[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/GirlsNextDoor http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/i_am_not_my_mother.jpg]]]]

->''"Everyone wonders if I will be as good an emperor as my father.\\
But I want something more. To prove that I will be a better emperor. \\
And a better man."''
-->-- '''Valerian Mengsk''', ''VideoGame/StarCraftII''

There's that old saying about apples and how they don't fall far from the tree. Sometimes they do and sometimes that apple decides to jump and fly away to make sure it's not considered too close to the parental tree.

Enter this trope. This is when a child decides for him - or herself that s/he isn't going to repeat the same mistakes that his or her parents have made. Maybe the child was raised with a {{Jerkass}} for a father, or mommy dearest was a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} of the worst kind. Or, maybe the child has just developed an interest that strays far away from his or her parent's preferences. Whether out of embarrassment or for the sake of rebellion, expect this to lead to CallingTheOldManOut.

Compare ArchnemesisDad, in which the parent-child relationship is outright antagonistic. Contrast TurnOutLikeHisFather, where the parent doesn't want the child to imitate someone in the family, and PursuingParentalPerils. See also LikeFatherUnlikeSon, where the child really isn't like the parent, and isn't necessarily trying to be that way.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Black Star in ''Manga/SoulEater'' has no intention of going down the same path as the violently dangerous Star Clan, though it takes a while for him to recognise it was a real possibility and took the Nakatsukasa Purpose's third option. His Parental Substitute and Mentor, Sid, is the one who refers to this trope the most as he was the one (in the manga) who killed White Star, and so saw the signs that Black Star could TurnOutLikeHisFather.
** Invoked in a positive sense with [[spoiler: Kid and Shinigami. Seeing what became of [[CainAndAbel Asura]], and realising what their [[TrulySingleParent father]] was [[MoreThanMindControl capable]] of, Kid is at first hesitant to 'ascend' and become a true Shinigami. He is reassured by his [[TrueCompanions friends]] that he is a different person, and will do things his own way. Not that Kid realises it, but this is ''exactly'' what Shinigami wanted him to do [[SoProudOfYou all along.]]]]
* There's no way in ''[[IncrediblyLamePun hell]]'' [[AntiAntiChrist Rin Okumura]] (from ''Manga/BlueExorcist'') is going to turn out like his [[{{Satan}} biological father]].
* Present multiple times, subverted and played straight, in the manga ''Manga/LovePistols'':
** From the furthest generation back, Makio Madarame doesn't want to become like her father so she discards all family duty and elopes with her girlfriend - her case is partly subverted because A) her girlfriend was her father's lover first, with them having the same tastes, and B) Makio has a very similar personality to her father... to the point where the most she manages is SociopathicHero on a good day (her girlfriend being her MoralityChain).
** Makio's son, Yonekuni, doesn't want to become like his father's lover and goes as far as to completely hate all men (and artists) just to make sure... only for this to be subverted harshly when it turns out he has ''exactly'' the same GreenEyedEpiphany his step-father had regarding his lover (with both previously before being unattracted to men), ''exactly'' the same slow-realisation ObliviousToLove GreenEyedMonster relationship with his lover as his step-father did with his father, and their lovers' ''personalities'' are incredibly similar.
** Makio's second son, Kunimasa, actually ends up being the one to play this trope straight when Makio tries to force him into an arranged marriage by [[BewareTheNiceOnes unwisely threatening his boyfriend]], whereupon he [[BerserkButton ended up snapping]] and ''finally'' CallingTheOldManOut.
* While definitely following in his father's footsteps, Negi in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' [[spoiler:picks up dark magic]] reasoning that no matter how much he pursues his father, he isn't him. If there's a better way to do what he has to, then he'll do it.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'': Fate Testarossa plays this straight and inverts it in regards to her parenting methods. Her biological mother was practically the TropeCodifier for AbusiveParents in anime, and the idea that [[InTheBlood she could end up like that]] in regards to her own children ''terrifies'' Fate (to the point where the BigBad of ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers StrikerS]]'' uses it as the basis for his BreakingSpeech). So she does everything in her power to emulate her adoptive mother instead, who is [[GoodParents the complete opposite]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'', the wolfrider chief Cutter takes pity on a group of captive humans, and lets them go. His tribemate Strongbow angrily points out that his father Bearclaw would have killed them. Cutter enragedly exclaims "I am not Bearclaw! I am Cutter!" and proceeds to kick Strongbow's ass to drive the point home.
