"If you're going to take me on, son, you're going to have to bring your game up to a whole different level."Some fathers just really don't do well by their kids, at all. Some are aloof, remote, and offer scant praise for their children's achievements. Some expect their kids to act like adults from an early age and offer no guidance, whatsoever. Some will abandon their kids. Some will come to betray their children at a crucial moment. Some are just downright abusive. Some will even go so far as to try Offing the Offspring. A once few, however, will go the extra mile to take every action and every opportunity to foil their children's plans and ruin their lives and become an Archnemesis Dad (or a Foe Pa). This trope is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a father or father figure who also happens to be a prime candidate for the title of a character's Archenemy. He could be anywhere on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, but whether he's the Big Bad, The Dragon, or something else entirely, any story featuring him is likely to be emotionally charged at the least. Normally this will be a case of It's Personal, and may well include offers of We Can Rule Together, but not always: particularly cold-hearted fathers may declare I Have No Son and treat the child in question as just one more problem to be solved. Compare Oedipus Complex, the general archetype of patriarchal resentment (the father figure does not necessarily need to be an archnemesis in that one). Often the result of years of I Hate You, Vampire Dad. Might overlap with Luke, I Am Your Father. See Abusive Parents and Parental Neglect for the more mundane version. See Offing the Offspring and/or Patricide for what this might lead to. A common subversion of the trope is the Anticlimactic Parent reveal that usually shows the father as a rather harmless Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to their child rather than an actual antagonist. This trope's Distaff Counterpart is the Evil Matriarch. The inversion is Antagonistic Offspring. Contrast Daddy's Little Villain and Overlord Jr., where the evil father dotes on his kids. See Evil Uncle for when it's not dad but his brother who goes out of his way to ruin your day. See Cain and Abel when the conflict is between siblings.
— Lionel Luthor to Lex Luthor, Smallville
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Code Geass, this is Emperor Charles zi Britannia's raison d'etre. He has children by 108 different wives and believes the best way to choose a successor to the throne is to pit them all against each other, encouraging backstabbing and assassination at every turn, so that the last one standing will be the strongest and most fit to lead. Prodigal prince Lelouch blames the death of his mother and the crippling of his sister on the Emperor's ruthless parenting style, and he launches a worldwide rebellion against Brittania so he can put an end to this system of sibling rivalry forever. Though, for most of the series, the Emperor doesn't consider Lelouch much of a threat and takes a hands-off approach towards dealing with him.
- The irony in all this is that it's revealed that Lelouch and Nunnally are actually the children Charles loves the most. This is mainly by virtue of the fact that they are the only children he had with the only one of his 108 consorts that he loved: Marianne vi Britannia, who is revealed to be alive (albeit via Grand Theft Me) and in on his Assimilation Plot.
- The Fourth Kazekage from Naruto. He placed a known dangerous tanuki-demon into his unborn child Gaara to create a Tyke Bomb for his ninja village. He used his own wife as a Human Sacrifice to complete the act, all without her consent. When he couldn't train the aforementioned Tykebomb to control his powers well, he tries to kill Gaara. Ironically, Gaara isn't the one who kills him — Orochimaru is. Though they do eventually have their fight after the Fourth is revived via the Edo Tensei during the Fourth Great Shinobi War, where the truth about Gaara's mother and Yashamaru is finally revealed. The two make their peace before the Fourth is sealed away, entrusting the village to his son and successor.
- Lorenzo Leonelli from Heat Guy J. When he wasn't leaving Clair alone for extended periods of time, he was being physically and emotionally (and many believe sexually) abusive towards Clair. This went on for years, causing Clair to go insane and eventually kill him.
- In Baki the Grappler, Baki's father is the Big Bad right from the start.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The relationship between Shinji and Gendo Ikari is... complicated. Gendo abandoned his son at the tender age of 4 after Yui Ikari, Gendo's beloved wife and Shinji's mother, died. Their relationship only gets worse in the series prope: Gendo acts coldly indifferent to Shinji's suffering and nearly dying in the EVA-01 multiple times. Things finally come to a head in every version during the fight against Bardiel. Shinji refuses fighting the Angel-hijacked Eva because his best friend is inside, so that Gendo orders the Dummy Plug (basically an autopilot for the Eva Unit) to rip the angel apart, maiming Shinji's best friend Touji and killing him in the manga. Shinji gives up all hope of reconciliation after this and only comes back to NERV after finding out that if he does leave for good then everyone else dies.
- At "End of Evangelion" Gendo finally reveals he abandoned Shinji because he was frightened of his own son, was convinced that he would screw Shinji if he tried to raise him, and he did not want to get him involved with his and SEELE war. Unfortunately, for that time it is doubtful Shinji cared for his reasons.
- Rebuild of Evangelion plays with this one. For a moment it seems that Gendo is actually nicer in this version, actually paying his son a genuine compliment after a tough battle. Shinji looks like he just gained the whole world after this which makes the revelation that it was all an act hurt that much moreso than the original. Gendo is only acting nice with his son to manipulate him into ending the world.
- In Urusei Yatsura, Ryuunosuke's father is quite insistent on treating the female Ryuunosuke like a man, down to violent fisticuffs and paralyzing poisons on a regular basis, and would only let her act feminine over his dead body. Ryuunosuke hates her father. Then again, it's Played for Laughs.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Gozaburo Kaiba is an Abusive Dad and Jerkass whom adoptive son Seto Kaiba disposed of in the backstory. In the anime, he returns as the Big Bad of the Virtual Nightmare Filler Arc to make one final attempt at revenge. Trapping Kaiba and his allies in his virtual world, Gozaburo uses his biological son, Noa, and his former employees, The Big Five, as the muscle in a plot to permanently trap his son and escape back into the world in his body. Defeated by Kaiba, Gozaburo makes a last attempt at Taking You with Me, but is stopped when Noa pulls a Heel–Face Turn and sacrifices himself to destroy them both.
- Likewise, so far it looks like the Big Bad of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is Professor Leo Akaba. The plot is mostly moving forward due to the machinations of his son Reiji, who's trying to stop him from becoming any more of a Multiversal Conqueror than he already is.
