the entire planet''. His dad is the supervillain Gizmatic, who only approves of deviser stuff that's mechanical, so lots of luck on that one.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick sympathizes with the daughters of the ''MyLittlePony'' movie because she knows how it feels to have a mother who thinks you're a disappointment.
* Until they realize he's actually fairly worthless, newbies from WebSite/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses are desperate to please WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic. He never notices them. Film Brain still kept his crush until WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, but that ends bittersweetly.
* In ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv'', Light with his father. [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain Souichiro]] sees Light as nothing but a disappointment because not only is he [[{{Gayngst}} gay]] but [[spoiler: he's a WhiteSheep and [[MuggleBornOfMages he didn't inherit any of the cool]] [[HalfHumanHybrid Shinigami powers]].]]
* In the Drunk History series, Ben Franklin is said to have acted this way toward his son William, calling him "my bastard son" and at one point sitting under an umbrella while William conducts the famous kite experiment in the rain, unenthusiastically cheering "Good job, William....you're my kid."
* Tacoma Narrows from WebVideo/DemoReel. All he's ever wanted to do is make somebody proud, and as he sent his dad to jail and his mother hates him, he finally gets it in bromance buddy/boss/best friend Donnie.
** Rebecca too. Her parents openly criticize her every chance they get, from sexual partners to jobs to interests, but she still tries to make them happy and get their approval.
** Donnie ends up taking the cake, as he beats himself up over not being able to be as hopeful as ''[[spoiler: his mother who died from suicide]]''.
* In WebVideo/AbridgedOnTitan, when Carla blurted out before she died that her adopted child [[TheAce Mikasa]] was her favorite, [[TheUnfavorite Eren]] ends up with such a raging inferiority complex because of it that he actually hallucinates his mother belittling him and taunting him about how Mikasa is better than him. His motivation for killing the Titans is less about avenging her death and more about proving to Carla and Mikasa once and for all that he is the best.
* A RunningGag on Website/{{Cracked}} is that the columnist's parents (and sometimes grandparents) are excessively disappointed by their offspring being nerdy, pasty internet writers instead of getting real jobs.
* In Season 7 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Simmons sneaks into the {{Holodeck}}...and the fantasy he enacts is Sarge expressing his appreciation for Simmons's input and opinions. This is interrupted by the ''real'' Sarge...who wants Simmons to come [[YesMan agree with him]] at a staff meeting, and sees no reason why Simmons might need to know in advance what he is agreeing to.
* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The primary motivation for all the desperate lengths that Prince Zuko goes to, and the terrible decisions he makes, is to get the approval of the father [[AbusiveParents who burned, scarred, and exiled him]] under the pretext of a SnipeHunt. Eventually [[spoiler: Zuko is allowed to come home and receives his father's approval, only to discover that it is not as fulfilling as he had expected, precipitating his Heel Face Turn]]. Occasionally, he shows traits of this towards his uncle Iroh. [[spoiler: After his HeelFaceTurn, he accepts Iroh as a ParentalSubstitute and becomes this full time.]]
** Sokka also wants his father to accept and acknowledge him as a warrior. When he does finally meet up with his father, he gets a YouDidntAsk type answer when his dad asks him, "Why do you think I left you in charge of the village?" Furthermore, when Fire Nation forces appear, Sokka's father orders his men to prepare for battle; when Sokka asks what he should do, his father warmly responds to him, "I said 'The rest of you ''men'' prepare for battle!'," which is the most thrilling thing Sokka could have heard.
** A similar setup is played for tragedy with [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] and [[DaddysLittleVillain Princess Azula]]. She took on ''[[PhysicalGod the Avatar]]'' and his teachers armed with ''nothing but a knife'' for the man, while he hid out in his bunker during the eclipse. Even as a MagnificentBastard who's aware that the opponents are {{Technical Pacifist}}s, that's devotion right there and the poor girl's only ''fourteen years old''. When Ozai announces she will replace him as Fire Lord it's only because he's going to conquer the rest of the world and become the Phoenix King, [[KickedUpStairs thus making 'Fire Lord' an impotent title.]] Her mother Ursa clearly favored Zuko, being a nice person and [[spoiler:feeling rejected by both of her parents ''and'' her friends, Azula descends into an epic VillainousBreakdown.]]
** Ozai seems to have learned his parenting skills from his father, Fire Lord Azulon. It is shown in his single appearance that Azulon shows little if any concern for his younger son and clearly favors Iroh, even after the latter gives up conquering Ba Sing Se.
** Eventually, this wound up repeated in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' with Aang's kids. Aang plays favorites with Tenzin, being he's the only Airbender among the three and the only way for Aang to continue the legacy. This leaves the other two feeling like they were disappointments to their dad for being "born wrong," especially Bumi who wasn't even a Waterbender like Kya. To compensate, Bumi wound up a general and Kya spent many of her years traveling the world (tellingly coming back home only after Aang died). Even Tenzin wound up hurt by this as he feels the burden of being the carrier for the Airbender culture, and being picked as Aang's successor means he's the one with the monumental task of filling his shoes.
** Also in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' there is Toph's daughter Lin, who followed her mother's footsteps to become a police officer (later the chief of the police force), hoping to please her mother. [[spoiler:It didn't work. [[TearJerker Toph wasn't pleased]]. Much angst ensued as Toph's NeverMyFault attitude to her own failures as a mother led to Lin becoming alienated from both Toph herself and from her younger half-sister Suyin. Apparently Toph ended up regretting this years later when Lin refused to get in touch with either of them.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', the character Goose Lee fills this role for Darkwing. He was Darkwing's sensei in the art of quack fu, and he perpetually refers to Darkwing as a disappointment, for his reliance on crime-busting gadgets and machines, his poor judgment around ninja, and his inability to master the all-important quack fu technique, the belly bounce.
** Darkwing's sidekick Launchpad [=McQuack=] in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' episode "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E12TopDuck Top Duck]]". Launchpad thinks that his parents are ashamed of him and wants to show them he's a real [=McQuack=]. (In Launchpad's defense, it's easy to be intimidated when your dad's an {{Expy}} of Creator/JohnWayne!) However, he learns that his parents [[SoProudOfYou actually couldn't be prouder of him.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' parodies this mercilessly, with Peter even hiring a band to play the sappy SitCom music. Subverts the usual ending when his father admits, "Of course I love you. I just don't like you." "Nah nah nah, keep playing, I think this is as close as it's gonna get," Peter tells the band.
** It was played unusual serious through the rest of that episode. Peter even became depressed and apathetic when his father [[KickTheDog called him a lousy son and father]].
*** In a later episode, he at least earns [[spoiler: his biological father]]'s respect.
** A similar example happens in another episode, but with the daughter Meg instead. She gains Peter's respect at the end of the episode and he reveals to her that he actually does love her, despite his inexplicable abuse. He tells her that when they're alone, he'll be nice to her, but he'll be a jerk to her whenever anyone else is around.
* Jonas Venture Sr. in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is the quintessential "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and he's even more impossible to please because he's dead. Dr. Venture can never be as smart, powerful or well-liked as he believes his father was, and his super-science business mostly consists of repackaging his father's old projects and cheating off his father's old notes. All of Dr. Venture's insecurities, shortcomings, and bad habits come (or so Dr. Killinger says) from one childhood incident in which he saw the size of his father's penis.
** Somewhat repeated with the boys. Although the fact they are mostly dense doesn't help. Hank has this towards Brock mostly, but both of them often show the desire to be praised by their cold, uncaring, {{jerkass}} dad.
*** Episodes in the third season revealed that Jonas Sr. was a complete {{jerkass}}. An episode in season four reveals [[spoiler:that the dads or caretakers of boy adventurers seem to be terrible in one way or another.]] However by the end Rusty decides that for all his faults he's better off than others who shared his fate.
* Harry of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' is TheUnfavorite (even though he's an ''only child'') and is constantly trying to prove himself to his dad. That explains why he steals the Globulin Green performance-enhancing drug, and consequently develops a SuperpoweredEvilSide, the Green Goblin - he wants his father to be proud of him. It doesn't work.
** Norman did eventually say that he was proud of Harry. But it may have been a hollow victory for Harry since it happened just after Norman was unmasked as the true Green Goblin. As it turned out, Harry's own father had personally [[AbusiveParent dressed him up as a pyschotic supervillain while he was passed out, even twisting Harry's ankle to maintain the illusion.]]
* The short-lived edutainment show ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' suggested this as a motivation for Alexander the Great in one sketch where the conqueror was receiving therapy from UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud. This, after suggesting [[FreudWasRight mother issues]], pushed Alexander's BerserkButton.
-->'''Philip of Macedon:''' Pretty good, Al. Not great; pretty good.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': ''Zim's'' feelings toward the Almighty Tallest. He'll do anything to gain their favor or attention.
-->'''Zim:''' [[OverlyLongGag My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! Hey! Hey! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Taaaaaaaaaallest! My Tallest! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest!]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', this is basis for a good half of Hank Hill's personality. In one episode, Hank has a hallucination involving his deepest desires while in a steam room and the entirety of the vision is his father happily saying he's proud of him (with a firm handshake to boot).
** This shows up quite a bit. One wonders if Creator/MikeJudge [[FreudWasRight might have an issue on this front]]. Hank is a bit of one of these for Bobby, as Bobby is all too aware that he's artsy, comedic, lazy, and generally not the kind of son his father wanted. Peggy's mother absolutely refuses to identify any good her daughter ever does, even when Peggy goes so far as to save her mother's ranch from foreclosure. Also, Kahn wanted a boy, so he named his daughter Kahn Jr. (everyone calls her Connie). Almost nothing she does is good enough for him, except when he needs to brag about how much better he and his family are than his hillbilly neighbors.
** Hank's dad did admit at one point that Hank was the better father... in his own way.
--->"After all, you made Bobby! All ''I'' made was ''you.''"
** However, Hank is [[PapaWolf fiercely protective of Bobby]] despite his difficulties in expressing his affection for his son.
** The final episode has Bobby discovering a gift for grilling, something that Hank can finally approve of. An earlier episode also had Bobby taking home economics, with Hank at about the halfway point of the episode coming to enjoy what Bobby was able to create with those skills. However, that episode had ''Peggy'' as the disapproving parent, due to being jealous that Bobby was a better homemaker than she could ever be.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', Kalibak's primary reason for antagonizing [[FanNickname Big Blue]] was to please his father, Darkseid.
** Shoot, the first episode he appeared in was called "Father's Day".
* A daughter example with Helen and her dad in ''TheGoodeFamily''. Charlie frequently ridicules his daughter's liberal belief and insults her in any given opportunity. Helen is so desperate for his approval that she even let an ugly animal he adopts stay with her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''
** The only person who ever got under the skin of David Xanatos and the only one whose criticism of his amorality he seems to take seriously, is his father. His infinite wealth and feared reputation may not get him his father's approval, but his PapaWolf {{Determinator}} attitude when Oberon comes after his own son does.
** Xanatos's wife Fox completely inverts this trope: her father just wants her to show the slightest respect for honor, morality, respect for other people's property rights, and he'd give her his full approval and mega-corporation in an instant. Instead, she tries to bankrupt him so her husband can buy the business, because she considers corporate espionage and sabotage ''more fun''.
** Goliath and Angela get a moment of this when he finally acknowledges her as his daughter - not because he hadn't approved of her, but because gargoyles in his clan traditionally didn't keep track of who is whose offspring ("...the children of the entire clan") and he doesn't like abandoning or changing 'the gargoyle way'. He later also admits to Elisa that he knows Angela, who was raised by humans, doesn't see it that way, but he had another motivation: he definitely ''doesn't'' want Angela seeking the approval of her ''[[EvilMatriarch mother]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''.
** Jeff's one and only motivation.
** Poor Grim! He pretended to become a country rock star just to please his father, only to discover later that his father would have preferred having the Grim Reaper for a son (and now will not believe Grim to be the Reaper).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', it's been often implied through flashbacks and certain episodes that Homer very much had a relationship like this with his father Abe, which would explain why Homer has such a numb and uncaring sentiment towards his dad now during Abe's old age. This was particularly looked at in the episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy".
%%* Ulrich Stern from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', especially in Season 1.
%%* Cleveland Jr. is developing shades of this in ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow''.
%%* Remy Buxaplenty on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' has this trope real bad.
* Jake Morgendorffer in ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' has a case of this that borders on the pathological—he bends himself over backwards to be a supportive (read: embarrassing) father to Daria and Quinn because his own father, who is presumably dead, encouraged emotional repression. This created a desperate sense of emotional neediness in Jake that in one episode gave him a ''heart attack!''
* Danny from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' wants this. His parents are ghost hunters, and his alter-ego is the ghost Phantom that they hate and want to 'rip apart molecule by molecule.' He's understandably afraid of this, and tries to make them grow to respect his ghost-half.
** [[OppositeSexClone Danielle]] wanted to appeal to her creator, Vlad Plasmius, her "daddy", until learning he was fine with letting her melt to create a perfect clone of Danny for a son. She sided with her genetic donor and renounced Vlad as her father afterwards.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Lucius and Beezy's relationship has shades of this. Beezy wants his father to accept him for [[LazyBum who he is]], but Lucius most certainly does not. There is the occasional SoProudOfYou moment, but this show [[SadistShow being what it is]], it doesn't last long.
* Surprisingly, {{Superman}} in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' to Superboy, his clone. Superboy desperately craves some sort of attention and affection from Superman, who wants nothing to do with him and actively avoids him [[spoiler:until Superboy saves his life and the Justice League in the season one finale]].
** Subverted with Robin. While he does want Batman's acknowledge, he does not want to be ''the'' Batman since [[spoiler:he isn't able to pull off a GoodIsNotNice mindset in "Failsafe".]]
*** Batman himself averts this trope because he makes it clear to the Justice League in "Agendas" that he doesn't want Robin to be like him and took Robin in as a partner because he wanted to give Robin a chance to avenge the death of his parents. It's especially sad because as stated above, Robin feels that Batman wants him to take up his mantle.
---> '''Wonder Woman''': So he'd become just like you?
---> '''Batman''': So he wouldn't.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Norm the robot feels this way towards Doofenshmirtz, who created him. He wants to be acknowledged as his son, but Doof simply thinks of him as a servant.
** Which is nothing compared to Doof's feelings about his own AbusiveParents.
-->"So, what am ''I'' gonna do with the [[OutOfCharacterMoment Least-Likely-Inator]], you ask? Make my [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter daughter]] ''obey'' me, make my father ''love'' me? No, and double-no! Well, maybe later."
** To a minor degree, Django Brown wants to be an artist like his father, but feels his drawings can't be compared to his dad's work (who makes giant sculptures). His father didn't get to see the giant version of his drawing, but he does like the normal sized version.
* Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is this not toward her parents, but her mentor [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]]. She values being a good student and the idea of not being able to send a letter about what she's learned about friendship in time during [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero "Lesson Zero"]] is enough to give her [[SanitySlippage mental breakdown]]. She doesn't seem to understand that Celestia's approval isn't as conditional as she thinks it is. She also show signs of this towards her brother Shining Armor during the two-parter episode, [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E25ACanterlotWeddingPart1 "A Canterlot]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 Wedding"]].
** To a lesser degree, Sweetie Belle is this toward her older sister, Rarity.
** Scootaloo is revealed to be this to her idol, Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash hugs her and makes it feel all better.
* Ahsoka Tano from ''StarWarsTheCloneWars''. The only thing that genuinely worries her, is disappointing her master, Anakin. [[spoiler:Well was, until the Season 3 finale.]]
* Head dog catcher Lenard [=McLeish=] in the 2010 version of ''[[WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010 Pound Puppies]]''. His mother Agatha is extremely rich and lives in a mansion. Lenard... is not as successful. Whenever she visits, [=McLeish=] pines for some sort of affection from her, only to be denied every time.
* In the AnimatedAdaptation of ''Literature/{{Franklin}}'', Bear is sometimes this in trying to get his Mom's attention over his sister.
* Oddly enough, Starscream [[TheStarscream (yes, that one)]] has been suggested to have a certain level of this mixed in to his usual treacherous shenanigans in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. The character's as pathologically treacherous as ever, perhaps even more so because he doesn't suck at it quite as much as his previous incarnations, but there is the odd implication that he waffles on if being in command or just being acknowledged by anybody as worthy of respect is more important to him.
--> '''Agent Fowler''': He can't seem to decide if he wants Megatron's ''job'' or his ''approval''.
* There are several PJ-centered episodes of ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' that have this as a major part of the conflict. Over the course of the series, he has felt neglected and like a complete idiot when his father Pete favored his best friend, struggled with keeping the family business afloat and felt inadequate at doing so, been actively used as an unwitting spy when Pete pretended to have a change of heart and let him be on his team, worked himself much harder than he already was (which is saying ''a lot'') when he thought a new baby was going to get all the attention, and felt like a complete and utter failure for not being able to live up to Pete's unrealistic (and [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocritical]]) expectations. He is shown to be hurt in the first movie when Pete offers to give him a high-five and takes it back and in the sequel when Pete becomes impatient for him to move out. Pete ''deliberately'' exploits this the majority of the time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Dogstar}}'', all Dino really wants is his father's respect.
* In ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'', the Cereal Master's daddy issues are lampshaded, discussed, and resolved in less than five minutes. It's a, uh... [[WidgetSeries rather strange series.]]
* ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'': Commander Nebula is this for XR [[spoiler: and XR's predecessor XL]]. (Both see him as their father because he signed the work orders for their construction).
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries''. In the episode "Yesteryear" Spock wants to prove to his father Sarek that he is a true Vulcan by undergoing the Kahs-wan ordeal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The case of Alexander III and Nicholas II, the last two Tsars of Russia before the Russian Revolution put an end to the monarchy. Alexander had nothing but contempt for Nicholas, his son and heir, deriding him as weak and worthless and demeaning him to his face. He also did little in the way of actually preparing Nicholas for the heavy responsibility of ruling the Russian Empire, leaving the young man woefully unprepared for the job when Alexander died in 1894. Throughout his reign, Nicholas proved timid and indecisive, and lacked strong leadership and political skills. Nicholas was a devoted father and husband, and an all-around family man... but in large part thanks to his father, he simply wasn't cut out to be a king, and couldn't manage his own autocracy. Later Alex Kerensky took over, and, [[AndNowYouKnow well]]....