* ''In the Shadows of their Fathers'' is an arc of ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Star Wars Empire]]'' where a young Luke Skywalker's faith in the image of his father as heroic and worth emulating is (temporarily) shattered as he works with the Jabiim, a people who Anakin had abandoned as tactically not worth it during the Clone Wars. Well, before Luke works with them they call for his death, beat him up, and he pleads for one to confirm or deny the allegation [[http://images.plurk.com/86f3f3cf9a763ef796975a1465e95115.jpg that his father beheaded Jabiimi children]], but ''then'' he throws himself into helping them. At the end of the miniseries the Jabiimi entrench themselves and he states that he's staying with them. (mind the ArtShift)
---> "[[http://images.plurk.com/9aa311a5ec67c88d75e7d5ad5d585078.jpg I'm the reason the Empire's here]] - I'm responsible for ''all of this''! My father abandoned you when you needed him the most - I ''won't'' do the same!"
** The Jabiimi only persuade him to leave by telling him that he's ''not'' like his father; he's got little tactical sense but he cares despite persecution; him leaving is not abandonment or betrayal, but being needed more elsewhere.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Expect this trope to be played in any ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfic where Sirius Black has children who believe him to be guilty.
** The same in any fanfic where Draco Malfoy is on the side of the good guys.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'': Rarity has spent years trying to not be like her father, [[TheDragon General Esteem]]. This comes to a head when they end up fighting each other in the war, with Rarity effectively disowning him.
* ''FanFic/MyLittleMagesTheNightmaresReturn'': [[spoiler: Pinkie Pie's father is the [[TheDragon Grand Master]] of the the [[{{Cult}} Shadow Blades]], and wants her to continue the family line of being assassins. She refuses, repeatedly.]]
* The ''Superjail!'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8803490/11/Extended-Stay Extended Stay]]'' starts to use this trope from Chapter 11 onwards, starting when the Mistress discovers she is pregnant and that the Warden is the father.
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', Fluttercruel makes it a point to be nothing like [[BigBad Discord]] (who created her by {{Mind Rap|e}}ing Fluttershy and thus is technically her father).
* ''Fanfic/OldWest'': Rattlesnake Jake never drinks himself into drunkenness because [[AlcoholicParent his father]] James Douglas [[DomesticAbuse beat Jake's mother Selena]] every night when he returned home under the influence until it lead to her death. When Jake finds his lover Grace beaten by her husband, the following ExtremeMeleeRevenge is partly influenced by the flashback Jake has of his last night with his parents and his father's words of Jake becoming a man like him. In the following chapter, Jake continues acting on this trope by ultimately deciding ''not'' to [[DrowningMySorrows drink in order to cope with his strained relationship with Grace]].
-->'''Jake''': My daddy had his weakness. It destroyed him. Now I've got my own.
* Inverted in ''FanFic/JustAnUnorthodoxThief'': [[spoiler:Lupin's daughter Riko]] and [[spoiler:Kirei's daughter Caren]] want to be just like their fathers, despite their fathers being "bad" men.
* A case of I am not my ''grand''father is shown in a sidestory of ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' with a young Samuel Oak. While he admires his grandfather Pallet Oak (who was considered the greatest Pokémon Master of all time), he's determined to make the world a better place in his own way.


* The titular character in the film adaptation of ''Film/{{Matilda}}'' says "I'm nothing like my father!" when Miss Trunchbull assumes that Matilda and her father Harry conspired to sell Trunchbull a lemon car.
* Subject of a joke in the film ''Film/{{Barbershop}}'', when Calvin rhetorically asks "Do I ''look'' like my father?", only to be met with a chorus of "Yeah." "Yes, you do." "In the nose, right here..."
