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->''"What you taught me was that I was less important to you than people who had been dead for 500 years in another country. And I learned it so well that we've hardly spoken for 20 years."''
-->-- '''Franchise/IndianaJones''' to his father, ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade''

A subtrope of ParentalAbandonment: The father of a character or characters is missing or absent.

Perhaps he's died, maybe he was [[YouKilledMyFather murdered]]. Perhaps he's left and there's bitterness involved. Perhaps he's off fighting evil. Or maybe it's psychological absence -- he's physically there, but is completely negligent in his fatherly duties. Regardless of what happened -- and regardless of whether or not the viewers find out what happened -- Mom seems to have raised her children on her own, or with the help of a father substitute.

There's a bit of a DoubleStandard in fiction regarding single parents. A Disappeared Dad is far less likely to have his absence explained than a MissingMom. When he's not in the picture, it's often taken for granted that he's either dead or a deadbeat and the story just keeps moving along with no thought to his whereabouts. But if he ''is'' alive, he is more likely to return and reconcile, or be a non-entity who sporadically appears just to remind the hero that Daddy doesn't care about them. [[note]]The flipside is that if both parents are absent, the character is ''far'' more likely to be obsessed with his or her lost father. Characters who have lost both parents often do not mention the lost mother at all, or she doesn't play nearly as large a roll in the backstory.[[/note]] It is also possible for the Disappeared Dad to not know he's a dad at all. Unlike the Missing Mom, he doesn't actually have to be present during childbirth. The mother could very well be [[ChildByRape justified]] in keeping the father [[EvilParentsWantGoodKids out of the loop]]. When this type of Disappeared Dad is actually an established character, you get LukeYouAreMyFather.

Compare and contrast this with MissingMom. Combine the two, and you get ParentalAbandonment. Sometimes, though, DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou. If Dad is dead, we may see a HappierHomeMovie. If he is simply too busy to be with his child, it's WhenYouComingHomeDad. See also TellMeAboutMyFather, SoProudOfYou, TurnOutLikeHisFather, GlorifiedSpermDonor. Contrast WellDoneSonGuy.

----
!!Examples:

[[index]]
* DisappearedDad/AnimeAndManga
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* For many years, ComicBook/PlasticMan is this to his son, Luke. He doesn't man up until [[spoiler: he has some time to think during Obsidian Age after being shattered and left on the ocean floor for a few thousand years.]]
* [[Comicbook/SpiderMan Spider-Man]] became a crime fighter after his uncle Ben, who acted as a father, was killed by a burglar.
* Shaman of ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight'' abandoned his daughter to learn magic. Technically, she kicked him out of her life (angry that he'd failed to save her mother / his wife as promised); but given she was maybe 12 at the time, most of the blame lies with him.
* ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}''. [[StevenUlyssesPerhero Elissa Megan 'Emp' Powers]] knows exactly what happened to her father. [[TheWoobie She watched him drop dead of a brain hemorrhage one fine morning while she was eating her favorite breakfast cereal]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Amulet}}'' has an extreme version: we actually see Emily's father die before our eyes, and his death is a large part of her current personality.
* Teddy of ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' never knew his father. Cassie's was murdered.
* ''ComicBook/{{Wanted}}'' starts with Wesley Gibson discovering his disappeared father was a recently killed assassin. [[spoiler:In the movie, the one the "supposed dad"'s killer was Wesley's actual father.]]
* Though previous incarnations implied it, the latest retcon of {{Deadpool}}'s backstory implicitly reveals this about his father.
* Franchise/{{Batman}}, despite being a ParentalSubstitute to several characters, doesn't actually meet his biological son, Damian, until he is about 10 years old. And then Bruce gets [[spoiler: lost in time]] shortly after, setting off ''Battle for the Cowl'', which is mostly about former, current [[spoiler: and next]] Comicbook/{{Robin}}s Dick, Jason, Tim and Damian dealing with his disappearance.
** Of Bruce's many, many failings as a parent, not being in Damian's life is not one of them--Talia put a lot of effort into making sure Bruce had no idea the kid existed. She put equal effort into making sure Damian was obsessed with his father's legacy, since he's a bit of a ReplacementGoldfish for her vis-a-vis Batman ever loving her.
