Created By: TheWanderer on July 9, 2012 Last Edited By: TheWanderer on September 4, 2012

Your Parenting Sucks Speech

Someone OTHER THAN their child calls out a parent for being a crappy parent

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Calling the Old Man Out can be a hell of a thing to a parent. When your child points out all your flaws as a parent and gives you no choice but to confront them, it can have all kinds of effects, depending on what sort of parent we're talking about.

When someone else (whether they're close to you or not) comes up one day when you're wondering why your kids have gone so wrong and essentially says "Because you did a shitty job raising them", it can be just as harsh if not more so.

Examples:

  • In The Wire, Brianna Barksdale talks her son D'Angelo into Taking the Heat for his drug kingpin uncle Avon, because Avon's activities provide for their entire family and without it they would have nothing. Later, after D'Angelo is killed in prison, (and his killer makes it look like D'Angelo killed himself) McNulty tries to figure out who did it and starts by going to D'Angelo's girlfriend. When Brianna hears about this and confronts McNulty, she demands to know why he didn't come to her. McNulty's response is devastating.
    Honestly? I was looking for someone who cared about the kid. I mean, like I said, you were the one who made him take those years, right?
  • In Caprica, (a tie-in to Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined)), corporate executive/computer whiz Daniel Graystone is called out on the neglectful parenting of himself and his wife after his daughter's death by what is essentially a digital copy of her.
  • Played for Laughs in Dragon Ball Abridged. During the special dealing with Bardock, (Goku's father) after Goku is born a medic tries to encourage Bardock to actually spend some time with Goku. Bardock is pretty blase about the idea, noting that he never bothered to do that with his other son, Raditz. "Yeah, and look how Raditz turned out" the medic replies acidly. Cue an immediate cut to Bardock spending time with Goku.
  • During book 4 of A Song of Ice and Fire, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister asks her uncle Kevan to become Hand of the King to her son, Tommen. Kevan reluctantly agrees, on the conditions that Cersei leave the capital, stop trying to use Tommen as her Puppet King, and leave Tommen to be raised by better people than her. When Cersei angrily refuses to let her son be taken from her, Kevan says that from what he saw of Joffrey (Cersei's now dead psychotic Royal Brat oldest son) Cersei is nearly as unfit to raise children as she is to rule.
  • At one point in Transmetropolitan, Spider does an extended story about children voluntarily entering into child prostitution. When he interviews a social worker about it, the social worker comments that ironically it's not because most of those children came from poor backgrounds, it's just that society and the parents of these kids are completely neglectful and ignorant, and have trained these kids to see anything, including themselves as commodities to be traded. "Why are our kids doing this? Because we fucked them up, that's why." If anything, Spider amplifies that message in his column.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • July 9, 2012
    Bisected8
  • July 9, 2012
    MichaelKatsuro
    In Family Guy, Quagmire has a long The Reason You Suck Speech where he tells Brian, among other things, that he should spend time with his son.
  • July 9, 2012
    judgebeanhead
    • In Legend of Korra, Hiroshi Sato holds down his daughter, who are fighting eachother in robotic suits about different ideals, but Bolin sends a rock in Hiroshi's direction and exclaims "You are a terrible father!"
  • July 9, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: When Homer goes to a parenting class and casually mentions that he regularly strangles Bart, the leader is horrified. The next session he tells eveyone else to stay home so he can just work on Homer. Then he brings in Kareem Abul Jabbar to give Homer a taste of his own medicine: Homer is dressed like Bart, Kareem is dressed like Homer, and Kareem strangles Homer.
  • July 10, 2012
    polarbear2217
    Assassins, Lynette asks Sarah Jane Moore "You took your own kid to an assassination?"
  • July 10, 2012
    azul120
    The Quagmire/Brian example had a bit of a hole in it, given that Brian had JUST reluctantly been separated from his son by said son's mother, and especially in that Quagmire had given his daughter up for adoption.
  • July 10, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^True, but I don't think the criticism has to be valid to be this trope.
  • July 12, 2012
    TheWanderer
    Yeah, the trope is about someone saying it, there can be a small note about an example if it's particularly hypocritical or not valid.
  • July 12, 2012
    polarbear2217
    What if the parent has multiple children and one child points out the poor parenting of his or her sibling? (But the example does not apply to him or her)
  • July 14, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Robert Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars. After Podkayne and Clark have almost gotten killed by a combination of Podkayne's naivete and Clark's sleazy borderline-criminal behavior, their Uncle Tom gives gives their father a piece of his mind.
    I have a message for you, sir, one that you should pass on to your wife. Just this: people who will not take the trouble to raise children should not have them. You with your nose always in a book, your wife gallivanting off God knows where-between you, your daughter was almost killed. No credit to either of you that she wasn't. Just blind luck. You should tell your wife, sir, that building bridges and space stations and such gadgets is all very well ... but that a woman has more important work to do. I tried to suggest this to you years ago... and was told to mind my own business. Now I am saying it. Your daughter will get well, no thanks to either of you. But I have my doubts about Clark. With him it may be too late. God may give you a second chance if you hurry.
  • July 14, 2012
    fulltimeD
    This is given multiple times to both Frank and Monica in Shameless; of particular note is a scene where Lip doesn't even bother to speak, but rather urinates on Frank out of a second story window for sleeping with his underage girlfriend; Frank at first says, "Oh, come on!" but then backs down and mutters "Fair enough," and stands directly in the stream.
  • July 16, 2012
    TheWanderer
    Polar bear, I hadn't really thought of that scenario. On second thought, I think it should qualify, but mostly in a case where, say, someone calls out a parent for treating their sibling like the Un Favorite. If they're saying that the parent screwing up raising all of them, then it's really Calling The Old Man Out.
  • July 17, 2012
    VictorZsasz29292
    Or maybe this could be a super-trope where anybody complains about someone's bad parenting, and Calling the Old Man Out could be a sub-trope where the child being victimized is specifically the one to do it instead of someone else?
  • August 2, 2012
    TheWanderer
    I think I'd rather have this just be a sister trope to Calling The Old Man Out, where that is when someone calls a parent out for wrongs done to themselves, while this is someone calling a parent out for wrongs done to someone else.
  • August 2, 2012
    WolfBloodstone
    Another example: In the George Lopez Show, Benny criticizes the eponymous character's parenting about once an episode.
  • August 2, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I think Bolin does this in Legend Of Korra.
  • August 5, 2012
    TMOverbeck
    I'd call it The Reason You Suck As A Parent Speech, but it's admittedly too lengthy.

    "Benjamin Spock Hates Your Guts"?
  • August 7, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Subverted(?) in a late episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, where Worf's Klingon parenting is criticised by K'mtar, a loyal follower of the House of Mogh, who wants to take Alexander (Worf's son) away to train on the Klingon homeworld so he can learn how to be a true Klingon. But it turns out that K'mtar is really Alexander from 40 years in the future, who came back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong in his youth because in his timeline he became a diplomat instead of a warrior and as a result saw his father killed in the Klingon Council chamber; so he goes back to try to make Alexander want to become a warrior. When that doesn't work he tries to kill young Alexander, but Worf stops him.
  • September 4, 2012
    Wildstar93
    Sasha gets this in Warrior Cats: Return To The Clans, when a barn cat taunts Sasha about not raising her kits right when the former allows her kits to beat up Hawk and Moth. This makes Sasha REALLY angry and attack her.
  • September 4, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^^Yep, that's subverted, in a particuarly weird way, hinging on sci-fi timey-wimeyness and the exact description of the trope.
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