History Main / WhenYouComingHomeDad

17th Oct '17 4:18:58 PM Daedalis
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* ''ComicBook/{{Plutona}}'''s hero gets this treament. She comes home from her day job earning money they need to survive only to be immediately called back out to save lives as a superhero. Her teenage daughter begs for more time but Plutona refuses.
11th Oct '17 3:05:54 PM ngh93
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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and often breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home. Unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.

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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and often breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make up for it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home. Unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.
2nd Oct '17 1:09:49 PM ngh93
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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and often breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.

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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and often breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, home. Unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.
2nd Oct '17 12:56:07 PM ngh93
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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.

to:

* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and often breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.
2nd Oct '17 12:53:22 PM ngh93
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* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly gets his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.

to:

* The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly gets puts his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and breaks/forgets the promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.
2nd Oct '17 12:52:45 PM ngh93
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* This is a minor plot point in ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'' (the family film, not the horror film).

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* This is a minor plot point in The 1998 comedy ''[[Film/JackFrost1998 Jack Frost]]'' (the family film, not Frost]]'': Jack Frost is a workaholic singer of his self-titled rock band and he constantly gets his career over his wife Gabby and son Charlie and breaks/forgets the horror film).promises he made to them. Jack misses Charlie's hockey game, but promises to make it up with a trip to the mountains for Christmas. But then Jack is called in to record songs that mean he won't be home for Christmas. He leaves early and tries to get home, but unfortunately, a bad storm begins to block his vision, and he crashes his car and is killed instantly. One year later, the spirit of Jack is reincarnated inside a snowman in order put things right with Charlie before he completely disappears into the afterlife.
19th Sep '17 6:31:27 PM tyrekecorrea
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* ''Film/{{Click}}'': Creator/AdamSandler character needs to learn that spending time with his kids and [[CaptainObvious having sex with]] Creator/KateBeckinsale [[CaptainObvious is better than working]].

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* ''Film/{{Click}}'': Creator/AdamSandler Creator/AdamSandler's character needs to learn that spending time with his kids and [[CaptainObvious having sex with]] Creator/KateBeckinsale [[CaptainObvious is better than working]].


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* In ''Film/ADivasChristmasCarol'', Bob Crachit is the manager for famed singer Ebony Scrooge. On Christmas Eve, he's working for Ebony in New York, while his wife and ill son Tim are waiting for him in Cincinnati. Tim is understanding, but Bob's wife, Kelly is pissed off, and all but says that she's poised to divorce him. [[spoiler: After Ebony is redeemed, she helps to set things right]].
19th Sep '17 6:18:14 PM tyrekecorrea
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* For the 2015 SuperBowl, Nissan had a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1qCi5nSKw one and a half minute ad]] about a racing driver and his son being separated from day one by his career, with Harry Chapin's "Cat's In The Cradle" scoring it and the dad nearly getting killed in a racing accident. It does end on a heartwarming moment however

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* For the 2015 SuperBowl, Nissan had a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1qCi5nSKw one and a half minute ad]] about a racing driver and his son being separated from day one by his career, with Harry Chapin's "Cat's In The Cradle" scoring it and the dad nearly getting killed in a racing accident. It does end on a heartwarming moment howevermoment, however.



* The {{Trope Namer|s}} is a line from Music/HarryChapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The father never seems to have time for his kid, making empty promises to spend time with him, and despite all that, his kid continues to look up to his dad, promising that he'll grow up just like him. When the dad is retired and finally has time for his son, he finds that his son is now the workaholic that has no time for him.
-->And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. / My boy was just like me.
** The song was based on a poem Harry's wife wrote about her first husband's relationship with ''his'' father. And written when his child was born, while he was out touring.

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* The {{Trope Namer|s}} is a line from Music/HarryChapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The father never seems to have time for his kid, making empty promises to spend time with him, and despite all that, his kid continues to look up to his dad, promising that he'll grow up to be just like him. When the dad is retired and finally has time for his son, he finds that his son is now the workaholic that has no time for him.
-->And --> And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. / My boy was just like me.
** The song was based on a poem Harry's wife wrote about her first husband's relationship with ''his'' father. And father, and written when his child was born, while he was out touring.
15th Sep '17 7:50:21 PM luiz4200
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* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony's mother dies when he was young and his father was a struggling businessman who was usually one step away from bankruptcy. [=DiNozzo=] Senior spent a lot of time traveling and would regularly n