** A sadder underlying theme of the film is that Calvin, unlike his idealistic father, isn't willing to let people get by for free and his desire to finally remove himself from the barbershop and his father's shadow move the plot.
* In ''Film/StarTrek'', Captain James T. Kirk does not enjoy constantly being compared to his deceased father. Kirk's father was not only a good man but also a hero who saved hundreds of lives (including Kirk and his mother) at the cost of his own. As cocky as Kirk is about his abilities, even he can't see himself living up to that example.
** An interesting example towards the end, when Spock mistakes [[spoiler:Spock Prime]] for his father Sarek, leading the latter to say "I am not [[spoiler:our]] father."
* One of the major motivations of Dana Andrews' policeman character in the film noir ''Film/WhereTheSidewalkEnds'' (no relation to the Shel Silverstein book).
* In ''Film/{{Inception}}'', Cobb plans to invoke this trope in Fischer so he would break up his father's company and start a business of his own.
* Luke Skywalker in ''Franchise/StarWars''. He's tempted to follow his father to the Dark Side, but although his anger nearly drives him there, he reins it in and refuses to join Vader and Palpatine. He does want to be like his father in a sense, but his father as a young man and great Jedi, not the evil Sith Lord he became later.
* In ''Film/TheGodfather'', Michael Corleone relates a story of his father's vicious mafia lifestyle to his girlfriend Kay, at the end insisting that he isn't like his ruthless old man. He's at least partially right. [[spoiler:He ends up being much, much worse.]]
* In ''Film/CitySlickers'', Mitch calls Ed out on his compulsion to succeed, culminating in him trying to do something he's ill-equipped to do--drive a herd of cattle--in his determination to prove that he's better than the father who abused and eventually abandoned him and his sister and mother.
* ''Film/TheHobbitTheBattleOfTheFiveArmies'': The realization that he is not his ''grand''father is the last push that allows Thorin to snap out of [[GoldFever Dragon Sickness]].

* In ''Literature/WarriorCats: A New Prophecy'', Brambleclaw is determined to get out from under the shadow of being the son of BigBad Tigerclaw.
%%* Cathal in ''Literature/HeirToSevenwaters''
* Daniel Leary, one of the two protagonists of David Drake's Literature/{{RCN}} Series, is a popular and genial military officer who cares for the lower-class people he works with and has a low regard for politics and finance...which is the exact opposite of his father, the most powerful politician in the government.
* Shown across three generations in ''Literature/PurpleHibiscus'': Jaja disagrees with Eugene who disagrees with Nnukwu.
* According to Wickham in ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Darcy is one of these, but in a bad way.
* Contrary to what Severus Snape insists on claiming, Literature/HarryPotter isn't arrogant or attention-seeking, and is definitely not the JerkJock his father initially was.
** PlayedWith in that he does strive to be like his father in other ways and at other times in the book, and the two do have some similarities which are commented on during the series.
** Sirius Black rejected the darkness his family is known for. He and practically every other decent person in the family was rejected for this.
** Percy Weasley moved out of his family's home to show the Ministry he, unlike the other Weasleys, supported Minister Fudge's position of denying Voldemort's return.
* William de Worde in ''Discworld/TheTruth'' really does not want to be like his arrogant, opinionated, aristocratic, bigoted father. He gets kind of halfway... he conscientiously takes the opposite of his father's bigoted politics, but pursues it in an arrogant, opinionated, and aristocratic way.
* Creator/StephenKing has used this in a couple of his novels:
** In ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'', Joe St. George, Jr does his very best to be the complete opposite of his father Joe Sr, who he hated. He ends up as a Democratic Party politician, a party his father hated (calling Roosevelt "Sheeny-velt").
** ''Literature/DoctorSleep'' has Danny, the grown-up son of Jack Torrence who now goes by Dan, attempt to stray from the demons that plagued his father. Said word-for-word in the final confrontation with Rose the Hat (leader of the True Knot), where she manages to briefly trick Dan into strangling Abra, while he says "Come and take your medicine!"
