In a show where the main child character(s) is(are) mentioned to have divorced parents (or at least parents that aren't together anymore), it's usually the mom who has primary custody of the kid(s). However, often times, there will end up being an episode where the child's father visits (usually but not always as part of some custody arrangement).

This rarely works in the reverse--in fiction, dads and/or father-figures usually aren't depicted as raising kids on their own unless the mother of the child (or children) is dead or something.

Compare WhenYouComingHomeDad and DisneylandDad.

Contrast DaddyDidntShow.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/KodomoNoOmocha'', Sana's (adoptive) mother's ex-husband shows up at their house a couple of times asking for money. Of course, due to the comedic nature of the show, he's likely to be (harmlessly) blasted with some sort of large weapon, sending him flying away. Played with in that Sana and her mom's ex-husband don't actually consider themselves father and daughter, and legally speaking, they're not--to go into greater detail:
** Shortly after she and her husband got divorced, Misako learned that she wouldn't be able to have children through biological means. Still wanting to have kids, Misako looked into adopting a child--after finding Sana (who was abandoned as a baby by her [[TeenPregnancy then-14-years-old biological mother, Keiko]]) and taking her to an orphanage, she was eventually able to legally adopt Sana as her daughter (and ended up raising her as a single parent).
* In ''Anime/{{Noein}}: Mo Hitori no Kimi e'' (To Your Other Self), both Haruka and Yu both seem to be being raised by single mothers and Haruka brings up child support and running away to Tokyo to live with her dad in an early episode. It turns out Yu's is just always at work, but Haruka's dad's monthly visits becomes a plot point when fellow quantum physicist Uchida plans to use it to catch him and get him to help her save the world from their mutual research. [[Literature/{{Discworld}} There's always bloody quantum.]]
* Yuki's divorced father Kurou visits him in the hospital more than halfway through ''Manga/FutureDiary''. [[spoiler:However, a chance for father-son bonding isn't the real reason he's there...]]
* In ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'', the Kawamoto sisters' deadbeat dad divorced their mother years ago, before the youngest sister Momo was even born. Since their mother's passing they've lived with their grandfather. One day their father shows up again out of the blue, reopening painful wounds and trying to take advantage of the girls.
* In ''Manga/TonariNoKashiwagiSan'' Sayaka arranges to meet with her father, and brings Kazuki along for moral support. She only wants to know one thing: [[spoiler:[[WasItReallyWorthIt Was it worth marrying her mother]] despite how it ended up]]? The answer is quite simple: [[spoiler:Yes, [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments because Sayaka was born]].]]

* Happens in ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'', and gets its own subplot. Will's dad, [[DisappearedDad Thomas Vandom]], threatens to take Will away from her mother if the latter doesn't give him the huge sum of money he wants.
* ''ComicBook/{{Jonesy}}'': Inverted, the title character's mother is the one who's usually away while Jonesy lives with her father, and she eventually comes to visit in the 7th issue. Jonesy isn't too thrilled at this due to thinking that her mother left them and it comes to a head near the end of the issue. However, her mother reveals that this isn't the case: she and Jonesy's father separated due to marrying young and ultimately growing apart as they got older. Jonesy's father was the one who volunteered to look after her while her mother went to the city to study to be a lawyer. But Jonesy's mother makes it clear that she really does love her daughter (and always has), and comes to visit whenever she can. Jonesy's mom even goes out of her way to get an apartment with a spare room so Jonesy could have a place to sleep when she visited her in the city.

* The ''Film/TheBabySittersClub'' movie has Kristy's DisappearedDad visit for the summer. He only reveals himself to his thirteen-year-old daughter (ignoring his fifteen-, seventeen-, and seven-year-old sons), forcing her to keep it secret and basically lie to her family and friends all summer, before he leaves unexpectedly because his job prospect didn't pan out.
* In the movie ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'', one of the guys who has to go to space visits his son. The mom doesn't tell the boy that this is his father, but that he's a salesman; from what she says to her ex after their son goes into the house, it's implied that he's actually not ''allowed'' to visit, or at least not without advance notice (which is why his son doesn't recognize him). Later, after the father takes part in a plan that saves the planet, his family sees him on TV. When the boy says, "That salesman is on TV," the mom finally admits, "That's not a salesman. That's your dad."