*** He wasn't there for Damian during the Batman Inc. period, either. Even when they were working together. Possibly a prepubescent who thinks of homicide as a valid problem-solving technique just gives him the wiggins.
* In ''{{ComicBook/Violine}}'', this drives much of the early plot. Later, [[spoiler: this also applies to her mother]].
* As with the original cartoon, the women in the IDW ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}} And The Holograms'' comic recently lost their father. He left Jerrica a present though: A supercomputer who can turn into a hologram named Synergy [[spoiler:who is based somewhat on his deceased wife.]]
* This was a thing in the original ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' dealing with the Guardians as the former Guardian would leave his son to guard the island by his lonesome. This would really backfire on Knuckles, especially since his time as Guardian coincided with Robotnik's rise to power. And let's not get into all of the Disappeared Dads caused by Robotnik and Eggman.
* ''ComicBook/BlackMoonChronicles'': Wismerhill doesn't know who his father is, although he's later told that he was a dark elf prince. [[spoiler:He pulls an appearance in the end, though, to congratulate his son and to see his grandkids (among other things). It turns out that he is actually a Prince of Hell who has been playing a game of DivineChess with Lucifer, as he reveals Haazheel Thorn's [[HellOnEarth true plans for the world]] and how he has manipulated Wis.]]
[[/folder]]


[[folder:FanWorks]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': During their talks Shinji and Asuka often remember how both were abandoned by their parents when they were barely four. Although Shinji's father returned -and screwed his life further- Asuka's one disappeared from her life, and she wants nothing to do with him anymore. When their hosts tell her he has been rescued from her world, Asuka answers: "He’ll get all the care from me that he gave my mother and I."
-->'''Shinji''':''"Asuka, both of our parents practically dumped us by the side of the road before we were four."''
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': In chapter 1 Shinji tells Asuka his father ditched him after his mother's death and he barely saw Gendo during the next ten years. Asuka mentions her own father did not mourn her mother very long and then Shinji guesses her father also abandoned her after her mother was gone and he never explained why he left her or apologized for it.
* ''Blog/AskHoopsAndDumbbell'': Dumbbell's father abandoned the family when Dumbbell was 10 for reasons, at the time, unknown. He later meets Dumbbell by chance and offers to return into Dumbbell's life, [[spoiler: though Dumbbell ultimately turns him down]]
* ''Fanfic/BloodAndHonor'': Initially, Sanguis has no idea who her father was, since her mother refused to speak about him. The reasons for this refusal are as mysterious as his identity until near the end, when it's strongly implied, though not outright stated, that her father is both an alien and a Jedi, one who had no idea of his daughter's existence.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Shinji and Asuka’s fathers stopped taking care of them after their mothers’ deaths (in the case of Gendo, he was afraid of Shinji and of screwing him up if he raised him). After his actions in this story, Shinji decided he wanted nothing to do with Gendo, but Asuka made some sort of attempt to reconcile with her family.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'':
** Shinji's dad abandoned him when he was a child, summoned him years later to use him and died during Third Impact. When Gendo returns, Shinji is over thirty and over him.
** Asuka's dad abandoned after her mother's death. Upon returning from Instrumentality he wanted her to return to Germany, but Asuka refused to meet him.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Gendo and Asuka’s father refused to take care of their offspring after Shinji and Asuka’s mothers’ deaths. Gendo at least has a –poor- excuse (he cared about Shinji but he was afraid of his son and thought he would screw him up if he raised him so he sent him away) and in this story he has made an effort to rebuild his relationship with his son, but Asuka’s relationship with her father is non-existent.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'':
** [[TheHero Shinji's]] father sent him away when he was a little kid, [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou allegedly to protect him]]. When the story begins, Shinji is twenty and he has not talked to his father in ten years.
** In fact, no character in this manga EVEN mentions his or her father. And they NEVER show up, not even when one of the pilots has been badly hurt. They are virtually inexistent. And since Asuka has the same issues than in canon, it would not be strange that her father stopped caring about her.
** [[OriginalCharacter Jessika's]] father, though, is officially dead. His grave showed up in chapter 13.
* In the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'', a great deal is made out of Rika's father abandoning her as a child, and the [[JerkassWoobie effect this has had on her personality.]]
