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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, verbally, physically, or mentally abusive, or who neglectfully allow their children to be abused by others if they don't abuse the child themselves; [[ParentalIncest 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), and the more extreme variant of KnightTemplarParent, where the abusive parent is violently overprotective. 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.

!!Examples Subpages:

* AbusiveParents/{{Advertising}}
* AbusiveParents/AnimeAndManga
* AbusiveParents/ComicBooks
* AbusiveParents/FanWorks
* [[AbusiveParents/AnimatedFilms Films Animation]]
* [[AbusiveParents/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* AbusiveParents/{{Jokes}}
* AbusiveParents/{{Literature}}
* AbusiveParents/LiveActionTV
* AbusiveParents/{{Music}}
* AbusiveParents/{{Theatre}}
* AbusiveParents/VideoGames
* AbusiveParents/VisualNovels
* AbusiveParents/WebComics
* AbusiveParents/WebOriginal
* AbusiveParents/WesternAnimation
!!Other Examples:

[[folder:Myths and Religion]]
* [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek/Classical Mythology]] is full of child abuse.
** Ouranos and Cronos both made a practice of imprisoning their children at birth: Ouranos threw them in Tartaros or shoved them back in the womb, while Cronos [[SwallowedWhole swallowed them whole]].
** Greek mortals abuse their children just as often in myth. For example, Echetus gouged out his daughter's eyes, chained her in a cellar, and made her grind iron chunks to dust. Acrisius locked his daughter Danae in solitary confinement to prevent her from having children, and then threw her in a box and dumped her in the sea when she got pregnant from Zeus. Mythical women suffer various physical punishments and sometime death for getting pregnant out of wedlock, even when they were raped. Beating kids barely even gets mentioned in Classical Greece, except i.e. when comedian Creator/{{Aristophanes}} mocks moral relativists by depicting them as opposed to beating.
* [[IronWoobie Kullervo]] in ''Literature/TheKalevala'' is abused so badly he becomes an OmnicidalManiac and kills himself. At the end of the canto, Väinämöinen especially warns of abusing children, stating "a boy abused will never have the mind of a man".

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Prior to awareness campaigns of the 1980s, a child "physical abuse"-type promo [[HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood was often played for laughs]]. More common with regional promotions that had their own syndicated TV programs, a heel wrestler or tag team would seriously and in a normal but concerned tone of voice deliver a promo recounting a supposed meeting with a sad-eyed boy or girl, who is crying because (s)he can no longer take his/her father's physical abuse, the wrestler then asking the child if he'd go live with his/her mother to which the boy claims she beats him/her also, then asking who he'd like to live with, to which the kid says, "I wanna go live with (whatever face wrestler/tag team said heels are currently feuding) ... because he/they don't beat nobody!" ... with the heel wrestler's demeanor suddenly turning from somber to mocking as he delivers the punch line.
* [[Wrestling/VinceMcMahon Vince [=McMahon=]]] often acted this way toward his son Wrestling/ShaneMcMahon, daughter [[Wrestling/StephanieMcMahon Stephanie [=McMahon=]]], and his [[{{Kayfabe}} out-of-wedlock "son"]] Wrestling/{{Hornswoggle}} in angles.
** When Shane returned to RAW on February 22, 2016, people at the stadium heard something [[https://youtu.be/gLir-eIPOfs that was censored from the TV broadcast.]]
--->'''Vincent''': ''(Into the mic)'' Good, because I have one last opportunity- ''(further away, [[IsThisThingStillOn but still audible via mic]])'' to give you a [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] beating.
* Wrestling/{{Raven}} claimed that both of his parents beat the crap out of him. Wrestling/CMPunk also said he had issues with his dad, and that he was going to beat Raven because he saw his father in Raven. Some cycle there, huh?
* Toward the end of 2005, ''Raw'' wrestler [[Wrestling/TheWorldsGreatestTagTeam Shelton Benjamin]] began losing most of his matches. It wasn't long before his overbearing "Momma" (actually actress Thea [=Vidale=] in "granny" glasses and a muumuu) showed up on television to reprimand him, threatening to beat him (just as she supposedly did when he was a boy) if he didn't start winning matches. Benjamin began cheating to win or allowing Momma Benjamin to cheat for him, thus turning heel.
* Wrestling/CheerleaderMelissa would joke about how her rival, "Sweet" Saraya, would treat her kids and declared she was going to beat [[Wrestling/{{Paige}} Britani Kight]] in her mother's steed when they met in Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}}.
* During his early hype vignettes, Wrestling/BrayWyatt said his daddy was a mean man who made him work on his shrimping boat instead of going to school. Bray [[KillItWithFire set fire]] to his dad's boat - and implied that [[SelfMadeOrphan his dad died in that fire]].