** A similar thing happens at the end of ''Film/TheLongKissGoodnight''.
* One that does not end well in ''Film/TheRebound''.
* Happens in ''Film/PayItForward'', when Trevor's estranged father suddenly shows up at the door. It doesn't work out between the two.
* The film ''Film/DriveMeCrazy'' has Melissa Joan Hart's father visit her and take her on a hot-air balloon ride to bond. While up in the air, he gives her the book ''Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'' to better understand him. She replies, "This stupid book is supposed to explain why you're never around?" and flings it over the edge. Creator/RogerEbert wrote in his review of the film that he cheered at this part.

* Another kind of inversion happens in ''Literature/AmeliasNotebook'' where Amelia gets a letter from her divorced father, then she goes to visit ''him''. There still seems to be tension between her parents, though.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' [[ActionGirl Rachel]] is visited occasionally by her father, who lives in another city. She actually seems closer to him than to her mom because they have a lot in common.
* A rare reversal in ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh,'' as Lila lives with her single father and her mother lives in France. When Lila is nearly date raped and the therapy she receives isn't working, her dad reaches out to her mother. This leads to them eventually remarrying in Book #98: ''The Wedding''.
* Seen a few times in ''Literature/TheBabysittersClub.'' There's one book in which Dawn and Jeff's dad visits Stoneybrook briefly before a summer trip. He has breakfast with his ex-wife, her NewOldFlame husband, and her stepdaughter. It's just as awkward as it sounds.
** The SpinOff series, ''Friends Forever'', has Kristy's dad get married again and finally remember that he has kids--because he wants the three oldest ones to be in the wedding. He doesn't even seem to remember that the youngest child (who was a baby when he left) exists, and is kind of a JerkAss throughout the whole thing.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/DesperateHousewives''
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'', who finally meets his dad, who is in trouble for a murder his boss committed.
* ''Series/TheParkers'' (on more than one occasion)
* ''Kate and Allie'' (many occasions for both divorced moms)
* ''Series/{{One Day at a Time|1975}}''
* ''Series/WhosTheBoss'' had a few episodes in which Angela's ex, Jonathan's father, came to town.
** The first visit actually revealed they hadn't been divorced yet. He came back from an extended trip after being served with papers. That led to the attempted reconciliation.
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', though in this case, the parents were never married in the first place. Multiple visits; one brief reconciliation with mom. One attempted reconciliation with catastrophic effects.
* Hank Summers appears in the first-season ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode, "Nightmares," and is supposed to meet Buffy, but cancels, a few other times over the series's run.
** In "Nightmares" everyone's worst fears come true, so Hank tells Buffy that [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech it was all her fault her parents divorced]]. It wasn't really her father as it turned out, but Buffy never gets over her DisappearedDad, a fact that lampshaded in Season 7 "Conversations With Dead People".
** Creator/JossWhedon was raised by a single mother. Coincidence?
** It got the point where, in the fifth season, after [[spoiler: Joyce dies and Hank doesn't even show up for the funeral]], Dawn going to live with their dad is listed as only a slightly preferable alternative to foster care if Buffy were to be deemed an unfit guardian.
** PlayedWith and GenderFlipped in season six--when Buffy was temporarily dead Willow and Tara became Dawn's [[ParentalSubstitute substitute]] [[HasTwoMommies mothers]], but later they broke up and Tara moved out. In "Smashed" she and Dawn go out together in what seems intended to represent a sort of parental visitation.
** Seems to be an example of CharacterizationMarchesOn, Hank's appearance in the season finale indicated that he genuinely cared for Buffy, and his divorce from Joyce came out of irreconcilable differences(if the second season finale offers any hint), not from some sort of parental neglect. It isn't until the third season that his incompetence as a parent truly becomes apparent.
* A few times in ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody''. The twins' father also comes to see them graduate from high school in ''On Deck''.