* ''Fanfic/AMightyDemonSlayerGroomsSomePonies'' gives [[Franchise/MyLittlePony Megan]] a father who ran away with another woman, causing her to harbor a grudge against men in general and giving her a BerserkButton whenever her dad is brought up.
* In ''{{Fanfic/Boys Und Senshado}}'', Akio's father died in a plane crash when Akio was five years old, causing him to be unwilling to take up his family's practice of Sentoki-do, or dogfighting.
* An inversion in the ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' story series: Empath is Papa Smurf's only begotten son, and is the one who's missing for most of Papa Smurf's life, primarily because he was forced to live in Psychelia for 150 years. Empath himself simply doesn't know his true connection to Papa Smurf until his 150th birthday.
** Also played straight with the other Smurfs of Empath's generation, as ThePlague has killed off all their parents, leaving Papa Smurf as their sole guardian.
* In ''FanFic/TomorrowsDoom'', part of Aiko's backstory involves [[spoiler:her father suffering from dementia due to having Huntington's Disease, before he finally kicked the bucket]].
* In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8576012/1/Number-XII-The-Savage-Nymph Number XII: The Savage Nymph]], Larxene's father abandoned her and her mother when she was about two years old, forcing her mother to become a prostitute to keep her daughter alive. Though considering the way [[DomesticAbuse he]] [[ParentalNeglect treated]] [[ItIsDehumanizing them,]] maybe it was for the better that he left.
* In ''FanFic/PrisonIslandBreak,'' Silver has never met his father - he tells people that his mother has told him that he died AND that he just left. She also refuses to clarify ''when,'' only that Silver was too young to remember him. She has only told Silver that they're better off without him. As a result, Silver doesn't know whether his father is dead or alive, and is also confused about whether he even wants to know who his father is.
* Scootaloo's father left her mother before she was even born in ''FanFic/BadFutureCrusaders'', and being raised by an earth pony mother is why she had such difficulty learning to fly. [[spoiler:The story hints that her father [[LukeIMightBeYourFather might be]] [[AntiHero Crimson Sky]], the second-in-command of the R.E.A.F. and Lightning Dust's [[TheDragon dragon]].]]
* [[spoiler: Ren]] becomes this in ''Gensokyo 20XXV'', when he passed away of an unknown cause, sometime before chapter 109
* Zack in the ''Fanfic/MegsFamilySeries'' to his son Cody, after Zack's girlfriend Nikki left him without telling him she was pregnant.
* In ''FanFic/PrettyCurePerfumePreppy'', Hanae’s dad died in a forest fire.
* In some ''Anime/KillLaKill'' {{Alternate Universe Fic}}s, we have this the case when it comes to Ryuuko and Satsuki's parents. In one fic (before it was deleted), ''Sounds of Silence'', Soichiro mostly appears in flashbacks but doesn't in the present, although Ragyo mentioned an accident, implying that he had passed away in said accident. Likewise, by different authors, some fics have it where he does die, through via whatever, while others simply doesn't bring him up.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', Shinji and Asuka's fathers abandoned them when they were barely four. Shinji holds a huge grudge against Gendo, and Asuka doesn't even acknowledge her father's existence.
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Shinji's father abandoned him. Even so Shinji tries to give his father the benefit of the doubt, but Asuka thinks Gendo is nothing but a bastard.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'' gives several examples:
** Shinji and Asuka's fathers abandoned them. Asuka is willing to make peace with her family, but Shinji called Gendo out on his abusive, destructive and self-destructive behavior several times.
** [[spoiler:Aki]] suffered a minor case of this when she was sent back to the the past. When she woke up, her parents were gone. She got scared, ran from her house and got lost. Fortunately [[spoiler:Rei]] ran into her and helped her to look for them, but she was terrified until they found them.
* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'':
** Gendo left Shinji when his son was four. When his father summoned him, Shinji had hoped maybe they would reach some kind of understanding, but after the War their relationship is all but non-existent.
** On the other hand, Asuka doesn't even talk about the man who ditched her as soon as her mother was buried.
* In ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'', Shinji and Asuka’s fathers ditched their children when they were four. Asuka has no relationship with his father, and Shinji’s relationship with Gendo got gradually worse.