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* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony's mother dies when he was young and his father was a struggling businessman who was usually one step away from bankruptcy. [=DiNozzo=] Senior spent a lot of time traveling and would regularly nneglect Tony when trying to scrounge up a new business opportunity. Tony remembers one summer when they went on vacation to Hawaii and Tony spent an entire week by himself in the hotel room because his father met some investors and was trying to hammer out a deal.
* Very common question in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' flashbacks as John would leave his young sons by themselves in seedy hotels for weeks on end while he hunted monsters. Also very popular in fan fiction as canon establishes that Sam doesn't find out the truth about what John does until he's ten and thought his father was a traveling salesman.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The {{Trope Namer|s}} is a line from Music/HarryChapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The father never seems to have time for his kid, making empty promises to spend time with him, and despite all that, his kid continues to look up to his dad, promising that he'll grow up just like him. When the dad is retired and finally has time for his son, he finds that his son is now the workaholic that has no time for him.
-->And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. / My boy was just like me.
** The song was based on a poem Harry's wife wrote about her first husband's relationship with ''his'' father. And written when his child was born, while he was out touring.
* Obliquely mentioned in Franco de Vita's "No Basta".
* Jamey Johnson's "[[http://www.cmt.com/videos/jamey-johnson/72201/the-dollar.jhtml The Dollar]]" delivers the same [[AnAesop Aesop]] as the {{Trope Namer|s}}, but in a heartwarming tone instead of a depressing one.
* John Anderson's "I Wish I Could Have Been There" is similar in storyline to the {{Trope Namer|s}} (a father who's always on the road, thus missing his daughter's birth and son's first home run). It then [[InvertedTrope inverts]] the usual path on the last verse, where the son and daughter are now grown up, and say the same thing to their parents when they are unable to make their parents' anniversary.
* "American Dream" by ChristianRock band Casting Crowns, which compares the proverbial man-who-built-his-house-upon-sand to a workaholic father who's never there for his wife and child.
* "Slipping Through My Fingers" by Music/{{ABBA}} tells the story of a mother that laments how work kept her away from her daughter as she grew up. Made even more of a TearJerker when you learn that it's based on both Björn and Agnetha's lives and how they missed their daughter's early years.
* "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens is an inversion, being more of a "Why You Leaving Home, Son?" The father has never really taken the time to get to know his son, and cannot understand the son's frustration at conveying how important leaving to become his own man is. Incidentally, "Cat's in the Cradle" is often a MisattributedSong to Cat Stevens.
* "Busy Man," Billy Ray Cyrus' only hit song between his Achy Breaky heyday and his ''Series/HannahMontana''-induced comeback, explores this theme.
** Billy Ray's [[Music/MileyCyrus daughter]] [[WordOfGod mentions in her 2009 memoirs]], ''Miles to Go'', that she never understood why her dad had to be out on the road for so long, until she herself had to do long tours away from her family. Billy Ray's intense schedule led him to slow down his country career by the late [[TheNineties 1990s]] to settle down and raise his family, which led to him living and working with them in Canada filming ''{{Doc}}''.
* "Someday Never Comes" by Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival, which not only invokes this trope with both the father's life and death, but states that the son ends up just like his father with the implication that '''his''' son will be the same way when he gets older.
-->First thing I remember was askin' Papa "Why?" / For there were many things I didn't know.\\
And Daddy always smiled; took me by the hand / Sayin', "Someday you'll understand."\\
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son\\
You'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young\\
'Cause, "Someday" never comes.
* Music/NeilDiamond's "Shilo" uses this trope. A boy creates an {{imaginary friend}}, Shilo, because his father won't pay attention to him and he's lonely:
-->Papa says he'd love to be with you\\
If he had the time\\
So you turn to the only friend you can find\\
There in your mind
* The song "Wasted" by Cartel has a variety of fairly depressing moments in it throughout the course of a person's life, including this one.
-->He's seven years old, got his bat in his hand
-->He's looking for his father and he doesn't understand
-->'Cause Dad's too busy, got some deals on the way
-->His son sits alone as the children play
* "I'm Already There" by Music/{{Lonestar}}:
-->A little voice came on the phone
-->Said "Daddy, when you coming home?"
-->He said the first thing that came to his mind
-->"I'm already there
-->Take a look around…"
* The song "Don't Miss Your Life" by Phil Vassar was written when the singer was on a plane missing his daughters. It's about a young man on a plane for a business trip, sitting next to an older man who tells him he's missed a lot such as his daughter's first steps, and who advises him "don't miss your life". By the end of the song, the young man decides that as soon as the plane lands, he'll buy a ticket back home so that he can be there for his daughter's eighth birthday.
-->I missed the first steps my daughter took\\
The time my son played Captain Hook\\
In Peter Pan, I was in New York\\
Said "Sorry, son, Dad has to work"\\
I missed the father-daughter dance\\
The first home run, no second chance\\
To be there when he crossed the plate\\
The moment's gone, now it's too late\\
Fame and fortune come with a heavy price\\
Son, don't miss your life.
* Music/{{Queensryche}}'s song "Bridge" is a particularly bitter version, made [[TearJerker all the sadder]] when you learn that it was based on guitarist Chris De Garmo's relationship with his father, who died before they could make up:
-->You say, "Son, let's forget the past,\\
I want another chance, gonna make it last."\\
You're begging me for a brand new start\\
Trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart\\
But you know,\\
[[WhamLine You never built it, dad...]]
* The Music/FortMinor song "Where'd You Go" is all about this trope from the point of view from the neglected family.
* In the video for Kelly Clarkson's song "Because of You," when her younger self proudly shows her father a picture that she drew in school, he is so busy talking on his cell phone that he absent-mindedly drops it into a sink full of water.
* Music/RogerWaters [[WordOfGod mentioned in a 1979 interview]] with British DJ Tommy Vance promoting the Music/PinkFloyd album ''Music/TheWall'' that "Bring the Boys Back Home" is partly to do with this:
-->... It's partly about not letting people go off and be killed in wars, but it's partly about not allowing rock and roll, or making cars, or selling soap, or getting involved in biological research, or anything that anybody might do ... not letting that become such an important and 'jolly boy's game' that it becomes more important than friends, wives, children, or other people.
* "Come Home Billy Bird (international business traveller)" by ''Music/TheDivineComedy'' is about a father's heroic attempts to avert this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Boogeyman}} sang the Harry Chapin, "Cat's in the cradle" up to "When you coming home dad?" to Vince [=McMahon=] after it was "revealed" Vince had a bastard son. (it was actually a prank by Finley but Boogeyman seemed to believe it, being crazy)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stand Up Comedy]]
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in Tim Hawkins' piece "Short Songs", where one of the songs he abbreviates seems to be "Cat in a Cradle": "My son got mad 'cause I worked all the time; he grew up to be a jerk, just like me!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Trouble in Tahiti'', Sam denies his wife's plea for him to attend his son's school play, because he wants to play in a handball tournament and prove he's a BornWinner.
* In Theatre/TheTwentyFifthAnnualPutnamCountySpellingBee, Olive saves a seat for her emotionally distant father. He never shows.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Poor Ashley Robbins suffered this in ''VideoGame/AnotherCode R'' when her father wound up leaving her -- [[ParentalAbandonment again]] -- after he returned to civilized life. He was aware of it enough to invite her to visit, though, which kicked off the plot of the game.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[spoiler:Thane Krios']] relationship with his son [[spoiler:Kolyat]] is this trope. It turns into a WholePlotReference to the song when [[spoiler:Kolyat]] decides to follow in his father's footsteps and [[spoiler:become an assassin]]. The achievement for completing this subplot is even titled Cat's in the Cradle.
** [[WrenchWench Tali's]] father was an admiral and never really close to his daughter, and [[ActionGirl Ashley's]] father was always out in space serving the military, while she, her sisters, and her mother stayed planetside, although the time she did spend with him sounds happy. Tali wasn't so lucky.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you get the opportunity to prevent this trope from happening to Liara [[spoiler:by convincing her to talk to her "dad" - the bartender Aethyta.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Dojima-san is always too busy solvin' crime to do anything with Nanako. She asks him the title question over the phone more than once.
* In ''VideoGame/NanashiNoGame'', Ikuta was always too busy with work to spend time with his wife and daughter, which ended tragically for all involved.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', we get a dose of this with Carth's son. Part of the reason he [[spoiler: joined the Sith]] was because he resented his father for always being off at war.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/NieR Gestalt'' spends all his time desperately searching for a cure for his [[IllGirl sick daughter]] [[PluckyGirl Yonah]], [[TheUnfettered no matter the cost]], but all Yonah wants is for him to be at home with her.
