Created By: ChaoticQueen on March 30, 2013 Last Edited By: ChaoticQueen on April 3, 2013
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Denying the Dead Parent's Sins

A character refuses to accept the fact that their deceased parent had a dark past.

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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.

Anime & Manga

Film

  • 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.

Literature

  • 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.

Video Games

  • 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.

Real Life

  • 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • March 31, 2013
    Koveras
    Kinda like Luke refused to believe his father was a Jedi in A New Hope?
  • March 31, 2013
    Arivne
    1. Obligatory "No new trope names that sound like a line of dialogue" warning.

    2. "Father" should be changed to "Parent" in the new name so people won't think it excludes mothers.
  • March 31, 2013
    Diask
  • March 31, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    ^^^ Or didn't want to believe Darth Vader was his father in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • March 31, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    One of the Hitler clones in the novel The Boys From Brazil, when told of his origins, refuses to believe it and is outraged. (Of course, the source of a cloning is not the same as a "father" really, so not sure if it fits. The boy did have an adoptive father who was the only father he knew, who was killed as part of the plot to recreate Hitler's life story in these clones so as to bring about another Hitler.)
  • March 31, 2013
    MrRuano
    I'm not sure about the comics, but I know that Spider Man The Animated Series had a plot arc about Peter's parents that revealed them as potential traitorous spies for the Soviet Union. Averted 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.
  • March 31, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    I gave it a new name. Is this better?
  • March 31, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    This is about deceased parents, so Darth Vader does not qualify.
  • March 31, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, after helping a pair of twins recapture their home, a few days later (in game) you're approached by a shady figure who gives you a quest called "Sins of the Father" which reveals their father was a thief. Depending on how you complete the quest (i.e. if you sell the object he stole back to said shady figure rather than return it to its rightful owners, thus having no proof) you can get this reaction from them.

    • 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).
  • March 31, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    ^ I already have the Oblivion example listed.
  • March 31, 2013
    Bisected8
    Sorry, I must have missed it.
  • March 31, 2013
    Hodor
    • 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.
  • April 2, 2013
    McKathlin
    Accepting the truth may lead to a Broken Pedestal.
  • April 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    Assassins Creed also has Abbas Sofian, convinced that his father was a hero and a martyr. His inability to accept the truth leads to the death of Altair's son.
  • April 3, 2013
    maxwellsilver
  • April 3, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    With the title change, it's more apparent now that The Boys From Brazil example doesn't fit--because the boy didn't deny all the bad things Hitler did (he knew who Hitler was historically), but denied that Hitler was his clone-father. So you may want to take it out of the examples again... sorry.

    (To be clear--this has more to do with unknown (to the son) sins of a known father, rather than an unknown father with known sins--right? Or, denial of the sins, not the identity of the father.)
  • April 3, 2013
    ChaoticQueen
    ^ You're right. I'll delete it.

    ^^ I thought a YKKTW needed five hats before it could be launched? The new trope will be up tomorrow.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8th1y8ei33iw7zqo35fah0je&trope=DenyingTheDeadParentsSins