Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
"Well Done, Dad" Guy
A parent who longs for the approval of their child.
Description Needs Help Better Name Tropeworthy? Up For Grabs Needs Examples

(permanent link) added: 2012-12-19 08:15:43 sponsor: 313Bluestreak (last reply: 2013-02-07 08:43:09)

Add Tag:
Parents love their children very much. They put clothes on their back, food on their table, and made many other sacrifices to assure their safety. Heck, they would beat the living crap out of the ones who would harm them. Sometimes, children ought to be grateful for having such awesome parents.

Well, not really. Often at times, not only parents teach their children things like being responsible and being kind to others, they would even like it more if their children would at least show how proud they are for having them around.

Because of this, parents would indignantly accuse their children for being ungrateful little jerks, although, sometimes, this isn't always the case for those who are not. To those who don't show it, there could be reasons why children are often indifferent toward their parents. Maybe parents are a bit strict when it comes to setting up their rules for their children, especially those who are rebellious and disrespectful; for this, this obviously can be why children won't get along with them. Maybe parents often want children to pursue a career they want them to do since their aspirations are meaningless; for this, it's all about the Family Business. Also, it could be that children think they have better things to do such as playing video games and hang out with their friends, and don't contribute their time with their parents. Whatever reason it may be, it shouldn't hurt them to make their parents happy at least just once.

Some variations of this trope show that parents aren't always paragons of virtue and the children who withhold their approval of them may be on the right. Maybe parents have done some very bad things in past that they want to redeem themselves for it just for their children's sake, whether it was being abusive, neglectful, distant, or many other things. It's a very long road for parents to seek reconciliation from their children.

If the child does seem to show how much they're proud of what their parents have done for them since they were born or at least pardon them for their shortcomings, then the results will be very heartwarming. For cynical portrayals of this trope, the parent-child bonding will harden, or worse.

This is the inverse of "Well Done, Son" Guy., although both tropes can overlap with each other if the parent and child long for each other's respect and care. An interesting variant would be that the child tries to gain his parent's respect, but as the years go by, the roles have been switched. If parents care about the approval of one child and shun the other, then it's Parental Favoritism. Contrast Abusive Parents where the parents don't care about their children or their respect.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Spirit in Soul Eater desperately tries to get the respect and love of his daughter, who sympathizes with her mother over him in their divorce. Whenever he saves her life his internal monologue always shows that he hopes Maka can see how cool he's being.
  • In Shinji Ikari Raising Project, Shinji seems a bit embarassed on the way Gendo shows his approval of his son.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, the only person who Kotetsu really cares about winning the respect and approval of is his daughter, Kaede. Later on, Barnaby starts feeling this way in respects to Kotetsu.
    Barnaby: I just aspire to be someone worthy of his trust.

Fan Works
  • In Nobody Dies, Asuka plays this Up to Eleven to the point where Kyoko is an outright Abusive Parent, but it also remains a facet of Shinji's relationship with his father; Gendo might be a lot less messed up with Yui still at his side, but he isn't prone to overt displays of emotion and it's not always obvious that yes, he does love his son. They spend a fair chunk of the story working through this.

Film

Literature
  • In The Truce at Bakura of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, we have Anakin Skywalker who was a Force ghost expresses to Leia how he is really proud of her, but she became angry with him due to the atrocities he had committed in his reign as Darth Vader. Later on though, she does come around, albeit uneasily.
  • In one of the two third Red Dwarf novels, Last Human, Arnold Rimmer faces extreme disappointment from his long lost son who was told lies of his father's heroism by his mother. He eventually gained his respect after freeing himself from the neurosis.

Live-Action TV
  • Jolene Barnes of Nashville seems to be shaping up into a "Well Done, Mom" gal. Though she has been a neglectful, irresponsible drug addict for most of her daughter Juliette's life, she seems to want to kick the drugs so she can win back her love. Juliette, unsurprisingly, is too damaged to trust her.
  • This was inverted and played straight in Gilmore Girls where Lorelai stresses herself in earning the respect of her Meddling Parents, though she's earned only her father's after she helps him set up his new business, but after this, she's actually horrified whenever she earns the respect of her mother.
  • Paul Sr. from American Chopper tries to repair his broken relationship with his son, Paul Jr. in the Grand Finale of American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior after he fired him from the previous series which lead to its Cancellation.

Music
  • The song "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin starts out with a father being too busy to hang out with his son. By the end, the son is too busy to hang out with his aged father.

Religion
  • For being the creator and designer of the human race, it's safe to say that God can qualify this trope. He gave humanity lives to live, feet to walk, air to breathe, brains to think, and many other things that is worthy of His reverence. But due to humanity being fantasized by sin thanks to Adam and Eve's fall, it's hard to get that across. It's no wonder He resorts to such vicious wrath and extreme brutality to get His creation's to wake up and know that He wants to be worshipped.
    • Speaking of humanity, this trope is also an inversion to those who choose to live their lives to serve and please God, which He does find acceptable.

Theater
  • Jean Valjean of the Les MisÚrables may be a variation; though he has Cosette's love and devotion, he is terrified of losing her respect if she finds out about his convict past.

Web Comics
  • In Homestuck, John is quite annoyed with his dad telling him how proud he is of him to the point that it's become redundant, leading John to become angsty about himself not worthy of his dad's respect. The two did got along better, though.

Western Animation
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer becomes a bodybuilder and tries to climb Springfield's tallest mountain, the Murderhorn, in a bid to impress Bart.
  • Timmy Turner's dad from The Fairly OddParents is, when not producing Timmy's Hilariously Abusive Childhood, is desperately trying to make his son proud.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Dr. Doofenshmirtz' relationship with his daughter Vanessa revolves around this. For Vanessa's case, she's quite annoyed with his father's pestering and tries to convince her mom that he's evil. However, in episodes such as "Dude, We're Getting The Band Back Together" and "Finding Mary McGuffin", she does show appreciation for Doofenshmirtz.
  • Mr. Krabs seems to have this relationship with Pearl in some episodes of Spongebob Squarepants, such as "Squeaky Boots" and "Whale Of A Birthday", despite Pearl being sometimes annoyed with him.
  • In Gargoyles, Fox, Xanatos' wife, has her father wanting her to show the slightest respect for honor, morality, heck, even respect for other people's property rights, and he'd give her his full approval and mega-corporation in an instant. Instead, she tries to bankrupt him so her husband can buy the business, because she considers corporate espionage and sabotage more fun.
  • In the episode "Peter's Daughter" of Family Guy (at least just for one episode), Peter vows to become a better father to Meg after saving her from a flood which put her into a coma. Meg starts to appreciate her, though, but unfortunately, Peter takes it too far when Michael comes in.
    • In "April In Quahog", Peter admits that he hated his kids. The whole episode has him trying to win back the love the kids had for him, so at the end, he buys an X-Box and the kids automatically love him again.
  • Goofy in Goof Troop and A Goofy Movie really wants his son Max to think he's cool.
  • One of Tex Avery's cartoons One Cab's Family has some aspects of this. The father wants his son to be a taxi cab just like him, and is burdened on him being interested in being a hot rod convertible. But that changed when the son chooses the taxi cab and now everything is set right with the father.
replies: 8

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy