Denying the Dead Parent's Sins
A character refuses to accept the fact that their deceased parent had a dark past.
Bob has always looked up to his father and believes him to be the best man who ever lived but what's this? His father has long been dead and he is suddenly told that everything he knew about the man was a lie. Naturally, Bob denies this at first, but eventually is forced to accept reality. Compare Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal. Accepting the truth may lead to a Broken Pedestal.
- Fritz Verdeman from Monster. Fritz was bullied for years as a child when rumors had spread that his father was a spy, and he would violently respond everytime. He seemed to finally be at peace when the court found him innocent, but years after his father's death, Fritz found his journal which contained proof that he really was a spy. The feeling of betrayal made it really hard for Fritz to trust people afterwords.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: William Turner nearly shoots Jack for telling him that his father, "Bootstrap Bill" Turner was a pirate.
- Jan and Todd Wolfhouse from Beerfest get rather defensive when the German drinking team tell them their grandfather stole a recipe for the greatest beer in the world. It turns out he did steal it, but he was the rightful heir, and so are they by extension.
- Harry Potter has a downplayed example, in that Harry refuses to believe that Snape's hatred of his father (and him by proxy) was justified. In the fifth book, he discovers he was a Jerk Jock who tormented Snape while they were at school (although he grew out of it eventually and Snape is shown as being in the wrong for not letting go of the grudge).
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Danaerys is reluctant to hear anything bad about her father, who was popularly known as "The Mad King", and prefers to believe the negative stories about him were just lies spread by the enemies who usurped the throne from him.
- Ezio from Assassin's Creed II tries to deny his uncle Mario's claims that his father was an assassin. He gets over it pretty quickly though.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the Champion of Cyrodiil deals with a series of sidequests involving reuniting two long-lost brothers and taking back their home. Afterwords, a thief approaches the Champion and reveals that the father of the two brothers was his partner-in-crime, but their last job together (stealing a sword from the Duchess of Chorrol) was never finished. If the Champion tells the brothers, they refuse to listen without proof. They acknowledge the truth and apoligize for their behavior if the Champion retrieves the sword and gives it back to the Duchess.
- Assassin's Creed also has Abbas Sofian, convinced that his father was a hero and a martyr. His inability to accept the truth (that he was a coward who commited suicide) leads to the death of Altaďr's son.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series had a plot arc about Peter's parents that revealed them as potential traitorous spies for the Soviet Union. Subverted in the fact that they really weren't, and that they were actually spies for America who took the fall to hide a bigger secret.
- Sadly, Truth in Television. Several times criminals settle down and start a family, only to have their past catch up with them. The children's denial is believed to be a mental block to help cope with the new knowledge.
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