** In ''Literature/TheShining'', one of Jack's source of angst was his abusive father which subconsciously influenced him.
* In ''{{Literature/Doom}}'', this was Fly's motivation for joining the Marines and his love of the Corps. His father was a cruel, petty criminal lout with no sense of honor or dignity. In the Marine Corps Fly could be everything his father wasn't.
* Ward of ''Literature/{{Hurog}}'' is ''very'' unlike his father, but people who suffered under his father ''still'' suspect (or outright believe) that he wants to [[KlingonPromotion kill them]] and everyone else who is in the way, in order to inherit the title. It's simply what they're used to. In the case of Oreg, who is a kind of mixture of GeniusLoci, ghost, and magically-bound slave, this is even more justified, as he sometimes mixes up past and present, and Ward looks a lot like some particularly nasty ancestor. Ward has to explain, again and again, that he is neither like his father, nor like other nasty ancestors.
* In ''Literature/WolfHall'', Thomas Cromwell's father was a brute who viciously abused him, causing him to flee not just his hometown but ''England'' as a teenager. When he returns and starts his own family, Thomas goes out of his way to be a kind and loving father (to the point where his wife sometimes accuses him of spoiling), refuses to let his kids meet their grandfather, and continually worries about whether or not he's a good enough parent.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Daenerys says this word-for-word in 'The House of Black and White'. Dany seems genuinely disturbed as Ser Barristan describes the atrocities of the Mad King. This trope is a key element in Tyrion throwing his support behind her. She also stuns Jon Snow when she openly declares that her father was an evil man.
* On ''Series/TheOriginals'', when Klaus is on a particularly hate-filled rant about Rebekah because she brought [[ArchnemesisDad Mikael]] to New Orleans to chase him away years ago, Elijah mentions how much he sounds like their father. Klaus is momentarily taken aback, and quietly says "I'm not him.", trying to convince himself more than anyone else. This is a running thread throughout the series, with Klaus' fatherhood being essential to him trying to be better than his father.
* A stock plot on all [[SoapOpera Soaps]] where family issues take center stage; bonus points if it's because they find out [[WhosYourDaddy their father wasn't who they thought it was]]. [[Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless Nick Newman]], [[Series/DaysOfOurLives Bo Brady]] and [[Series/OneLifeToLive Star Manning]] all have elements and some of the dynastic families like the [[Series/GeneralHospital Quatermaines]] and the [[Series/CoronationStreet Barlows]] practically run on it.
* This is a common theme in ''Series/SixFeetUnder''. The various characters try to avoid becoming like their parents with varying degrees of success. Most notably, Nate and Brenda, despite insistence that they will never be like their parents, ultimately go into exactly the same professions.
* In ''[[Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand Spartacus: Gods of the Arena]]'', several people have made this comment regarding Batiatus. He essentially fires Doctore for this reason. It's made clear, he feels his father's patient attitude has held the family fortunes down.
* A variation in the ''Series/WhiteCollar'' episode, "What Happens in Burma". Neal reveals that his father was a dirty cop, and says that criminal behavior runs in his blood. Peter insists that it's not true and encourages Neal to be his own man. So in this case it's more like "You are not your father."
** The [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments heartwarming]] part comes when you realize that this is ''after'' Neal has served time as a convicted bond forger, and that Peter was the one who caught him, ''twice!'' Even after all that, Peter still believes in him and still wants Neal to realize that his choices are his own, and that it's still not too late to get his act together.
* In ''Series/GossipGirl'', Chuck Bass keeps repeating that he's not like his father. Though he can't seem to decide if that's a positive thing or a negative.
* Lee in ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''.
** It's a running theme in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica: The intellectual sophisticate Baltar does not want to be associated with his DownOnTheFarm father (even going so far as to alter his accent). Starbuck represents the distaff version of the trope, wanting to disassociate herself from her abusive mother. And the elder Adama himself has worked hard to distinguish himself as a military leader, quite different from the in-universe equivalent of a Mafia ''consigliere'' that ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' reveals ''his'' father to have been (although his actual management of the fleet shows he did learn at least a few lessons from the old man). Even the Cylons come in for this: both collectively (in that they wish to prove themselves superior to their human creators) and individually (the reactions of various models, notably the Ones, toward the Final Five).