* Both ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' have the protagonist's father in such a situation, contactable only by phone; exaggerated in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', where in the cast roll in the credits your father ''is'' a phone. ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' also does it, in a different way: for much of the game, Lucas' father spends most of his time up in the mountains searching for his other son that had went missing, leaving Lucas home alone.
* ''[[VideoGame/SaGa2 Final Fantasy Legend II]]'' opens with a scene where your father is last seen leaving through your bedroom window. Throughout the game, the two of you bond through brief encounters as you try to convince him to stop working so damn hard.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSandMan'', Richard Grundler is always busy with work, to the point that he leaves notes for his daughter letting her know that he'll be staying there for several days at a time to get things done. For her part, Sophie [[StepfordSmiler hides how she feels about this]].
* In ''VideoGame/LabyrinthineDreams'', Beth's father has to work constantly just to make enough to support the family. He hates that he's missing so much of his daughter's childhood [[spoiler: and this ultimately drives him to stage his own death to secure the family money from life insurance.]]
* The PlayerCharacter 's father in VideoGame/PokemonUranium throws himself into his work after his wife dies in a nuclear reactor meltdown, and sends his child to live with his aunt rather than raise them himself.
* In the 2016 Starlight event in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', a young and sick boy wants only one gift and that is to see his father. Because the boy's father is a merchant, he spends a lot of time away from the city and has little to no time to rest. Seeing that his father will never show up, the boy's illness grows worse because he gave up hope. You then confront the boy's father before he sets sail to another land and it turns out that he was away for so long in order to find a cure for his son and he just found it, but it requires him to go overseas in order to negotiate a deal for the medicine. In the end, the father can't return home, but the boy bounces back with confidence once he hears the truth and vows to stay strong until his father returns.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', Hisao's parents spent most of his childhood working. He notes that this resulted in him having evenings to himself, enabling him to go out into the city.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Theo Nero in ''Webcomic/{{CharCole}}'' is far too distracted being a scientist to be a father to the main character. The most {{egregious}} example was when he wished his son a happy 16th birthday. The problem? His son had just turned ''18''.
* Tiger from ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' had a case of this in his flash-back; he often had precious little time with his wife and kids because he was working so many hours as a police officer. In truth it was because he was moonlighting as a superhero. When his family catches him, his kids aren't upset any more, in fact they're completely ecstatic! His wife... Not so much.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Magellan}}'', one of the main contributing factors to Charisma's AlphaBitch personality is the fact that her father, the famed superhero Epoch, is frequently too busy with that to be around.
* ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'' runs [[LonelyRichKid Miranda]] through multiple flavors of ParentalAbandonment, including this one (although it's her mother, not her father, who's the workaholic).
* Chapter eight of ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' opens in a {{flashback}} of Rick [=MacFarlane=] in the last stages of getting ready to go on deployment, only to discover that his daughter (10-ish) has gone so far as to steal his ID to keep him from leaving. He was apparently supposed to help her finish a model kit of some kind. And then since it's a flashback, we know that after this his SpaceFighter gets shot down and he and his pilot Alex are stranded a ways across the galaxy with no easy way home.
* In ''Webcomic/ForestHill'', Colin, a single father of two young kids, tends to be out of town on a regular basis because of work meetings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Inverted and played for laughs in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsqHWqAkQIY&feature=kp this 5-Second Film]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/UnstableFables: Tortoise Vs. Hare'': Murray Hare misses his son's science fair to work at his car dealership. His wife is even worse, as she's a real estate agent who never takes off her Bluetooth headset and appears to be giving motherly advice when she's actually talking to a client.
* Parodied in the ''Film/MaryPoppins'' episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where Homer says that Shary Bobbins taught him not to be a money-driven workaholic (something Homer never was in even the tiniest way).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'': Timmy Turner's parents were these at first. It doesn't get better. They have since been {{Flanderiz|ation}}ed into being ever more [[ParentalNeglect neglectful]] and selfish.
** There was a flashback which revealed how Timmy came to have Vicky as a babysitter. In the flashback, it was revealed his parents ''obsessed'' over him -- or, at least, his father did -- and made home movies of ''everything'' -- even Timmy eating spinach. His mother, wanting a life of her own, practically dragged Timmy's dad out, hired a sitter, and they became the neglectful parents they are today.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'' once travelled back in time and persuaded his father to invest in the show's [=McDonald's=] {{Expy}}. When he got back to his own time, his parents were millionaires, but they couldn't even bother to give him the time of day, so he went back to the past to change things back to normal.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' had Sam's dad be like this when he comes to visit. By the end of the episode he tosses his phone in the back of their car and ignores it as it rings.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'': Nox, the main villain, 200 years before the actual show took place. His obsession with his work eventually drove his wife and children away from him. [[spoiler: They died when the home they moved to was destroyed in a massive flood, and only then did Nox realize that his obsession had cost him the best part of his life. The revelation drove him insane, leading him on a 200-year quest to travel back in time to fix his mistakes, over the course of which he annihilated several countries, killed a dragon, and wiped out an entire species.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear''[='=]s [[ChristmasEpisode All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper]] had a LonelyRichKid stow away with Yogi and gang, who end up getting accused of kidnapping (but of course!). The trope is summed up aptly when the dad confronts them:
-->Dad: Why would he leave with you? What could you possibly give him that I couldn't?
-->Yogi: [[WhamLine Time.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', [[HeroAntagonist Dib]] and [[CreepyChild Gaz]] suffer from an extreme version of this, as their father [[ReluctantMadScientist Professor Membrane]] is always either at his laboratory or working on some odd project in the basement. He often communicates with his children through floating video monitors rather than in person. To make things worse, most of his remaining interaction with Dib is spent on lamenting his "[[CassandraTruth insanity]]" and/or pestering him to study "[[ForScience real science]]."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' had Johnny and Dukey enlisted by TheMenInBlack Black and White to help investigate an ObviouslyEvil-looking man by becoming friends with his daughter.[[spoiler: Then it turned out it was ''the daughter'' who was evil, and plotting to destroy her father's pet food factory because he was too busy with work for her.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' with the elderly supervillain The Terror and his son Charlie. Charlie accuses Terror of never spending any time with him when he was a child. Terror says he had to work, but also because Charlie was such a goody-two shoes, Terror didn't WANT to spend any time with him. For reference, Charlie became an insurance agent instead of a supervillain.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Jake becomes the father to a litter of dog-rainicorn pups. However, his status as an adventuring hero means he's rarely around to see them. It doesn't help that the pups have RapidAging, so all of Jake's attempts to bond come off as hopelessly immature and childish. One of them even tried to buy out Jake's house and force him to take a more "serious" job.
* Both of Macie's parents in ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' are quite distant and they even forget her own 13th birthday. However they are horrified when they realise it, and the episode is about them trying to make it up to her.
* On ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'', Adrien's father Gabriel is ''always'' busy with work. This is on top of keeping Adrien locked into a busy schedule of modeling work and lessons. At the end of "Simon Says" Adrien passive-aggressively rips into his dad for his distance.
[[/folder]]

