I searched for tropes with the keyword "father" and found nothing, so here goes. I can't believe we don't have this one already. Anyway...
Your dad is the greatest warrior of his people. You know, like Kerchak in Disney's Tarzan
or Fergus in Brave
. He's as brave as can be, a definite Papa Wolf
, and he never hesitates to hurl himself into danger to protect his family or anyone else who needs saving. He rules with the authority that comes from everyone knowing he's the supreme Bad Ass
of their group.
Yet when he actually faces off against a serious villain (like Sabor or Mordu), he very nearly gets his clock cleaned, and is saved only by the timely intervention of you, his much smaller, weaker, and/or less skilled son (or daughter, if the story is about a girl who can fight like the boys).
Can turn the Papa Wolf
into a "Well Done, Son!" Guy
, if he can put aside any embarrassment or shame he may feel about needing to be rescued. And the battle itself may be a Crowning Moment of Awesome
for the kid who saves him, perhaps clearly establishing that he is now a Bad Ass
in his own right.
Differs from You Killed My Father
because the father does not die. In fact, he usually emerges from the battle with only a few minor injuries at worst.
Common in animation, where the ability of a smaller child to fight better than a much larger parent can be more easily made to appear credible.
If a daughter rides to the rescue, she is most likely an Action Girl
, and may rely on Waif-Fu
A variant of this trope replaces the father with another male figure admired by the hero or heroine; see Mulan
, where Mulan steps in to save army captain and overall Bad Ass
Li Shang from defeat at the hands of the hulking Shan Yu.
combines this trope with Mighty Whitey
and The Native Rival
, taking advantage of the fact that Tarzan and his adoptive father Kerchak are of different species.
of Progeny To The Rescue
, in which children save their parents from danger.