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/PonyDotMov'', Pinkie claims that her father forces her to shove glass up her vagina, [[spoiler: but it's a bold-faced lie, made because Pinkie felt nobody was paying attention to her]].
* In ''WebAnimation/{{Nameless}}'', it's heavily implied that [[spoiler:Miller's]] mom molested him, which could possibly be the reason why he's so [[AxCrazy screwed up.]]
* In ''WebAnimation/AlfredsPlayhouse'', Alfred's parents were very neglectful of him, tried to drown him in the bathtub, and he is the result of an unsuccessful abortion. His abuse is the reason why he's so crazy.
* Many of the parents seen in "[[YouAreGrounded Grounded]]" Website/GoAnimate videos will ground their kids for insanely long periods of time at the slightest provocation. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpvK9panYYE Starting crying over scary dreams]]? Grounded for "Triple Infinity" because you aren't allowed to have nightmares. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZKyMe4-PnA Accidentally left the faucet running at school]]? Not only do you get expelled, but you also get grounded [[SarcasmMode just because your parents love you so much]]. In a few instances, they'll even celebrate sending the kid to their room by throwing parties or going out to Chuck E. Cheese's without them.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** Weiss Schnee heavily {{implie|dTrope}}s that her father was abusive towards her and possibly her sister in an unknown fashion while they were growing up. He received a lot of stress from dealing with the White Fang's terrorist acts against the family's Dust Company, so he often would come home from work in a less than pleasant mood and lash out at his children. He's even worse than that. In Volume 4, he [[spoiler:strikes her, disinherits her to the Schnee Dust Company and practically ''imprisons her'' in her room [[DisproportionateRetribution just because she bruised his ego at a party]].]] It's also implied in the manga that her battle against the giant knight depicted in the (canon) White trailer, was against a Grimm construct her father summoned to beat her into giving up her ambitions of going to Beacon - in other words, Papa Schnee is a man who would unleash a soulless monster (which also ends up inflicting a non-serious wound on her) on his own daughter merely to assert his authority. Volume 5 ultimately reveals that he married Weiss' mom [[GoldDigger just for the Schnee name]].
** There's also Mercury, whose father is all but stated to be an alcoholic who regularly beat him [[spoiler:and is the reason [[AnArmAndALeg he lost his legs]], [[SelfMadeOrphan but not for the reason you'd think]]]].
** There was speculation as to the reason as to why Raven Branwen abandoned her family prior to the start of the series. [[spoiler:But as of Volume 5, it's become abundantly clear that she is a heavily damaged person who only cares about her Bandit Clan in Mistral, because of her disillusionment with Ozpin and her fear of Salem. She barely keeps in contact with her brother Qrow, and when she does, it's for information he might have. When he rightly calls the bandits that raised him and Raven a group of thieves and murderers, Raven calls them their family. This just highlights Raven's VERY unique definition of the word, as she doesn't even seem to care or even acknowledge that Yang has lost an arm at this point. When Yang actually manages to track down Raven's camp, she seemingly welcomes Yang back into her life, if only because she feels Yang's finally proven herself worthy of her time. When Yang reveals she only needs Raven's [[ThinkingUpPortals Semblance]] to find Qrow and Ruby, all Raven can say is that family only comes around when they need something. She then reveals the only reason she trained to be Huntress was not to save anyone, but to learn how to KILL Huntsman since they were the only notable threat outside of [[TheHeartless the Grimm]] to their clan. To place the final nail in the coffin, Cinder and her group track down Raven's camp after Yang leaves, and to try to save her clan, she sells out her brother and child to the BigBad.]]
*** WordOfGod has said that Team STRQ fell apart to Raven's issues. Thankfully, the rest of the team wound up becoming a true family in and of themselves, with Summer and Taiyang being the GoodParents to their daughters Ruby and Yang, with Qrow sticking around as the CoolUncle.