* Political commentary and biopics tend to paint UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush as suffering from this trope.
** This despite G.W. himself, his mother, and pretty much everyone else in the family stating in print and on video, in public and private, that George H.W. has never been less than a doting father whose children have always known they have his unstinting love and support.
* UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill's early life was driven by a desire to form a close relationship with his aloof and uninterested father, Lord Randolph; Churchill envisioned quickly getting to Parliament as the best means of being able to work closely together, father and son, a dream that was shattered when his father died young.
* Though exceptionally well-educated and provided for, as children [[UsefulNotes/MaryTudor Mary I]] and UsefulNotes/ElizabethI were desperate for attention and approval from their misogynistic father, UsefulNotes/HenryVIII, which had a lot to do with their respective styles of ruling and general personalities. That, and the way he treated their mothers (though this is judging him by [[ValuesDissonance modern, Anglospheric cultural standards]]; he was, according to some, [[FairForItsDay a pretty good fellow for his day]]).
* UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria, according to several biographers, had this type of relationship with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and the Duchess's [[EvilChancellor evil advisor]], Sir John Conroy. The only thing of value the Duchess "owned" was her daughter, the heiress presumptive to the throne, and in order to capitalize on the fact, they demanded that Victoria be ''perfect''. Nothing was ever good enough, which Victoria's diary entries show caused her a great deal of angst.
* Creator/SylviaPlath wrote in her journal about how she wanted her mother to love her. She realized that her writing would never be hers until she stopped writing for her mother's approval and started writing for herself.
* As Japan was tearing apart the film ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea'' by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki (who had a long-term rift with his son and was skeptical of his son's filmmaking abilities) unexpectedly came to its premiere. Then he wrote a note to his son. "It was made honestly. I liked it."
* Creator/HenryFonda was described by his famous children, [[Creator/JaneFonda Jane]] and Peter as cold and detached. Jane wrote in her autobiography that her father was more open to strangers than to her: "Often I run into people who describe finding themselves sitting next to him on transatlantic flights and go on about what an open person he was, how they drank and talked with him “for eight hours nonstop.” It makes me angry. I never talked to him for thirty minutes nonstop!"
* The traditional dynastic model for much of the Muslim world is that formulated by the fourteenth-century North African historiographer Ibn Khaldun, which assumes that dynasties are formed generally by the leader of some powerful nomadic people conquering a settled region and replacing the current rulers while leaving everything in place. It holds that the first generation is still savage, but very strong, the second generation is adapted to civilized living, and inherits his father's connections and vision, the third generation begins to be soft, arrogant, and insufficiently political, and from the fourth generation it's all downhill until the new conquerors come.
* [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204652904577191440888199840.html This]] ''Wall Street Journal'' piece argues that the last four presidents, including Obama, all have daddy issues: They either have a hero figure as their father and a privileged background or no relationship to their father at all: '''"No recent presidents can boast paternity that seems ordinary or normal, finding middle ground between the intense expectations of a powerful, prominent parent and the disasters of badly broken families with absent birth fathers."'' Makes you wonder if that explains their political decisions. Oh, and all 2012 candidates as well as many candidates from the previous elections (e.g. Al Gore, John [=McCain=]) also fell into this pattern ...
[[/folder]]

----

to:

** Indy's relationship with his own father, Henry Jones Sr., as shown in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''. Papa Jones always made Indy feel like, to use his own words, people who had been dead for centuries were more important to him than his own son. By the end of the adventure, however, Indy knows for sure just how much his dad loves him and how proud of him he is.
* Toyed with in ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember''. Austin is partially wrong in his assumptions about his father, Nigel- he does respect Austin, and loves him, but he spent Austin's childhood trying too hard to be Austin's best friend, when he should have been trying to be a father. He even sings a song about it: "[[DaddyDidntShow Daddy Wasn't There]]."
* Used straight in ''Film/TheKarateKid1984''. In this film, Mr. Miyagi is so well-developed as a father figure for Daniel that in the final scene, the thronging crowds or the trophy pale against the sight of the OldMaster's face, beaming with pride at his student's triumph.
* Faramir and Denethor in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movie trilogy, especially ''The Return of the King''. Even though Denethor clearly doesn't deserve his son's respect, it obviously breaks Faramir's heart when his father tells him he wishes he had died instead of his older brother Boromir. [[spoiler: Somewhat improved when he thinks his son is dead and proceeds to suffer an emotional breakdown...though still played rather dark as Faramir was clearly just unconscious, but he's too messed up to acknowledge this and tries to cremate himself and the "body" while Gondor is in the middle of an orcish invasion. Then played more nicely when Faramir opens his eyes and he is visibly shocked, but relieved, that his son really was okay (but catches fire and dies himself anyway). Still, Faramir seems more cheerful for the rest of the movie, perhaps partly knowing that his dad- while crazy and dead- in the end really did love him.]]
** This was visible in the books, too, but much less so, as Denethor was considerably less of a scumbag and more of a tragic figure whose pride allowed Sauron to destroy him.
** This is made even more pronounced in the extended editions of the film, with an extended scene in ''The Two Towers'' devoted to Faramir trying, and failing, to win his father's approval.
* In ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead'', all The Kid wants is the respect of his evil bastard father. As such, he enters a gunfighting competition, eventually facing his father down. The father tries to talk him out of the duel. [[spoiler:It doesn't work, and the father shoots him dead.]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Obi-Wan and Anakin share such a moment in ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', where Anakin expresses his anger over being allowed on the Jedi Council while not being advanced to being a Jedi Master. Obi-Wan expresses that his skill and talent is what got him on the Council in the first place, and not to be distraught over the disapproval of the other Jedi. Unfortunately, this doesn't help.
** ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' had a scene where Obi-Wan apologized Qui-Gon for criticizing his sometimes peculiar actions (taking Jar Jar with them and betting their ship on Anakin winning the Pod Race). Qui-Gon quickly praised Obi-Wan for his willingness to learn and told him he would someday become a greater Jedi than Qui-Gon himself ever was. The novelization added other moments where Qui-Gon was critical of Obi-Wan's callousness (making jokes during combat) and lack of foresight (forgetting to turn his lightsaber battery off before jumping into swamp water), as well as the fact that Qui-Gon was known for seeking the "will of the force" over the immediate issues.
* In ''Film/SonOfTheMask'', Loki, the [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse god of mischief]], is hunting down the Mask because his [[SadlyMythtaken dad]], Odin the All-Father, thinks it has caused too much trouble in the human world. Odin and Loki hate each other, but at the end of the movie, are taught AnAesop by the main character about the importance of getting along with your family.
* Spock gets one of these in ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' when Sarek admits he was wrong to disapprove of Spock's decision to join Starfleet.
* Emphasized in the Music/JohnnyCash biopic ''Film/WalkTheLine'', where it seems like every failure or achievement Johnny experiences, he challenges his father about it. This is a bit of Flanderization though, if you compare the source material ''The Man in Black''.
* Spoofed in ''Film/WalkHardTheDeweyCoxStory'', in which Dewey's father's response to anything his son does since accidentally cutting his brother in half with a machete is to growl "Wrong kid died!" [[spoiler:He ends up engaging in an attempt at OffingTheOffspring.]]
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/X2XMenUnited'':
*** Bobby Drake. As his visit to his parents shows.
*** One of Stryker's commands for Jason was "make me proud." In turn, Jason's illusory self can be heard whimpering, "He's going to be so mad at me!" when Storm disrupts his control of Xavier..
** In ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', Angel wanted to take the cure to please his father. [[spoiler:Later gets his respect by saving daddy from falling to death.]]
** In ''Film/TheWolverine'', [[spoiler:when Yashida's obsession with obtaining immortality nearly drove the company to bankruptcy, Shingen assured stockholders and investors to continue supporting them. Though trying to be a good son and hoping to be rewarded, he was still passed over Mariko to run the company.]]
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** There is a quasi-mother/son dynamic between M and Creator/PierceBrosnan's 007 (who is more of a ManChild than the other versions of the character). She frequently scolds him for one thing or another, yet there's an underlying affection between the two of them. In ''Film/{{GoldenEye}}'', they both share an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther moment after M delivers a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech to him. In ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'', Bond is somewhat mortified when he discovers that M knows about his past sexual encounters (almost like a naughty boy who has been caught by his stern mother), and he even tries to defend his promiscuous behaviour with, "That was a long time ago, M, ''before'' [Paris] was married." In ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', M mentions to Elektra that Bond is her best agent, but she'd never tell him that in person. In ''Film/DieAnotherDay'', Bond's delivery of "You burn me, and now you want my help" is petulant and resentful, and the hurt he feels towards M for not trusting him earlier is more personal than professional.
** The reboot of the franchise (''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' and ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'') subtly implies the same relationship. M is constantly berating Bond and, in the first movie, severely doubts his abilities while doubting his sanity in the second. However, in ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', he utters to himself while alone in his car, "I love you, too, M" after he receives forwarded documents from her office. In ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', Bond himself says that the BigBad tried to kill someone very close to him (the attempted murder of M at the beginning of the movie), to which Camille asks if it was his mother. Bond replies "She likes to think so." Then, at the very end of the movie, M tells Bond that they need him at MI6.
*** It becomes explicit in the third film of the reboot, ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''.
--->'''Raoul Silva''': She sent you here knowing you were not prepared, knowing you would likely die... Mommy was very bad.
--->[[spoiler:'''M''': [[SoProudOfYou At least I got one thing right...]] ''([[TearJerker dies, as Bond closes her eyes and weeps over her body]])'']]
* Linus Caldwell in the ''Film/OceansEleven'' trilogy: Danny hooks him in the first movie by promising that after this heist "dad'll be trading on his name"; in the second movie he's upset that [[spoiler:his mom helps to bust him out of prison and that his dad knows this, as he will never let Linus live it down]] and in the third movie he [[spoiler:''finally'' gets a part in on one of his dad's schemes after being doubted by him through the whole movie.]] Then again, it's pretty hard to outdo an experienced thief who's legitimate/cover job is [[spoiler:''an '''FBI''' agent''.]]
* In ''[[Film/TheThinMan The Thin Man Goes Home]]'', Detective Nick Charles seems to have a casual (almost indifferent) relationship with his critical father, Dr. Charles, who has never forgiven Nick for not going into the family business. Nick is obviously downhearted by the fact that the old man has never been proud of him, so his wife, Nora, schemes to shake up the neighborhood in hopes of uncovering a mystery that Nick can solve in front of his father, and so gain the praise he silently longs for.
* A female version is Casey Seeger from ''Film/AnOfficerAndAGentleman''. She pushes herself to be the Navy's first female aviator because she wants to win the approval of her father, who had wanted a son. She suffers a HeroicBSOD when DrillSergeantNasty Foley calls her out on it during training.
* The catalyst for the plot in ''Film/HotRod'' is that Rod has to earn the money for his stepfather's heart transplant so that he can defeat him in a fight in order to win the man's love and respect.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush is desperate for [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush "Poppy's"]] approval in ''Film/{{W}}'' (the political life was apparently meant for brother Jeb), and a nightmare shows how terrified W is:
-->'''Dream!Poppy:''' A hundred years it took to build up the Bush name ''and you single-handedly destroyed it!''
* In ''The Greatest Game Ever Played'', Francis Ouimet wants to prove to his disapproving coal-mining father that he's able to play and win the U.S. Open against all the upper-class golfers, even though he wouldn't get any money for winning since he's an amateur. Results in a major TearJerker when [[spoiler:Francis wins the U.S. Open and his father shows up in the crowd to wordlessly congratulate him]].
* In ''Film/{{Babe}}'', the relationship between Pig and his owner has shades of this. "That'll do, pig. That'll do."
* In ''Film/{{Amadeus}}'', Mozart felt tremendously guilty for living a life that his father disapproved of. Mozart's rival, Salieri, was able to use that guilt to "haunt" Mozart to death by dressing up in a costume his late father had worn and then goading him into composing a requiem mass (a mass which Salieri hoped to steal and take credit for).
* ''Film/BlankCheck'' has Preston seeking the approval from his capitalist father, who looks down upon him for not having a job. The kid is around ''ten years old''. His father does get the message, late in the movie, and Preston forgives him.
* Robert Fischer of ''Film/{{Inception}}'', giving him full woobie qualifications from the get-go. Made worse in that his father expressed his disappointment with his dying breath. Naturally, the plot relies on exploiting his Daddy-related insecurities mercilessly.
* In ''Film/EverAfter'' ("Literature/{{Cinderella}}" remade as a historical drama), Drew Barrymore played Danielle, who desperately tried to win the approval and love of her WickedStepmother, the Well Done Daughter Gal Rodmilla de Ghent, the only family she had left. After she destroys any hope of Danielle being with her prince, Rodmilla taunts her relentlessly until finally Danielle asks if she had ever loved her at all. De Ghent cruelly replied, [[KickTheDog "Who could love a pebble in their shoe?"]] before selling Danielle into slavery. The next time they meet, Danielle is betrothed to her PrinceCharming, while de Ghent and her equally nasty older daughter are [[HumiliationConga stripped of their status and forced to work as servants in the castle]]. Danielle happily announces at that point, "I want you to know, that after this moment I will forget you and never think of you again. But you, I am quite sure, will think of me every day for the rest of your life."
** The step-mother ''is'' given some rationale for her hatred/resentment of Danielle. As her beloved husband lay on his deathbed, he all but pushed her aside in favor of his daughter from his previous wife. You can see the hurt and pain on her face turn into anger and resentment for the little girl.
* In ''Film/{{Thor}}'', Loki's motive behind the villainous acts he committed [[spoiler:(bringing Laufey to Asgard to assassinate Odin, but then killing him to make it look as if he had saved Odin)]] was solely to gain his father's pride and affection. Tragically, Odin was already very proud of his son, although he was dreadful at communicating this fact.
-->'''Loki:''' I never wanted the throne! I only ever wanted to be your (Thor's) equal!
* George V to his sons in ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'', being a bit of a JerkAss towards his own children when they were young. However, unlike most instances of this case, he does approve of the adult Albert (though still frustrated by his speech problems), much more than his oldest son. In real life, he expressed preference for Albert and ''his nine year old granddaughter Elizabeth'' over Edward for the throne near the end of his life.
* ''Film/OctoberSky'' has Homer Hickam, who does want his father's approval, and his mounting frustration when his father fails to see the worth of his achievements [[spoiler:until the last rocket is launched. He also earns it when he goes to work in the mine to support the family, but loses it when he quits.]]
* Billy in ''Film/{{Buffalo 66}}'' hates both of his parents but still thrives to impress them, going so far as to kidnap a beautiful woman so he can pretend she's his wife.
* In ''Film/TheGuardian'', rescue swimmer trainee keeps trying to earn the respect of the class instructor, Ben Randall.
* ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'' -- the title character's father, being from a long line of miners, doesn't know what to make of Derek's job as a male model at first, but once Derek unveils the ultimate look "Magnum", he's more than proud to tell everyone "that's my son!"
* In ''[[Film/{{Pusher}} Pusher 2]]'', Tonny's motivation for most of the film is to make his father proud of him. [[spoiler:It doesn't happen.]]
* [[Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra Storm]] [[Film/GIJoeRetaliation Shadow]] was this as a boy.
* Explored in ''Film/IronMan2'', as Tony has some shades of this. [[spoiler:[[SoProudOfYou He finally gets his "well done" from Howard in the video he left behind]]...even as he begins to realize just how brilliant his dad was.]]
* A large chunk of the plot in ''Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins'' is that successful TV talk show host Roscoe (Martin Lawrence), TheUnfavorite, still can't get his father (James Earl Jones) - or anyone in his family except for his mother - to recognize and/or congratulate him for his accomplishments while still showering love and praise on his cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) for his car dealerships.
* Role reversed in the 2007 remake of ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma'' in which Dan Evans (Christian Bale) desperately wants to earn the love and respect of his bratty, ungrateful son William (Logan Lerman), thus inspiring him to take criminal Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the train that will take him to prison (which will also provide him with some extra cash as a reward).
* In ''Film/MrBrooks'', Tracy Atwood inherited millions, but is still devoted to her career as a hard-working homicide detective, all because her father was very disappointed that she was born a girl, and he let her know it, so she has spent her whole life trying to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/InAWorld...'': Carol is this to father Sam Soto, a StrawMisogynist who feels there is no market for female voice-over in movie trailers. At least part of her drive to say [[InAWorld the titular phrase]] in a professional movie trailer is to prove him wrong.
* ''Film/TheGreenHornetSerials'': Britt Reid starts out with this motivation -- he and Kato build the [[CoolCar super-car that will become the Black Beauty]] simply to show Britt's dad that Britt isn't just a playboy. This vanishes as soon as he adopts the role of the Hornet. (Dad probably would have been happy with his son taking an active role running " The Sentinel", which also happens at that time.)
* ''Film/TroubleWithTheCurve'': Mickey has spent her life trying to prove herself to her father due to a lingering fear that he left her because she wasn't good enough for him.
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', Eggsy soon wants to prove himself to Galahad by passing the Kingsmen candidacy.
* In ''Film/AntMan'', Darren Cross sees himself as Hank's surrogate son, and is motivated by a desire to prove to Hank that he's better than him after years of being pushed aside.
* ''Film/{{Kenau}}'': Don Fadrique, the commander of the Spanish forces besieging Haarlem, visibly turns into a little boy when his father General Alba makes an unexpected visit to berate him for failing to subdue the city.
* In ''Film/TheJungleBook2016''', Mowgli wants Bagheera's approval of him using human tools to survive among the wolves. But Bagheera's stern attitude and disapproval of these "tricks", wanting to keep things between Man and the jungle separated to the point of near dogmatism, puts a bit of strain on their relationship. Fortunately, Bagheera does learn to appreciate these "tricks" after Mowgli saves an elephant calf with these tools and even encourages him to use these tools during the final battle with Shere Khan.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Neville Longbottom from ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Throughout the series Neville is the ButtMonkey, the lamest, most pathetic wizard in existence. All he wants is to live up to his parents' legacy, and it's mentioned how his grandmother was so ashamed of his clumsiness. Then after his actions in both The Battle at the Ministry, and in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', his grandma finally tells him how proud she is of him, and how he's just like his parents.