- Vinland Saga: Now that King Sweyn is sure that his older son Harold will be able to succeed him on the throne, his younger son Canute becomes a liability. Canute doesn't like it.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Father is a strong candidate for the title of Greed's archenemy.
- A Cruel God Reigns: Jeremy is repeatedly beaten and raped by his step-father, which is the main source of his angst for the rest of the series... but can you blame the poor kid?
- The primary goal of Brad Burns, and later his brother Luke, in Green Blood is to track down the man who murdered his mother: his father Edward King.
- The Big Bad of Count Cain is Cain's father Alexis, who transitioned smoothly from beating his children when they were small to manipulating them into pawns in his Evil Plan now that they're grown.
- Captain Kenny Ackerman from Attack on Titan seems to be this to Levi. He describes Levi as his pride and joy, but also gleefully attempts to hunt him down and kill him since he's a Psycho for Hire in the service of the Government Conspiracy. It isn't clear whether the two are actually related, or he was merely a caretaker to one of the many orphaned children living in the Underground. He's revealed to be the older brother of Levi's late mother, making him Levi's uncle. And he apparently did seem to genuinely care for Levi.
- Head, the Big Bad of Star Driver is this to his son Takuto.
- Mazinger Z: In some alternate universes, Kouji has to fight his father or his grandfather, who have gone completely nuts.
- Genma Wars had the Maoh King for his twin sons Loof and Gin, whom their mother Non was raped by him. While Gin was ignorant to his true heritage, Loof was raised by him without knowing who his true mother was and gets disowned after failing short of his father's expectations. When the brothers reunite, they join forces with their other half-siblings to dethrone the King together.
- Inverted with Spider-Man. His Arch-Enemy, the Green Goblin, is not this, but a major development of the last decade or so is that he more or less imagines he is, seeing Peter — a smart, brave, capable self-made man — as a better son than his own child, Harry. On an older level, Peter's search for a father figure is one of the underlying themes of the comic, and the idea that Osborn — as well as other enemies like Doctor Octopus — are twisted inversions of this has been around for a while.
- This is also played with in Ultimate Spider-Man, where Osborn's military research (including pieces of Peter's parents' research) leads directly to Peter gaining his powers. And Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, got his powers from a stolen spider from Osborn's lab. Osborn keeps unintentionally birthing Spider-Men.
- A similar situation exists between Batman and Ra's Al-Ghul. He, too, sees Bruce almost like the son he never had, and he actually plans on making him both his heir and his son-in-law by marrying him to his daughter Talia, something both Bruce and Talia are seriously tempted to do.
- Played straight and then subverted in the Black Glove story arc, where it is implied that the eponymous villain is actually Bruce's dad Thomas, who was really an evil psychopath. Neither allegation turns out to be true, though the real Black Glove, one Doctor Simon Hurt, nonetheless claims to be Thomas Wayne to both Bruce and Alfred's face, even though both men obviously knew he wasn't. It is implied that Hurt is actually Satan himself, though for a moment Batman accuses him of being an actor who used to impersonate his father, which would make this yet another inversion. Hurt denies this and claimed to have killed said actor and wore his skin to a party. So it's a triple subversion, with Hurt being a guy pretending to be a guy who pretended to be Bruce Wayne's dad, and pretending to be Bruce's Wayne's dad. Phew!
- Return of Bruce Wayne suggests that Hurt is Dr. Thomas Wayne. Just not that Dr. Thomas Wayne...
- In the 1970s, Marvel comics created a character named Shang-Chi, whose father just so happened to be the evil Dr. Fu Manchu.
- In Fables, the Adversary is revealed to be Geppeto, thereby making him Pinnochio's Archnemesis Dad. Though, this is less explicit, because his son is conflicted about opposing his father explicitly.
- The android superhero Red Tornado and his creator T.O. Morrow have this dynamic. Several storylines revolve around Morrow's attempts to destroy/manipulate/reprogram his prodigal son.
- In Secret Six, Scandal Savage has a hatred for her father of such intensity that even mentioning his name is often enough to drive her to violence. When your dad is the immortal psychopath Vandal Savage, who can blame you?
- The current page image is of Black Manta and his son, Aqualad. Black Manta has vowed to one day gut his own son like a fish just to torment Aquaman.
- Shang-Chi's nemesis is his father, the notorious Fu Manchu.
- The Pride in Runaways is made up of six pairs of Archnemesis Dads and Evil Matriarchs. In a mild subversion, The Pride honestly believe that they are doing the best they can for their children: by destroying the world and allowing the Gibborim to remake it, they will be handing their children paradise. With one exception, the kids don't agree, and their interference ultimately leads to the deaths of all The Pride's members.
- At the end of the war between New Genesis and Apokolips, rulers Highfather and Darkseid exchanged their baby sons as part of the peace treaty. Darkseid's son, Orion, was raised a hero (albeit one with anger issues), who plays this about as straight as possible, sometimes going after Darkseid even against the wishes of his adopted father.
- In All Fall Down, we have IQ to his son, IQ Squared.
- In Prince of Persia: The Graphic Novel, Shirin leaves her home to join La Résistance, and rebels against her father in every sense.
- Lex Luthor is one of Superboy's two clone fathers (alongside Superman) and has regularly tried to control or kill his progeny, at one point successfully turning him against the Teen Titans.
- In New Krypton Superman's father-in-law, General Sam Lane, was revealed as an Absolute Xenophobe and General Ripper out to engineer the extinction of the Kryptonian race. He more or less succeeds, wiping New Krypton, and most of Superman's Kryptonian friends and family out of existence.
- The original Brainiac has, at various points, tried to manipulate, control, or kill his clone son, Brainiac 2, his grandson, Brainiac 3, and his great-great grandson, Brainiac 5. Brainiacs 2 & 3 have also made numerous attempts to kill one another, proving this trope is more or less In the Blood.
- Lucifer casts the conflict between the titular character and God (often referred to as Yahweh) as a much more intimate father-son conflict than the usual epic good-versus-evil depiction.