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15th Sep '17 7:47:29 PM luiz4200
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* ''ComicBook/TeenTitansGo'': [[spoiler:Killer Moth's]] daughter did what she did in Issue #41 to get his attention because he's distracted with some [[TakeOverTheWorld world domination plot]].
* ''ComicBook/ScoobyDooTeamUp'': [[spoiler: In "Future Shocked", [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons Elroy Jetson]] is revealed to be the one behind the Space Age Specter. He did it because Mr. Spacely kept Elroy's Dad busy with Project X]].



* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony's mother dies when he was young and his father was a struggling businessman who was usually one step away from bankruptcy. [=DiNozzo=] Senior spent a lot of time traveling and would regularly neglect Tony when trying to scrounge up a new business opportunity. Tony remembers one summer when they went on vacation to Hawaii and Tony spent an entire week by himself in the hotel room because his father met some investors and was trying to hammer out a deal.
* Very common question in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' flashbacks as John would leave his young sons by themselves in seedy hotels for weeks on end while he hunted monsters. Also very popular in fan fiction as canon establishes that Sam doesn't find out the truth about what John does until he's ten and thought his father was a traveling salesman.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The {{Trope Namer|s}} is a line from Music/HarryChapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The father never seems to have time for his kid, making empty promises to spend time with him, and despite all that, his kid continues to look up to his dad, promising that he'll grow up just like him. When the dad is retired and finally has time for his son, he finds that his son is now the workaholic that has no time for him.
-->And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. / My boy was just like me.
** The song was based on a poem Harry's wife wrote about her first husband's relationship with ''his'' father. And written when his child was born, while he was out touring.
* Obliquely mentioned in Franco de Vita's "No Basta".
* Jamey Johnson's "[[http://www.cmt.com/videos/jamey-johnson/72201/the-dollar.jhtml The Dollar]]" delivers the same [[AnAesop Aesop]] as the {{Trope Namer|s}}, but in a heartwarming tone instead of a depressing one.
* John Anderson's "I Wish I Could Have Been There" is similar in storyline to the {{Trope Namer|s}} (a father who's always on the road, thus missing his daughter's birth and son's first home run). It then [[InvertedTrope inverts]] the usual path on the last verse, where the son and daughter are now grown up, and say the same thing to their parents when they are unable to make their parents' anniversary.
* "American Dream" by ChristianRock band Casting Crowns, which compares the proverbial man-who-built-his-house-upon-sand to a workaholic father who's never there for his wife and child.
* "Slipping Through My Fingers" by Music/{{ABBA}} tells the story of a mother that laments how work kept her away from her daughter as she grew up. Made even more of a TearJerker when you learn that it's based on both Björn and Agnetha's lives and how they missed their daughter's early years.
* "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens is an inversion, being more of a "Why You Leaving Home, Son?" The father has never really taken the time to get to know his son, and cannot understand the son's frustration at conveying how important leaving to become his own man is. Incidentally, "Cat's in the Cradle" is often a MisattributedSong to Cat Stevens.
* "Busy Man," Billy Ray Cyrus' only hit song between his Achy Breaky heyday and his ''Series/HannahMontana''-induced comeback, explores this theme.
** Billy Ray's [[Music/MileyCyrus daughter]] [[WordOfGod mentions in her 2009 memoirs]], ''Miles to Go'', that she never understood why her dad had to be out on the road for so long, until she herself had to do long tours away from her family. Billy Ray's intense schedule led him to slow down his country career by the late [[TheNineties 1990s]] to settle down and raise his family, which led to him living and working with them in Canada filming ''{{Doc}}''.
* "Someday Never Comes" by Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival, which not only invokes this trope with both the father's life and death, but states that the son ends up just like his father with the implication that '''his''' son will be the same way when he gets older.
-->First thing I remember was askin' Papa "Why?" / For there were many things I didn't know.\\
And Daddy always smiled; took me by the hand / Sayin', "Someday you'll understand."\\
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son\\
You'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young\\
'Cause, "Someday" never comes.
* Music/NeilDiamond's "Shilo" uses this trope. A boy creates an {{imaginary friend}}, Shilo, because his father won't pay attention to him and he's lonely:
-->Papa says he'd love to be with you\\
If he had the time\\
So you turn to the only friend you can find\\
There in your mind
* The song "Wasted" by Cartel has a variety of fairly depressing moments in it throughout the course of a person's life, including this one.
-->He's seven years old, got his bat in his hand
-->He's looking for his father and he doesn't understand
-->'Cause Dad's too busy, got some deals on the way
-->His son sits alone as the children play
* "I'm Already There" by Music/{{Lonestar}}:
-->A little voice came on the phone
-->Said "Daddy, when you coming home?"
-->He said the first thing that came to his mind
-->"I'm already there
-->Take a look around…"
* The song "Don't Miss Your Life" by Phil Vassar was written when the singer was on a plane missing his daughters. It's about a young man on a plane for a business trip, sitting next to an older man who tells him he's missed a lot such as his daughter's first steps, and who advises him "don't miss your life". By the end of the song, the young man decides that as soon as the plane lands, he'll buy a ticket back home so that he can be there for his daughter's eighth birthday.
-->I missed the first steps my daughter took\\
The time my son played Captain Hook\\
In Peter Pan, I was in New York\\
Said "Sorry, son, Dad has to work"\\
I missed the father-daughter dance\\
The first home run, no second chance\\
To be there when he crossed the plate\\
The moment's gone, now it's too late\\
Fame and fortune come with a heavy price\\
Son, don't miss your life.
* Music/{{Queensryche}}'s song "Bridge" is a particularly bitter version, made [[TearJerker all the sadder]] when you learn that it was based on guitarist Chris De Garmo's relationship with his father, who died before they could make up:
-->You say, "Son, let's forget the past,\\
I want another chance, gonna make it last."\\
You're begging me for a brand new start\\
Trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart\\
But you know,\\
[[WhamLine You never built it, dad...]]
* The Music/FortMinor song "Where'd You Go" is all about this trope from the point of view from the neglected family.
* In the video for Kelly Clarkson's song "Because of You," when her younger self proudly shows her father a picture that she drew in school, he is so busy talking on his cell phone that he absent-mindedly drops it into a sink full of water.
* Music/RogerWaters [[WordOfGod mentioned in a 1979 interview]] with British DJ Tommy Vance promoting the Music/PinkFloyd album ''Music/TheWall'' that "Bring the Boys Back Home" is partly to do with this:
-->... It's partly about not letting people go off and be killed in wars, but it's partly about not allowing rock and roll, or making cars, or selling soap, or getting involved in biological research, or anything that anybody might do ... not letting that become such an important and 'jolly boy's game' that it becomes more important than friends, wives, children, or other people.
* "Come Home Billy Bird (international business traveller)" by ''Music/TheDivineComedy'' is about a father's heroic attempts to avert this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Boogeyman}} sang the Harry Chapin, "Cat's in the cradle" up to "When you coming home dad?" to Vince [=McMahon=] after it was "revealed" Vince had a bastard son. (it was actually a prank by Finley but Boogeyman seemed to believe it, being crazy)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stand Up Comedy]]
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in Tim Hawkins' piece "Short Songs", where one of the songs he abbreviates seems to be "Cat in a Cradle": "My son got mad 'cause I worked all the time; he grew up to be a jerk, just like me!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Trouble in Tahiti'', Sam denies his wife's plea for him to attend his son's school play, because he wants to play in a handball tournament and prove he's a BornWinner.
* In Theatre/TheTwentyFifthAnnualPutnamCountySpellingBee, Olive saves a seat for her emotionally distant father. He never shows.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Poor Ashley Robbins suffered this in ''VideoGame/AnotherCode R'' when her father wound up leaving her -- [[ParentalAbandonment again]] -- after he returned to civilized life. He was aware of it enough to invite her to visit, though, which kicked off the plot of the game.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[spoiler:Thane Krios']] relationship with his son [[spoiler:Kolyat]] is this trope. It turns into a WholePlotReference to the song when [[spoiler:Kolyat]] decides to follow in his father's footsteps and [[spoiler:become an assassin]]. The achievement for completing this subplot is even titled Cat's in the Cradle.
** [[WrenchWench Tali's]] father was an admiral and never really close to his daughter, and [[ActionGirl Ashley's]] father was always out in space serving the military, while she, her sisters, and her mother stayed planetside, although the time she did spend with him sounds happy. Tali wasn't so lucky.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you get the opportunity to prevent this trope from happening to Liara [[spoiler:by convincing her to talk to her "dad" - the bartender Aethyta.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Dojima-san is always too busy solvin' crime to do anything with Nanako. She asks him the title question over the phone more than once.
* In ''VideoGame/NanashiNoGame'', Ikuta was always too busy with work to spend time with his wife and daughter, which ended tragically for all involved.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', we get a dose of this with Carth's son. Part of the reason he [[spoiler: joined the Sith]] was because he resented his father for always being off at war.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/NieR Gestalt'' spends all his time desperately searching for a cure for his [[IllGirl sick daughter]] [[PluckyGirl Yonah]], [[TheUnfettered no matter the cost]], but all Yonah wants is for him to be at home with her.
* Both ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' have the protagonist's father in such a situation, contactable only by phone; exaggerated in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', where in the cast roll in the credits your father ''is'' a phone. ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' also does it, in a different way: for much of the game, Lucas' father spends most of his time up in the mountains searching for his other son that had went missing, leaving Lucas home alone.
* ''[[VideoGame/SaGa2 Final Fantasy Legend II]]'' opens with a scene where your father is last seen leaving through your bedroom window. Throughout the game, the two of you bond through brief encounters as you try to convince him to stop working so damn hard.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSandMan'', Richard Grundler is always busy with work, to the point that he leaves notes for his daughter letting her know that he'll be staying there for several days at a time to get things done. For her part, Sophie [[StepfordSmiler hides how she feels about this]].
* In ''VideoGame/LabyrinthineDreams'', Beth's father has to work constantly just to make enough to support the family. He hates that he's missing so much of his daughter's childhood [[spoiler: and this ultimately drives him to stage his own death to secure the family money from life insurance.]]
* The PlayerCharacter 's father in VideoGame/PokemonUranium throws himself into his work after his wife dies in a nuclear reactor meltdown, and sends his child to live with his aunt rather than raise them himself.
* In the 2016 Starlight event in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', a young and sick boy wants only one gift and that is to see his father. Because the boy's father is a merchant, he spends a lot of time away from the city and has little to no time to rest. Seeing that his father will never show up, the boy's illness grows worse because he gave up hope. You then confront the boy's father before he sets sail to another land and it turns out that he was away for so long in order to find a cure for his son and he just found it, but it requires him to go overseas in order to negotiate a deal for the medicine. In the end, the father can't return home, but the boy bounces back with confidence once he hears the truth and vows to stay strong until his father returns.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', Hisao's parents spent most of his childhood working. He notes that this resulted in him having evenings to himself, enabling him to go out into the city.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Theo Nero in ''Webcomic/{{CharCole}}'' is far too distracted being a scientist to be a father to the main character. The most {{egregious}} example was when he wished his son a happy 16th birthday. The problem? His son had just turned ''18''.