** Also, to some extent, Ron Weasley. He's always been [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed by his brothers]] and simply wants to be set apart, and earn the recognition of his parents. However, the Weasley family is an extremely loving one, so while he doesn't necessarily feel "special" in their eyes, he does know that he's loved.
** Also Draco Malfoy, although more so in the films than in the books. Draco obviously worships his father and is constantly trying to live up to his considerable reputation.
** Barty Crouch, Jr. It eventually led him to join [[BigBad Voldemort]].
* Variation: In OrsonScottCard's ''{{Homecoming}}'' series, protagonist Nafai longs for the love and approval of his eldest brother, Elemak. He ''knows'' this isn't very rational, as Elemak is an openly bullying JerkAss who sees Nafai as a useless mama's boy responsible for ruining his life, and would happily crush his head with a rock.
* Odile in Creator/MercedesLackey's retelling of ''Swan Lake'' (''Literature/TheBlackSwan'') is one of these. When she finally realizes Baron von Rothbart is only using her for her magical potential, she turns on him.
** In the ''Last Herald-Mage'' trilogy of The ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'', Vanyel gets a great helping of this, as a great deal of his life is spent in trying to [[ChronicHeroSyndrome be heroic enough]] to get his father to accept him as a person, thanks to his "flaw" of being gay.
** Lena Marchand is a female example, desperate for her father's approval. It doesn't help that Master Bard Tobias Marchand is an egotistical JerkAss who doesn't even recognize Lena when they accidentally run into each other at the beginning of ''Intrigues''.
** Princess Andromeda spends most of ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheFiveHundredKingdoms One Good Knight]]'' as a Well Done Daughter Girl. As it turns out (and as anyone with a passing knowledge of mythology will know), Queen Cassiopeia is ''not'' a nice person.
** Silverblade, Tadrith, and Keenath (from ''The Silver Gryphon'') are all examples in different ways. Tadrith is frustrated with the default "he's almost as good at X as Skandranon" "compliments" he gets from everyone, and wants his father to see him as an independent gryphon. Keenath loves Skan, but knows he has nothing in common with his father. Silverblade is simply convinced that Amberdrake will never be able to accept Blade's chosen life-path.
** Subverted in ''Winds of Fate'' with Darkwind and his father. In his youth, Darkwind was close to his parents. But when the Heartstone was sabotaged, and Darkwind's mother died, his father turned against him. [[spoiler:It turns out that Darkwind's father is Mind Controlled by the Big Bad and is deliberately trying to drive his son away to protect him, in the only way he can. When the spell is broken, Darkwind is amazed at the change in his personality and wonders how he could have failed to notice.]]
* Tywin Lannister plays this role in George R.R. Martin's ''ASongOfIceAndFire''; the desire to please him pushes Tyrion and Jaime, though neither would admit it. As is typical of the series, Tywin never provides validation, especially for Tyrion. Well, not the ''typical'' form of validation. [[spoiler:This leads to him contracting an unfortunate fatal case of crossbow-bolt-through-bowels [[KarmicDeath at the hands of, naturally, his son Tyrion]].]] Even after that, it serves to motivate Jaime, to the point that one aunt has to point out to him that Tyrion is much more Tywin-esque than Jaime.
** It seems to drive [[SmugSnake Cersei]] (to a lesser extent) as well, although she flip flops between [[DaddysGirl wanting to make him proud]] and wanting to become so much greater than him that he would only be remembered as her father, [[NeverASelfMadeWoman instead of the other way around.]]
** Theon Greyjoy seems to have a case of this towards his father Balon. His feelings toward Ned Stark are even more conflicted, which is unsurprising given Theon's dual role of hostage/ward. He at times finds himself wondering what Stark would say to some particular deed and then becomes angry with himself for caring.
** In a ''very'' twisted sense, Joffrey Baratheon is like this towards Robert, irritating Tywin immensely as he had been given to understand Joffrey did not care for Robert and is pissed the little brat shows some pride at being a Baratheon rather than a Lannister. Which is ironic, considering he's ''all'' Lannister-he's actually the result of BrotherSisterIncest between his mother and her brother.
** [[KnightInSourArmor Jon Snow]] seems to greatly desire [[TheStoic Eddard Stark's]] approval, to the point that he has a few dreams about being [[SoProudOfYou accepted as a true Stark]] and given the rights to Winterfell. He suffers a lot of guilt over that last part though, given [[HeroicBastard his status]]. [[spoiler:While Ned did love and respect him and wanted to tell him so, [[OffWithHisHead Joffrey's interference]] meant he would never get the chance. Made more complex by recent hints that Ned [[SecretLegacy might not actually be Jon's father at all.]] ]]
** Also the Martell children. [[TheChessmaster Doran's]] apparent ambivalence towards his daughter Arianne is a source of great grief to her, and though it isn't made explicit, her younger brother [[CruelAndUnusualDeath Quentyn's]] [[TooDumbToLive actions]] indicate that he too is searching for his father's approval.
** LovableCoward Samwell Tarly spends an undue amount of time thinking if any of his actions will wind up netting him some small measure of approval from his father Randyll, who believes ARealManIsAKiller and is ''deeply'' disappointed Sam isn't.
* In Creator/GrahamMcNeill's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''Fulgrim'', when Horus tells Fulgrim that the Emperor intends to become a god and dispose of them, Fulgrim speaks of how he has longed for his love and respect.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/WarOfTheDreaming Mists of Everness]],'' there are not one but two examples in the same family. [[HandicappedBadass Peter]] regarding his father's AncientTradition; Peter's son [[KidHero Galen]] regarding his [[IJustWantToBeNormal father]].
* In Steve Perry's ''[[Literature/MatadorSeries Black Steel]]'', it's revealed that the brash revolutionary Sleel is the son of the two most famous botanists alive - who are both {{Absent Minded Professor}}s who care only about their work. Sleel's father in particular is very dismissive of everything his son has ever achieved, since it doesn't involve botany or genetic engineering. Sleel has known all this from childhood, but can't help trying to get their acknowledgment and approval when visiting them during the course of the book.
* In Creator/JamesSwallow's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''The Flight of the Eisenstein'', the captain of the Eisenstein comments on how the Astartes strive to be independent of the Emperor as if he were their father -- and yet crave his approval.
** Prior to the storyline Captain Nathaniel Garro had craved validation from Mortarion but finds himself moving away from his primarch's ideals at the time the book starts and Solun Decius is desperate to live up to Garro's expectations [[spoiler: despite the cancer from hell (pun intended) infecting his body]]. By extension this trope probably applies to most of the Deathguard, considering that those who sided with Mortarion are known for worshipping ''Father'' Nurgle.
* In the third ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' book, Damien Howe, grandson of the founder of the Fantasia Corporation, seems to have been seeking his grandfather’s approval in vain all his life (or at least since his mother’s premature death). [[spoiler: In the end, it drives him to bring about the destruction of Fantasia.]]
* Jochi in the ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books is constantly trying to gain some small measure of the respect his father, Genghis Khan, [[ParentalFavoritism showers on his younger brothers]]. No matter how successful as a warrior and general Jochi is, he never gets more than a reluctant, grunting acknowledgement that he's done something right.
* A couple in ''Literature/WarriorCats'':
** Breezepelt. The ironic thing is, [[AbusiveParents Crowfeather]] only had Breezepelt so his Clanmates would accept ''him''.
** Bluestar, whose father Stormtail was just distant from his kits.
** Crookedstar. His mother Rainflower doted on him and his brother, but when he broke his jaw as a kit ruining his "handsome" appearance, [[AbusiveParents she became outright abusive]], rarely visiting him in the medicine cat's den and refusing to let the other kits visit him to keep his spirits up, renaming him from Stormkit to Crookedkit, making him sleep alone in the nursery, and frequently saying that he would never be as good as his brother. One of his goals in life was to make her proud of him.
** Tallstar, whose father wants him to be a tunneler like him. When he gets chosen to be a moor-runner, Sandgorse starts ignoring him in his worst moods or trying to get him to be like him in his best moods. So Tallstar wants to be a tunneler like him so that he could be proud of him.
** Thunder, who grew up [[spoiler: without a mother, due to her dying.]] To make things worse, his father [[spoiler: Clear Sky]] was becoming increasingly unhinged and violent, and refused to take care of him. When they meet, Thunder is fascinated and wants nothing more than to impress him. However, [[AbusiveParents his father tries to emotionally manipulate Thunder,]] and... [[spoiler: it works for some time, but Thunder eventually realizes what's going on, and they become enemies.]]
* In Simon Spurrier's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/NightLords novel ''Lord of the Night'', Sahaal remembers how the Night Haunter had been this, and the Emperor had treated him with contempt. Thus justifying, in the Night Haunter's eyes and Sahaal's own, his revolt against the Emperor.
* The title character Adeline from ''Chinese Cinderella'' is this trope cranked UpToEleven. She constantly tries to get approval from everyone in the household. Feeling honored to play with her siblings, anyone?
* Jeb's son Ari becomes this in ''Literature/SchoolsOutForever'', hanging out with the copycat Max to make Jeb mad, and also coming up with a plan to take Max for his own. The plan eventually gets Jeb to notice him, which makes him happy enough to go out and steal a Game Boy. So...
* Plenty of the demigods in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' long for their god parent to acknowledge them. Especially Percy. Grover even says it when he tried to deny it.
-->''You're glad that your dad is alive. You feel good that he's claimed you and part of you wants to make him proud. That's why you mailed Medusa's head to Olympus. You want him to notice what you'd done.''
** Luke took this even more seriously. Many children of Hermes tend to feel very ignored, considering they get put with all 'the others', meaning those who aren't claimed. Furthermore, Hermes [[spoiler: accidentally caused Luke's mother's mental deterioration and left the boy to be raised by her.]] Eventually Luke became so bitter that he changed sides and tried to take down the gods. Although eventually he had a last minute change of heart and [[RedemptionEqualsDeath sacrificed himself]] it shows just what an effect this trope can have. Percy even makes it a rule that all gods and goddesses must claim their children so that less of this kind of thing will happen. Considering that in this series, Winston Churchill was the son of Poseidon, it means he got a double-dose: both his biological father, ''and'' his step-father, as seen below.
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', Miles Vorkosigan started out an odd variant of this. It is not so much his father Aral's feelings of contempt or disapproval that he strives against as his feelings of guilt (Aral blames himself for the sequence of events that led to his son's prenatal poisoning and resultant physical disabilities). Miles's grandfather Piotr has enough disapproval for both Aral and Miles to go around. If he didn't Aral and Piotr are such towering giants of Barayaran history Miles nearly kills himself trying to measure up.
* The title character of the Donald Barthelme novel ''The Dead Father'' is this in spades.
* Inverted in one of the two third Literature/RedDwarf novels (it's confusing), ''Last Human''. Arnold Rimmer is understandably dejected when his [[spoiler:long lost son has been sorely disappointed to learn that the heroic feats of his father were a fiction invented by his mother and that the reality is that his father is a sniveling coward. Then, in the end, Rimmer performs an incredibly brave (if a bit reckless) feat; even though he kind of screws up the execution (though it does accomplish the intended end) his son, looking on, is incredibly proud of the act. Seeing his son beaming with pride, Rimmer is finally freed of the neurosis that have plagued his entire existence which ultimately leads to him selflessly volunteering for a HeroicSacrifice]].
* In ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'', despite knowing her mother loves her, Aly feels that her mother doesn't understand her and underestimates her abilities. In one of her dreams where she can see what her mother is doing, she realizes that Alanna does understand and trust Aly and knows she has the talents to survive.
* There's a bit of an inversion in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. After he dies, Anakin Skywalker becomes a Force ghost. He appears briefly to Luke in ''ReturnOfTheJedi'' but says nothing; a hundred twenty years later, in StarWarsLegacy, he speaks to a {{wangst}}y descendent, but in the meantime he's only been written speaking to one person - [[Literature/TheTruceAtBakura Leia]]. He wants to apologize to her, tell her how proud he is of her, and be forgiven. However, she is furious and ''horrified'' at the sight of him, doesn't want to know that any part of him survived, still considers Bail to be her real father, and doesn't believe that [[KarmaHoudini redemption equaled death at all]]. Even after he fades out she's angry and deeply disturbed; by the end of the book she hasn't changed her mind, but decides that if he wants to be proud of her, fine.
** Later in the EU she doesn't quite forgive him, but she does come to terms with who he was; she names her third child "Anakin" (who, for his part, was not too happy for being saddled with such a name, but it sort of helped keep him from the Dark Side).
* One could also say that Heather Acosta from the ''Literature/SammyKeyes'' books qualifies. Heather's relationship with her mother and father is a far cry from what Sammy has with her grandmother. Her mom seems to be going through some sort of mid-life crisis and her father admitted that he'd want a retraining order against her. The fact the Casey seems to be their father's favorite has led to some problems (among other things) between the siblings. It's been hinted in the series that this maybe the reason why Heather act's out -- to gain attention.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': As noted in the Film category, Faramir was TheUnfavorite, though he fared better than his movie counterpart.
* Will in ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' grew up never knowing his father, and states outright in ''The Subtle Knife'' that he wants to find his father so that he can hear the words "Well done, son." When they finally do meet, [[spoiler: his father is killed within seconds of Will realizing it's him.]] However, [[spoiler: Will finally gets his wish in the third book when he meets his father in ghost-form.]]
** Also Lyra, who is extremely annoyed at having saved Lord Asriel by warning him about the wine and bringing him the alethiometer and he didn't even thank her. Things go straight to hell shortly after the latter event, though, and any desire she has for his approval [[spoiler:evaporates at that point]].
* Michael in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' struggles in the first book to try and stave off his father's disapproval for the life he chose. When his father [[spoiler:has him marked as an unredeemable criminal]] to try and force a 'better' life on him in the second book he claims that he's stopped caring, but in the third book when trying to escape death one of the things that unlocks his 'needs' driven magic is his desire to prove to his father that he can make it.
* The relationship dynamic between Chris and his father in ''Literature/ThePaleKing''. Chris is fully aware of how disappointed his father is of him, but is usually too stoned or selfish to care. It's not until [[spoiler: his father dies]] that Chris feels guilty enough to change his life.
** This is made depressingly clear when the father comes home early to find Chris and his buddies in his living room, high out of their minds, surrounded by discarded Taco Bell wrappers, and their feet resting lazily on one his prized pieces of furniture. The father doesn't yell; he simply says, ''Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'', walks into his bedroom and shuts the door.
* Will from ''Literature/RangersApprentice'' grew up an orphan; his father-figure is Halt, his mentor. Gaining Halt's approval means more to Will than anything - even just a small smile from Halt means more to Will than any amount of praise his friends and his king laud on him.
* ''Literature/TimeScout'':
** Margo wants to be a time scout to rub it in her dying father's face.
** Skeeter also fits this trope. When he says "My father made me the man I am today." he means it as the absolute truth. He just don't know which father. One he hates, the other he loves and fears.
* In ''EastOfEden'', Cyrus Trask is this to his son Charles, who's TheUnfavorite. Thanks to GenerationXerox, his brother Adam becomes this to his own eldest son, Cal.
* In ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'', Charlie senselessly pursues ''both'' his parents after he becomes a genius, hoping that they'll be impressed by his newfound intelligence and finally acknowledge him. He's ashamed of this, but it's deeply embedded in his personality, since he always thought that his parents would love him if he became "smart". [[spoiler: In the end, he was unable to reveal his identity to his father, his mother was too senile to appreciate it, and he ended up losing his intelligence anyway. At least his sister was proud of him.]]
* Lt Armstrong from ''Literature/PhulesCompany'' is revealed to have been that. By the start of the series his father is long dead and it's clear to Armstrong that the approval never was an option, but he's already so set in his by-the-book ways that he has long become a caricature of an officer. [[ReassignedToAntarctica He ends up in The Omega Company]].
%% * In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'' Jace spent most of his life being this - until he found out who his father really was. And even then....
* David Rain from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]] around [[ParentalSubstitute Liz]], usually.
* Orrec in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Gifts]]'' is eager to please his father as a young child, but grows more restive as he gets older and the Caspro gift continually fails to manifest--which is bad news since you need the gift to be a brantor. He grows increasingly desperate until he's struck with PowerIncontinence.
* ''Literature/KindlingAshes'': Corran's every action is driven by his desire to prove to father that he is his father's son and become a dragonslayer. [[spoiler: His father disowning him drives him over the DespairEventHorizon.]]
* In the ''Literature/SabinaKane'' series Sabina's main motivation for most of her life has been to earn at least the ''respect'' of her grandmother Lavinia, the ruler of all vampires and her only living family member. [[spoiler:By the end of the first book she's determined that not only does her grandmother not give half a hump whether she lives or dies, but that the Dominae in general is not worthy of her respect either.]]
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', Alex. More toward his mother than his father. [[spoiler:He has to get over it.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Relativity}},'' Ravenswood is an alcoholic and a failure for most of his life. When he climbs out of it and becomes a successful coffee-shop owner, his father is still unimpressed. Unfortunately, he can't tell his father anything about his really impressive accomplishments, because he needs to keep his superhero identity secret.
* In ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'', vaillainous count Falk is one of the finest warriors of the Empire, yet has something of a masochistic relationship with his mother. He despises her, yet craves her approval; he desperately wants her to appreciate his accomplishments, yet knows it will never happen; he tries anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr.'': Brisco gets his "Well Done, Son!" moment after an encounter with the ghost of his father (who was murdered in the first episode of the series).