- Teen Titans has Trigon the Terrible, interdimensional demon lord and father of Titans' member Raven. Having raped her mother to impregnate her, Trigon later mounts a series of psychic assaults on Raven, ultimately brainwashing her into serving him and using her psyche as the portal through which he enters the real world.
- Strontium Dog: Johnny Alpha's father Nelson Kreelman is a racist politician who abused and ultimately locked his own son up for his mutation, and leads a Nazi-like anti-mutant movement.
- The Big Bad of The Immortal Game is Celestia and Luna's father Titan.
- And his Dragon, General Esteem (who's just as big a monster as he is), happens to be Rarity's father.
- Doing It Right This Time: Subverted. When he returned to the past, Shinji thought he would have to find some way to stop his father's plans. When he and Asuka arrived at Tokyo-3, though, it turned out that Rei had confronted Gendo and revealed that they were time-travellers and his plans would fail, not matter what. Ergo, Gendo lost his motivation to oppose to them.
- Once More with Feeling: Shinji considers his father Gendo one of his primary enemies. Considering they have mutually exclusive goals, and what Gendo did in the original timeline, it's completely reasonable.
- On a similar note, in My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return, The Dragon — the Grand Master of the Shadow Blades Order — turns out to be Pinkie Pie's father Clydesdale. That being said, and despite the fact that they come to blows, they still care about each other, and he wishes she'd stop all this heroic nonsense and come home.
- In Heroes story Fearless, Bob is a variation because in the particular universe Elle has never met him but he is very evil.
- Another example is the Big Bad of the Tangled Roots Trilogy.'' Babs Seeds's (The Protagonist) father, Bernie Madhoof, is a crime lord, ruthless businesspony and not above trying to kill his own subordinates... that's not all, though... Later on, however, it's revealed that Madhoof is actually Babs' uncle; her real father, Page Turner, is a nice guy.
- Shinra High SOLDIER has Hojo fill in this role toward Sephiroth.
- More implied in the Hotel Transylvania fic How to Zing. Martha starts out human, but Drac turns her into a Vampire so they can be together. Her father then swears vengeance on all Vampires for what happened. Said father is Abraham Van Helsing.
- In Advice And Trust:
- Gendo becomes this to Shinji. He abandoned him, turned Rei into his drugged-up slave, hurt Asuka and may try to ruin his relationship with his girlfriend.
- After a while Rei regards Gendo as a threat whose plans would destroy her best friends' relationship.
- At the beginning of Thousand Shinji, Shinji wanted to pay his father back for abandoning him. However, after being taken in by Misato, Shinji forgets about his revenge. Unfortunately, Gendo targeted Shinji's family and friends to hurt his son and bring him back under control, and Shinji decided that he'd got it with his father.
- Children of an Elder God: When Shinji discovered that his parents had used the powers that he and his friends stole from the Elder Gods to create a False Utopia, he and the other pilots rebelled and fought Gendo and Yui.
- After returning to the past in The Second Try, Shinji knows what his father is planning ending the world, and he's determined to ruin his plans.
- Subverted in Neon Genesis Evangelion Genocide. Gendo's goals are fundamentally opposed to Shinji's, but after the Angel War, Gendo is below Shinji's notice, and Shinji is too busy getting over his traumas and surviving the next battles to trouble himself with his father's schemes.
- In Last Child of Krypton, when Gendo hurts his son's friends and girlfriend, Shinji turns against his father openly.
Films — Animated
- In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frollo takes Quasimodo in after killing his mother, but only to save his own soul and keep Quasi for later use. He raises his erstwhile son to hate himself, teaches him that the world is dark and cruel, and keeps him locked away from sight to prevent being associated with him. When Frollo's atrocities increase, Quasi realizes the man's evil, calls him out on his abusive parenting, and saves Esmeralda from the murderously insane Frollo.
Films — Live-Action
- Dreverhaven in the Dutch movie Character has such an antagonistic relationship with his son that said son is the prime suspect when Dreverhaven is murdered.
- Bruce Banner's father, David, in the 2003 Hulk. After performing dangerous tests on himself, some of it was passed on genetically when Bruce was conceived. He attempted to murder Bruce but failed, striking down his wife in the process. Thirty years later, following his release from prison, he tracks down Bruce and attempts to rebuild their relationship while secretly plotting to drain Bruce's powers and alter-ego in order to rebuild his own decaying cellular structure and gain his revenge on the military. A very, very bad dude, though not without his sympathetic moments.
- Alan (Robin Williams) in Jumanji was so terrified of his loving but authoritarian father that when Alan is trapped inside the game, his father becomes the Great White Hunter Van Pelt (both roles played by Jonathan Hyde) who hunts Alan.
- Shingen Yashida to Mariko in The Wolverine.
- The Trope Codifier. without a doubt, is Darth Vader in Star Wars.
- In I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, Oliver Watson describes his father as his "archnemesis (a.k.a. Daddy)".
- One could hardly be a worse father than Georges Leon, the quasi-immortal gambler of Tim Powers' Last Call. He schemes to live on by stealing other people's bodies, including that of his son and the book's hero, Scott Crane. Scott's older brother Richard has already fallen prey to Georges.
- In Ship Breaker, Nailer's dad, Richard Lopez, takes Abusive Dad Up to Eleven. He starts out as an alcoholic drug-addicted ex-pit fighter who regularly beats his son and threatens to maim or kill him. As the story progresses, he takes over as the main antagonist, seeking to kidnap Nita, whom Nailer has placed under his protection. This culminates in Richard capturing Nita (and plotting to sell her organs on the black market) and a Knife Fight between him and Nailer, who Richard fully intends to disembowel. In the end, Nailer is forced to kill Richard and is left guilt-ridden over the fact that he doesn't feel bad about it. The story does imply that while he was never a great dad, he was once a better person than he is now, and Nailer does have memories of better times that the two of them had, but his actions in the present far outweigh anything he may have done in the past.
- Tigerstar of Warrior Cats is the Big Bad, with his son Brambleclaw as the hero during the New Prophecy arc. However, while Tigerstar seeks to rule the world, Brambleclaw wants to stop him and says he'd rather die than join him.