* Tiger from ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' had a case of this in his flash-back; he often had precious little time with his wife and kids because he was working so many hours as a police officer. In truth it was because he was moonlighting as a superhero. When his family catches him, his kids aren't upset any more, in fact they're completely ecstatic! His wife... Not so much.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Magellan}}'', one of the main contributing factors to Charisma's AlphaBitch personality is the fact that her father, the famed superhero Epoch, is frequently too busy with that to be around.
* ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'' runs [[LonelyRichKid Miranda]] through multiple flavors of ParentalAbandonment, including this one (although it's her mother, not her father, who's the workaholic).
* Chapter eight of ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' opens in a {{flashback}} of Rick [=MacFarlane=] in the last stages of getting ready to go on deployment, only to discover that his daughter (10-ish) has gone so far as to steal his ID to keep him from leaving. He was apparently supposed to help her finish a model kit of some kind. And then since it's a flashback, we know that after this his SpaceFighter gets shot down and he and his pilot Alex are stranded a ways across the galaxy with no easy way home.
* In ''Webcomic/ForestHill'', Colin, a single father of two young kids, tends to be out of town on a regular basis because of work meetings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Inverted and played for laughs in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsqHWqAkQIY&feature=kp this 5-Second Film]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/UnstableFables: Tortoise Vs. Hare'': Murray Hare misses his son's science fair to work at his car dealership. His wife is even worse, as she's a real estate agent who never takes off her Bluetooth headset and appears to be giving motherly advice when she's actually talking to a client.
* Parodied in the ''Film/MaryPoppins'' episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where Homer says that Shary Bobbins taught him not to be a money-driven workaholic (something Homer never was in even the tiniest way).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'': Timmy Turner's parents were these at first. It doesn't get better. They have since been {{Flanderiz|ation}}ed into being ever more [[ParentalNeglect neglectful]] and selfish.
** There was a flashback which revealed how Timmy came to have Vicky as a babysitter. In the flashback, it was revealed his parents ''obsessed'' over him -- or, at least, his father did -- and made home movies of ''everything'' -- even Timmy eating spinach. His mother, wanting a life of her own, practically dragged Timmy's dad out, hired a sitter, and they became the neglectful parents they are today.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'' once travelled back in time and persuaded his father to invest in the show's [=McDonald's=] {{Expy}}. When he got back to his own time, his parents were millionaires, but they couldn't even bother to give him the time of day, so he went back to the past to change things back to normal.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' had Sam's dad be like this when he comes to visit. By the end of the episode he tosses his phone in the back of their car and ignores it as it rings.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'': Nox, the main villain, 200 years before the actual show took place. His obsession with his work eventually drove his wife and children away from him. [[spoiler: They died when the home they moved to was destroyed in a massive flood, and only then did Nox realize that his obsession had cost him the best part of his life. The revelation drove him insane, leading him on a 200-year quest to travel back in time to fix his mistakes, over the course of which he annihilated several countries, killed a dragon, and wiped out an entire species.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear''[='=]s [[ChristmasEpisode All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper]] had a LonelyRichKid stow away with Yogi and gang, who end up getting accused of kidnapping (but of course!). The trope is summed up aptly when the dad confronts them:
-->Dad: Why would he leave with you? What could you possibly give him that I couldn't?
-->Yogi: [[WhamLine Time.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', [[HeroAntagonist Dib]] and [[CreepyChild Gaz]] suffer from an extreme version of this, as their father [[ReluctantMadScientist Professor Membrane]] is always either at his laboratory or working on some odd project in the basement. He often communicates with his children through floating video monitors rather than in person. To make things worse, most of his remaining interaction with Dib is spent on lamenting his "[[CassandraTruth insanity]]" and/or pestering him to study "[[ForScience real science]]."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' had Johnny and Dukey enlisted by TheMenInBlack Black and White to help investigate an ObviouslyEvil-looking man by becoming friends with his daughter.[[spoiler: Then it turned out it was ''the daughter'' who was evil, and plotting to destroy her father's pet food factory because he was too busy with work for her.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' with the elderly supervillain The Terror and his son Charlie. Charlie accuses Terror of never spending any time with him when he was a child. Terror says he had to work, but also because Charlie was such a goody-two shoes, Terror didn't WANT to spend any time with him. For reference, Charlie became an insurance agent instead of a supervillain.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Jake becomes the father to a litter of dog-rainicorn pups. However, his status as an adventuring hero means he's rarely around to see them. It doesn't help that the pups have RapidAging, so all of Jake's attempts to bond come off as hopelessly immature and childish. One of them even tried to buy out Jake's house and force him to take a more "serious" job.
* Both of Macie's parents in ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' are quite distant and they even forget her own 13th birthday. However they are horrified when they realise it, and the episode is about them trying to make it up to her.
* On ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'', Adrien's father Gabriel is ''always'' busy with work. This is on top of keeping Adrien locked into a busy schedule of modeling work and lessons. At the end of "Simon Says" Adrien passive-aggressively rips into his dad for his distance.
[[/folder]]

