Created By: Metraxis on June 19, 2011

Mommy Makes it Worse

A well-meaning parent or guardian deliberately disables or hinders a budding hero in the name of protecting him/her/it.

Name Space:
Page Type:
Little Timmy is The Chosen One. The ancient prophecies speak of his legendary battle to come with the Big Bad. If the Big Bad is Genre Savvy, he has troops out looking for Timmy, and any handy ancient order of Good Guys has dispatched their best team of Old Masters to give Timmy the training he needs for the fght ahead, but there is one foe they cannot hope to defeat - Timmy's Mom. Obsessed with the idea of protecting Timmy form the battle ahead, she goes into hiding, turns away the Old Masters, or or pretends she doesn't know anything about the mystic artifact she's supposed to have given him years ago. Eventually, the Big Bad comes calling, the Apocalypse starts, or the Divine Power manifests, and Timmy is completely unprepared. Hilarity does not ensue.

Some Examples: Luke Skywalker (Star Wars): Upset by the loss of Anakin to the Dark Side, Uncle Owen keeps Ben Kenobi from contacting Luke until it's Almost Too Late. Starting his training at the ancient age of post-puberty, Luke turns out to be less than half the Jedi he could have been.

Tavi (Codex Alera): The scion of an imperial line, Tavi's genetics would make him one of the most powerful furycrafters in the world, and he's going to need it to stave off a coming invasion. Unfortunately, Tavi's mother is so obsessed with hiding him that she uses her own abilities to make him an Un Sorceror, which is not a great way to hide when Everyone's A Super.

Various (Charmed): Throughout the series, various older members of the Haliwell family routinely place bindings on children (including the titular characters) to prevent them from using magic, then act surprised when the targets either resent the bindings or fail to come out of them as fully trained and responsible magic-users.

The Dursleys from Harry Potter do not fit this trope, as they are actively malicious toward Harry.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • June 19, 2011
    In Little Buddha Jesse's parents are not all that pleased to learn that he might be the reincarnation of Lama Dorje, and are initially against his being taken to Tibet to test for the reincarnation.
  • June 20, 2011
    Recently appeared in Schlock Mercenary. Shep, a former member of Tagon's Toughs, has returned to his home in a bad neighborhood, and organized some like-minded ruffians to clean the place up. His mother, however, is worried about him being injured and killed, and is threatened by members of a local gang to boot, so she winds up essentially poisoning him in order to keep him off the streets.
  • June 20, 2011
    Does Star Wars really count? It seems to me that Obi-Wan could have met up with Luke any time he wanted, Owen-be-damned. (I also got the idea that Luke was at least acquainted with Ben before they met again in A New Hope.) Did they go over this in the third prequel (which I barely remember) or some EU stuff?
  • June 20, 2011
    The Dursleys may not count, but Molly Weasley in the opening chapters of Deathly Hallows certainly does. Spends days keeping the Power Trio apart in order to disrupt their plans to start hunting Horcruxes. Fortunately Hermione is, as ever, Crazy Prepared and has the basic supplies ready to go.
  • June 20, 2011
    Agatha Heterodyne's uncle Barry gave her a locket that suppressed her spark, losing it caused her to break through at just the wrong time. Girl Genius
  • June 20, 2011
    • Isana in Codex Alera was so worried about her baby being identified as the son of prince Septimus that she completely blocked his furycasting powers, essentially crippling him.
  • June 20, 2011
  • June 21, 2011
    I think this might be Screening The Call.
  • June 21, 2011
    Kelson's mother Jehana in Deryni Rising is definitely this. She tries to get the Regency Council to have Alaric Morgan executed for treason, despite Morgan's loyalty and the possibility that her husband was murdered by arcane means and her son will require Morgan's arcane aid to defend himself from the killer. She has Kelson's father buried with the Eye of Rom (a ruby earring necessary for the ritual to activate his Haldane powers); her reaction to the sight of her son wearing the earring later suggests she knows exactly what its purpose is.
  • June 22, 2011
  • June 22, 2011
    First, mention it doesn't have to be The Hero's mom, it can be the parental figure whoever he/she be.

    Second, does Mom has to know her son is The Chosen One, or only the act of obstucting the call in order to protect him is enough? (maybe not even knowing there is a call, like in Invisible To Normals)
  • June 22, 2011
    Essentially this is an authority figure doing something against another person's wishes, justifying it with "This is For Your Own Good."
  • June 22, 2011
    This definitely sounds like it falls under Screening The Call.
  • June 25, 2011
    There are definitely elements of Screening the Call there, I'll agree. Perhaps Screening The Call just needs to be expanded to include the possibility of deliberate harm by a loved one or trusted authority figure.