- Clear Sky was this for Thunder in Dawn Of The Clans until his Heel–Face Turn in The First Battle.
- Ulcis of Deepgate Codex tried to hang his daughter Rebecca aka Carnival shortly after she was born, then gave her to his henchmen to be raped and tortured. Years later, when she and several others descend into the Abyss, he takes a perverse delight in tormenting her with the memory of what happened, trying to break her all over again.
- In Fiona Patton's fantasy The Granite Shield, the sovereign of an alternate England is a God in Human Form who heretically follows a different God. He sires half-a-dozen bastards over the course of the book, the oldest of whom was conceived and raised specifically to kill him and return the royal family to the proper faith. His third-born daughter becomes a Rebel Leader, sets his navy on fire, and shoots him with a flaming arrow. The pain drives him insane, and by the end, his only concern is to off both his traitorous offspring.
- In The Left Hand of God, Redeemer Bosco is the closest thing to a father figure to Thomas Cale (who was sold to the Redeemers for sixpence when he was little), and eventually even claims to love him... but that's in the sense of "love you as the prophesied embodiment of God's Wrath who will destroy all humanity, and to prepare you for the role, I have to give you Training from Hell and generally abuse you since early childhood." Cale hates Bosco as you can only hate someone who's abused you ten times over enough to ruin your life even afterwards, and Bosco is the primary antagonist in the trilogy.
- Journey to Chaos: In A Mage's Power'' Duke Selen Esrah's Evil Plan drives a wedge between him and his son and they ultimately come to blows. Despite the antagonism, he still feels it necessary to give him girl advice.
- In Who Fears Death, Onyesonwu's father wants her dead at all costs.
- Numerous examples in A Song of Ice and Fire.
- The dwarf Tyrion Lannister has a terrible relationship with his father Lord Tywin Lannister, who blames Tyrion for the death of Tywin's beloved wife Joanna, who died giving birth to Tyrion. Despite Tyrion's achievements, Tywin constantly refuses to appreciate Tyrion or name them heir to Casterly Rock, lavishing praise on his older children Jaime and Cersei (even though Jaime being in the Kingsguard and Cersei being a woman means Tyrion should inherit before them). When Tyrion married Tysha, a common woman, Tywin even had his soldiers rape her in front of Tyrion, then forced Tyrion to do the same, claiming she was actually a whore. After he condemns Tyrion to death for the murder of Tyrion's nephew and Tywin's grandson Joffrey, in a Kangaroo Court, Tyrion is broken out by Jaime. However on finding out Tysha wasn't as he was led to believe a whore but did love him, Tyrion murders his father.
- Aerys II "The Mad King" had an increasingly bad relationship with his son Rhaegar, suspecting they were plotting against him and at times threatening to disinherit Rhaegar in favor of his younger son Viserys. Aerys may have been right that Rhaegar intended to remove him from power, however considering Aerys was becoming more insane and paranoid, seeing traitors everywhere, while Rhaegar was The Wise Prince this may have been justified. Unfortunately Aerys' cruelty eventually led to the overthrow of the Targaryen dynasty, in which Rhaegar then Aerys died.
- Aerys' ancestor Daeron II, about a century before, had a similar relationship with his father Aegon IV "The Unworthy", another of the worst Kings to sit the Iron Throne. Aegon was a greedy and lecherous man who treated his wife Naerys and only legitimate son Daeron horribly, at times threatening to disinherit them to make one of his bastards heir, and giving his eldest bastard with his cousin, Daemon Waters (later Blackfyre) the Targaryen ancestral sword Blackfyre which was traditionally given to the heir. There were rumors that Daeron was the result of an affair between the Queen and Aegon's brother Aemon, however considering how pious Naerys was and how chivalrous Aemon was this is unlikely, it's even suggested Aegon began the rumors, especially as they started around the time he was having an argument with his son. Even as Aegon was dying he still found a way to trouble his son by legitimizing all his bastards, leading to a series of rebellions from Daemon and his descendants the Blackfyres.
- Heroes: Arthur Petrelli in Volume 3.
- El Internado: Iván's father is the bad guy the main characters know the best, because he is the one who delivers the threats and the medicines.
- Leverage: Jimmy Ford, the father of team leader Nathan Ford, was a Loan Shark (among other things) who worked for the Three Families that controlled organized crime in Boston. Jimmy raised his son to enter the family business, but as some point Nathan rebelled; he first studied for the priesthood, then became an insurance fraud investigator, and finally emerged as the leader of a group of (more or less) heroic Con Artists who Pay Evil unto Evil to Corrupt Corporate Executives, Just Like Robin Hood. Eventually, Jimmy became one of Leverage's targets, causing Nathan's teammates to worry that he was going after his father with a little too much enthusiasm. This doesn't stop Jimmy from dying to protect his son and Nate from nearly killing to avenge him.
- John Locke's father abandoned him until well into his adult life, at which point he stole his kidney, re-abandoned him, used him as a courier, abandoned him again, and pushed him out of an 8-story window.
- Locke was too much of a wuss to actually kill him when he had the chance.
- Nashville: The Big Bad is Rayna's father.
- Revolution: Tom Neville acts as this to his son Jason Neville. Jason reveals in "The Song Remains The Same" that he did everything his father asked him to do, which included hurting and killing people for him... but Tom just kept looking straight through him. The first season finale has Tom taking over the Monroe Republic. Jason is working with him, but he hasn't actually agreed to anything. That's a good thing, because it's already becoming clear that things are going to break down between them sooner rather than later.
- Lionel Luthor. His emotional abuse and Social Darwinist views left his son Lex badly screwed up from early childhood. When Lex moves to the titular town Lionel isn't far behind, and begins making life miserable for Lex, his friend Clark, and most of the other residents. He helps to ruin Lex and Clark's friendship, may have tried to have Lex killed in the Season 3 finale, and later attempts to steal his body. Had enough? It gets better. When Lex eventually pulls a Face–Heel Turn and becomes the Big Bad, Lionel pulls a Heel–Face Turn (courtesy of possession by Jor-El), and becomes something of a Mentor to Clark, ensuring that he and Lex remain at loggerheads until his own death (at Lex's hands). Over the course of seven seasons, their relationship managed to encompass Abusive Dad, "Well Done, Son!" Guy, Offing the Offspring, and eventually, Self-Made Orphan, to form a beautiful example of this trope at its best.
- In Season 10, this is revisited when Clark travels to the Alternate Universe of Earth-2 and encounters that world's Lionel, who not only abused Lex and his illegitimate daughter Tess, but also managed to find and raise his reality's Clark and transform him into a Psycho for Hire known as Ultraman, whom he allowed to murder Earth-2 Lex. By the end of the episode he has attempted to beat our Clark (whom he believes to be his Clark) to death for not having killed him already. He later escapes to Earth-1, where he steals LuthorCorp from our Tess and spends several episodes trying to manipulate Lex's unstable clone Alexander/Conner, whom he doses with Red K. When that fails, he kidnaps Tess and tries to cut out her heart for use in resurrecting Lex (though only after discovering that Conner's is unavailable); he is shot by her for his trouble. Interestingly, his last act before he dies is to make a deal with that season's Big Bad, Darkseid, in order to bring the real Lex back, ensuring that he has a proper heir. Phew.
- The X-Files: C.G.B. Spender to both of his sons. He shoots one of them and attempts to foil the other's plans at every turn (and steal his brain, at one point). Not exactly Father of the Year.
- Once Upon a Time: Though he's not as much of an antagonist as Regina or Cora, King George certainly causes his fair share of problems in Prince Charming's life. It's fairly complicated, as George got Charming's brother first in a deal with Rumplestiltskin, and got Charming (James) as a replacement because he needed a son to kill a dragon after the first boy died. He did initially want to be a father to James, but couldn't handle it when the boy that he gave "everything" to objects to an Arranged Marriage and runs off with Snow White. He poisons Snow White so that she can't have children (she gets better), kills James's mother, teams up with Regina to wage war on James and Snow, and finally tries to get Charming ousted from his job as Sheriff in Storybrooke.
- Rumplestiltskin/Gold's father Peter Pan (originally Malcolm) is the main antagonist of season 3 and possibly the most evil character in the series. Gold wants to take him down more than anyone else. His father even threatens to murder Rumpelstiltskin's lover and son just because it would spite Rumple. Peter also tries to take the heart of his great-grandson Henry for immortality, even though this will kill Henry. It'd later revealed Peter Pan/Malcolm abandoned his son so he could regain his youth in Neverland, and later says he always saw his son as a burden.
- Justified: Crime boss Bo Crowder, towards his son, Vigilante Man Boyd Crowder. It climaxes when Bo has Boyd's entire gang of followers massacred.
- The father in "I'm Bugged At My Old Man" from The Beach Boys' album Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) certainly has tyrannical streak to him. At first he seems like a typical strict father, since he makes the protagonist stay in his room and he is mad when he comes in a little late. But as the song progresses he almost seems like a dictator. He sells his son's surfboard, cuts off his hair in his sleep, tacked up boards on his window so he can't look outside, jerked his phone out of the wall when his son tried to call up his girlfriend, stole his radio and to top it all off he is out eating steak, while his son just gets some breadcrumbs and a little glass of water for dinner! Though the last line does turn tables as it reveals that all this might just be a severe punishment for the fact that the boy got suspended from school.
- In Greek Mythology, Cronos had his children fed to him in order to ensure that a prophecy which stated one of his sons would overthrow him would never come to pass. Until Cronos' wife fed a stone to Cronos instead of baby Zeus. Zeus then proceeded to free his brothers and sisters from Cronos stomach and promptly kicked Cronos' ass.
- Cronos's father Uranus (the sky) wasn't much better. He feared and hated all of his children so much that he forced them back into Gaia (the earth). Naturally, being forced to keep all of her full grown children inside her at once pissed Gaia off so much that she helped her son Cronos, the youngest and boldest Titan, get revenge on dear ol' dad. She forged a sickle which Cronos used to castrate his own father when Uranus was in the mood for some earth lovin'.
- In some versions of myth, he did not get trapped and "was not in the mood", but rather hadn't stopped it in the first place.
- Fear of the new generation overthrowing the old one is a major running theme in Greek mythology, so there are a lot of examples of fathers becoming enemies of their children. In some tellings of the story, the entire Trojan War was a Batman Gambit by Zeus, who wanted to find a way to kill off his demigod children so they wouldn't overthrow him. This is despite the fact that the closest relative of his was either Zeus' great-nephew or his second cousin (Achilles' mother was Thetis the sea nymph, whose father was either Poseidon, Zeus' brother, or Oceanus, Zeus' uncle). Although most of the heroes did have some percentage of divine blood, it was really no more than any prominent person would have.
- Zeus's son Sarpedon dies fighting for the Trojans, but he seems to be genuinely upset. And Aeneas, the one surviving Trojan, is Zeus's grandson in some versions of the myth. Seeing what happens to Aeneas afterwards...
- Zeus and Poseidon were unique in that they averted this trope. While they didn't do much in the way of actual parenting, they went out of their way to give gifts and support to their demigod progeny. (Zeus had a lot of children due to his philandering, but he did try to do his best to take responsibility for them.) Poseidon in particular was a Papa Wolf to his son Polyphemus and made Odysseus' journey home a living nightmare for blinding his son.
- Cronos's father Uranus (the sky) wasn't much better. He feared and hated all of his children so much that he forced them back into Gaia (the earth). Naturally, being forced to keep all of her full grown children inside her at once pissed Gaia off so much that she helped her son Cronos, the youngest and boldest Titan, get revenge on dear ol' dad. She forged a sickle which Cronos used to castrate his own father when Uranus was in the mood for some earth lovin'.
- Every generation of Tekken's Mishima clan, starting with Kazuya, has this issue. Jinpachi was a nice enough guy, but Heihachi hated him anyways, starting a vicious cycle of hate with his own son Kazuya. In fact, the main plot of the Tekken series exists because the Mishimas all hate and fight their fathers until they turn corrupt themselves. So far, the only exception to this rule seems to be Heihachi's bastard son Lars.