* ''Series/AgainstTheWall'': Has both Donnie and Abby searching for ways to gain their father's approval and pride during different parts of the show. Abby in particular has strained relationship with her senior uniform-cop father since joining the InternalAffairs division as a detective.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** Wesley goes through the same rigamarole with what turns out to be his father's [[EvilTwin Evil Imposter]]. But the impersonation was perfect, because Wesley's real father ''is'' that bad both as a father and as a ruthless bastard. It was previously mentioned that he locked Wesley under the stairs. And let's not forget their phone conversation in ''Angel'' season 2; Wes calls up his dad, hoping for his approval now that he's become the leader of Angel Investigations, but dear ol' Dad only cares about when, what, and how he'll screw up next.
** Angel himself clearly feels this about his strict father. One of the first things he did after becoming a vampire was kill him, thinking that would prove who had the real power. Darla pointed out that now he would ''never'' be able to approve of him.
** Angelus later sired an enthusiastic but unimaginative protege named Penn who re-enacted the murder of his family over the centuries over the issue.
** In a deliberate parallel to Angel, Kate Lockley is implied to have had a strained relationship with her father. While not a cruel man, her father never showed her any approval or affection after her mother died -- Kate recalls that as a child, she found more parental affection in the mother of one of girlfriends. Her father never even told her "a beautiful lie" (ie: Heaven) to comfort her after her mother's death. It's implied that she became a policewoman to follow in his footsteps, but rarely received more than curt acknowledgement from him.
*** The Sensitivity Training Guy with his magic stick causes her to have a breakdown and express her feelings about this at his retirement party. He finds this deeply embarrassing and files it under 'We Shall Never Speak Of This Again.' Later he dies without ever having formally approved of her. This is not in the least Angel's fault, for once, but it involves vampires and puts the final nail in the coffin of his friendship with Kate until After The Fall.
*** The former episode throws in a weird perspective on Angel's issues re: this trope. This is before the flashback, but Sensitivity Training Guy says "tell me about your parents" and ''Angel'' snarls "They were delicious." Sounds like the kind of smack he talks when trying to scare bad guys and actually seems to lower the probability that he killed them, but then it turns out he ''did'', and can make ''jokes'' about it. Sick puppy even at his best.
** Connor with Holtz, not Angel.
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'':
** Used almost straight, in which Michael is constantly trying to get his father--who tried to "toughen him up" by shouting down ''all'' his ideas--to recognize his accomplishments, while GOB is sick of being in Michael's shadow. Michael gets his father's approval (although it would have been a more touching moment if he weren't on the lam); GOB doesn't and doesn't deserve to.
** Michael is so busy trying to save the company and get his father's approval he doesn't notice his own son's attempts to gain his approval.
** With Tobias so focused on his acting dream and Lindsay being a SpoiledBrat, plus the two mostly concerned about their own rocky relationship, they can be seen as this to Maeby.
* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', Elijah learns the auction business at his dad's request. Jon also tends towards this, but not towards his dad, but rather Paul.
* ''Series/{{Batman}}'': Legs in "The Greatest Mother of them All"/"Ma Parker."
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Flashbacks in the finale revealed that Dr. Gaius Baltar, resident narcissistic genius, not only tried to overcome his shame of having been born on a farm planet as son of a farmer, but had taken his old senile father with him to Caprica and secretly visited him every day, desperately trying to please the cranky old man.
** The show also features the less common mother-daughter variant of this trope, when Kara Thrace goes to see her mother [[spoiler: after earning her commission as a Colonial officer - the first in her family to do so - only to be berated for not graduating higher in her class]]. The fact that her mother was frequently abusive during her childhood in the belief that Kara had a [[BecauseDestinySaysSo "special destiny"]] means their relationship was already....''strained''.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** Leonard wants his mother's (near impossible to receive) approval and affection. He's not at all helped in this area by the fact she's more likely to thank his roommate for picking her from the airport when Leonard is the one driving and she views Leonard's (actually very complex) work as the embodiment of laziness and ripping off others (he works in designing experiments to test theories and validating experiments). To a lesser extent, Penny has some Daddy approval issues, feeling the need to lie to him about still dating Leonard (the only one of hers boyfriends he's ever approved of) and feels like he less accepting of her because she's not a boy and rejects a lot of the tomboy activities she was involved with as a child. Although it's implied that she over blows it a bit and compared to her siblings (who from what we know from mentioned [[NoodleIncident noodle incidents]] include a brother that makes meth and a sister that once shot her husband) she might just be the golden girl of the family.
** It also does not help that Leonard's mother is a DistaffCounterpart of [[InsufferableGenius Sheldon]], making any form of emotional reciprocation practically impossible or done in a way that Leonard did not expect.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'': Frankie Stecchino. One episode even revolved around him faking a love of wrestling just to bond with his father.
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': Though they're only father and son on a more symbolic level, [[VillainProtagonist Walt]] can be this for Jesse. He has complimented Jesse all of once, and that was to say that his meth is as good as Walt's. It was enough to get Jesse to partner up with him again. Basically, anytime Walter compliments Jesse, especially in later seasons, it's nothing more than a [[ManipulativeBastard manipulation tactic]] to keep Jesse on his side.
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': Amy Santiago has an obsessive need for approval from Captain Holt, which is often [[PlayedForLaughs played for laughs]] as she goes to great lengths to impress him.
* ''Series/TheCloser'': Whenever Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson delivers a rare compliment, whichever member of PHD is being complimented lights up like a supernova.
* ''Series/TheColbertReport'':
** Stephen Colbert makes occasional vague references such as "the fathers we can never seem to please." His need for paternal approval appears to have been mostly displaced onto substitutes such as "Papa Bear" BillOReilly.
** Ironic since Colbert fears and hates bears -- a hint at the [[AlterEgoActing actor's]] real opinion of Bill.
* ''Series/CombatHospital'': Has trauma surgeon Major Rebecca Gordon, who accuses ''herself'' of daddy issues in a group therapy session.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** Pierce Hawthorne is shown to have behavioral issues due to never receiving acceptance from his father.
** Jeff, too, has several trust issues stemming from his DisappearedDad.
* Will had this with his father to the point that an originally CrowningMomentOfAwesome scene in ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' drove him to break down and deliver [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgkqTFasfmA this]] CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming between him and Uncle Phil.
* ''Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart'': One segment of "Even Steven" concerning the Elián González debacle dealt with Steve Carell's daddy issues. In a weird reversal, considering the aforementioned ''[[Series/TheColbertReport Colbert Report]]'' example, Stephen Colbert roleplayed as Carell's father.
** And in ''Series/TheDailyShowWithTrevorNoah'', Ronny Cheng has... a number of issues that come to light in a segment on Virtual Reality.
--->'''Trevor''': Oh man, Ronnie, it sounds like nothing's good enough for you, man.\\
'''Ronny''': Yeah, I know. Now I know how my dad feels, am I right? (''Forced laughter'')
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'':
** Debra Morgan had this kind of relationship with her father Harry, even following in his footsteps as a cop to gain his attention. It's not that he wasn't proud of her, but honing her brother Dexter's [[SerialKillerKiller extra-curricular activities]] (to which Deb wasn't invited for obvious reasons) meant that he couldn't spend as much time with his daughter.
** Likewise with [[spoiler:Christine Hill]], the daughter of [[spoiler:Arthur Mitchell/Trinity]]. She even killed [[spoiler:Frank Lundy]] to gain her father's approval. After she accidentally put him at risk of being discovered, he disowns her. [[DrivenToSuicide She doesn't take it well]].
** Dexter, too. Everything was to live up to Harry's expectations. When he realizes that a) Harry was using him as an outlet for his own vigilante impulses and b) Harry was deeply revolted by what he'd made him into, to the point of suicide, he...takes it pretty hard.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Rory seemed to have a mild case of this with his father Brian Williams, as seen in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship". While Brian clearly loved his son, their banter during the episode implied that Brian thought Rory wasn't "manly" enough (didn't carry a trowel in his pockets, was a professional nurse). He also implied that Amy was a better wife than Rory deserved. During the course of the episode, as Brian is accidentally whisked along into one of his son's adventures with the Doctor, he starts to respect Rory more.
* The ''Series/DropTheDeadDonkey'' episode "The Day of the Mum" featured Damian's mother, along with home movies of his childhood. It quickly becomes apparent that his FreudianExcuse for being a {{Jerkass}} obsessed with fame is getting ''some'' kind of acknowledgement from a woman whose CatchPhrase is "Ignore him, he's just doing it to get attention."
* ''Series/{{Elementary}}'': Played with in the case of Joan Watson and her mother. She shows hints of this which Sherlock is quick to point out she's dressing for a job interview rather than a brunch with her mother. Subverted in that Joan's mother isn't criticizing her current job occupation because it's not as respectable as a surgeon but because it doesn't make Joan happy. Joan's mother is actually glad that Joan is working with Sherlock because this ''does'' make her happy.
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': The relationship between Frasier, Niles and Martin has echoes of this; much of Frasier and Niles' SiblingRivalry exists as a result of their attempts to gain Martin's favour, which given the near-insurmountable differences in taste and personality between father and sons to begin with, was a difficult task in itself.
* There are a couple in ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** It's implied that Sam Tarly had this relationship with his father Randyll, [[spoiler:at least before he threatened to kill him if he didn't renounce being his heir and join the Night's Watch]].
** Robert Baratheon to Joffrey, [[spoiler:despite, of course, unknowingly not being his biological father.]]
** Balon Greyjoy to Theon.
** Tywin Lannister to both Jaime and Cersei, although [[spoiler:Jaime gets over it by the time Tywin presides over a [[KangarooCourt sham trial]] of Tyrion for Joffrey's murder.]]
** Roose Bolton to his BastardBastard Ramsay Snow, before [[spoiler:eventually giving him a "Well Done, Son!" moment by having him legitimized as Ramsay Bolton.]]
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': Variation: Lorelai has long since resigned herself to never earning the respect of her MeddlingParents, though she's pleasantly surprised to finally get it from her father after she helps him set up his new business. In a total reversal, though, she's actually ''[[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame horrified]]'' whenever she earns the respect of her mother.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Kurt, especially in "Preggers" and "Laryngitis."
** Blaine too. In "Sexy", he mentions to Kurt's father (who at this point has a healthy, supportive, relationship with his son) that he isn't exactly close with his father, and that he felt the reason his father once had him help rebuild a car was because his father thought it would make him straight.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'': Chuck Bass.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** Both Mohinder Suresh and Elle Bishop have seeking the approval of their fathers as their driving motivation. Mohinder is try to prove the theories of his deceased father, while Elle's father sends her out to kill people for him.
** For all of his wacky murderous brain-stealing shenanigans, it seems all Sylar really wanted from life was the approval of his parents. Then again Sylar has a ''lot'' of problems, obviously. So he could have either mommy issues, daddy issues, neither, or both. Though in the past few episodes he has apparently developed his dead mother's personality, going so far as to shapeshift into her (and use her voice) when he's talking to ''himself''. Clever camera angles make this hard to determine but when he's with another character [[spoiler: Michah]] the camera shows him change back and forth. Creeeeeepy.
** Mohinder and Sylar twitted one another about their daddy issues back in season two. Specifically vis-a-vis Chandra Suresh, whom Sylar had temporarily adopted as a surrogate father figure.
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** In the episode "Son of Coma Guy", House reveals that all he wanted to hear from his abusive, non-biological father were the words, "You were right. You did the right thing."
** Additionally, Chase fulfills the trope to the extent that a UK advertising campaign for the show used "What price approval?" as his tagline. In typical Housian fashion, he finally got it as he was being fired.
*** Chase had issues with his own biological father, who left him when he was a kid and never voiced any approval of him. He did not even tell Chase he was dying of cancer, and it is speculated this caused Chase's need to get approval from House at any cost.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'':
** When his parents were coming to the House, Alfie was desperate to make them think he was smart and important, even pretending to be the nonexistent "head of house". [[WhyAreYouNotMySon Unfortunately, his dad and Jerome hit it off, leaving Alfie with none of the spotlight or praise.]]
** Victor is a tragic, but then heartwarming, example, and this serves as a bit of a FreudianExcuse. His father [[AbusiveParents was cold and unloving, forcing him to betray his own best friend Sarah Frobisher-Smythe in order for him to get the Cup of Ankh and the elixir of life recipe.]] Victor spent his adulthood trying to fulfill his father's goal, and reacted very defensively to any criticisms about him as well. His father, at this point, was long dead. When Nina met his father's ghost and managed to make an ally of him, his father eventually told Nina to pass along the message, along with a ring [[spoiler:containing the final tear of gold that Victor had been trying to acquire the entire season.]]
---> '''Victor Rodenmaar Senior''': Tell my worthless son...I'm sorry. And that I was the worthless one after all.
** Eddie also seems to be an example. Despite initially rejecting and despising Mr. Sweet for abandoning him years ago without reason or contact, when they start trying to be father and son, it was revealed that Eddie used to write him letters, and it seemed the main reason he was so angry was because he was under the impression that he was never wanted at all. [[WellDoneDadGuy Mr. Sweet also seems to have been desperate for his respect as well.]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** It was revealed that the six words Robin wants to hear her dad say are "Robin, I'm proud of you, [[CanadaEh eh]]."
** This is a huge issue of Barney's, as multiple episodes show, most notably "Showdown" and "Cleaning House", and he doesn't even know who his father is. And now that he has met his father, and after getting radically worse, he may actually be getting better.
* ''Series/ICarly'': Spencer Shay in during the episode ''iHire An Idiot'', but with his grandfather.
* ''It Runs In The Family'': This TV movie aired on the Disney Channel in the '90s. Set in the summer months circa 1940 and taken from Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" (the same source material as ''Film/AChristmasStory''). During the movie, Ralphie and the Old Man (Charles Grodin) go fishing every weekend, but fail to catch anything. Until one day when Ralphie is hauling in one huge fish after another, while his father, who didn't get a nibble, looks on in genuine surprise. After awhile, other boats on the lake start to crowd Ralphie and his dad. Jean Shepherd narrates at this point: "My old man never said in so many words, 'I'm proud of you, Ralphie,' but somehow he always let me know that he was proud of me." The Old Man then stands up and shouts to the other boats, "Hey, get lost, we've got a fisherman at work here, give him some room!"
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Lieutenant Williams in "Desert Son" feels that his father has always considered him a failure. What's worse, is he's right, and his father's low opinion of him is well-founded.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' has a non-comedic mother-son case in Rafael Barba, who at one point describes his mother's faith and high hopes for Barba's childhood friend. Then he notes, with some bitterness: "She never said that about me."
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'':
** Jack's father, Christian, has, in his own words "sacrificed certain elements of [his] relationship" with Jack in order to mold Jack into a great surgeon. An emotional conversation in which Sawyer relays Christian's last thoughts about his son to Jack gives him some closure...but it's not until the series finale that [[spoiler:Jack encounters his father in the "flashsideways," subsequently revealed to be the afterlife, and they have their true reunion]].
** Jack almost follows in his father's footsteps when dealing with his own son, David...except [[spoiler:David doesn't exist and is a creation of Jack's afterlife used to help him with his father issues]].
* ''Series/{{Luther}}'': In addition to the relatively normal tactic of serving in the military to follow in his father's footsteps, the killer in the second episode is so desperate for his father's approval that when the latter, behind bars for killing a cop, orders him to embark on a terror campaign against the police to get him released, he obeys without question.
* ''Series/MadMen'':
** May as well be subtitled "How our horrible childhoods have ruined our adult lives". Exhibit A: Walking inferiority complex Pete Campbell, whose father died in a plane crash before giving Pete the validation he craves. By season five, it's clear that no matter how high Pete rises at the agency, he's never going to feel he gets the respect he's owed.
** Exhibit B: Peggy Olsen busts her back trying to get Don Draper to say things like, "Good work, Peggy", or "I'm proud of you." Eventually, his failure to do so leads to [[spoiler:her leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce entirely]]... which may have actually been necessary before [[spoiler:he finally could say it, in the season 5 finale]]. This is a doubly-rare case: it crosses gender lines (the approval-seeker is a different gender from the one she's seeking approval from - and, to Mad Men's credit, they never even bat an eye at that aspect) ''and'' the approval-seeker isn't genetically related to the "father" figure at all (but she definitely considers him a mentor, and says so when she's [[spoiler:giving notice from SCDP]]).
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Margaret Houlihan seeks validation from her distant father.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Throughout the series, Arthur (yes, [[KingArthur that]] Arthur) attempts to gain his father's approval, frequently risking his life in order to impress him/follow orders. His success is decidedly mixed. Uther may not show it overtly, but he loves Arthur, and willingly risks his own life several times to save him, such as drugging Arthur and taking his place in a duel with an undead knight. And if you're wondering, he did that because the undead knight could not be defeated and would cut down anyone in his way to kill Uther (then and only then would he go away), and unless Uther took his place, Arthur was the one in the way.
* ''Series/MockTheWeek'': Parodied in a "Scenes We'd Like To See" round. "I've just climbed Mount Everest without any food or survival gear. ({{Beat}}) NOW DO YOU LOVE ME, DADDY?!"
* ''Series/ModernFamily'': Phil is sometimes seen wondering why Jay does not like him. He is also sometimes seen having to remind Jay of the few manly things he does. For example, in the episode "The Kiss", as one of the running plots, Phil attempts to fix Jay's printer with the hopes of impressing him. When it finally does get fixed, Phil consistently reminds Jay of it in subsequent episodes when Jay calls Phil's manhood into question.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** Tony. So. Much. When he's not being a JerkWithAHeartOfGold, his desperate need to impress [[BigBrotherMentor Gibbs]] makes him almost TheWoobie.
** Tony's real dad appears in an episode originally aired in January 2009. Yes, ''that'' Dad -- the one who [[spoiler:left him in Maui by himself for a week when he was a child.]] By the end of the episode, it's fairly clear that while Tony nevertheless loves his father and would still like his approval, he doesn't need it as badly as he once did because he has Gibbs.
** In season nine episode "The Penelope Papers" it is revealed [[spoiler:that [=McGee-=] has almost exactly same issues with his own father.]] Since before it has also been clear that Ziva was brought up with a authoritarian father, seeking his approval.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'': Even after her death, it's very clear that everything Del does is because he wants to make his Mum proud.
* ''Series/PerfectStrangers'': Larry ends up [[LockedInAFreezer locked in a flooding basement]] trying to prompt his father to for once say, "Well done, son," as something other than the response to "How would you like your steak?"