* Simon Marsden, when first introduced in ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', is suspected of rape. He invokes this trope when Benson compares him to their dad.
* This is a source of angst for D'Artagnan in ''Series/YoungBlades'', son of the D'Artagnan from ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers''. In particular, D'Artagnan (the younger) is willing to leave his life in the Musketeers rather than abandon his child like his father abandoned him.
* Raylan Givens in ''Series/{{Justified}}'' despises his father Arlo, who is a notorious criminal. Raylan became a lawman specifically to make sure he never turned out like his father. Boyd Crowder also has shades of this, though he takes it in a different direction than Raylan.
* Arthur is trying to be this trope in ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. Sometimes he manages it, sometimes he doesn't. In one season 5 episode, where a group of villagers are expecting him to kill a magic user, he actually says it. "I'm not my father".
* Ray Langston in ''Series/{{CSI}}'' constantly worries that he'll become his father in regards to the inherited disposition to violence. He does kill a man, but it's complicated since the guy was a serial killer with a hate-on for Ray.
* Lorelai in ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' in general can't stand her mother and tries to be as free and different from her as possible, and is dismayed at the occasional moments where [[NotSoDifferent they are shown to have similarities.]]
* A variation appears in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' when Bobby tells Dean he doesn't have to be like John and let his relationship with Sam be ruined because he is too proud to forgive him.
* A particularly heartwarming episode of ''Series/UglyBetty'' involves Daniel panicking after his father's sudden death because he's been left to run the magazine on his own but knows that he's "no Bradford Meade." After he has a brilliant idea that saves the magazine from total ruin, Betty has the following exchange with Bradford Meade's ghost:
-->'''Bradford Meade''': It was very clever. And I would never have thought of it.
-->'''Betty''': Well, you're no Daniel Meade.
* Ned from ''Series/PushingDaisies'' wants nothing to do with his [[DisappearedDad father]] and does not appreciate being told he resembles him.
* It's implied in an episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' that Hotchner's father was an abusive man who beat his son (and possibly his wife). When Hotchner admits that while children brought up in an abusive home sometimes become abusers themselves, sometimes they instead grow up to catch such people.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': [[TheUnfavourite Monica]] is determined not to end up like her JerkAss [[AbusiveParents mother]]. As she is a great TeamMom to the gang, adores children, is a supportive friend and wife, and happily [[spoiler: adopts twin babies]], she succeeds pretty well.
** Her boyfriend Chandler also has shades of this, terrified of becoming his flighty [[ParentalNeglect mother]] and gay father who walked out on them. He even runs away on his wedding because he's scared he'll copy his [[AwfulWeddedLife parents marriage]]. With Monica's help, he becomes one of the sweetest TV husbands ever [[spoiler: and a father]].
*** There's also a lot of FridgeBrilliance in Chandler's characterization. While his parents have flashy, exciting careers (famous smut writer and drag queen performer) and unconventional lives travelling and sleeping around with people, Chandler works a deadly boring 9 - 5 office job, is shy and awkward when it comes to dating, and for most of the series just wants security and stability with his TrueCompanions. (Which he never had as a child.) His CharacterDevelopment is all about getting over the CommitmentIssues his parents caused, and he's never happier than after he he falls in love with the Monica (the most reliable and level-headed of the friends) and they head towards the conventional 2.5 kids, white-picket fence future together.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': When Tess finds out that her father is [[spoiler: Lionel Luthor]], it [[InTheBlood explains a lot]] about her ManipulativeBastard tendencies as well as her HeelFaceRevolvingDoor. However, she's determined to prove that she's nothing like a [[spoiler: Luthor]]. When his AlternateUniverse version asks her why she doesn't just have him killed (which is something he'd do), she says that that's not who she is.