----

to:

* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Tony's mother dies when he was young and his father was a struggling businessman who was usually one step away from bankruptcy. [=DiNozzo=] Senior spent a lot of time traveling and would regularly neglect Tony when trying to scrounge up a new business opportunity. Tony remembers one summer when they went on vacation to Hawaii and Tony spent an entire week by himself in the hotel room because his father met some investors and was trying to hammer out a deal.
* Very common question in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' flashbacks as John would leave his young sons by themselves in seedy hotels for weeks on end while he hunted monsters. Also very popular in fan fiction as canon establishes that Sam doesn't find out the truth about what John does until he's ten and thought his father was a traveling salesman.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The {{Trope Namer|s}} is a line from Music/HarryChapin's "Cat's in the Cradle". The father never seems to have time for his kid, making empty promises to spend time with him, and despite all that, his kid continues to look up to his dad, promising that he'll grow up just like him. When the dad is retired and finally has time for his son, he finds that his son is now the workaholic that has no time for him.
-->And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he'd grown up just like me. / My boy was just like me.
** The song was based on a poem Harry's wife wrote about her first husband's relationship with ''his'' father. And written when his child was born, while he was out touring.
* Obliquely mentioned in Franco de Vita's "No Basta".
* Jamey Johnson's "[[http://www.cmt.com/videos/jamey-johnson/72201/the-dollar.jhtml The Dollar]]" delivers the same [[AnAesop Aesop]] as the {{Trope Namer|s}}, but in a heartwarming tone instead of a depressing one.
* John Anderson's "I Wish I Could Have Been There" is similar in storyline to the {{Trope Namer|s}} (a father who's always on the road, thus missing his daughter's birth and son's first home run). It then [[InvertedTrope inverts]] the usual path on the last verse, where the son and daughter are now grown up, and say the same thing to their parents when they are unable to make their parents' anniversary.
* "American Dream" by ChristianRock band Casting Crowns, which compares the proverbial man-who-built-his-house-upon-sand to a workaholic father who's never there for his wife and child.
* "Slipping Through My Fingers" by Music/{{ABBA}} tells the story of a mother that laments how work kept her away from her daughter as she grew up. Made even more of a TearJerker when you learn that it's based on both Björn and Agnetha's lives and how they missed their daughter's early years.
* "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens is an inversion, being more of a "Why You Leaving Home, Son?" The father has never really taken the time to get to know his son, and cannot understand the son's frustration at conveying how important leaving to become his own man is. Incidentally, "Cat's in the Cradle" is often a MisattributedSong to Cat Stevens.
* "Busy Man," Billy Ray Cyrus' only hit song between his Achy Breaky heyday and his ''Series/HannahMontana''-induced comeback, explores this theme.
** Billy Ray's [[Music/MileyCyrus daughter]] [[WordOfGod mentions in her 2009 memoirs]], ''Miles to Go'', that she never understood why her dad had to be out on the road for so long, until she herself had to do long tours away from her family. Billy Ray's intense schedule led him to slow down his country career by the late [[TheNineties 1990s]] to settle down and raise his family, which led to him living and working with them in Canada filming ''{{Doc}}''.
* "Someday Never Comes" by Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival, which not only invokes this trope with both the father's life and death, but states that the son ends up just like his father with the implication that '''his''' son will be the same way when he gets older.
-->First thing I remember was askin' Papa "Why?" / For there were many things I didn't know.\\
And Daddy always smiled; took me by the hand / Sayin', "Someday you'll understand."\\
Well, I'm here to tell you now, each and every mother's son\\
You'd better learn it fast, you'd better learn it young\\
'Cause, "Someday" never comes.
* Music/NeilDiamond's "Shilo" uses this trope. A boy creates an {{imaginary friend}}, Shilo, because his father won't pay attention to him and he's lonely:
-->Papa says he'd love to be with you\\
If he had the time\\
So you turn to the only friend you can find\\
There in your mind
* The song "Wasted" by Cartel has a variety of fairly depressing moments in it throughout the course of a person's life, including this one.
-->He's seven years old, got his bat in his hand
-->He's looking for his father and he doesn't understand
-->'Cause Dad's too busy, got some deals on the way
-->His son sits alone as the children play
* "I'm Already There" by Music/{{Lonestar}}:
-->A little voice came on the phone
-->Said "Daddy, when you coming home?"
-->He said the first thing that came to his mind
-->"I'm already there
-->Take a look around…"
* The song "Don't Miss Your Life" by Phil Vassar was written when the singer was on a plane missing his daughters. It's about a young man on a plane for a business trip, sitting next to an older man who tells him he's missed a lot such as his daughter's first steps, and who advises him "don't miss your life". By the end of the song, the young man decides that as soon as the plane lands, he'll buy a ticket back home so that he can be there for his daughter's eighth birthday.
-->I missed the first steps my daughter took\\
The time my son played Captain Hook\\
In Peter Pan, I was in New York\\
Said "Sorry, son, Dad has to work"\\
I missed the father-daughter dance\\
The first home run, no second chance\\
To be there when he crossed the plate\\
The moment's gone, now it's too late\\
Fame and fortune come with a heavy price\\
Son, don't miss your life.
* Music/{{Queensryche}}'s song "Bridge" is a particularly bitter version, made [[TearJerker all the sadder]] when you learn that it was based on guitarist Chris De Garmo's relationship with his father, who died before they could make up:
-->You say, "Son, let's forget the past,\\
I want another chance, gonna make it last."\\
You're begging me for a brand new start\\
Trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart\\
But you know,\\
[[WhamLine You never built it, dad...]]
* The Music/FortMinor song "Where'd You Go" is all about this trope from the point of view from the neglected family.
* In the video for Kelly Clarkson's song "Because of You," when her younger self proudly shows her father a picture that she drew in school, he is so busy talking on his cell phone that he absent-mindedly drops it into a sink full of water.
* Music/RogerWaters [[WordOfGod mentioned in a 1979 interview]] with British DJ Tommy Vance promoting the Music/PinkFloyd album ''Music/TheWall'' that "Bring the Boys Back Home" is partly to do with this:
-->... It's partly about not letting people go off and be killed in wars, but it's partly about not allowing rock and roll, or making cars, or selling soap, or getting involved in biological research, or anything that anybody might do ... not letting that become such an important and 'jolly boy's game' that it becomes more important than friends, wives, children, or other people.
* "Come Home Billy Bird (international business traveller)" by ''Music/TheDivineComedy'' is about a father's heroic attempts to avert this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Boogeyman}} sang the Harry Chapin, "Cat's in the cradle" up to "When you coming home dad?" to Vince [=McMahon=] after it was "revealed" Vince had a bastard son. (it was actually a prank by Finley but Boogeyman seemed to believe it, being crazy)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stand Up Comedy]]
* {{Parodied|Trope}} in Tim Hawkins' piece "Short Songs", where one of the songs he abbreviates seems to be "Cat in a Cradle": "My son got mad 'cause I worked all the time; he grew up to be a jerk, just like me!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Trouble in Tahiti'', Sam denies his wife's plea for him to attend his son's school play, because he wants to play in a handball tournament and prove he's a BornWinner.
* In Theatre/TheTwentyFifthAnnualPutnamCountySpellingBee, Olive saves a seat for her emotionally distant father. He never shows.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Poor Ashley Robbins suffered this in ''VideoGame/AnotherCode R'' when her father wound up leaving her -- [[ParentalAbandonment again]] -- after he returned to civilized life. He was aware of it enough to invite her to visit, though, which kicked off the plot of the game.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', [[spoiler:Thane Krios']] relationship with his son [[spoiler:Kolyat]] is this trope. It turns into a WholePlotReference to the song when [[spoiler:Kolyat]] decides to follow in his father's footsteps and [[spoiler:become an assassin]]. The achievement for completing this subplot is even titled Cat's in the Cradle.
** [[WrenchWench Tali's]] father was an admiral and never really close to his daughter, and [[ActionGirl Ashley's]] father was always out in space serving the military, while she, her sisters, and her mother stayed planetside, although the time she did spend with him sounds happy. Tali wasn't so lucky.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you get the opportunity to prevent this trope from happening to Liara [[spoiler:by convincing her to talk to her "dad" - the bartender Aethyta.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Dojima-san is always too busy solvin' crime to do anything with Nanako. She asks him the title question over the phone more than once.
* In ''VideoGame/NanashiNoGame'', Ikuta was always too busy with work to spend time with his wife and daughter, which ended tragically for all involved.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', we get a dose of this with Carth's son. Part of the reason he [[spoiler: joined the Sith]] was because he resented his father for always being off at war.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/NieR Gestalt'' spends all his time desperately searching for a cure for his [[IllGirl sick daughter]] [[PluckyGirl Yonah]], [[TheUnfettered no matter the cost]], but all Yonah wants is for him to be at home with her.