* The ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' series has several characters who are out to impress their fathers and/or close relatives.
** ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'': Wes Collins and both his [[MeddlingParents controlling father]] and his AlwaysSomeoneBetter [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Descendant]] Alex.
** ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'': Shane and his brother. (Funny that {{superhero}}es would need so much validation.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'': RJ and his dad, who's disappointed he didn't follow family tradition and become a Shark-style Pai Zhua master. (RJ's still a master, he just went with Wolf-style instead.)
** ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'': Scott and Flynn, with Scott's brother being AlwaysSomeoneBetter and Flynn's dad not thinking much of his [[WideEyedIdealist Wide-Eyed Idealism]]. The latter is resolved in Flynn's flashback episode, while the former is an ongoing thread in the series.
** ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'': In a villainous version, [[spoiler:both Vrak and Vekar do all sorts of schemes to destroy and conquer Earth -- all in the name of impressing their father, Emperor Mavro.]]
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'':
** Shawn appears to have spent most of his life either trying to live up to his strict, not-easily impressed father Henry's expectations or actively rebelling against Henry's attempts to mold him. For his part, Henry isn't exactly shy about letting Shawn know when he's disappointed with him. Henry even arrested at east once.
** [[CharacterDevelopment This has changed]] over time: Henry and Shawn have a much better relationship and have shown a great respect for each other.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': SubvertedTrope in the episode "Better Than Life", when Rimmer reflects he never heard his father say he was proud of him, before entering the titular LotusEaterMachine. In the fantasy world he is an incredibly popular and successful figure, but when his father appears, it's to fulfill the Cat's fantasy of hearing him call Rimmer a total smeghead. It's after this point that Rimmer's subconscious rebels against him and converts the fantasy world into a horrible nightmare. Subverted again in the episode "The Beginning", when Rimmer learns [[spoiler: that his father is actually the gardener]], and is [[EpiphanyTherapy instantly freed of the crusing weight of expectations upon him]].
* Series/TheRanch: Both Colt and Rooster long for their father's approval.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Jason Neville's relationship with his father Tom Neville is...dysfunctional. In the episode "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains The Same]]", Jason asked his father, "What'd I do wrong? I did everything you asked me to. I hurt people. Killed people. For you." The sad thing is that before the blackout, their relationship was happy and normal, as shown in a flashback in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E5SoulTrain Soul Train]]".
* ''RupaulsDragRace'': Taken to {{tearjerker}} levels whenever the {{drag queen}}s talk about less-than-accepting parents, especially fathers. It can lead to a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming when a queen's father (especially if formerly estranged) sends a supportive video message.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Many stories relate to J.D.'s need to have Dr. Cox (his mentor and father figure, since his actual father was never there for him) say he's proud of him...no matter how many times he already has.
** Also, in one episode, Turk pined after Dr. Cox's acceptance.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** Lex's (arguably) main reason for becoming evil is the fact his father never gave him any credit. So one of the richest men in the world, who created an [[spoiler: army of clones, studied spaceships and had a prison for superhumans]], was unhappy, ''all because his father (Lionel) wouldn't say "Well done, son."'' And then he [[spoiler:kills Lionel in Season 7.]] Talk about messed up.
** Considering what kind of father he had, that last action makes a whole lot of sense.
** Actually, the worst thing is that, after a lifetime of trying to get Lex to be a good evil strong worthy successor, [[MagnificentBastard Lionel]] went and had a ''HeelFaceTurn'' right after Lex finally crossed serious lines, and wound up as a replacement father figure to ''Clark'' by way of the Jor-El AI, meaning that the same person he always envied for having an incredibly supportive father he could never get to accept him (Jonathan Kent) now had ''his'' father, the one who'd put him through so much. Too cruel.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has an interesting example with Vala and her DarkMessiah daughter, Adria. Adria is an unrepentant BigBad, but she won't harm her mother and tries repeatedly to convince Vala to join her side. Vala, and the rest of her team, try to figure out how to use Adria's need for her mother's approval to their advantage, but Adria is extremely hard to manipulate since she has fancy mind-reading powers.
-->'''Vala''': She has the knowledge of Ascended Beings, twisted as it may be, but I sense that there is a part of her that is just like any other kid, that wants her mother's approval. So I'm hoping I can use that somehow. I mean, why else would she care what I think, right?
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
*** In the episode "Journey to Babel", it's revealed Spock has this problem with his father who disapproved of his decision to enlist in Starfleet instead of following his father into the Vulcan Science Academy. Spock even refuses to give a blood transfusion to his father because he's trying to be the perfectly logical vulcan his father would expect him to be (the ship is in danger, the captain is incapacitated, and if Spock is confined to Sickbay, the ship will be without both its commanding officers during a time of crisis). Kirk has to fake recovery to ensure Spock gives the transfusion that will save his father's life. The audience does learn that Sarek is actually proud of Spock (he just won't admit it to Spock) and at the end of the episode he does indicate approval of Spock.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
*** In the episode "Final Mission" (the one where Wesley Crusher departs), Wes confides that everything he's done on the Enterprise was to make surrogate father figure Captain Picard proud. Picard states at the end that he's always been proud of Wesley (despite never having said so). Cue the FullHouseMusic.
*** Will Riker doesn't get along with his father. As it turns out, his father is the kind of jerk who would cheat at playing games against his own son.
*** When Picard is near-death, Q conjures a vision of Picard's father, a winemaker, who apparently never wanted his son to join Starfleet. It is unclear if Picard's dad really disapproved, or if Q was just being a dick as always.
*** ExpandedUniverse novels suggest the senior Picard really did disapprove, greatly, of his son joining Starfleet.
*** Lore is normally extremely arrogant and considers himself superior to both humans and Data, but when speaking with his "father" Dr. Soong he breaks down and reveals that his creator's opinion of what constitutes a defect is more important to him than his own.
--> '''Lore:''' Why didn't you just ''fix'' me? It was within your power to fix me!
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** Enabran Tain is first introduced in Series 2 as TheSpymaster who controlled the Obsidian Order, recruited and mentored Garak. Over the next few years of the show it becomes clear that Garak will bend over backwards to do anything Tain asks of him even though Tain both exiled him and tried to assassinate him. Despite this guaranteed loyalty, Tain always criticises Garak and treats him quite harshly. [[spoiler:Only when Tain is on his deathbed is it revealed that Garak spent his entire life seeking a moment when Tain would treat him like a son instead of a subordinate or a protégé. The last thing Tain ever does is give him that approval.]]
*** Despite their antagonistic (and definitely non-biological) relationship, this seems to be what Quark seeks from Odo. Quark's final comment on the relationship is "That guy loves me -- ''it's written all over his back''."
*** Odo had a strained relationship with the scientist who was assigned to study him when he was first discovered and with whom he does have a sort of parent/child relationship with since Dr Pol was responsible for Odo learning how to shapeshift and take humanoid form in particular. At one point, an alien infection does make Odo lash out at Pol, bringing Odo's desire into the open - even for Odo himself, who hadn't realised just how deep his own feelings ran. They are eventually reconciled.
*** [[TheNthDoctor Jadzia Dax]] spent years fearing that she didn't live up to predecessor Curzon's expectations, especially because he washed her out of the academy programme and never explained why he allowed her to re-apply. Only by CallingTheOldManOut does she finally learn the truth. [[spoiler:He let personal feelings for her get in the way of his job by throwing her out of the academy to avoid temptation (something he felt deeply guilty for doing) and her successful re-application let him off the hook]].
*** [[MagnificentBastard Dukat's]] relationship with Sisko is, in part, a twisted variation of this. Despite [[ArchEnemy all differences]], Dukat respects his opponent, to the point of calling him an "old friend", and expects Sisko to behave the same way towards him (without much success). This culminates in a long discussion in "Waltz", where Dukat is desperately trying to force some kind of approval out of the Captain:
---> '''Dukat''': I don't think you're being entirely honest with me, Benjamin. You're not a man who hesitates to make snap judgements when the situation calls for it. It's one of the signs of a good commander. Now I'm asking for your opinion of me and I find it hard to believe you don't have one.
--->'''Sisko''': [[BlatantLies All right. I think you're right. You have been judged unfairly. I've judged you unfairly. But I think you probably had good reasons for everything you did on Bajor.]]
*** Dukat also seemed to be somewhat obsessed with what Kira thought of him, that getting her to "understand" what he did (including to her) in the occupation would somehow vindicate him. Sort of like an abusive parent trying to justify themselves that way, years later.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
*** This is the plot of the episode "Life Line". The Doctor, an artificially intelligent hologram, learns that his creator (and the man whose image he's based on), holographic genius Dr Lewis Zimmerman, is dying. The Doctor pleads with Captain Janeway to be transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant, assuming Zimmerman will be proud of how he's exceeded his programming... only to find his creator is a cantankerous jerk who believes he's an obsolete model better suited to scrubbing plasma conduits on waste transfer barges. Needless to say, much angst and hilarity ensue before the two are reconciled.
*** Tom Paris's father Owen Paris was a Starfleet admiral and Tom never felt that he could live up to his reputation. Things were strained between them and only became worse once Tom had joined the Maquis and then ended up in a Federation penal colony. It was only after the ''Voyager'' got lost in the Delta Quadrant and later established communications to Earth that the two re-connected, especially once Tom and B'Elanna became a couple and had a child. In the novels, things became strained between them again due to circumstances in part beyond Tom's control and Owen died in a Borg attack.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': It is safe to say that this entire universe has {{daddy issues}}.
** Dean has gotten so little show of his dad's approval despite always following his orders and being a good hunter that in the Season One Finale, when his dad (possessed by the BigBad) tells Dean how proud he is that Dean brought the Colt and used a bullet to save Sam's life, Dean realizes he's possessed and puts the gun on him--correctly thinking that the real John would have been furious instead of proud. Even when Dean gets an attaboy and sign of trust from his father, it comes with a DarkSecret that endangers his relationship with his brother, and then his dad dies for him. Since Dean just wants his family to be with him and happy, that's about the worst sort of fatherly recognition he could get.
** Sam feels the same need for his father's approval, but acts out against his father's wishes instead of trying to act as the perfect son Dean struggles to be. Mainly because Sam feels like his flaw is what he ''is'', and not something he can change, whereas Dean thinks that if he just ''does'' enough, he can earn approval.
** ''All'' the angels suffer this, more or less, because ''{{God}}'' is a [[ParentalAbandonment crappy parent]].
*** Castiel's devotion to his Father leads him to start rebelling against fellow angels and siding with humans, whom he thinks of as his father's "works of art". He undergoes death by explosion, eventual power loss, and various human indignities during his exile from Heaven, but he seems to be taking it all in stride--''until'' he hears from Joshua that his father doesn't give a crap about any of it, and would rather stay away and let the Apocalypse happen. Castiel then gives up, drinks a liquor store, and begins his downward spiral. At the end of Season 5, however, God does show some kind of intervention and raises Castiel from the dead a second time, and a re-angelfied Castiel flies back home at the first opportunity. Come Season 6, he's still carrying out his father's wishes by leading one faction of Heaven against the archangel Raphael. And that's since GoneHorriblyRight...
*** Lucifer, despite his rebellion, is basically a kid throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted Daddy to notice him again and return his affections. Michael's relationship with God intentionally parallels Dean's with John, except Michael is perfectly willing to kill what used to be his favorite brother if he believes that's what Daddy wants. Raphael has retreated into nihilism ("You're living in a godless universe.") and Gabriel into hedonism, and that's the four that have ever actually "''met'' the Man."
*** Uriel's faction have actively given up and want to side with Lucifer. Anna is probably the closest to indifferent to God's opinion of any angel appearing on the show; it's fitting she's also the only one with a consistently female appearance.
*** Joshua is so Zen it's creepy, but then he's the only one God actually talks to. He may also be Jesus. Zachariah comes down somewhere between Gabriel's hedonism and Raphael's nihilism, but less tastefully, and it's harder to link to God as such. He may just genuinely be a self-interested racist dick, though his preoccupation with making things play out in accordance with divine prophecy, the only thing God left behind for his children, may indicate issues of this type. Angels were created to serve and He gives no feedback for thousands of years, how are they not going to be legions of daddy issues?
** The demon Azazel, original nemesis of the Winchesters, evidently had this with Lucifer, based on his desperately devoted behavior in the convent flashback, and his whole program was geared toward [[spoiler: getting Hell open to free Lilith so she could bust out Lucifer, in both cases using the 'very special child' Lucifer told him to procure; i.e. Sam]], but Lucifer doesn't betray any awareness that he died for it. He in turn encouraged this from his own 'children,' such as the demon known as Meg.
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'':
** Often the entire premise behind this show, where Christopher is always ready for his father's condescending remarks. Hilariously done in the first episode, while joking role-playing Titus recalls every proud moment he had being shot down by Papa Titus (graduation, first job, becoming a manager, etc.) When he finishes with "I opened my own car shop and now I make more money in one year then you ever made in any year of your life, what do you think about that?!" The real Papa Titus appears behind him, cracks open a beer and says, "I think without me pushing you boy, you never would have made it."
** Reiterated in the stand-up show ''Creator/NormanRockwell is Bleeding'' (the ''Anti-Dad!'' part), ending with
--->'''Christopher:''' I have my own TV show and production company!\\
'''Dad:''' And that shit got cancelled, didn't it!
* * ''Series/TrailOfLies'': Felix always felt that his father favored his younger sister Paloma and that no matter how well he did in his job at the family's hospital, it would never be enough for him.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'':
** "The Two Bartlets", Toby points out that the President is haunted by the need to make his father like him. This is expanded on in "Night Five," when Josh's therapist is called in because Bartlet has been unable to sleep for five nights straight (because of this conversation." It's summed up in this devastatingly simple exchange:
--->'''Bartlet''': I'm not trying to get my father to like me.
--->'''Dr Stanley Keyworth''': Good. 'Cuz that's never going to happen.
** "Two Cathedrals," where it's pretty strongly implied that Bartlet's impassioned rant in the National Cathedral is directed more at his father than at God.
*** President Bartlet may not have been able to get his own father to love or approve of him, but his real "Well Done, Son!" Guy is his chief of staff, Leo [=McGarry=] (played by the late John Spencer). Just before a debate between Bartlet and the Republican candidate, Leo gives Bartlet a beautiful smile and says "There's no such thing as too smart. There's nothing you can do that's not going to make me proud of you."
** The President himself is the guy to [[TheUnfavorite his daughter Ellie.]] [[TearJerker "The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was to come home at the end of the day."]]
** Josh has strong tendencies of this but not towards his real father (who is deceased and, by all accounts, was very proud of him). Instead he craves the approval of Leo [=McGarry=], who became a father figure to him after his own father's death. At one point one of the characters notes that Josh is not afraid of losing but he is afraid of letting Leo down.
* ''Series/TheWire'': Lester Freamon is this trope personified. [[NotSoAboveItAll Daniels]] does a humorous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE9-u26NOWI Freamon imitation]].
--->'''Daniels''': He stares at you from the top of his reading glasses, with that look that says ''I'm the father you never had'' ''and I don't want to be disappointed on you ever again''.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Agent Dana Scully spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove to her parents, but especially her dad, that her decision to join the FBI was a good one. She doesn't find out how proud of her her dad actually was until he's dead.
** Agent Spender had this going for [[spoiler:the Cigarette-Smoking Man, his biological father]], of all people. Well, at least until he tried killing his mom.
* ''Series/YoungDracula'': Ingrid. Her father gives Vlad all the attention, even though Vlad doesn't even want to be a vampire and she does.
* One of the recurring parental issues of ''Series/TheSopranos''. Tony goes out of his way to please his contemptible mother, who resents her children for being happier than her. At the same time, Chris, Tony's nephew, and A.J., Tony's son, try hard to earn praise from the old man or just live up to his perceived expectations, only to get frustrated when he doesn't give them any real credit.
* Gretchen on ''Series/YoureTheWorst'' behaves completely differently and lies about her life around her parents out of fear of disappointing them. She goes to great length to hide Jimmy from them, and when he finally meets them, he [[CallingTheOldManOut calls them out on that]].
* ''Series/BeringSeaGold'': At the end of season 3, Steve Pomrenke finally congratulates his son Shawn for his improved gold-catching performance that year, in spite of their normally contentious relationship.
* ''Series/DeadliestCatch'': Captain Phil with his sons, Jake and Josh; Captain Jonathan with his son, Scotty; the captains in general to the greenhorns.
** Sig outright said he considers Jake Anderson as his son.
** Subverted in Season 6 King Crab with Wild Bill's son, Zack Larson, though it got better as Zack Larson is on the ''Kodiak'' for Season 7. Season 8 revealed that Bill didn't think he was pulling his weight, though Zack's tweets seemed to indicate he didn't see anything unusual about it (or at least didn't consider it to be "yelling").
*** Wild Bill: "Zack's a great kid, he just has no balls". Considering Wild Bill's dad was a ''[[DrillSergeantNasty Marine drill sergeant]]'' who was so scary that young Bill would leave as soon as he got home, Bill's concern for his son -- who he didn't even want to become a crabber -- is positively cuddly. The other captains chime in that their dads were the same (with the addition that their dads would tell everyone ''but'' their kids how proud they were of them), although BadAssGrandpa[=s=] tended to be pretty cool.
* ''Series/PennyDreadful'': Peter Murray, son of Sir Malcolm and a sickly child, undertakes an expedition to Africa with his father only to win his approval and recognition as a man. [[spoiler:He dies of dysentery in the Congo.]]
* ''Series/DeathInParadise'': Humphrey Goodman. Humphrey's father is convinced that Humphrey is wasting his life playing a game of cops-and-robbers instead of becoming a barrister like him (and his brother). In "Unlike Father, Unlike Son", Humphrey's father comes to the island to convince him to come back home to England for his ex-wife, Sally. Finally having had enough, Humphrey tells his father that he is a very good detective and that he is happier on Saint Marie than then he ever was in England and is staying there. After watching his son solve the case, Humphrey's father realises he is happy for him to remain in Saint Marie.
* Colin Jost has turned this into a semi-running gag on [[Series/SaturdayNightLive "Weekend Update"]]:
-->Wednesday was National Hug Day...Dad.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The Music/SimplePlan song "Perfect" is about this.
-->"And now I just try to make it,\\
I just want to make you proud\\
I'm never gonna be good enough for you"
** Later:
--->"I'm sorry I can't be [[TitleDrop perfect]]."
* James Hetfield of Music/{{Metallica}}: his lyrics of "The Day That Never Comes" and "The Unforgiven".
* Kellin Quinn from the band Sleeping With Siren wrote the song "A Trophy Father's Trophy Son". The song was written about/from the point of view of his stepkids whose father basically abandoned them and Kellin's wife.
* Pink in ''TheWall''; especially bad because Pink never knew his father at all ("Daddy's flown across the ocean..."). It's twice as tragic because of the gigantic void that his absence leaves behind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''BlissStage:'' The definition of Josh Preston's relationship to the [[{{GMPC}}the Authority Figure --]] his father Jim Preston.
* The Emperor to the Primarchs of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', though the relationship sours with many of them. [[Literature/HorusHeresy One in particular]] results in CallingTheOldManOut, OffingTheOffspring, CainAndAbel, the destruction of several planets, trillions of people dying, and a new dark age for the galaxy. Yeah, 40k is that kind of franchise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* Biff starts out like this in ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''.
** Happy is still like this, but to a slightly lesser extent.
* Cory from ''Theatre/{{Fences}}'', full on. Even remarked on almost by name:
-->'''Rose:''' Everything that boy do... he do for you. He wants you to say, "Good job, son." That's all.
* Norman and Chelsea from ''Theatre/OnGoldenPond'' are a father-daughter version of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Kid, from ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'', a game whose [[StoryToGameplayRatio extremely peripheral story]] involves nothing more than an incredibly hard quest to become The Guy. The Kid wants to become The Guy. The Father of The Kid is The Guy. The Kid is sent on his quest by Former Grandfather The Guy, who was replaced as The Guy by The Father The Guy, who The Kid now seeks to replace in turn to become The Guy. It doesn't get much more "Well Done, Son!" Guy than that.
* The Prince in KatamariDamacy seeks nothing but the King of All Cosmos' approval, and for good reason: disapproval means MoreDakka eye beams.
** In later games we find out that the King had a similar relationship with his father.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series Lee and Jin (a "Well Done Grandson Guy") all at some point or another felt this way towards Heihachi. Eventually they learn that doing this won't get them anywhere and thus went off their own way.
** Kazuya started this way as well. Heihachi throwing him off a cliff kind of ended that dream, though.
*** Adopting Lee into the family was actually supposed to ''induce'' this emotion in Kazuya, giving him someone to compete with and pushing him to achieve. Again, though, the cliff thing derailed that.
* ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'':
** For most of the game, Gwendolyn is constantly trying to prove herself as a warrior so that her father King Odin would be proud of and love her - a fact which Odin repeatedly uses to manipulate her. [[spoiler:Eventually Gwendolyn wises up and gives up on her father in favor of choosing to be with Oswald, who earnestly cares for her.]]
** Oswald himself strives single-mindedly to do whatever his adoptive father orders and admits that he could die happy as long as his father approved of him and loved him. Unfortunately, on his deathbed, his father spitefully rejects him for his failure and admits he never loved him, viewing Oswald as only a means to an end for his ambitions, little more than a tool. Soon after,[[spoiler: Oswald dies himself, in despair. With several chapter of his story left to go, however.]]
** Before the final boss of Velvet's book, it's revealed that [[spoiler:the destruction of Valentine was caused by Ingway, who tampered with the Cauldron in order to save Odin from being killed in battle against Valentine's superior forces and didn't anticipate the scale of the reaction that would result. In the aftermath, Odin claimed the cauldron with nothing but a callous "Well done, traitor" for Ingway, inspiring Ingway to go to rather extreme lengths to [[CallingTheOldManOut call him out]] for it later on.]]
* Even though he hates his father, Tidus from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' desperately seeks to measure up to him, especially after realizing he's following his exact same footsteps. Likewise, Yuna wishes to make her own father, High Summoner Braska, proud of her own pilgrimage. In the end, they exceed both of their parents, by [[spoiler: destroying Sin rather than just delaying it until next time]].
** Braska obviously loved Yuna, and she just didn't want his death to be in vain.
** Revisited in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', where Jecht was specifically chosen as the villain representative of ''Final Fantasy X'' due to his emotional connection with the hero. It's especially visible in the cutscene after Tidus beats him:
--->'''Tidus:''' I hate you. I hated you so much. I've always wished you'd be gone. But deep down what I really wanted was just... your approval. For you to... tell me that I've grown strong.
--->'''Jecht:''' Looks like the kid will never grow up.
--->'''Tidus:''' That's not my fault. I can't help it. I'm your son, after all.
--->'''Jecht:''' Hehe... I guess you are.
--->''[Both laugh.]''
--->'''Jecht:''' Hey, cry-baby... You've grown strong.
* In an example of the hero's friend, Sora reveals at the end of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' that he's always striven to be as good at everything as his best friend, Riku. This was hinted at in the beginning of the original game, as well. In true form, Riku also reveals that he was always jealous of the way his friend lived his life.
* Bosch from ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' is ''seriously'' messed up because of this reason. All throughout his childhood, his dad put him through ridiculous training (including making him fight a monster ''three times'' his size) and still wouldn't give him the praise he wanted. This left him willing to do anything necessary to get ahead in life which included [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness nearly murdering his former partner,]] [[AppendageAssimilation grafting a monster's arm onto himself]] and [[SealedEvilInACan linking with an ancient, evil dragon in return for it's powers.]]
* Liquid Snake from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' may have been this at one point, but has built up a deep-rooted resentment for his father as well as the one his father ''did'' show approval of: Solid Snake.
** ''TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' [[CharacterExaggeration exaggerates]] this part of Liquid's character to ridiculous proportions. Then it's revealed that Big Boss is doing it on purpose to help manipulate the boy better.
** Solid Snake himself in ''MetalGearSolid4'' doesn't feel like he's accomplished anything until [[spoiler: Big Boss shows up to tell him 'well done'.]]
* This is one of the basics for the MayDecemberRomance between GeniusBruiser Oswin and WhiteMagicianGirl Serra in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword]]''. She treats him more respectfully than [[SlapSlapKiss her other possible love interests]] (FragileSpeedster Matthew and KidAnova Erk) and seeks for his approval, but when Oswin reprehends her in their B support, Serra mistakes this as him hating her as a person and almost has an HeroicBSOD. Their A support is about them clearing the misunderstanding.
** Speaking of ''Franchise/FireEmblem'', Prince Zephiel. Ever dutiful, ever charismatic Prince of Bern whose wish is just for his family to reconcile, by having his father acknowledge him. Poor kid doesn't know that his father is very much a {{jerkass}} who really wants him dead. When Zephiel learns it the hard way, [[NietzscheWannabe take a wild guess what Zephiel turns into]].
** Another ''[[FireEmblemElibe Blazing Sword]]'' example is [[BadassAdorable Nino]]. All she wants is to earn Sonia's love and approval, and agrees to go on a dangerous mission in which she would very well be killed ''just'' for the reward of her mother holding her hand and stroking her face.
** A less harsh example is Erk towards his mentor and adoptive father Pent, especially in their B support.
** Forrest in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' starts out angry at his father for criticizing his WholesomeCrossdresser habit, but once they start communicating better he expresses a desire to make his father proud despite being afraid to fight, and to wield the tome Leo uses and that Forrest will someday inherit.
* While not his father, Richard from ''SuikodenV'' is wicked attached to his father figure, Mueller, and is always trying to get his attention, impress him, and make him happy. Seriously, this kid's entire world revolves around Mueller, so much that he's willing to carry any IdiotBall if it's for Mueller and it ''embarrasses'' Mueller.
** An observant or min-maxing player might notice that Richard's stats and skills make him the most powerful character in the game. Presumably not a coincidence.
** A straighter example is SuikodenIV's Snowe Vingerhut, who longs to please his powerful, manipulative father. He even [[ICallItVera calls his sword]] 'Daddy Blade'.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', [[spoiler:Raz]]'s "inner demon" is a manifestation of his father, constantly taunting him for being a disappointment and [[spoiler:a psychic.]] Eventually [[spoiler:his ''real'' father, who looks nothing like the twisted monster that is Raz's internal interpretation of him, enters his mind and tells him that he just wanted Raz to be happy and safe.]]
** [[spoiler:It's actually even nicer than this - Raz believed the entire time that his father hated psychics and that he would hate Raz if he knew that Raz was psychic - when in fact his father is a psychic himself, and didn't want Raz displaying his talents, not out of resentment but out of fear that ACTUAL psychic haters would persecute or harm him.]]
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear XX'', this discussion can occur when Kliff Undersn fights his adoptive son, Testament:
-->'''Testament:''' Father... I...\\
'''Kliff:''' You've grown to be a fine man.... I have no further regrets.
** Considering that at that point Testament has completed his HeelFaceTurn and is TheLancer to FriendToAllLivingThings Dizzy, it's no wonder that the LawfulGood BadassGrandpa approves.
* Various dialogue in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' shows that the player character is frustrated at his foster father's lack of praise and emotional reactions. However said foster father (Daeghun Farlong) has emotional problems of his own and did spend months looking for the player character after he vanished after the battle with the king of shadows.
* There is...quite a lot of this in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. To start with, there's Garrus, whose father is a standard, by-the-book military-minded turian. Garrus feels that rules are good and all, but following them to the point of blindness will let the bad guys get away with worse stuff, so it's necessary to break the rules every once in a while. This leads to his eventually uncomfortable position as a CowboyCop on the Citadel. Then there's Tali, whose father is a member of the Admiralty Board which controls the Quarian Flotilla, and the quarian race. Accordingly, everyone expects her to bring back some massively important gift from her Pilgrimage, and she hopes doing so will get her some notice from her otherwise distant father. No pressure. And then there's Liara T'Soni, whose mother is an extremely important spiritual figure. Her mother apparently mated with another member of the same species, which is a big no-no in their culture, so she's been ostracised nearly her entire life, leading her to run away from home and go on archeological digs in the hopes of being known for something other than being her mother's daughter. That's the ''first'' game.
** Wrex, who attended a Crush (meeting of tribes) at his father's request despite ''knowing'' that it was most likely a trap. (Granted, Wrex got to resolve his father issues by killing him, but Wrex spends the rest of his life fighting against his father's policies and beliefs, which most Krogan still share.)
** It would take way too long to list all examples from the second game. Suffice to say, there are few characters who ''aren't'' on either the giving or the receiving end of this trope to some degree.
** At the very least we have to mention Thane and [[spoiler:his son Kolyat]]. Thane's whole loyalty mission is him trying to [[spoiler:stop Kolyat from following in his footsteps and becoming an assassin, and in the end convincing his son that he was always proud of him is what really turns him away from it in the end.]] There's a reason it's called "Cat's in the Cradle."
--->'''Thane:''' I've taken many bad things out of the world. You're the only good thing I ever added to it.
** Meanwhile, if you have the spacer background, [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] gets to have a nice friendly chat with his/her mother.
** [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure David Anderson]] in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for the second game is revealed to have this relationship with his own son due to Anderson's workaholic nature estranging him from his family.
** It may be easier to mention the characters who don't have fathers like these: [[TheHero Shepard]], due to his/her parents being either dead, absent, or [[AvertedTrope in the military themselves]], [[TokenEvilTeammate Jack]], who never knew her parents, but [[AxCrazy makes up for it in other ways]], Ashley, who was very much DaddysGirl before her father died and is more concerned with general family honor, and Kaidan, who seems to get along with his. [[LadyOfWar Samara]] and [[ProfessionalKiller Thane]] are this to their children, the rest have daddy issues except for Legion, who's a robot. This trope is lampshaded and mocked when Shepard talks with [[RobotGirl EDI]] in the third game.
-->'''Shepard:''' How's your focus, EDI? Any big questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any small questions?\\
'''EDI:''' No.\\
'''Shepard:''' Any lingering issues?\\
'''EDI:''' About what?\\
'''Shepard:''' An imperfect designer who could be seen as a warped father figure, maybe?\\
'''EDI:''' ''Definitely'' not. Did something prompt this line of questioning?\\
'''Shepard:''' [[GenreSavvy I've just learned you have to ask about these things.]]
** The Geth are a race of robots who suffer from this. It turns out that the ''Quarians'' initiated the RobotWar and the Geth only fought back to defend themselves, with every time the Geth attempted to lay down arms, the Quarians took advantage of the situation by opening fire, thus leading the Geth to believe they would ''never'' back down. Despite this, they ''don't'' want to hurt them and ''still'' desperately want their creators' approval.
*** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard sees a recording of a Geth in the middle of being dismantled by a Quarian engineer, desperately asking to know what they did ''wrong''? What did it do that was so terrible, you might wonder? [[spoiler: Ask if it had a ''soul''.]]
** A comic has Garrus remembering how his father taught him to shoot. This fast-forwards to his days as the Archangel on Omega to the point of his one-man stand-off against three gangs. He calls his father to have one last chat. When asked why so urgent, Garrus calmly states that there are too many targets. His father tells him to forget the final father-son conversation and gets all business about Garrus's assets and ammo, insisting that he survive so that he can come back to Palaven and talk things over. Garrus takes another look in the scope and sees the N7 logo on an armor. He tells his dad that the odds just went up before ending the call.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' isn't quite as...overwhelming with its parental issues (though there's no shortage of missing or dead ones). ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has a few examples.
** Saemus Dumar, the rebellious and idealistic son of Kirkwall's SlaveToPR Viscount, is the standout.
** Aveline is the daughter of an Orlesian chevalier exiled [[DeadlyDecadentCourt when his patron was killed]]. He raised her to be a knight and sold everything they had so she could join King Cailan's army. Instead, she grew up a principled but ''very'' pragmatic soldier, and eventual City Guard.
** Sebastian was the spare to the SpareToTheThrone who tactfully describes his parents as "rather traditional". He acted out by turning into a womanizing hedonist, and was given to the church in his teens to prevent further embarrassment (and any illegitimate children who could have caused a SuccessionCrisis further down the line). He ended up liking it there, but his parents and older brothers were assassinated not long after.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy and TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou aside, all Bass of ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' infamy wanted was for his creator Dr. Wily to acknowledge him as his greatest creation. Sadly, with the advent of [[spoiler:Wily creating Maverick Zero and the [[TheVirus Maverick Virus]],]] Bass ''might'' be wrong.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' has Anomen; his dad is a [[AbusiveParents bad-tempered]], [[MissingMom widowed]] [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]] who thoroughly disapproves of his son's aspirations to join TheOrder of the Radiant Heart. How Anomen deals with this depends upon player choice and the PC's relationship with him. [[spoiler: Trying to win his father's approval causes Anomen to fail his test of knighthood and start SlowlySlippingIntoEvil. Refusing to put his father's wishes over his morals will cause [[IHaveNoSon his father to reject him]], but it helps Anomen become a knight and a better person. No matter what he does at first, he has to give up this trope altogether to successfully complete his romance.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', after Vieri de'Pazzi is assassinated, Ezio acquires a letter where the writer informs Vieri's father Francesco that all the young man wanted was his father's attention and approval.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' Episode I and the first bits of Episode II have M.O.M.O. obviously trying to get approval from Juri Mizrahi. [[spoiler:Since she looks so much like her big sister, Sakura, Juri is less than accepting, if not outright frightened of the girl, giving her manipulative bitch status when she told M.O.M.O. that they can live together only to keep her stabe during the Y-Data analysis. It's sad when Ziggy shows more parental love for the poor thing who went through being kidnapped, mind-raped, possibly raped for real. and helping save Second Miltia. It takes Ziggy's advice and M.O.M.O. shutting down her mind to prevent Albedo from grabbing the Y-data]] to wake Juri up. By III, it seems M.O.M.O. and Juri have finally become a real family.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': According to the "Meet the Sniper" video, the Sniper's parents do not care for the Sniper's career choice. He spends quite a bit of the video speaking on the phone to his unseen father, who seems to think that the Sniper's some kind of crazed gunman. [[spoiler:The "Old Wounds" comic reveals that they came to terms with their son's job before being KilledOffForReal, though it took Sniper temporarily dying and going to Heaven for this to come to light and it may or may not have been a hallucination.]]
** This ends up becoming an IdiotBall of epic proportions when [[spoiler:it turns out the the REAL Sniper's biological parents are pure evil. He doesn't stop putting blind faith in them even though they're basically what would happen if the Mann brothers got married (The father created the world's first successful spaceship... by destroying his own city and using one ton of Australium as PAINT. The mother's a bickering alcoholic. Then they both bail on their kid in a self-destructing ruin).]]
** The Demoman's mother, on the other hand, disapproves of the fact that he only works three jobs and hasn't yet rid himself of more than a single eye.
*** The reason Mama Degroot (once herself a Demowoman) chases after her son to make as much money as possible is because she knows that he'll eventually be blinded in the line of duty and unable to work.
----> '''Mama Degroot:''' Mark me, Boy! No Demoman worth his sulfur has had an eye in his head past thirty!
* Mondo Zax of ''VideoGame/WildStar'' had a terrible, terrible childhood, being [[TheRuntAtTheEnd the #13 of 13 children,]] tiny, and constantly looked over by his father. The mysterious disappearances of all 12 of his siblings [[BlatantLies (which he had no part of)]] was helpful in trying to get his attention, but unfortunately, "a heated argument over engineering principles led to a familial schism between the two - one that was left unresolved when Mondo's father was inexplicably vaporized during a routine bot recalibration."[[note]]From the official [=WildStar=] [[http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/mondo_zax_and_victor_lazarin.php blog post]] about Mondo Zax and Victor Lazarin.[[/note]]
* Luke from ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has this sort of feelings towards [[spoiler:Van]] till the end of the game, even after [[spoiler:discovering his true intentions]]. He manages to outlive it though, finding his reason to live.
--> '''Luke''': I finally understand what it is I wanted. I wanted you to acknowledge me. To accept me as [[spoiler:a human being, not a replica.]]
