Doting Grandparent
The grandparent who is like a pal
Tropeworthy? Motion To Discard

(permanent link) added: 2013-07-23 11:36:04 sponsor: CluLegacy (last reply: 2013-08-03 09:45:57)

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That's a doting grandparent

Raven Baxter: [gasps] Grandma, are you psychic?
Grandma Vivian: Well, I don't know who this "Grandma" is, but Viv is.

Fictional works can happen to have a grandparent character. Nothing unusual in that.

There is the regular grandparent, who spoils the kids, plays chess in parks (grandpa), makes knitting (grandma) and sleeps 12-plus hours a day.

Then there is the doting grandparent. S/he is a grandparent with attitude and a young spirit, as much or even more vitality than his/her grandchildren, a captivating nature that makes the children enjoy him/her as a friend, and is a counterpoint to the parents (While the parents are Serious Business the grandparents are all about fun). Played for laughs most of the time.

Note that it does not have to do with "a grandparent who spoils the children" but with a grandparent who treats the children as equals and has their friendship. Truth in Television as it became more common seeing grandparents under 50.

Compare with Doting Parent.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Oliver Queen was that to Lian Harper, daughter of his protegé Roy Harper, in the pre-New 52 continuity of the DC Universe.

Comic Strips

Literature

  • From the Aunt Dimity series: Willis Sr. vis-a-vis Will and Rob. There are many references to this, including a jocular reference to the "law" that grandparents must spoil their grandchildren and being an attorney, Willis Sr. is stickler for obeying the law. He refurbishes the stables at Fairworth House not for his own use (he doesn't ride himself), but so that the twins will ride over for frequent visits.

  • Heidi:
    • Heidi's grandfather after his hidden heart of gold is shown. He is forced to become Heidi's guardian after both her parents died and her aunt decides she wants to work and not care for a child. He's still a physically strong man and Heidi adores him. He also becomes a great grandfather figure to Klara, Ill Girl and Lonely Rich Kid, Heidi's friend from the city.
    • Klara's grandmother is absolutely awesome. She's respected by everybody and loves her granddaughter Klara deeply, and she really takes a strong liking to Heidi, Klara's playmate and companion. She convinces Heidi that reading is not that hard as she was lead to believe, and altogether, things are brighter for the girls when the grandmother is staying with them.

Live Action TV

  • Ed "Pop" Ward from Like Family is Bobby's doting grandpa who lives with his son Ed and dates 40-year-younger women. He is also a doting adopted grandpa to Keith and often helps him and Bobby to get out of trouble.
  • Hattie Banks, a recurring character from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is Will Smith's doting adopted grandma who cheats Will in the cards game, takes him to Disneyland and embarasses Uncle Phil.
  • Vivian (never call her Grandma) from That's So Raven is Raven's doting Vivian with who shares the psychic power of foresight and helps her to take away the angst of keeping this secret. She also always pranks Cory who fails to counterprank her due to her power.
  • Subverted with Ethil Philips from Dinosaurs. While crippled in a wheelchair she still has attitude enough to be a pain in his son-in-law Earl Sinclair's ass and is a doting grandma at least to Baby. She often reads stories to Baby and they even had a special episode with Ethil telling a fable to Baby.
  • Averted in Two and a Half Men. Although not being a regular grandma (she has vitality enough to live by herself and be a pain in his son Alan's ass) Evelyn Harper is so self-centered that even her grandson Jake doesn't stand her.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Marie Barone often makes it unsubtly clear that Debra's greatest single function in married life to her son was to provide she, Marie, with grandchildren she can dote on and spoil rotten. Grandchildren, although she genuinely loves them, are just another weapon she uses to remind Debra of her subordinate position and failings as a home-maker. Meanwhile, Frank Barone is the opposite of this trope - as often as not the grandkids are another imposition designed to spoil his comfortable retirement. Contrast Marie to Debra's mousy and unassertive mother - she is barely there in their lives, even when staying with her daughter. Debra's mother doesn't have a clue as to how to be a grandmother.
  • Rory's grandparents on Gilmore Girls, though they are really very young as Lorelai had Rory when she was sixteen. They dote on Rory because she's a smart and sweet girl, though they sometimes treat Lorelai as their Unfavourite. Lorelai and Rory are more like sisters, so Emily and Richard are Rory's parental figures. Emily can be pushy, but Richard is a Cool Old Guy who takes great pride in his granddaughter.
  • Edna from Everwood used to be an Army nurse and still works, married her new love despite most people frown upon their mixed marriage and she rides a motorbike. She loves her two grandkids, Amy and Bright, and she's a cool female role model for Delia Brown who has lost her mother.

Film - Live Action

  • Mori Takana from 3 Ninjas is the title characters' doting grandpa who teaches them the art of ninjitsu. He even gave them their ninja nicknames "Rocky", "Colt" and "Tum Tum".

Western Animation

  • Jasmine Lee aka Ah-Mah from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee is an old magical fighter who chose Juniper as her substitute and trains her in the role of Te Xuan Ze. She often sidekicks Juniper against magical vilains. Juniper's parents don't suspect of their double life and think Jasmine is a regular grandma.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Abe Simpson is definitively a senile regular grandpa except in the episode "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'" when Abe and Bart confront a rampaging Montgomery Burns and become close in the end. Unfortunately this twist was forgotten in the next episodes and Abe was returned to his status quo of regular grandpa.
    • Played straight in the episode "Mother Simpson" that features the first appearance of Homer's mother Mona Simpson, a doting hippie grandma with who Lisa relates immediately and creates a deep bond.
  • Max Tennyson from Ben 10 is a retired intergalactic cop who sidekicks his grandson Ben Tennyson, the bearer of an alien weapon called Omnitrix, in his fight against alien villains who threaten the planet Earth. Ben's parents weren't aware of their double life until the sequel series Ben 10: Alien Force.
  • In DuckTales Uncle Scrooge acts like this to the triplets Huey, Dewey and Louie who are left to live with him by Donald Duck, who is serving the Navy. This trope applies once the triplets were abandoned by their mother (Donald's sister and Scrooge's niece) so Donald is the only parent they had.

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