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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/abusive_parents.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Why you little--!"]]

->"''I haven't smiled once since the day you were born.''"
-->-- '''Squee's Dad,''' ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac''

Parents are supposed to be the protectors of children, but these parents are either so damaged themselves that they can't do the job, greedy or villainous to the point that they never had any interest in doing the job properly, or would rather use the child as a means to an end. Sometimes they're just sadistic assholes.

This includes parents who are emotionally, physically, or mentally abusive, or who neglectfully allow their children to be abused by others if they don't abuse the child themselves; [[PaedoHunt sexual abuse is typically treated as]] [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil a special kind of evil]]. Sometimes, the abuse at the hands of their parents becomes a FreudianExcuse for a villain. Other times, the character manages to [[DefiedTrope not grow up broken, bitter, and hateful]], and instead [[CharacterDevelopment a different and better person]] than the upbringing would incline one to think. TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior is often a tell-tale sign that things are not right at home.

Abusive Parents are commonplace in {{fairy tale}}s and Myth/ClassicalMythology which makes this trope OlderThanFeudalism. Note that Creator/TheBrothersGrimm, when they collected European fairy tales, were uncomfortable with the idea of Abusive Parents and so frequently changed the Abusive Parents in the traditional stories into abusive [[WickedStepmother step parents]].

Sometimes, a parent will go as far as to kill the child in question, in which case this is OffingTheOffspring. In other cases, the parent's abuse occasionally drives the offspring to ''snap'', commit {{Revenge}} and finally kill ''them'', thus becoming a SelfMadeOrphan. CallingTheOldManOut occurs when a fed-up child retaliates with a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. If the child gets out of the broken family and forms healthy friendships, but reacts badly when their abusive parents show up again, well, FriendsAreChosenFamilyArent.

Bear in mind that [[SlidingScaleOfParentShamingInFiction not everyone agrees on the line between actual abuse and merely heavy-handed parenting]] (or even ''normal'' parenting). Is MovingTheGoalposts merely inspiring the child to achieve more, or the most insidious form of abuse to instill mistrust and paranoia to the children? Some include [[DontMakeMeTakeMyBeltOff spanking]] as abuse; others think it's appropriate given certain guidelines. Some believe it's okay to make a kid go without a meal (they won't starve that easily); others disagree. Making a kid miss a friend's birthday sleepover -- is that ''emotional'' abuse? Raising a kid without exposure to TV? Telling your daughter she's getting fat? A little friendly name-calling? There's a line here somewhere, but not everyone agrees on where it is.

If a parent has just dumped the child, for whatever reason, that's ParentalAbandonment; if they aren't paying attention, that's ParentalNeglect. If the parents refuse to discipline their kids, they are PushoverParents. Contrast MamaBear or PapaWolf (where ''others'' abuse the children and the parents abuse the abusers). AbusivePrecursors can be considered this on a metaphorical level. See HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood for when this is [[ExaggeratedTrope cranked up to absurd levels]] and played for laughs. BlackComedy is often connected in the comedic aspect of it, and a BigScrewedUpFamily may be involved if it is adult comedy. In keeping with the above note, some may call the show on it and say DudeNotFunny. See EvilMatriarch and ArchnemesisDad for characters who are beyond ''abusive'' and outright ''evil''. For parents who are mostly abused by their children, see PushoverParents.

While they do not have to be the child's actual, technical parents to be part of this trope, it's pretty important that they are closely related and live together, like a WickedStepmother or an EvilUncle taking care of the Parentally Deprived. After all, it's ''much'' more disgusting that somebody related to the child could bring themselves to hurt them, rather than a mere foster family.

The polar opposite, of course, are GoodParents.

'''NOTE:''' Please do not use this trope for complaining about parents you don't like.

Unfortunately, Abusive Parents are TruthInTelevision and a very sensitive topic for many, so please no RealLife examples - it is sufficient to say they do exist and they are all too common. It is horrible that children suffer cruelties at the hands of those who are supposed to be the most loving and trustworthy figures in their lives, and the damage can take years to undo, even with competent assistance (if it can be undone at all - often, the emotional scars will stay forever). If you are concerned this may describe you or someone you love, please take it very seriously. See [[http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect.htm this help guide]] for some RealLife information and organizations to contact. Also, [[http://www.chiworld.org/ Chiworld]] has an international list of hotlines and websites you can contact if you need to discuss abuse or other issues in your life. YouAreNotAlone.


* AbusiveParents/{{Advertising}}
* AbusiveParents/AnimatedFilms
* AbusiveParents/AnimeAndManga
* AbusiveParents/ComicBooks
* AbusiveParents/FanWorks
* AbusiveParents/{{Film}}
* AbusiveParents/{{Jokes}}
* AbusiveParents/{{Literature}}
* AbusiveParents/LiveActionTV
* AbusiveParents/{{Music}}
* AbusiveParents/{{Mythology}}
* AbusiveParents/NewMedia
* AbusiveParents/ProfessionalWrestling
* AbusiveParents/{{Theatre}}
* AbusiveParents/VideoGames
* AbusiveParents/VisualNovels
* AbusiveParents/{{Webcomics}}
* AbusiveParents/WebVideo
* AbusiveParents/WesternAnimation