* Booth in ''Series/{{Bones}}'' spends an episode worrying that his history as a sniper and current career in the FBI stems from a love for violence due to his abusive father. He is told (in a hallucination) that he is not his father and then says it word for word to Bones at the end of the episode.
* '''Series/{{Wiseguy}}''. The garment trade arc starts with Eli Sternberg going to Mafia boss Rick Pinzolo for a loan, playing on his history with Pinzolo's father. Pinzolo insists on usurious terms, and when Sternberg demands the old arrangement, Pinzolo replies, "With all due respect to my father, as a businessman he was an idiot."
* ''Series/BirdsOfPrey'':
** Helena Kyle has this attitude towards her father Franchise/{{Batman}}, despite taking up her father's mantle of Gotham's protector.
** [[spoiler: Helena's love interest police detective Jesse Resse is also this towards his own father, crime boss Al Hawke, and even arrests his father.]]
* Inverted on ''Series/{{ER}}'', where Doug Ross is horrified to realize that he ''is'' the epitome of the father he despises.
* ''{{Series/Roseanne}}'': Multiple people over the years tell Darlene Connor that, with her abrasive, willful, sarcastic personality, she's exactly like her mother. Darlene ''does not'' take this well and angrily invokes this trope every single time.

* In Music/EltonJohn's ''Theatre/{{Aida}}'', Radames and his father, [[BigBad Zoser]], sing a duet about how Radames refuses to follow in his father's footsteps.
* In ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'', both Alexander Hamilton's and Aaron Burr's fathers are gone [[spoiler:Hamilton's father having abandoned him, while Burr's father died when he was young.]] Come "Dear Theodosia", both decide to make up their parents' shortcomings and be present in their children's lives. [[spoiler:Whether they succeeded or not is debatable.]]
-->'''Hamilton and Burr: My father wasn't around. I swear that I'll be around for you.'''


%%* UsefulNotes/FormulaOne: Jacques Villeneuve, winner of the 1997 World Championships

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Mysterium}}'', the playable character Ardhashir's family traditionally served the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He decided he wanted none of it and instead went to travel the world and to hone his clairvoyant skills.

* The Dragon Campaign in ''VideoGame/BattleRealms'' is based upon [[TheHero Kenji]] trying to distance himself from his EvilOverlord father. He utters the line verbatim to the Dragon when it asks him who he is.
* Kazuya from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' hates his father Heihachi. Heihachi's adopted son Lee goes further than this by completely disowning his adopted father.
* These are [[ActionGirl Ashelin]]'s exact words to Jak in ''VideoGame/JakIIRenegade''.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** One of the first things said by Liara in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' is "I am not [[TheDragon my mother!]]". Which is ironic, considering how both she and her mother Benezia have been [[MagneticHero magnetically drawn]] to dashing, larger-than-life Spectres on a quest for galactic salvation, and eventually became their most ardent supporters and trusted confidantes. So, despite her claims to the contrary, Liara is NotSoDifferent from her mom... except that she either is a much better judge of character, or is just a whole lot luckier to have followed [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] instead of someone like [[TheHeavy Saren]].
** Parental issues are pretty common in the ''Mass Effect'' franchise, in various flavors, ranging from being smothered by or rebelling against expectations ([[WrenchWench Tali]], [[CowboyCop Garrus]]) to escaping from and fighting back against abusive or evil parents ([[TheStoic Wrex]], [[BrokenAce Miranda]]).
** This actually becomes quite important to Miranda in one of her scenes in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', when she reminds Shepard that she had planned to place [[MindControlDevice a control chip]] in his/her brain when she was bringing him/her BackFromTheDead. In a minor breakdown, she reveals how much guilt she's been feeling over this and practically begs Shepard for forgiveness, as not only would have cost her a good friend, but also would have made her exactly like her father.
* Silver from ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver]]'' vows never to become like his dad [[spoiler:Giovanni]] in a special event-only scene.
