Parent Never Came Back From The Store
When a parent abandons their child, the excuse is that they went to the store and never came back
My mom already left for the diner and dad went to the 7-Eleven to get scratchers. I guess he won, 'cause that was six years ago.A form of Parental Abandonment that is often Played for Laughs but can also be Played for Drama. When a parent decides to leave their family or breaks up with their partner they'll make the excuse of Going to the Store, but they never actually come back. Other times it's a excuse made by the childs family in order to soften the trauma or shield the kid from the issue. If the child is young or naive enough they will believe that their parent really did go to the store and are just taking a really, really long time coming back. Compare to Released to Elsewhere for when parents tell their children that their parent ran off or divorced when they actually died and When You Coming Home, Dad? for when a dad is busy but not completely absent. Contrast Family Man, who probably never would do this.
—Harley Keener, Iron Man 3
ExamplesFilm — Live Action
- In Quartier Lointain the protagonist's father says he's going out to buy some bread on the night of his 40th birthday. He doesn't come back.
- Iron Man 3: When Tony meets Harley, a kid in Tennessee, he says his dad went to a 7-Eleven to get lottery scratch-offs, six years ago.
- Mentioned in 1995's Man of the House during Ben Archer's Opening Narration that his father packed up his things and drove away, saying he needed to "find himself." He took his cute secretary along to help him look. The abandonment was rather transparent, so Ben and his mother Sandy begin their single-parent life right from go.
- Subverted with Dilbert. Dilmom's explanation for Dilbert's Disappeared Dad is that they lost him at an all-you-can-eat buffet. In a much later strip, though, Dilbert visits his father, who is indeed still at the buffet restaurant because he's so resolutely Literal-Minded that he refuses to leave until he has actually had "all he can eat".
- Will's dad in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air disappeared when his son was five and used this excuse.
- Parodied in the final episode of 30 Rock when Tracy Jordan's father returns from the store with cigarettes....about thirty-five years after he went out.
- In Monk, Adrian Monk's father ran away from his own family after he was supposed to get Chinese food.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Cry Wilderness, they reference this in one of the riffs:
Mr. Douglas: What did your father have to say about these meetings?Paul: I never told him.Mr. Douglas: Why not?Servo: He hasn't come back from buying cigarettes yet...
- Referenced in "Little Things" by Good Charlotte:
And that same year, on Christmas Eve, Dad went to the store.We checked his room, his things were gone.We didn't see him no more.
- Parodied in Ultra Fast Pony: Every episode opens with a different character saying the name of the show. When someone points out to Rarity that she's the only one who hasn't gotten to do one of those intros, she retorts, "My episode intro just went to the store! You'll see!"
- The Simpsons:
- Nelson's dad went to the store a few years ago and never came back. It is later revealed that he didn't intend to disappear, but he ate peanuts that caused an allergic reaction which got him abducted by a circus passing by, to be used in a Freak Show.
- In episode "Future Drama", Future Nelson pulls the same trick on his two wives.
- Richard's father in The Amazing World of Gumball said he was going to get milk when he left. Richard, being the Manchild that he is, is in heavy denial about this even into his 40s.
- Subverted in Black Dynamite:
Black Dynamite's Daddy: Now I could lie to you and say, 'I'm just goin' out for a pack of cigarettes.' But the truth is, I'm leavin' you to raise eight-year-old Black Dynamite by yourself. Now dig it while you can, because the light just turned muthafuckin' green. Bye, bitch!
- In some countries like Chile, the phrase "my dad went to buy cigarrettes and never came back" is a common joke used even by comedians.
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