- In Psychonauts, the final boss of Raz and Coach Oleander's minds are their grotesque antagonistic fathers. In Raz's case, it's all in his head — his dad shows up and helps him defeat the monster.
- Jecht from Final Fantasy X is an abusive, alcoholic Jerk Jock of a dad. The nemesis relationship between himself and his son Tidus was heightened by the fact that both played the same sport, and Jecht went for the Drill Sergeant Nasty method of teaching and was too vain to admit his son might ever be anywhere near as good as him. Later, he was transformed into the Eldritch Abomination that terrorizes the entire world. Surprisingly, the trope is somewhat subverted, because Jecht becomes increasingly sympathetic as the game goes on, especially as Tidus comes to realizes that some of his Freudian Issues are his own problems and not his father's fault. Though Jecht does admit at the end he was a pretty crappy father too.
- Distilled in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where Tidus expresses nothing but contempt for his "old man", wanting only to beat the crap out of him. When they finally do meet, Jecht has been injured and Tidus could easily defeat him, but instead, Tidus chooses to heal him. They then fight and Tidus wins, causing Jecht to actually legitimately praise him. When they meet for the last time in the cycle, they again fight, but at the end, Tidus ends up crying when he realizes that his father is dying. Ultimately, they admit that the animosity between them was foolish and just a front for their true feelings.
- In Malicious, before the main game proper, the backstory has King Eldrake as one hell of an evil father. He is a corrupt king who imprisoned his own wife, Queen Ashlelei, for being against the turn of their kingdom into a corrupt one, despite the fact she was the one who brought victories and success to their kingdom; their two children, Valeria and Erica. could not stand their father's evil ways, so they freed their mother and plotted a rebellion, only for King Eldrake to ally himself with foreign barbarians and kill his own two children without any remorse, leading to the Queen's madness and the slaughter of the King and his followers by her hands.
- In BlazBlue, one of the main villains of the game is Carl's father and personal antagonist Relius Clover, who turned Carl's sister into the machine known as Nirvana. Relius used the knowledge from that experiment to make a new and improved version of Nirvana, harvesting Carl's mother in the process. When Carl finally finds and confronts him in Continuum Shift's story mode, Relius tries to kill him for calling him out. Needless to say, they aren't on good terms.
- This happens to Tiltyu and Lex in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, since their fathers Leptor and Langobalt are members of a conspiracy led by Alvis. Or better said, by Manfloy from the Lopto Sect.
- Played for laughs with Nohrian knight Arthur and his son Percy in Fire Emblem Fates. Percy's so mad at Arthur for not visiting him in the Deeprealms more often that he sics a pack of bandits on him after claiming Arthur's an aggressor. Percy himself is the boss of that battle. Thankfully everything is cleared up after he's defeated; he apologizes to his dad for attacking him, while Arthur makes amends for his absence by taking Percy along with the party when they leave.
- For a series built on parent/creator issues, it's surprising that Mass Effect doesn't have more examples.
- Urdnot Wrex's father, Jarrod, though Wrex killed him (in self-defense) long before the game started.
- Miranda Lawson's father is obsessed with creating the perfect legacy through Designer Babies. We don't now how many he's gone through, but Miranda wasn't the first one he made, just the first he "kept" — and he was already working on a replacement for her when she was in her teens. She escaped, taking her clone baby sister Oriana with her. Miranda's efforts to keep Oriana out of her father's reach make up the bulk of her character arc.
- Lemeza and Shawn Kosugi's relationship before and during La-Mulana is pretty rocky. Shawn essentially dumped his son on his own father to look for the fabled ruins of La-Mulana, and when Lemeza grew up and took up archaeology, they became bitter professional rivals, which was not helped by Shawn poaching Lemeza's work. This animosity manages to get the game started — Lemeza's original main reason for coming to La-Mulana was because his father taunted him about finding the ruins first — and carries on to the ending wherein Shawn waits for Lemeza to do all the hard work involved in getting the greatest treasure of the ruins and then steals it from his own son.
- Ivy Valentine in the Soul Series. She despises her demonic father Cervantes (given the fact that her cursed existence is his fault), and he did try, more than once, to consume her soul to gain power. Before the events of V, however, she finally defeated him, not only reclaiming her own soul, but also all the souls he had ever devoured. But he still lives. (Well, not "alive", since he's still an undead being, but he's still around.)
- In the Castlevania series, when Dracula's human wife Lisa was burned as a witch, he went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against humanity. However, their son Adrian chose to honor his mother's last request not to hate humans, and took the name "Alucard" to show his opposition to his father's ways.
- After rescuing Atrus in Myst, he bids farewell and hints that he might need your help later against a "far greater foe". In the sequel Riven, this turns out to be his dad, who's been trapped on the eponymous world after Atrus foiled his plans for multiversal domination.
- In Blindsprings, Asher Thorne takes on this role, by turning against his wife and daughters because they're witches of the wrong kind. It is questionable whether he ever loved his wife, (the marriage, it seems, was mainly political, to secure peace) there might be Domestic Abuse, too.
- But I'm a Cat Person runs Miranda through multiple flavors of Parental Abandonment, including this one.
- Royce, the King of Asgard in Heart Core and the father of Ame, is not only a horrible parent, considering how he almost killed both Ame and her innocent sister, but he is also the main villain of the series.
- In LessThanThree Comics' Brat Pack, Firestorm's father abused him through his entire life, but the rest of the world only knows him as Napalm, one of America's greatest superheroes.
- Jobe of the Whateley Universe seems to be developing this relation with his father, supervillain Gizmatic, also known as King Wilkins of Karedonia.
- The Lore of Twitch Plays Pokémon had Alice trying to stop the machinations of Bill, whom the stream had decided was her father.
- YAY-OK on Rocket Monkeys has an Omnicidal Maniac for a father who is obsessed with destroying everything in sight and oblivious to his son's desire to be close to him, though he is shown to genuinely enjoy spending time with him.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko and Ozai. And during the eclipse, when Zuko renounces trying to be the son Ozai wants, Ozai reveals that he was willing to kill him when he was not even in his teens.