* Interestingly ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' has an example of a child with divorced parents living with their father. This trope isn't used because the Mum shows up so often that she's a DropInCharacter. It's later played straight when Clyde's father pays a visit for the first time in five years in "The Mark of the Berserker."
* ''Series/SportsNight'' has a Visit ''to'' Divorced Dad by Casey's son Charlie.
* ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' used it for a VerySpecialEpisode where Ben Vereen appears as Will's career-first father. Initially Will is excited, but when Uncle Phil tries to warn him against getting his hopes up, Will throws it back in his face. Of course, Mr. Smith plans on leaving without telling Will, triggering a CrowningMomentOfAwesome PapaWolf rant from Philip, as well as a combined TearJerker-cum-CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming at the end when Will's attempt to look strong in the face of this latest abandonment fails and, breaking down, asks Phil, "How come he don't want me, man?"
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'' inverts this trope, since Rick Castle is raising his daughter Alexis (or in [[ManChild his case]], [[WiseBeyondTheirYears possibly the other way around]]) and they get the occasional visit from his even more irresponsible ex-wife. (Even one of his ''other'' ex-wives, who isn't Alexis's mother, occasionally turns up to spend time with her.)
* Inverted in ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager''. Amy and Ashley live with their dad George ([[spoiler:or did until Amy moved in with Ricky and Ashley went on a road trip with Toby]]). Their mom, Anne, and their baby brother Robbie live in another town near Anne's ailing mother. The girls (and occasionally George) sporadically visit Anne and Robbie. Anne keeps up semi-regular phone communication, but never really physically visits them, except when she's dropping Robbie off for his time with George.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' has done this with both parents. Blair's father (who comes to visit once or twice per season) and Dan and Jenny's mother (who appeared in a minor arc in season one).
* ''Series/ModernFamily'', with Gloria's ex-husband (Manny's father).
** Also reversed, when Jay's ex-wife visits (though both of her children are now adults).
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' does the GenderFlipped version when Zoe's mom shows up. In a twist, she's showing up because it's her turn to get custody, and Carter needs to convince her not to [[PutOnABus put Zoe on a bus]] back to Los Angeles.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' has a two episode arc in which Caroline's dad shows up. Of course, then he proceeds to torture her.
* In the ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' episode "Return of an Old Friend", the parents of the Rangers are kidnapped and used as hostages. This includes Kimberly's divorced parents, with the dad being in the middle of this.
* Several episodes of ''Series/NewYorkUndercover'' focus on this trope between Det. Williams and his son, G.
* Happens pretty regularly on ''Series/MyNameIsEarl''. One episode involved Earl discussing his list for Dodge's class [[spoiler: and it's revealed that he is Dodge's biological father.]] Another episode involved signing the kids out of camp to take them to Mystery Fun Land... only to find that the amusement park has been torn down. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Dodge and Earl Jr. forgive "Old Daddy" and cross "Never took the kids to Mystery Fun Land" off the list]].
* ''Series/{{Blossom}}'' is the living-with-father variety. On a couple of occasions, the mother (who just walked out on the family one day) comes back for a visit. The last time this happens, Blossom's dad tells her not to come back.
* ''Series/FakingIt'': Unfortunately, the first time we see Amy's dad, it's immediately after she and Lauren discover that her mom is having an affair with him behind her new husband's back.
* ''Series/LifeWithDerek'' had an episode in which Casey was particularly excited to be getting a visit from her absent father.
* ''Series/VeranoAzul'' has the local {{Meganekko}}'s father dropping by during summer vacation. As it's a Spanish series from TheEighties, coming right after the very conservative Franco dictatorship, merely speaking onscreen about divorce was ''revolutionary'' back then.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Presumably occurs at the beginning of ''VideoGame/AmongTheSleep'', judging by the sound effects when Mom goes to answer the door in the first cutscene and via clues revealed throughout the game. Said 'visit', unfortunately, is nothing more than an entirely offscreen argument between Mom and Dad, ending with Mom shouting 'NO' loudly and clearly and apparently slamming the door in his face before giving you the present he had for you. By the way, you're a two-year-old. [[spoiler:Dad returns at the very end, after Mom has been revealed as alcoholic, and you open the door and let him in. It's assumed this visit was actually to take you away after winning custody.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/RedString'' inverts this. Reika decides to visit her father while she's in Tokyo. Upon entering, she discovers that her father has not only remarried, but he already has a son that was born around the time of the divorce (plus another one on the way). [[spoiler:Then her father reveals that Reika was an unplanned pregnancy.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Happens to Buster in ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', though sans melodrama on his part. It eventually culminates with Buster leaving for an extended period to travel with his father, later to be used as fodder for a spin-off series.