--> '''[[spoiler:Van]]''': Yes. And you have become a [[spoiler:human being.]]
--> '''Luke''': ...But that's not enough.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': Bowser Jr. will do anything to make his father proud. However, it's a downplayed example, as SelfDemonstrating/{{Bowser}} is already extremely proud of his son, and he knows it; he just wants to ''keep'' making his dad proud.
* ''VideoGame/PonyIsland'': Satan has a fit of rage when you cheat, revealing he is secretly desperate to win his [[GodOfGood father's praise]].
* Several conversations in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' suggest that Pharah's relationship with her late mother is somewhere between this and CallingTheOldManOut.
--> '''Mercy:''' Your mother always wanted you to follow in her footsteps.\\
'''Pharah:''' She did? Funny, she never mentioned that to me...\\
\\
'''Soldier 76:''' Your mother would have been proud of you.\\
'''Pharah:''' ''(drily)'' You didn't know my mother very well, then.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' game focusing on Miles Edgeworth shows that this is most likely true for Franziska. In the fourth case, 13-year-old Franziska competes with Miles, presumably to receive her father's attention. Considering he barely seems to acknowledge her skills compared to Miles, this explains a lot about how caught up she was in Manfred's worldview.
** In the sequel, [[spoiler:Sebastian Debeste]] is eventually revealed to be this for his father, having built up his entire career just to gain his approval. As it turns out, [[spoiler:Blaise was exploiting this trope by building up his son's credentials in order to use him as a pawn, which eventually leads to Sebastian CallingTheOldManOut]].
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has Eva Ushiromiya, towards [[AbusiveParents her father Kinzo]]. [[DrunkWithPower This]] [[CainAndAbel causes]] [[KillEmAll problems]].
** Natsuhi, Kinzo's daughter-in-law, also has this attitude towards him, perhaps even moreso than Eva. [[spoiler:So much so that when he dies of natural causes, her attempts to [[OfCorpseHesAlive cover up his death]] combined with the stress from upholding the Ushiromiya family name causes her to snap, and as a result she imagines his ghost as a kindly figure who supports and encourages her. In [=EP5=] Bernkastel tells Natsuhi, using [[LanguageOfTruth the red truth]], that Kinzo never actually thought she was good enough.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': If [[spoiler:Tohsaka]] had ''just'' been a little bit less of a bitch to her sister [[spoiler:[[TheWoobie Sakura]]]] and a bit more supportive instead of, say, threatening to kill her (even if she's just insecure herself), then [[spoiler:Sakura]] wouldn't have snapped and [[spoiler:tried to destroy the world]].
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', it is very strongly implied that Shizune Hakamichi's SpiritedCompetitor personality stems largely from a desire to earn the approval of her {{Jerkass}} AbusiveDad Jigoro. Unfortunately, he seems to view most of her accomplishments, including her position as StudentCouncilPresident, with contempt.
** Shizune is looked down upon by her father FOR her deafness, Jigoro thinks he gave life to a faulty human being who will never match his own standards.
* In ''VisualNovel/EfAFairyTaleOfTheTwo'', [[spoiler:Miyako became TheAce in an eventually fruitless bid to impress her parents, who were always quarreling each other before deciding to divorce.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}'', Souji Okita wants nothing more than to be helpful to his father figure Isami Kondou, and to earn his approval. This mostly leads to heartache for everybody, because although Kondou loves Souji like a little brother, he's somewhat oblivious to how strong his feelings run and how jealous he is of Kondou's reliance on Hijikata. Meanwhile, Souji quickly comes to the conclusion (helped along by the manipulation of Kamo Serizawa) that the only way he can be of help to Kondou is to use his prodigious talent for swordsmanship to kill Kondou's enemies... whether Kondou approves or not.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The plot of the "So What IS a [=McNinja=]?" arc in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': Dan and Mitzi [=McNinja=] are very disappointed in their son for becoming a Doctor rather than an assassin. Interestingly, the Doctor realizes that gaining his parents' respect with his medical skills is a hopeless task, so he decides to show them that he's "a damn good ninja!" as well.
** Meanwhile, his younger brother Sean still has "Well Done, Son!" Guy as a major motivation, hiding his technical wizardry behind a mask of misused slang. When a ghost wizard puts Sean in his ultimate fantasy world, his Dad is hugging him, saying, "Computers are pretty cool, son. They are pretty cool." [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/11p37/ He's brought to tears.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{DDG}}'' Zip, it turns out, feels this way towards 'Netta since she see 'Netta as a [[http://www.sincomics.com/phpAlbum/main.php?cmd=imageview&var1=DDG%2FPages+100%2B%2FDDG120.jpg&var2=2 surrogate mother]] and could never get validation from her own mum.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/2009/02/21/issue-1-page-4/ Cole stole her mother's Endstone to attempt to win her father's love.]]
* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' spends his every waking moment (when not obsessing over Agatha) trying to live up to his Machiavellian father's expectations (who pushes Gil to the breaking point so that Gil [[ZenSurvivor won't go through what he did]]). Klaus ''does'' praise Gil upon completing difficult tasks, but the poor kid is usually too annoyed by the circumstances to really appreciate it. Klaus is [[SeenItAll rarely visibly impressed]] and thus easily comes across as dismissive. He was [[SoProudOfYou really enthusiastic]] only when saw Gil [[OneManArmy defeating a mechanized army, single-handed]].
** Though, eventually, Klaus spells it out. Ironically, it's a mistake (he thinks Gil ''intentionally'' sent to catch Agatha someone guaranteed to kill her, rather than doing so by accident).
--->'''Klaus:''' It seems I have misjudged you. [[WellDoneSonGuy Well done, son.]]\\
'''Gil:''' [suspicious] Is this another test?\\
'''Klaus:''' Erk. Please, don't make me laugh. Owch. No. No more tests, my son. The time for such things is over.
** Gil made it to the age of ten or so completely ignorant of his heritage, and Klaus only revealed it when he broke into his own records and found the embarrassing decoy story. This was probably primarily to keep him safe, but combined with all the tests later on it instilled in Gil the conviction that he had to ''earn'' the right to be Gilgamesh Wulfenbach.
*** Which conveniently averted the "[[RoyalBrat spoiled second-generation conqueror]]" problem. Take that, Ibn Khaldun!
** That said, they have a strong mutual affection and Gil never seems to doubt that his father ''cares'', or even that he ''wants'' him...it's just that he can't be completely sure Klaus won't kill him or set him aside if he has to for the good of Europa. On the other hand, Klaus frequently looks down on the kid, but hasn't tried to shape his personality for anything but generic 'strength;' his lab at the beginning of the story contained no weapons whatsoever. (Subsequent events have required him to develop a more militant bent. Klaus seems to have been relying on the Spark to bring those qualities out when they were actually needed.) The closest to a healthy version of this trope you can get, considering there's an empire involved and both parties are [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder congenitally insane]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the reason Roy Greenhilt took on the story's main quest was to prove his worth to his egocentric, self-centered father. He eventually comes to realise that his father simply isn't worth it, and that nothing he can say will ever make him change. He gives up on him entirely, not even bothering with CallingTheOldManOut, and goes so far as to make his father promise not to ever visit his family from the afterlife -- which his father does easily and casually without a single worry -- to have the privilege of helping Roy.
** Nale also feels this way to his EvilOverlord father. Nale wants to prove that he can be even better BigBad material than the old man, and he wants him to acknowledge that. Of course, in this case it's less "I want your approval" and more "I can take care of myself, get out of my life"
* Kazuo of ''Webcomic/RedString'' wants his father's approval so badly that he dumps his girlfriend that he loves dearly, resigns himself to an arranged marriage with a childhood friend he doesn't love that way, works at a job he hates, stops doing any of his hobbies--including cooking, which he actually wants to do as a career--and seems to be developing a drug problem to cope. Even when Kazuo shows some weak defiance, he always goes back to groveling for his father's love soon after. As of this writing, all his father's done in response is slap him repetitively, call him worthless, and point-blank tell the boy he's only good as a bargaining chip. [[spoiler:And [[DrivenToSuicide driven Kazuo to attempt suicide]]. Luckily, he survives.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheSpecialists'', [[http://thespecialistscomic.com/page-85/ Henry]]. He's a jerk, a bigot and a Casanova Wannabe -- but you still feel sorry for him.
* It isn't something that [[TheStoic Dave Strider]] of ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'' likes to talk about, but he's clearly very deeply invested in following in his AloofOlderBrother [[spoiler:(who turns out to be his genetic father)]] and father-figure's example.
** Uniquely, Dave sort of gets ''both'' of the typical resolutions to this plotline. Eventually he comes to recognize that [[BrokenPedestal his Bro was a terrible person]] who never deserved his respect. But later on he also gets to meet an alternate universe version of Bro who is actually a decent person, and who is able to give him the praise and validation and affection he always wanted but never got from his real Bro.
** Inverted with his best friend John; John resents his father's doting on him, although [[spoiler: Given John [[ItMakesSenseInContext unconsciously covers his room in grafiti refering to himself as stupid]]]], it's rather understandable.
* [[TheCaptain Kaff Tagon]] from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' looks like that [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-11-26 when we first hear about his father]]. But [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-30 a later flashback]] shows that there's more to their story: each blames the other one and himself for [[spoiler:not saving the rest of their family from assassination]] a couple decades ago.
* Hurmiz from ''Webcomic/{{Harbourmaster}}'' already has its progenitor Kema's respect. What it ''doesn't'' have is Kema's love--an understandable lack, since Kema [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove still hasn't mastered the idea of love in general]]. This means Hurmiz is supportive of [[spoiler: Gilou]]'s efforts to force Kema to question its old habits more thoroughly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[MemeticMutation The Internet]] has been exposed to a [[ImageBoards 4chan]] meme of this nature, [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/son-i-am-disappoint SON, I AM DISAPPOINT.]]
** There is also [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/high-expectations-asian-father/photos High Expectations Asian Father.]]
* Rosa Fiametta and to a lesser extent her sister Frankie of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' have this type of relationship with their father, who has pretty blatent favouritism for their brother Ilario and doesn't seem to care very much about his daughters. Both want acknowledgement/attention from their father, neither is exactly going about getting it in the right way.
* Jobe Wilkins of the ''WhateleyUniverse''. He's still trying to get his father's approval, even though at fourteen he's already one of the greatest bio-devisers ''on the entire planet''. His dad is the supervillain Gizmatic, who only approves of deviser stuff that's mechanical, so lots of luck on that one.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick sympathizes with the daughters of the ''MyLittlePony'' movie because she knows how it feels to have a mother who thinks you're a disappointment.
* Until they realize he's actually fairly worthless, newbies from WebSite/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses are desperate to please WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic. He never notices them. Film Brain still kept his crush until WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee, but that ends bittersweetly.
* In ''WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv'', Light with his father. [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain Souichiro]] sees Light as nothing but a disappointment because not only is he [[{{Gayngst}} gay]] but [[spoiler: he's a WhiteSheep and [[MuggleBornOfMages he didn't inherit any of the cool]] [[HalfHumanHybrid Shinigami powers]].]]
* In the Drunk History series, Ben Franklin is said to have acted this way toward his son William, calling him "my bastard son" and at one point sitting under an umbrella while William conducts the famous kite experiment in the rain, unenthusiastically cheering "Good job, William....you're my kid."
* Tacoma Narrows from WebVideo/DemoReel. All he's ever wanted to do is make somebody proud, and as he sent his dad to jail and his mother hates him, he finally gets it in bromance buddy/boss/best friend Donnie.
** Rebecca too. Her parents openly criticize her every chance they get, from sexual partners to jobs to interests, but she still tries to make them happy and get their approval.
** Donnie ends up taking the cake, as he beats himself up over not being able to be as hopeful as ''[[spoiler: his mother who died from suicide]]''.
* In WebVideo/AbridgedOnTitan, when Carla blurted out before she died that her adopted child [[TheAce Mikasa]] was her favorite, [[TheUnfavorite Eren]] ends up with such a raging inferiority complex because of it that he actually hallucinates his mother belittling him and taunting him about how Mikasa is better than him. His motivation for killing the Titans is less about avenging her death and more about proving to Carla and Mikasa once and for all that he is the best.
* A RunningGag on Website/{{Cracked}} is that the columnist's parents (and sometimes grandparents) are excessively disappointed by their offspring being nerdy, pasty internet writers instead of getting real jobs.
* In Season 7 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Simmons sneaks into the {{Holodeck}}...and the fantasy he enacts is Sarge expressing his appreciation for Simmons's input and opinions. This is interrupted by the ''real'' Sarge...who wants Simmons to come [[YesMan agree with him]] at a staff meeting, and sees no reason why Simmons might need to know in advance what he is agreeing to.
* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The primary motivation for all the desperate lengths that Prince Zuko goes to, and the terrible decisions he makes, is to get the approval of the father [[AbusiveParents who burned, scarred, and exiled him]] under the pretext of a SnipeHunt. Eventually [[spoiler: Zuko is allowed to come home and receives his father's approval, only to discover that it is not as fulfilling as he had expected, precipitating his Heel Face Turn]]. Occasionally, he shows traits of this towards his uncle Iroh. [[spoiler: After his HeelFaceTurn, he accepts Iroh as a ParentalSubstitute and becomes this full time.]]
** Sokka also wants his father to accept and acknowledge him as a warrior. When he does finally meet up with his father, he gets a YouDidntAsk type answer when his dad asks him, "Why do you think I left you in charge of the village?" Furthermore, when Fire Nation forces appear, Sokka's father orders his men to prepare for battle; when Sokka asks what he should do, his father warmly responds to him, "I said 'The rest of you ''men'' prepare for battle!'," which is the most thrilling thing Sokka could have heard.
** A similar setup is played for tragedy with [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] and [[DaddysLittleVillain Princess Azula]]. She took on ''[[PhysicalGod the Avatar]]'' and his teachers armed with ''nothing but a knife'' for the man, while he hid out in his bunker during the eclipse. Even as a MagnificentBastard who's aware that the opponents are {{Technical Pacifist}}s, that's devotion right there and the poor girl's only ''fourteen years old''. When Ozai announces she will replace him as Fire Lord it's only because he's going to conquer the rest of the world and become the Phoenix King, [[KickedUpStairs thus making 'Fire Lord' an impotent title.]] Her mother Ursa clearly favored Zuko, being a nice person and [[spoiler:feeling rejected by both of her parents ''and'' her friends, Azula descends into an epic VillainousBreakdown.]]
** Ozai seems to have learned his parenting skills from his father, Fire Lord Azulon. It is shown in his single appearance that Azulon shows little if any concern for his younger son and clearly favors Iroh, even after the latter gives up conquering Ba Sing Se.
** Eventually, this wound up repeated in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' with Aang's kids. Aang plays favorites with Tenzin, being he's the only Airbender among the three and the only way for Aang to continue the legacy. This leaves the other two feeling like they were disappointments to their dad for being "born wrong," especially Bumi who wasn't even a Waterbender like Kya. To compensate, Bumi wound up a general and Kya spent many of her years traveling the world (tellingly coming back home only after Aang died). Even Tenzin wound up hurt by this as he feels the burden of being the carrier for the Airbender culture, and being picked as Aang's successor means he's the one with the monumental task of filling his shoes.
** Also in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' there is Toph's daughter Lin, who followed her mother's footsteps to become a police officer (later the chief of the police force), hoping to please her mother. [[spoiler:It didn't work. [[TearJerker Toph wasn't pleased]]. Much angst ensued as Toph's NeverMyFault attitude to her own failures as a mother led to Lin becoming alienated from both Toph herself and from her younger half-sister Suyin. Apparently Toph ended up regretting this years later when Lin refused to get in touch with either of them.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', the character Goose Lee fills this role for Darkwing. He was Darkwing's sensei in the art of quack fu, and he perpetually refers to Darkwing as a disappointment, for his reliance on crime-busting gadgets and machines, his poor judgment around ninja, and his inability to master the all-important quack fu technique, the belly bounce.
** Darkwing's sidekick Launchpad [=McQuack=] in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' episode "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E12TopDuck Top Duck]]". Launchpad thinks that his parents are ashamed of him and wants to show them he's a real [=McQuack=]. (In Launchpad's defense, it's easy to be intimidated when your dad's an {{Expy}} of Creator/JohnWayne!) However, he learns that his parents [[SoProudOfYou actually couldn't be prouder of him.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' parodies this mercilessly, with Peter even hiring a band to play the sappy SitCom music. Subverts the usual ending when his father admits, "Of course I love you. I just don't like you." "Nah nah nah, keep playing, I think this is as close as it's gonna get," Peter tells the band.
** It was played unusual serious through the rest of that episode. Peter even became depressed and apathetic when his father [[KickTheDog called him a lousy son and father]].
*** In a later episode, he at least earns [[spoiler: his biological father]]'s respect.
** A similar example happens in another episode, but with the daughter Meg instead. She gains Peter's respect at the end of the episode and he reveals to her that he actually does love her, despite his inexplicable abuse. He tells her that when they're alone, he'll be nice to her, but he'll be a jerk to her whenever anyone else is around.
* Jonas Venture Sr. in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is the quintessential "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and he's even more impossible to please because he's dead. Dr. Venture can never be as smart, powerful or well-liked as he believes his father was, and his super-science business mostly consists of repackaging his father's old projects and cheating off his father's old notes. All of Dr. Venture's insecurities, shortcomings, and bad habits come (or so Dr. Killinger says) from one childhood incident in which he saw the size of his father's penis.
** Somewhat repeated with the boys. Although the fact they are mostly dense doesn't help. Hank has this towards Brock mostly, but both of them often show the desire to be praised by their cold, uncaring, {{jerkass}} dad.
*** Episodes in the third season revealed that Jonas Sr. was a complete {{jerkass}}. An episode in season four reveals [[spoiler:that the dads or caretakers of boy adventurers seem to be terrible in one way or another.]] However by the end Rusty decides that for all his faults he's better off than others who shared his fate.
* Harry of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' is TheUnfavorite (even though he's an ''only child'') and is constantly trying to prove himself to his dad. That explains why he steals the Globulin Green performance-enhancing drug, and consequently develops a SuperpoweredEvilSide, the Green Goblin - he wants his father to be proud of him. It doesn't work.