- Mai's father becomes this in the comic Rebound when he tries to get her to join his rebellion against the new Fire Lord Zuko.
- The Sequel Series The Legend of Korra adds Asami and Hiroshi. For an Evil Versus Evil example, there's also Amon and Yakone. Yup, Ozai pretty much started a pattern of bad fathers that gave the world more problems.
- Big Bad Abraham Kane on Motorcity has no idea that his beloved daughter Julie is a member of the Burners, his arch-nemeses. He is aware, however, that the leader of the Burners is Defector from Decadence Mike Chilton, who he considered to be like a son to him, and was genuinely hurt by him switching sides.
- Transformers Generation One; supposedly this is the case with Quicksix, the Autobot's six-changer and son of Six-Shot, the Decepticon equivalent. However, this enmity was only mentioned in the commercial for his action figure.
Surprise Twist Fathers (here be spoilers):
Anime and Manga
- The Big Bad of Tenjho Tenge is Souichiro Nagi's father Sohaku. The guy stole his ex-wife's (Souichiro's beloved mother Makiko) eye for its power, chopped off her arm when she tried to stop him, and later implanted his own eye into Souichiro as part of his plan to take over Souichiro's body and powers. That's not even getting into his other victims — it's a long list.
- In the sports anime Idaten Jump, the Big Bad of the second half turns out to be Takeshi Yamato, the long-lost father of the main hero Shou and his little brother Ayumu. There's a catch, however: Takeshi isn't doing this willingly but is Brainwashed and Crazy, thanks to the disbalances in the X Zone (which is the same that happened to Makoto's brother Kyouichi and the first baddie Gabu). When he's defeated by Shou in the end, Takashi is de-brainwashed and happily reunited with his family.
- Arachnid reveals that crime syndicate vice-leader Suzume Bachi is the father of main character Alice. He had to suddenly abandon his family upon being promoted by the previous holder of the title, but eventually had his ex-wife assassinated and arranged for Alice to get dragged into becoming an assassin herself and getting put through the grinder to become the strongest of them. Even though Suzume Bachi did give Alice opportunities to get away from the "Arachnid Hunt" set upon her, he doesn't hesistate to thrash her once she finally confronts him.
- Gender Flipped in Kill la Kill, in two ways—first Satsuki, who seemed to be The Dragon to her mother Ragyo, reveals that she was Good All Along and has been planning her downfall since she was a little girl. Ragyo has been known to molest her before and after this relevation. Then, in the more traditional twist, it turns out that Ragyo is Ryuko's mother as well, who had her Death Faked for You by her father.
- Y: The Last Man. Dr. Matsumori to Dr. Allison Mann. After Allison dies, Yorick notes that it was her hatred of her father that drove her to be brilliant, and her post-gendercide clones didn't have that.
- In Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, it is revealed that Santo Cassamento is Helena Bertinelli's real father, and that he conspired with Stephen Mandragora to murder the Bertinellis when Helena was only a child, which is what drove her to become the Huntress.
- In the Rise of the Guardians fanfiction Guardian of Light, it's revealed that Pitch is the biological father of the main character, Helen.
- Meg's Family reveals that Zack's real father is Lucifer, who is not only the the Devil himself, but had also tried to take Meg away from Zack twice, and made his and his family's other enemies super villains. Subverted when, after this discovery is made, Lucifer spends the day with Zack and ends up treating him better than the man that actually raised him.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- While not really a spoiler any more to anyone even remotely familiar with Star Wars, Anakin "Darth Vader" Skywalker is an archetypical example toward both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, though he does, eventually, get better.
- In Shocker, the psychotic killer Horace Pinker reveals during his execution that Jonathan is actually his son and that he killed his mom. For trying to stop him, Pinker has apparently made it his life's goal to destroy his son and brutally murder everyone he loves, including his adoptive family and his girlfriend.
- Anthony Hopkins' dad to Benicio del Toro's leading character in the 2010 version of The Wolfman (2010).
- Otto's "father", of the H.I.V.E. Series is Overlord, a homicidal AI who created a human vessel, his own son, to take over so that he would have a strong young body to rule the world with. Otto, for obvious reasons, isn't ok with Overlord's Grand Theft Me, so the two spend books three through six duking it out. Otto comes out on top, albeit with much emotional damage and longing for a family that isn't trying to kill him.
- The Millennium Trilogy has Alexander Zalachenko (aka "Zala") and his daughter, Lisbeth Salander. How deep does it go? Lisbeth, as a 12-year-old, tried to burn Zala alive in his car with a homemade Molotov cocktail, and she's the good guy.
- Toklo's Jerkass father in Seeker Bears appears in Toklo's Story and returns in Forest Of Wolves. He had kicked Toklo and his family out when they were younger, so he fights him for his territory to return home.
- Dune: Baron Vladimir Harkonnen turns out to be an archnemesis "grandpa" to Paul and Alia Atreides. Possibly a more straightforward example with the Baron and their mother, Lady Jessica, given that he tried to kill her and her son, not that he knew she was his natural daughter.
- Andrew Ryan from BioShock, but it comes as a surprise to him too and he stops trying to kill you when he finds out.
- The Guy.
- Father Balder from Bayonetta, who is later revealed to be Bayonetta's father.
- While not a biological father, the Final Boss in Spellcasting 101 turns out to be the hero's abusive stepfather, who's really an evil sorcerer.
- Kratos Aurion from Tales of Symphonia is this to the main character. Unlike Darth Vader, it results in a much more successful Heel–Face Turn.
- Kratos gets this problem at the end of the second God of War Series when he finds out Zeus is his father. It takes him the whole of the next game to actually kill him.
- Xenogears has a few of these.
- Miang, revealed to be the mother of all humanity, is also the story's Big Bad. And as a BodySurfer who can awaken in any human woman, one of Miang's incarnations was Fei's own mother Karen. Fei and Karen were not technically adversaries, but Miang's consciousness was in control most of the time. Karen resurfaced in the end to be a Heroic Sacrifice to save young Fei's life. Miang simply surfed to another new body somewhere else in the world.
