Designated Parents

When there is a group of friends all the same age, generally there is the couple in the group who act as the adults, sorta the parents of the group. Together they are like the superego of the gang and are actually recognized as the "Mom" and "Dad" of their friends.

Compare Promotion to Parent and the girl and boy in A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family when the group is a family.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Reliable rule-follower Joe and warm, caring Sora in Digimon Adventure. Both of them have a tendency to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the others. Each of the kids has a "Crest" that channels their strongest virtue into power for their Bond Creature— Joe's is Reliability and Sora's is Love.
  • Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye to their State Alchemist subordinates in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Hikitsu and Inami from Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden were recognized as the parental figures of the Genbu Celestial Warriors.
  • Franky and Robin from One Piece act as the parents of the Straw Hats.
  • Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club constantly refers himself as the club's "dad" and calls Kyoya the "Mom". Their actual roles are the reverse, though.
  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Fai accurately identifies himself and Kurogane as the "mommy" and "daddy" of the group.
  • Sugawara Koushi and Sawamura Daichi from Haikyuu!!. Sugawara acts as the gentle and caring 'mom' of the team and Daichi acts as the 'dad' who getts them into line.

  • Carlisle and Esme Cullen of Twilight are the adoptive parents of Edward, Emmett and Alice Cullen, as well as Rosalie and Jasper Hale despite the fact that everyone except Carlisle is about the same age.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the season four premiere of Angel, "Deep Down," most of the Fang Gang of Angel Investigations have gone their separate ways, with Angel, Cordelia, Lorne, and Wesley all enmeshed in some situation that keeps them from seeing the group. Subtracting these characters from the group left us with Gunn, Fred, and Connor: i.e., a romantically involved adult couple and a teenage boy. Gunn and Fred were clearly growing into the role of acting as Connor's parents, worrying about his tendencies toward destructive rebellion in the way that his own parents might worry about it.
  • On some episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Penny assume the role of parents to Sheldon, especially Penny. Not so much with Howard and Rajesh, since they don't live in the apartment complex.
  • An interesting example: On Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Buffy was dead, Willow and Tara became sorta the surrogate mothers while Xander and Spike became somewhat of the substitute fathers for Dawn. Buffybot became the public face of Buffy for Dawn at school before Buffy was brought back from the dead.
  • Piper and Leo from Charmed started to fulfill these roles after they got married and Prue died.
  • In Community, Jeff and Britta serve as the mom and dad of the study group in several situations. Repeatedly Lampshaded, Subverted, Deconstructed, and Played for Laughs in the show's typical Better Than a Bare Bulb fashion.
  • In Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor and (when she's around) River Song are like this, especially with Amy and Rory. Winds up being a bit ironic, since Amy and Rory are River's parents.
    • Played for similar irony in the very first series, where Ian and Barbara are the "parents" of both Susan (and later Vicki) and the Doctor, even though he's by far the oldest and Susan's grandfather.
    • Played more straight with the Doctor and Romana to Adric (child) and K-9 (pet) in season 18.
  • Ross and Monica, though brother and sister, act as the grownups on Friends in earlier seasons. Later, Ross becomes more childlike, while Chandler matures and marries Monica so they become the adults of the group.
  • Marshall and Lily from How I Met Your Mother to the point that they question Ted's new girlfriends to see if they are right for him. In the few times where Marshall and Lily don't fill this role, it's usually taken up by Robin and Ted.
  • Nate and Sophie on Leverage act as the Team Dad and Team Mom respectively, with Eliot as the older brother, and Hardison and Parker as the younger siblings.
  • John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir on Stargate Atlantis are this to the entire expedition, especially the command team.
  • Eric and Donna from That '70s Show were noted in an episode where the gang were dining and ditching a restaurant to be the parents of the group. After they broke up there was an episode where they fight over their friends' attention with clear overtones of divorcés working out a custody dispute.
  • Senator Lance and Valerie Prevert on You Can't Do That on Television, they appear to be ALL the child cast members' parents.


    Western Animation 
  • Pearl and Garnet from Steven Universe. Pearl's status as the Crystal Gems' Team Mom is lampshaded quite often and with the absence of his real mother, Steven seems to be happy to see Pearl as his mother, with her acting quite motherly to him in return. Garnet is a Rare Female Example of the Team Dad trope, being somewhat more stoic but at the same time loving towards Steven and more willing to let him figure things out on his own.
  • Applejack and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Applejack's Team Mom status is best displayed in "Dragonshy", wherein she shows saintlike patience with Fluttershy's crippling shyness, while Twilight tends to try and keep everyone in line, making her more of a Team Dad.
  • Edd and Eddy in Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy. The former is a Neat Freak who's often seen scolding his friends when they act up (making him the "mom" of the trio), while the latter is a bit more aloof but still makes sure to break up fights between his friends (putting him in the "dad" category). In a way, Ed is essentially their "child".
  • Katara is this in Avatar: The Last Airbender. She's the most caring of the group, often to the point of being naggy. Sokka even says as much to Toph in one episode.