** Norman did eventually say that he was proud of Harry. But it may have been a hollow victory for Harry since it happened just after Norman was unmasked as the true Green Goblin. As it turned out, Harry's own father had personally [[AbusiveParent dressed him up as a pyschotic supervillain while he was passed out, even twisting Harry's ankle to maintain the illusion.]]
* The short-lived edutainment show ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' suggested this as a motivation for Alexander the Great in one sketch where the conqueror was receiving therapy from UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud. This, after suggesting [[FreudWasRight mother issues]], pushed Alexander's BerserkButton.
-->'''Philip of Macedon:''' Pretty good, Al. Not great; pretty good.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': ''Zim's'' feelings toward the Almighty Tallest. He'll do anything to gain their favor or attention.
-->'''Zim:''' [[OverlyLongGag My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! Hey! Hey! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Taaaaaaaaaallest! My Tallest! Hey! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest! My Tallest!]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', this is basis for a good half of Hank Hill's personality. In one episode, Hank has a hallucination involving his deepest desires while in a steam room and the entirety of the vision is his father happily saying he's proud of him (with a firm handshake to boot).
** This shows up quite a bit. One wonders if Creator/MikeJudge [[FreudWasRight might have an issue on this front]]. Hank is a bit of one of these for Bobby, as Bobby is all too aware that he's artsy, comedic, lazy, and generally not the kind of son his father wanted. Peggy's mother absolutely refuses to identify any good her daughter ever does, even when Peggy goes so far as to save her mother's ranch from foreclosure. Also, Kahn wanted a boy, so he named his daughter Kahn Jr. (everyone calls her Connie). Almost nothing she does is good enough for him, except when he needs to brag about how much better he and his family are than his hillbilly neighbors.
** Hank's dad did admit at one point that Hank was the better father... in his own way.
--->"After all, you made Bobby! All ''I'' made was ''you.''"
** However, Hank is [[PapaWolf fiercely protective of Bobby]] despite his difficulties in expressing his affection for his son.
** The final episode has Bobby discovering a gift for grilling, something that Hank can finally approve of. An earlier episode also had Bobby taking home economics, with Hank at about the halfway point of the episode coming to enjoy what Bobby was able to create with those skills. However, that episode had ''Peggy'' as the disapproving parent, due to being jealous that Bobby was a better homemaker than she could ever be.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', Kalibak's primary reason for antagonizing [[FanNickname Big Blue]] was to please his father, Darkseid.
** Shoot, the first episode he appeared in was called "Father's Day".
* A daughter example with Helen and her dad in ''TheGoodeFamily''. Charlie frequently ridicules his daughter's liberal belief and insults her in any given opportunity. Helen is so desperate for his approval that she even let an ugly animal he adopts stay with her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''
** The only person who ever got under the skin of David Xanatos and the only one whose criticism of his amorality he seems to take seriously, is his father. His infinite wealth and feared reputation may not get him his father's approval, but his PapaWolf {{Determinator}} attitude when Oberon comes after his own son does.
** Xanatos's wife Fox completely inverts this trope: her father just wants her to show the slightest respect for honor, morality, respect for other people's property rights, and he'd give her his full approval and mega-corporation in an instant. Instead, she tries to bankrupt him so her husband can buy the business, because she considers corporate espionage and sabotage ''more fun''.
** Goliath and Angela get a moment of this when he finally acknowledges her as his daughter - not because he hadn't approved of her, but because gargoyles in his clan traditionally didn't keep track of who is whose offspring ("...the children of the entire clan") and he doesn't like abandoning or changing 'the gargoyle way'. He later also admits to Elisa that he knows Angela, who was raised by humans, doesn't see it that way, but he had another motivation: he definitely ''doesn't'' want Angela seeking the approval of her ''[[EvilMatriarch mother]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''.
** Jeff's one and only motivation.
** Poor Grim! He pretended to become a country rock star just to please his father, only to discover later that his father would have preferred having the Grim Reaper for a son (and now will not believe Grim to be the Reaper).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', it's been often implied through flashbacks and certain episodes that Homer very much had a relationship like this with his father Abe, which would explain why Homer has such a numb and uncaring sentiment towards his dad now during Abe's old age. This was particularly looked at in the episode "Grandpa vs. Sexual Inadequacy".
%%* Ulrich Stern from ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', especially in Season 1.
%%* Cleveland Jr. is developing shades of this in ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow''.
%%* Remy Buxaplenty on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' has this trope real bad.
* Jake Morgendorffer in ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' has a case of this that borders on the pathological—he bends himself over backwards to be a supportive (read: embarrassing) father to Daria and Quinn because his own father, who is presumably dead, encouraged emotional repression. This created a desperate sense of emotional neediness in Jake that in one episode gave him a ''heart attack!''
* Danny from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' wants this. His parents are ghost hunters, and his alter-ego is the ghost Phantom that they hate and want to 'rip apart molecule by molecule.' He's understandably afraid of this, and tries to make them grow to respect his ghost-half.
** [[OppositeSexClone Danielle]] wanted to appeal to her creator, Vlad Plasmius, her "daddy", until learning he was fine with letting her melt to create a perfect clone of Danny for a son. She sided with her genetic donor and renounced Vlad as her father afterwards.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Lucius and Beezy's relationship has shades of this. Beezy wants his father to accept him for [[LazyBum who he is]], but Lucius most certainly does not. There is the occasional SoProudOfYou moment, but this show [[SadistShow being what it is]], it doesn't last long.
* Surprisingly, {{Superman}} in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' to Superboy, his clone. Superboy desperately craves some sort of attention and affection from Superman, who wants nothing to do with him and actively avoids him [[spoiler:until Superboy saves his life and the Justice League in the season one finale]].
** Subverted with Robin. While he does want Batman's acknowledge, he does not want to be ''the'' Batman since [[spoiler:he isn't able to pull off a GoodIsNotNice mindset in "Failsafe".]]
*** Batman himself averts this trope because he makes it clear to the Justice League in "Agendas" that he doesn't want Robin to be like him and took Robin in as a partner because he wanted to give Robin a chance to avenge the death of his parents. It's especially sad because as stated above, Robin feels that Batman wants him to take up his mantle.
---> '''Wonder Woman''': So he'd become just like you?
---> '''Batman''': So he wouldn't.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Norm the robot feels this way towards Doofenshmirtz, who created him. He wants to be acknowledged as his son, but Doof simply thinks of him as a servant.
** Which is nothing compared to Doof's feelings about his own AbusiveParents.
-->"So, what am ''I'' gonna do with the [[OutOfCharacterMoment Least-Likely-Inator]], you ask? Make my [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter daughter]] ''obey'' me, make my father ''love'' me? No, and double-no! Well, maybe later."
** To a minor degree, Django Brown wants to be an artist like his father, but feels his drawings can't be compared to his dad's work (who makes giant sculptures). His father didn't get to see the giant version of his drawing, but he does like the normal sized version.
* Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' is this not toward her parents, but her mentor [[PhysicalGod Princess Celestia]]. She values being a good student and the idea of not being able to send a letter about what she's learned about friendship in time during [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero "Lesson Zero"]] is enough to give her [[SanitySlippage mental breakdown]]. She doesn't seem to understand that Celestia's approval isn't as conditional as she thinks it is. She also show signs of this towards her brother Shining Armor during the two-parter episode, [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E25ACanterlotWeddingPart1 "A Canterlot]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 Wedding"]].
** To a lesser degree, Sweetie Belle is this toward her older sister, Rarity.
** Scootaloo is revealed to be this to her idol, Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash hugs her and makes it feel all better.
* Ahsoka Tano from ''StarWarsTheCloneWars''. The only thing that genuinely worries her, is disappointing her master, Anakin. [[spoiler:Well was, until the Season 3 finale.]]
* Head dog catcher Lenard [=McLeish=] in the 2010 version of ''[[WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010 Pound Puppies]]''. His mother Agatha is extremely rich and lives in a mansion. Lenard... is not as successful. Whenever she visits, [=McLeish=] pines for some sort of affection from her, only to be denied every time.
* In the AnimatedAdaptation of ''Literature/{{Franklin}}'', Bear is sometimes this in trying to get his Mom's attention over his sister.
* Oddly enough, Starscream [[TheStarscream (yes, that one)]] has been suggested to have a certain level of this mixed in to his usual treacherous shenanigans in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''. The character's as pathologically treacherous as ever, perhaps even more so because he doesn't suck at it quite as much as his previous incarnations, but there is the odd implication that he waffles on if being in command or just being acknowledged by anybody as worthy of respect is more important to him.
--> '''Agent Fowler''': He can't seem to decide if he wants Megatron's ''job'' or his ''approval''.
* There are several PJ-centered episodes of ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' that have this as a major part of the conflict. Over the course of the series, he has felt neglected and like a complete idiot when his father Pete favored his best friend, struggled with keeping the family business afloat and felt inadequate at doing so, been actively used as an unwitting spy when Pete pretended to have a change of heart and let him be on his team, worked himself much harder than he already was (which is saying ''a lot'') when he thought a new baby was going to get all the attention, and felt like a complete and utter failure for not being able to live up to Pete's unrealistic (and [[{{Hypocrite}} hypocritical]]) expectations. He is shown to be hurt in the first movie when Pete offers to give him a high-five and takes it back and in the sequel when Pete becomes impatient for him to move out. Pete ''deliberately'' exploits this the majority of the time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Dogstar}}'', all Dino really wants is his father's respect.
* In ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'', the Cereal Master's daddy issues are lampshaded, discussed, and resolved in less than five minutes. It's a, uh... [[WidgetSeries rather strange series.]]
* ''BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'': Commander Nebula is this for XR [[spoiler: and XR's predecessor XL]]. (Both see him as their father because he signed the work orders for their construction).
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries''. In the episode "Yesteryear" Spock wants to prove to his father Sarek that he is a true Vulcan by undergoing the Kahs-wan ordeal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The case of Alexander III and Nicholas II, the last two Tsars of Russia before the Russian Revolution put an end to the monarchy. Alexander had nothing but contempt for Nicholas, his son and heir, deriding him as weak and worthless and demeaning him to his face. He also did little in the way of actually preparing Nicholas for the heavy responsibility of ruling the Russian Empire, leaving the young man woefully unprepared for the job when Alexander died in 1894. Throughout his reign, Nicholas proved timid and indecisive, and lacked strong leadership and political skills. Nicholas was a devoted father and husband, and an all-around family man... but in large part thanks to his father, he simply wasn't cut out to be a king, and couldn't manage his own autocracy. Later Alex Kerensky took over, and, [[AndNowYouKnow well]]....
* Political commentary and biopics tend to paint UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush as suffering from this trope.
** This despite G.W. himself, his mother, and pretty much everyone else in the family stating in print and on video, in public and private, that George H.W. has never been less than a doting father whose children have always known they have his unstinting love and support.
* UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill's early life was driven by a desire to form a close relationship with his aloof and uninterested father, Lord Randolph; Churchill envisioned quickly getting to Parliament as the best means of being able to work closely together, father and son, a dream that was shattered when his father died young.
* Though exceptionally well-educated and provided for, as children [[UsefulNotes/MaryTudor Mary I]] and UsefulNotes/ElizabethI were desperate for attention and approval from their misogynistic father, UsefulNotes/HenryVIII, which had a lot to do with their respective styles of ruling and general personalities. That, and the way he treated their mothers (though this is judging him by [[ValuesDissonance modern, Anglospheric cultural standards]]; he was, according to some, [[FairForItsDay a pretty good fellow for his day]]).
* UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria, according to several biographers, had this type of relationship with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and the Duchess's [[EvilChancellor evil advisor]], Sir John Conroy. The only thing of value the Duchess "owned" was her daughter, the heiress presumptive to the throne, and in order to capitalize on the fact, they demanded that Victoria be ''perfect''. Nothing was ever good enough, which Victoria's diary entries show caused her a great deal of angst.
* Creator/SylviaPlath wrote in her journal about how she wanted her mother to love her. She realized that her writing would never be hers until she stopped writing for her mother's approval and started writing for herself.
* As Japan was tearing apart the film ''Anime/TalesFromEarthsea'' by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki (who had a long-term rift with his son and was skeptical of his son's filmmaking abilities) unexpectedly came to its premiere. Then he wrote a note to his son. "It was made honestly. I liked it."
* Creator/HenryFonda was described by his famous children, [[Creator/JaneFonda Jane]] and Peter as cold and detached. Jane wrote in her autobiography that her father was more open to strangers than to her: "Often I run into people who describe finding themselves sitting next to him on transatlantic flights and go on about what an open person he was, how they drank and talked with him “for eight hours nonstop.” It makes me angry. I never talked to him for thirty minutes nonstop!"
* The traditional dynastic model for much of the Muslim world is that formulated by the fourteenth-century North African historiographer Ibn Khaldun, which assumes that dynasties are formed generally by the leader of some powerful nomadic people conquering a settled region and replacing the current rulers while leaving everything in place. It holds that the first generation is still savage, but very strong, the second generation is adapted to civilized living, and inherits his father's connections and vision, the third generation begins to be soft, arrogant, and insufficiently political, and from the fourth generation it's all downhill until the new conquerors come.
* [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204652904577191440888199840.html This]] ''Wall Street Journal'' piece argues that the last four presidents, including Obama, all have daddy issues: They either have a hero figure as their father and a privileged background or no relationship to their father at all: '''"No recent presidents can boast paternity that seems ordinary or normal, finding middle ground between the intense expectations of a powerful, prominent parent and the disasters of badly broken families with absent birth fathers."'' Makes you wonder if that explains their political decisions. Oh, and all 2012 candidates as well as many candidates from the previous elections (e.g. Al Gore, John [=McCain=]) also fell into this pattern ...
[[/folder]]

----
made
18th Aug '16 9:10:42 PM PaulA
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* MilesVorkosigan started out an odd variant of this. It is not so much his father Aral's feelings of contempt or disapproval that he strives against as his feelings of guilt (Aral blames himself for the sequence of events that led to his son's prenatal poisoning and resultant physical disabilities). Miles's grandfather Piotr has enough disapproval for both Aral and Miles to go around. If he didn't Aral and Piotr are such towering giants of Barayaran history Miles nearly kills himself trying to measure up

to:

* MilesVorkosigan In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'', Miles Vorkosigan started out an odd variant of this. It is not so much his father Aral's feelings of contempt or disapproval that he strives against as his feelings of guilt (Aral blames himself for the sequence of events that led to his son's prenatal poisoning and resultant physical disabilities). Miles's grandfather Piotr has enough disapproval for both Aral and Miles to go around. If he didn't Aral and Piotr are such towering giants of Barayaran history Miles nearly kills himself trying to measure upup.
18th Aug '16 6:51:27 AM Wildstar93
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Film/TheJungleBook2016''', Mowgli wants Bagheera's approval of him using human tools to survive among the wolves. But Bagheera's stern attitude and disapproval of these "tricks", wanting to keep things between Man and the jungle separated to the point of near dogmatism, puts a bit of strain on their relationship. Fortunately, Bagheera does learn to appreciate these "tricks" after Mowgli saves an elephant calf with these tools and even encourages him to use these tools during the final battle with Shere Khan.
15th Aug '16 12:01:08 AM Geoduck
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Reiterated in the stand-up show ''NormanRockwell is Bleeding'' (the ''Anti-Dad!'' part), ending with

to:

** Reiterated in the stand-up show ''NormanRockwell ''Creator/NormanRockwell is Bleeding'' (the ''Anti-Dad!'' part), ending with
12th Aug '16 1:53:21 PM Morgenthaler
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Jochi in the ''{{Conqueror}}'' books is constantly trying to gain some small measure of the respect his father, Genghis Khan, [[ParentalFavoritism showers on his younger brothers]]. No matter how successful as a warrior and general Jochi is, he never gets more than a reluctant, grunting acknowledgement that he's done something right.

to:

* Jochi in the ''{{Conqueror}}'' ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books is constantly trying to gain some small measure of the respect his father, Genghis Khan, [[ParentalFavoritism showers on his younger brothers]]. No matter how successful as a warrior and general Jochi is, he never gets more than a reluctant, grunting acknowledgement that he's done something right.
8th Aug '16 8:01:35 AM MsZephy7
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''VisualNovel/Hakuouki'', Okita wants to be helpful to Kondou and earn his approval. But due to some help from Serizawa's manipulation, he becomes quickly convinced that the only thing he could do for Kondou is kill his enemies but Kondou would rather not have Okita get his hands dirty. This leads to resentment and jealousy against Hijikata, the person who Kondou relies on the most.

to:

* In ''VisualNovel/Hakuouki'', ''VisualNovel/{{Hakuouki}}'', Okita wants to be helpful to Kondou and earn his approval. But due to some help from Serizawa's manipulation, he becomes quickly convinced that the only thing he could do for Kondou is kill his enemies but Kondou would rather not have Okita get his hands dirty. This leads to resentment and jealousy against Hijikata, the person who Kondou relies on the most.
8th Aug '16 7:56:54 AM MsZephy7
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* In ''VisualNovel/Hakuouki'', Okita wants to be helpful to Kondou and earn his approval. But due to some help from Serizawa's manipulation, he becomes quickly convinced that the only thing he could do for Kondou is kill his enemies but Kondou would rather not have Okita get his hands dirty. This leads to resentment and jealousy against Hijikata, the person who Kondou relies on the most.
2nd Aug '16 9:52:57 AM Wyverntamer
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler]]This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore[[/spoiler]]

to:

* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler]]This [[spoiler This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore[[/spoiler]]anymore]]
2nd Aug '16 9:41:00 AM Wyverntamer
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Morpheus's Twisted Universe's story the Karma of Serenity is about a guy who is all about this, and is a bully because his father thinks 'a real man' should act like that. [[spoiler]]This ends when he becomes a girl due to his twist and she is delighted to find out that she doesn't have to follow those rules anymore[[/spoiler]]
This list shows the last 10 events of 397. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.WellDoneSonGuy