* In ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'', When Shinji met Gendo he called his father out on abandoning him ten years ago, and declared that he wasn’t interested in talking to Gendo again.
-->'''Gendo:''' It's been a while.\\
'''Shinji:''' It would have been far longer, if not for the fact that your brother convinced me to give you one last chance. So far, you are failing miserably if you intended this to be any kind of happy family reunion.
* In ''Fanfic/{{Quicken}}'', [[AntiHero Emma]] died after a violent fight against several thugs. However, her power brought her back to life nine months later. When Emma managed to dig her way out of her own grave and started looking for her family, her parents had left the city several months ago.
* Just as in canon, Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines has Ash not have his father around. This comes up enough it is likely not going to be unanswered as in canon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* As with MissingMom, the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon has more than a few examples:
** Both Disney/SnowWhite's and Disney/{{Cinderella}}'s fathers are dead, and the two only have their spiteful stepmothers.
** Disney/{{Bambi}}: The Prince of the Forest barely interacts with Bambi, only showing up at important moments when his son needs help. This is consistent with nature, as fawns are raised exclusively by their mothers. However, Bambi's father dropped the disappearing act and took over the parenting duties after the death of his mother, as confirmed years later in the {{midquel}}
** In ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', Chip has a loving mother in Mrs. Potts. But Mr. Potts is never mentioned.
** ''Disney/TheLionKing'': Mufasa is killed by Scar in the middle of the movie. [[SpiritAdvisor He does return from the dead for some encouragement.]]
** ''Disney/TheRescuersDownUnder'': Cody lost his father.
** ''Disney/TheAristocats'': The kittens' father is never mentioned, but it really doesn't matter once [[ParentalSubstitute O'Malley]] shows up.
** Jumbo Jr., better known as Disney/{{Dumbo}}, is named after his father -- whom we never see.
** ''Disney/AladdinAndTheKingOfThieves'': The eponymous character discovers that his father Cassim, who left his now dead mother to search for his fortune, is now... [[spoiler: well, the title pretty much gives it away, doesn't it?]]
** ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'': Milo not only had no parents, but he also lost his grandfather, who was like a father to him.
*** [[spoiler: His girlfriend Kida]] actually loses [[Creator/LeonardNimoy her father, the King of Atlantis,]] to internal bleeding as a result of him being punched by the villain (her [[MissingMom mother, the former Queen]] was sacrificed at the very beginning of the film). And do you know [[spoiler:[[TheHighQueen what happens to a princess]] if she loses both parents?]]
** ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'': Mr. Hawkins runs out on Jim and his mother. This trope has a pretty heavy effect on [[TheWoobie Jim's]] character. In fact, the the only pre-credits song in the movie is about ParentalAbandonment.
** ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'': While Tiana's dad is alive in the beginning, he dies during the TimeSkip. It's implied he died in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
** Plio, Aladar's adopted mother from ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}'', for some reason actually does not have a husband despite already having a daughter named Suri.
** ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'': Li Shang's father was killed in a battle against the Huns. Mulan, however, still has her father.
** If you think about it, ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' counts as well. The only things we know for sure about Fix-It Felix, Sr. are that he existed and passed down his magic hammer to Felix Jr. Presumably he only was coded into Felix's backstory in-universe.
** Played with in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''. Rapunzel grew up thinking Mother Gothel is her only parent. In reality both of her parents are alive, but she was kidnapped as an infant and raised by her kidnapper.
** Elsa and Anna from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' lose both their parents in a storm.
** In ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'', while [[{{Deuteragonist}} Nick Wilde's]] mother is briefly shown in his CynicismCatalyst flashback, his father is never seen or mentioned.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'', Andy's father is noticeably absent, implying that Mrs. Davis is a widow or a divorcee. ShrugOfGod suggests that [[TheHero Woody]] belonged to him, although nothing has ever been confirmed.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'': Hogarth's father was a fighter pilot, and is assumed to have been killed during a mission.