- Fei's father got some of this too. Grahf, a mysterious and dark adversary of Fei for most of the game, is not only actually himself from a previous life incarnation who survives as a BodySurfer, but it's Fei's own father Kahn who turns out to have been Grahf's host for years already. Though Kahn and Fei are also not technically adversaries, Kahn does all he can just to stay in control of his own body, though Kahn appeared to have even more periods of useful self-control than Karen did.
- Rico's archnemesis Kaiser Sigmund is actually his father, and neither of them knew they were related.
- In Jade Empire, not only is Master Li your character's father figure, it's also possible to find out that he's Dawn Star's father. In a subversion, absolutely nothing changes with his reactions to Dawn Star.
- Nergal is this for Ninian and Nils in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. And neither of them ever recalled it: Nergal lost his memories because The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, Ninian and Nils because they were too young when they got separated from him.
- Ashnard was this for Soren in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. He never does find out, though.
- Validar to the Avatar in Fire Emblem Awakening. Unlike the others, the Avatar does find out midway through the story... from Validar himself.
- Toyed with in Fire Emblem Fates: The Avatar of this game is the son or daughter of the Big Bad Hydra/Anankos... but more exactly, the child of his sane side, which was given a human form for some time and loved the Avatar and his/her mother Mikoto enough to summon people from other universes to protect them. Doesn't stop the proper Anankos/Hydra from being the Big Bad of the game and a terrible dad to the Avatar.
- Tekken: In the first two games, Kazuya's #1 archnemesis is his father Heihachi. In Part 3, Kazuya "died" and Heihachi was an Archnemesis Granpa to Jin. From Tekken 4 onward, Heihachi is still the archnemesis to both Jin and Kazuya (who is Back from the Dead) and Kazuya is an Archnemesis Dad to Jin, who hates them both.
- In Assassin's Creed III, Connor Kenway's father Haytham is the Grand Master of the Colonial Templars and a major antagonist, though Connor considers Charles Lee to be his personal nemesis.
- Big Boss is the villain of the first two Metal Gear titles and is revealed to the player in Metal Gear Solid to have been Solid Snake's father (though Snake himself seems to have known this much earlier).
- One of Big Boss's other clones/sons, Liquid Snake, was an Antagonistic Offspring towards him from a young age and resents Solid Snake for (among other reasons) killing Big Boss before he could get the chance to.
- Leon Bronev from Professor Layton. The antagonist of Azran Legacy, and the indirect cause of Descole's villainy in the two prior games. Later revealed to be the birth father of both Professor Layton and Jean Descole, though only the latter was aware of this.
- Tarquin in The Order of the Stick — although he does the Luke, I Am Your Father so early it's practically his Establishing Character Moment, and most of the dynamic is built on already knowing this.
- Tarquin wants this for himself and Elan in a bizarre way. He clearly cares about his son and would like him to rule with him, but since Elan won't ignore his atrocities, Genre Savvy Tarquin figures that them eventually fighting to the death will at least make an excellent story that could have them live forever in legends. Elan is... somewhat less keen on this plan.
- Tarquin and his other son Nale seem to also share this dynamic in an Evil Versus Evil way. They were also former allies, but Nale seems to have betrayed Tarquin at some point, and the two hated each others' methods (Nale being Contractually Genre Blind and always eager to show his superiority). Tarquin still tries to give Nale a chance to be a villain on his side, but it doesn't work out. Finally, Nale shouts that he doesn't want anything from Tarquin, including his favouritism, not realising that with the special favour withdrawn, other motives give Tarquin reason to just kill him on the spot.
- The Freelancer Saga (seasons 9-10) of Red vs. Blue ended with the reveal that the Director, Alison, and Agent Carolina are father, mother and daughter, respectively. As with the last such reveal (the identity and source of the Alpha AI), it changes pretty much everything the audience knew about the preceding storyline.
- In the story Heroes and Villains and Scott, Scott's best friend is superhero Ezra Gordon, leader of New York's best super team. His father is the prime supervillain of the west coast.
- In Noob Tenshirock, the hacker that keeps breaking into the MMORPG in which the story is set, turns out to be this to Judge Dead, the MMORPG in question's head Game Master. Tenshirock did this because his son had started hating him for reason he couldn't understand and thought that getting his son's attention away from the game would make him more open to his attempts to rebuild their relationship.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh One / Nigel Uno is quite understandably freaked out when he realizes that Big Bad Grandfather is his grandfather. This also makes Father his uncle. Inverted with his father, who was once the legendary KND operative Agent Zero.
- Number 86, the Global Tactics Officer of the KND, is the daughter of Mr. Boss, one of the most powerful enemies of the KND.
- In The Powerpuff Girls, it is eventually revealed that Mojo Jojo, nemesis of the titular characters, was once Professor Utonium's monkey assistant Jojo and it was through his tampering that Chemical X was introduced into the formula that created them. Mojo is left speechless at the realization that this technically makes him the creator of his greatest enemies.
- Not only that, but due to a time-travel episode, he inadvertantly caused a young Utonium to actually want to become a scientist to "create the perfect little girl" after being saved by the Powerpuffs. This means that Mojo created the means for his & the girls' existance, but also the original desire which lead him to be adopted by the Professor as Jojo in the first place.
- Ninjago has Lloyd and Lord Garmadon. In this case, Garmadon actually loves his son, and neither wants to fight him or for him to be evil. But they're still destined to fight each other.
- Gender flipped in W.I.T.C.H. where Nerissa is revealed to be Caleb's mother. Even more: she deliberately conceived Caleb to have a child who'd eventually join her, in what can easily be seen as rape by deception - she used a false identity to seduce Caleb's father Julian and get him to impregnate her.
- As soon as Adventure Time's protagonist Finn the Human defeats his most powerful opponent, the Lich, he tries to establish an emotional connection to his Disappeared Dad, Martin. Finn assumes that his Daddy Had a Good Reason For Abandoning Him. Martin... corrects that notion.