* Both ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' have the protagonist's father in such a situation, contactable only by phone; exaggerated in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', where in the cast roll in the credits your father ''is'' a phone. ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'' also does it, in a different way: for much of the game, Lucas' father spends most of his time up in the mountains searching for his other son that had went missing, leaving Lucas home alone.
* ''[[VideoGame/SaGa2 Final Fantasy Legend II]]'' opens with a scene where your father is last seen leaving through your bedroom window. Throughout the game, the two of you bond through brief encounters as you try to convince him to stop working so damn hard.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSandMan'', Richard Grundler is always busy with work, to the point that he leaves notes for his daughter letting her know that he'll be staying there for several days at a time to get things done. For her part, Sophie [[StepfordSmiler hides how she feels about this]].
* In ''VideoGame/LabyrinthineDreams'', Beth's father has to work constantly just to make enough to support the family. He hates that he's missing so much of his daughter's childhood [[spoiler: and this ultimately drives him to stage his own death to secure the family money from life insurance.]]
* The PlayerCharacter 's father in VideoGame/PokemonUranium throws himself into his work after his wife dies in a nuclear reactor meltdown, and sends his child to live with his aunt rather than raise them himself.
* In the 2016 Starlight event in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', a young and sick boy wants only one gift and that is to see his father. Because the boy's father is a merchant, he spends a lot of time away from the city and has little to no time to rest. Seeing that his father will never show up, the boy's illness grows worse because he gave up hope. You then confront the boy's father before he sets sail to another land and it turns out that he was away for so long in order to find a cure for his son and he just found it, but it requires him to go overseas in order to negotiate a deal for the medicine. In the end, the father can't return home, but the boy bounces back with confidence once he hears the truth and vows to stay strong until his father returns.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', Hisao's parents spent most of his childhood working. He notes that this resulted in him having evenings to himself, enabling him to go out into the city.
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Theo Nero in ''Webcomic/{{CharCole}}'' is far too distracted being a scientist to be a father to the main character. The most {{egregious}} example was when he wished his son a happy 16th birthday. The problem? His son had just turned ''18''.
* Tiger from ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' had a case of this in his flash-back; he often had precious little time with his wife and kids because he was working so many hours as a police officer. In truth it was because he was moonlighting as a superhero. When his family catches him, his kids aren't upset any more, in fact they're completely ecstatic! His wife... Not so much.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Magellan}}'', one of the main contributing factors to Charisma's AlphaBitch personality is the fact that her father, the famed superhero Epoch, is frequently too busy with that to be around.
* ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'' runs [[LonelyRichKid Miranda]] through multiple flavors of ParentalAbandonment, including this one (although it's her mother, not her father, who's the workaholic).
* Chapter eight of ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' opens in a {{flashback}} of Rick [=MacFarlane=] in the last stages of getting ready to go on deployment, only to discover that his daughter (10-ish) has gone so far as to steal his ID to keep him from leaving. He was apparently supposed to help her finish a model kit of some kind. And then since it's a flashback, we know that after this his SpaceFighter gets shot down and he and his pilot Alex are stranded a ways across the galaxy with no easy way home.
* In ''Webcomic/ForestHill'', Colin, a single father of two young kids, tends to be out of town on a regular basis because of work meetings.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Inverted and played for laughs in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsqHWqAkQIY&feature=kp this 5-Second Film]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/UnstableFables: Tortoise Vs. Hare'': Murray Hare misses his son's science fair to work at his car dealership. His wife is even worse, as she's a real estate agent who never takes off her Bluetooth headset and appears to be giving motherly advice when she's actually talking to a client.
* Parodied in the ''Film/MaryPoppins'' episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', where Homer says that Shary Bobbins taught him not to be a money-driven workaholic (something Homer never was in even the tiniest way).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'': Timmy Turner's parents were these at first. It doesn't get better. They have since been {{Flanderiz|ation}}ed into being ever more [[ParentalNeglect neglectful]] and selfish.
** There was a flashback which revealed how Timmy came to have Vicky as a babysitter. In the flashback, it was revealed his parents ''obsessed'' over him -- or, at least, his father did -- and made home movies of ''everything'' -- even Timmy eating spinach. His mother, wanting a life of her own, practically dragged Timmy's dad out, hired a sitter, and they became the neglectful parents they are today.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'' once travelled back in time and persuaded his father to invest in the show's [=McDonald's=] {{Expy}}. When he got back to his own time, his parents were millionaires, but they couldn't even bother to give him the time of day, so he went back to the past to change things back to normal.
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' had Sam's dad be like this when he comes to visit. By the end of the episode he tosses his phone in the back of their car and ignores it as it rings.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'': Nox, the main villain, 200 years before the actual show took place. His obsession with his work eventually drove his wife and children away from him. [[spoiler: They died when the home they moved to was destroyed in a massive flood, and only then did Nox realize that his obsession had cost him the best part of his life. The revelation drove him insane, leading him on a 200-year quest to travel back in time to fix his mistakes, over the course of which he annihilated several countries, killed a dragon, and wiped out an entire species.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear''[='=]s [[ChristmasEpisode All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper]] had a LonelyRichKid stow away with Yogi and gang, who end up getting accused of kidnapping (but of course!). The trope is summed up aptly when the dad confronts them:
-->Dad: Why would he leave with you? What could you possibly give him that I couldn't?
-->Yogi: [[WhamLine Time.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', [[HeroAntagonist Dib]] and [[CreepyChild Gaz]] suffer from an extreme version of this, as their father [[ReluctantMadScientist Professor Membrane]] is always either at his laboratory or working on some odd project in the basement. He often communicates with his children through floating video monitors rather than in person. To make things worse, most of his remaining interaction with Dib is spent on lamenting his "[[CassandraTruth insanity]]" and/or pestering him to study "[[ForScience real science]]."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' had Johnny and Dukey enlisted by TheMenInBlack Black and White to help investigate an ObviouslyEvil-looking man by becoming friends with his daughter.[[spoiler: Then it turned out it was ''the daughter'' who was evil, and plotting to destroy her father's pet food factory because he was too busy with work for her.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' with the elderly supervillain The Terror and his son Charlie. Charlie accuses Terror of never spending any time with him when he was a child. Terror says he had to work, but also because Charlie was such a goody-two shoes, Terror didn't WANT to spend any time with him. For reference, Charlie became an insurance agent instead of a supervillain.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', Jake becomes the father to a litter of dog-rainicorn pups. However, his status as an adventuring hero means he's rarely around to see them. It doesn't help that the pups have RapidAging, so all of Jake's attempts to bond come off as hopelessly immature and childish. One of them even tried to buy out Jake's house and force him to take a more "serious" job.
* Both of Macie's parents in ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' are quite distant and they even forget her own 13th birthday. However they are horrified when they realise it, and the episode is about them trying to make it up to her.
* On ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'', Adrien's father Gabriel is ''always'' busy with work. This is on top of keeping Adrien locked into a busy schedule of modeling work and lessons. At the end of "Simon Says" Adrien passive-aggressively rips into his dad for his distance.
[[/folder]]

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