I Can Stand On My Own
A child attempts to strike out on their own against their parents wishes.


(permanent link) added: 2011-04-02 01:00:12 sponsor: NoirGrimoir (last reply: 2011-07-16 04:50:41)

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Sheltering parents and guardians, or overprotective siblings tend to think of their children or younger siblings as babies who need protecting, even when She's All Grown Up.

Cue son or daughter wanting to strike out on their own, making their own mistakes and facing life head-on, the trials and troubles included. Their child doesn't want to be coddled anymore, and there is going to be tension in the family until they can finally prove it to their guardian figure. Often this means some rebelling in some way, but instead of dying her hair green, going out with that guy her father hates and and wearing biker gear, daddy's little girl is entering a marathon even though she's in a wheel chair, following in her mother's footsteps as a race car driver despite the fact her mother died in a race, or running off on a Hero's Journey and probably saving the world while she's at it.

This is a Plot Trope. May be some overlap with Inspirationally Disadvantaged. Sort of the inverse of You Are Better Than You Think You Are, in which other people assuring the character they are strong, rather than the character assuring others they are strong. Somewhat related to Don't You Dare Pity Me!. The Story of the The Prodigal Son makes this Older Than Feudalism. Though in the Prodigal Son's case he really couldn't stand on his own very well.


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Vivio from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. When Nanoha and Fate first adopt her, Nanoha is all about letting her stand on her own - literally, saying that they should let her get to her feet on her own when she trips while running towards them. Fate, on the other hand, instantly runs to her side to help her up. In the finale, after Nanoha defeats a possessed Vivio by unleashing her most powerful attack directly at her, leaving Vivio in a crater, she's just about to run to help her up... when Vivio stops her, insisting that "I can stand up myself." And she does. And it is awesome.

Film
  • Finding Nemo, in which Nemo tries to prove to his Overprotective Dad Marlin that he doesn't need to baby him, even though Nemo was born with a gimpy fin. He eventually does.
  • The 2005 Lindsay Lohan movie Herbie: Fully Loaded, in which her character demanded that she be allowed to race like the rest of her family.
  • Somewhat the case in Tangled - Mother Gothel underestimates Rapunzel's maturity and capability to take on the world very much - or it seems that way, as she's just trying to put Rapunzel down so that she can have her magic youth-restoring hair to herself.

Western Animation
  • The blind Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender , who also happens to be a Badass Earthbending Genius who invented metalbending. Her Father treats her like she's helpless whens he's probably one of the strongest people in the world and perfectly capable of taking care of herself. When Aang and the gang show up asking her to teach him earth-bending and join him on his journey she tries to convince her father to let her, but she ends up having to run away when he refuses to believe it, even after seeing her wipe the floor with some mooks. He even sends people after her to get her back. It doesn't work. The series ends without any resolution in regards to whether they made up or not.

Video Games
  • Pokémon Black and White has Bianca, a Plucky Girl who is The Ditz. Her Father initially wouldn't let her go on a Pokemon Journey, and she ran away from home. In Nimbasa City, you come upon him having found Bianca, and demanding she return home, but finally he relents, after she tells him how much stronger she's grown since battling with her pokemon.

Music
  • The Dixie Chicks song "Wide Open Spaces", and numerous other songs where the young person needs to "stand on their own" for the first time. Subverted in "Johnny Don't Take Your Gun To Town," where it turns out the kid wasn't ready to go out alone after all.
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