* An interesting subversion of this trope occurs in the Emmy-nominated episode of ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'', "Hello Stranger", where Ginger invites him to see her read a poem. However, [[DaddyDidntShow he never shows up]]. Dad would, however, later visit Ginger in "An Even Steven Holiday Special" and "Losing Nana Bishop".
%%* ''WesternAnimation/{{Braceface}}''
* After [[DaddyDidntShow not coming to a family picnic]] in the Nick run of ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'', we finally meet Roger's father in the Disney run episode "Doug's Movie Madness." Despite what's implied about him before, he proves to be a good father, and possibly even a better parent than others. When all the children want to see an R-rated movie, Doug's parents use trailers and reviews [[NeverTrustATrailer (which can lie to a viewer)]] to make their choice to not let Doug see it. When Roger asks his dad if he can see it, his father says he'll have to watch it first to judge it fully; he ends up walking out halfway since in this case, the trailers actually kept out a lot of the bloodier parts. He tells Roger, who still doesn't understand. Later, all the kids told no go to see it anyway and Roger's father is the only parent who catches their kid in the act, physically takes Roger from the movie, and has a firm but gentle talk with him about it. Doug's parents don't find out until afterward, and while Roger learned that sometimes parents do know what they're talking about and a better understanding of his dad, all Doug learned was that he got nightmares, and grounded without fully understanding why his parents did it in the first place. The other kids never even get caught.
* In one of those rare reversals, [[WesternAnimation/DrKatzProfessionalTherapist Dr. Katz]] actually has custody of his son, and is visited by his ex-wife only once for Thanksgiving.
* ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' did this on multiple occasions; the divorced dad eventually evolved into a {{Recurrer}}.
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' had a few episodes sort of like this, when [[DumbBlonde Luanne]], a WomanChild who lives with her aunt and uncle, got visits from both of her parents. The mom had previously been in jail, while her dad [[spoiler:[[RetCon had been as well]]]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MonkeyDust'' had a recurring sketch in the first series based around this. In each sketch a divorced dad has a custody visit with his young son Timmy; only to [[DrivenToSuicide kill himself in various horrible ways]] when Timmy talks about how great the mother's new boyfriend is. The divorced dad eventually discovers that his ex's boyfriend is [[YourCheatingHeart Timmy's real father]], but on this occasion decides not to kill himself and just be there for Timmy. However, in the last sketch featuring the characters, the dad commits suicide yet again on discovering that a now-teenage Timmy has become a juvenile delinquent.
* ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'': her father visits fairly often, though as a blimp pilot he's usually away.
* {{Inverted}} on ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb,'' where main character [[MadScientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz]] occasionally goes through with his evil plans while his [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter daughter]], Vanessa, is visiting; most of the time she's with Doofenshmirtz' ex-wife, but unlike most of the men on this page he keeps regular contact. Even if she sometimes [[BumblingDad wishes he wouldn't]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'' with Sam's workaholic father.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'' had Tino's dad show up for one episode, causing a temporary awkward moment as his dad and mother's boyfriend initially have no idea what to say to one another; however, [[CommonalityConnection the two men end up becoming friends after bonding over]] [[LethalChef Tino's mother terrible cooking.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/WheelSquad'' had an episode where Jessica's father visited her.
** It's unclear if Emilie might have a similar experience, since it's not known if her birth father died or simply divorced her mother.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' features this a couple times with Will's dad, especially in the episode "Q for Quarry".
** It happened in the original comics, too. However, Will's dad there isn't so nice...