* When making a Charr in ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'', two of your options is that your father was a Gladium who abandoned his warband and lives in honorless shame, or an outright traitor [[ReligionOfEvil Flame Legion]] shaman, you character adresses the trope if you picked the latter when your father comes up in a discussion.
---> Charr: "Yes, but I despise him, I've broken several jaws reminding people that I'm not responsible for my father's actions."
* Vito from ''VideoGame/MafiaII'' explicitly states a few times that he "doesn't want to end up like his dad". Of course, that all end when he later [[TheReveal finds out how exactly his dad died]], and it turns out Vito ''was'' following in his footsteps the whole time.
* To a lesser extent, Connor from ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' makes a point of not being like his [[KnightTemplar templar]] father Haytham.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Death]]wing's son Wrathion meets with the player in Mists of Pandaria and declares that he is completely opposed to his late father's [[OmnicidalManiac beliefs]].
---> Wrathion: Please understand, I mean to pay off my father's debts. I will stop at NOTHING to defend this world.
* Spoken word for word by Jake Muller in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'', who becomes determined not to turn out like his father [[spoiler: [[OmnicidalManiac Albert Wesker]].]]
--> '''Jake:''' You know what? Im not my father. And Im gonna make damn sure that it stays that way. Were getting out of here, and youre gonna save the world.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Lord Skärva in ''Webcomic/TheFourth'' dedicates himself to destroying [[TheHero Blank]], something he knows his father could never accomplish.
* Helen B. Narbon of ''{{Webcomic/Narbonic}}'' is determined to not be like her mother [[spoiler: even though she is a clone]], but when she most strongly insists that she is ''not'' her mother, her listeners agree that she is clearly ''exactly'' like her mother.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Roy has chosen to be a fighter, against his father's wish (who wanted Roy to become a wizard like him; ironically, ''his'' father is a fighter and had the same problem). Much later, [[spoiler:when Roy is dead]], he realizes what a cynical JerkAss his father actually is, and makes a conscious decision not to be like that.
** Elan is doing to same to Tarquin, Tarquin is an evil general while Elan is a hero. This doesn't bother Tarquin so much as he believes that it is his fate to be killed by a hero one day, at which point he will become infamous. He even gets to the point where he's helping Elan become a better hero, because the extra drama in having Elan kill him is all the better. Out of spite, Elan rejects Tarquin's assistance in the Order's quest for the Gates, then when fighting his father's own troops to save Roy, Durkon and Belkar, he takes on a supporting role, helping Haley fight them instead of doing the BigDamnHeroes bit himself.
* Kaji in ''Webcomic/CincoElementos'', despite Ember's efforts.
* There's a lot of this is ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', considering the nature of [[BigScrewedUpFamily a lot of people's families]].
** Agatha gets the main ones, considering her mother is the [[spoiler: BigBad of the series who is trying to either conquer or destroy the continent, and is also lodged in her mind and occasionally [[GrandTheftMe takes over her body]]]] Baron Wulfenbach is also convinced that this fact means that Agatha is destined to go down the same path or worse, and wants her captured or killed for it.
--> '''Agatha:''' I will '''''not''''' be punished for having the '''''worst family ever!'''''
** Gil also gets a few - his father is the son of minor nobility who conquered a continent, and who is almost universally disliked by other nobles. The Baron's position as a despotic tyrant and Gil's position as his heir means that Gil isn't too well liked either.
** Tarvek has to point this out to Gil after being accused of aiding The Other and conspiring to enslave most of Europa via slaver wasps.
--> '''Tarvek:''' After all, it doesn't matter that it was my '''''father''''' and his '''''friends''''' who did all that. I was what? '''''Three,''''' maybe?

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Apollo to Zeus in ''Literature/ThaliasMusings''. For the most part, Apollo is a perfect gentleman to the nine goddesses who live with him. He took the position of Governor of the Muses to protect them from his sadistic, lecherous father. Zeus talks about the Muses as though they're Apollo's harem.
* Winter of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse has two supervillains for parents. She wants to be a superhero. But she wants to be a superhero so she can piss off her parents, making her really very much like them.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender:'' Zuko's HeelFaceTurn happens when he stops being a WellDoneSonGuy and becomes one of these instead. Taking his [[BadassGrandpa Uncle]] [[CoolOldGuy Iroh]] as his [[ParentalSubstitute alternate]] [[TheCaretaker father figure]] didn't hurt either.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Stan in particular is pretty ashamed of his father most of the time and tries to avoid being like him, not that he always succeeds.
** To a lesser extent, Kyle is like this, but usually with his mother. "It's a Jersey Thing".
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra:'' A recurring motif. Tenzin is (or [[NotSoStoic tries to be]]) as serious and staid as Aang was carefree, and, while she shares Toph's toughness, Lin is very strict about enforcing the law and has no patience with the Avatar Korra's vigilante justice [[spoiler:until she quits and becomes a vigilante herself]].
** Arguably the most significant is [[spoiler:Asami refusing to join the Equalists with her father.]]
** Tenzin breaks out of the Fog of Lost Souls on realizing [[spoiler:"I am Tenzin. I am not a reflection of my father." after his father himself shows up to tell him so.]]
** Tarrlok, and by extension [[spoiler: his brother Amon]], both seem to show shades of this. Unfortunately for them both, [[spoiler: they ended up becoming a threat to Republic City just [[TheBadGuyWins like their father wanted]], albeit in [[CorruptPolitician different]] [[DarkMessiah ways]].]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'': Commissioner Barbara Gordon delivers this line word for word when she lets Bruce know that she won't be working hand-in-hand with the [[LegacyCharacter new kid]]. It wasn't out of any disrespect for her father (quite the opposite). It was because, at the time, she did not trust the new Batman, Terry [=McGinnis=]. She does, reluctantly, work with Terry at times, but never reaches anywhere near the same relationship with him as her father did with Bruce.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', Vandal Savage in the present says he's nothing like his grandfather, the evil Vandal Savage the League fought during a trip to UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to prevent a BadFuture. Turns out [[spoiler: he's not just ''like'' his "grandfather," he ''is'' the original Savage - he's an immortal who changes identity every so often.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Lisa discovers that Marge used to be a genius until meeting Homer essentially made her decide she didn't care about her future. Lisa vows to be absolutely nothing like her mother, much to Marge's horror.
** In "Lisa's Substitute," Lisa is terrified of introducing Mr. Bergstrom to Homer, as Homer isn't academically inclined. This gives us the page quote for BumblingDad.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad!'', both Hayley and Steve try not to be like their father Stan - Hayley because she hates his right-wing views, and Steve because he thinks Stan is an idiot for using words like 'irregardless'. At the end of the day though Hayley IS like Stan in her obstinance, and Steve is like Stan in his nerdy nature and well-meaning but naive ideas.
* Willy Zilla's desire of being recognized by his own merit instead of just being famous because [[WesternAnimation/MyDadTheRockStar his Dad is a rock star]] triggers this trope. Rock actually understands it, as ''his'' father is a cello player.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'': Hoggish Jr. used to share his father's views on environment but changed his mind.
* Julie Kane, in regards to her father, the leader of Detroit Deluxe in ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}''. [[spoiler:Although she said she would take over for Detroit Deluxe if something were to happen to him, her intentions not being clear . . .]]
* Fred Jones in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' in regards to [[spoiler: both Mayor Jones and his biological parents]].
* Used for a quick joke on ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''; the Gremloblin's glowing eyes can make whoever look into them live their worst fears. When Dipper tricks into looking into a mirror, the Gremloblin sees itself with glasses, with his reflection screaming, "You've become your father!"
** Played straight with Pacifica Northwest in Season 2; after seeing that her family has been nothing but a collection of [[CardCarryingVillain Card Carrying Villains]] for the last 150 years, she breaks from the tradition and genuinely helps someone other than herself, declaring that she intends to make up for all the wrong the Northwests have caused over the years.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ElenaOfAvalor'', Sir Cassius is a very good sport and take losing well compared to his father, Lord Elrod, who is highly competitive and will play dirty to avoid losing.