** Not really, but possible. We do see a picture of him boarding his fighter in a picture on Hogarth's desk, but if you listen to the rapid-fire barrage of questions from Agent Mansley before Hogarth snaps and tries to leave the house, you'll hear Mansley ask, "Been divorced long, Scout?" He may or may not have been killed, but he's definitely absent.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' does this with nearly the entire main case: Littlefoot's father left (we find out in ''Longneck Migration'' that he's the leader of a herd; and makes a cameo in the cartoon series) Spike was abandoned before he even hatched, leaving what happened to his father to be debated among fans. Ducky's father is seen in the first film but was quietly written out at some point during the sequels. Last of all, Petrie's father is AWOL.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'': Beans insists that this is what happened to her father, and that she's waiting until "the people of Andromeda Five return him safe and sound". [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial He definitely did NOT fall drunk down a mineshaft.]]
* Camille's father in ''Literature/ThereseRaquin''. There's pretty much no mention of him.
* The twins' father in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale''. Isabelle returns home without her husband and informs the servants that he died. Of course, he also might not be the twins' father.
* Nod's father died prior to the events of ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}''. This is mentioned several times.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls'', Eggs' biological father is missing, presumed dead, after [[spoiler: Snatcher and his men tried to take Eggs hostage. He turns out to be alive and well, still held hostage by Snatcher.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', Joaquin's father is a decorated hero of the war was killed by Chakal, and has a monument in the middle of San Angel.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'', The Bog King's father is mentioned by the mother but is implied to be dead.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree'', Mr. Kindle has a job that requires him to spend months away from his family. He doesn't come back until Christmas Eve.
* In ''Animation/TheReturnOfHanuman'', both Minku and Maruti's fathers have disappeared. How Minku's father disappeared wasn't revealed, while Maruti's dad disappeared because he was kidnapped and thrown into a volcano. Turns out that [[spoiler:[[DisneyDeath They were alive after all]] after Maruti brings all of the villagers out of the volcano]].
* Tip from ''WesternAnimation/{{Home}}'' never knew her father, but she doesn't care.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheLittleShopOfHorrors'' (the original 1960 dark comedy), Seymour lives with his hypochondriac mother, who explains to Audrey at dinner that Seymour's father ran out on her.
* In ''Film/{{Psycho}}'', Norman's dead father plays a pivotal role in his absence. Mrs Bates' unhealthy behavior begins after her husband's death. Norman might have had a shot at a normal childhood if he had lived. Sadly, though, this didn't happen
-->'''Norman:''' A son is a poor substitute for a lover.
* In the 1968 Western ''Ace High'', Cacopoulos' father was murdered when he was an infant.
-->'''Cacopoulos''': And my grandfather told of it, had to get his son's body... and he had to take me, too, still teething... back to his tribe. And I cried... And I cried... And I cried...
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': We know why the dad is absent: [[spoiler:Kyle was John's father and didn't survive the first movie]]. We also know Sarah tried the substitute dad treatment. It never took. You'd think after, like, 6 or 7 times...
* In ''Film/TheKarateKid'' (both the original and the 2010 remake), there is little or no mention of Daniel [=LaRusso=]'s dad (the title character) other than that his death prompted Daniel and his mother to move in the beginning of the first movie.
** In the remake, Dre's father is indicated to have died before the story starts.
* In ''Film/FreakyFriday2003'', Anna's father died a few years before the movie's events occurred.
* ''Film/MrMagoriumsWonderEmporium'' has Eric, whose father's absence is never explained.
* ''Film/SonOfTheMask'': Tim is a Disappeared Dad in the fatherly duty sense of the trope. He's present and GoingThroughTheMotions of being a father to his newborn baby, but he wasn't prepared for the kid, and finds the kid an obstacle to his career path. Since the kid's magical, he torments his father for his inattention, and finds another father figure [[spoiler: in Loki, creator of The Mask]], forcing Tim to fight for his child's affection, and learning AnAesop about being an attentive and responsible father. Just in time for [[spoiler:baby number two to be on the way!]]...
* ''Film/TheSpiderwickChronicles'': The children's father is audible over a phone conversation and seen on a photo. His absence is explained to Jared by his exasperated older sister. But the one time he does show up [[spoiler: it's the ogre Mulgarath in disguise as him]].
* ''Film/IndependenceDay'': Jasmine's son Dylan's father is ''not'' Steve Hiller, but Jasmine hopes he wants the job (he does). We're not informed specifically what the deal is with Dylan, but given Jazz is a [[SingleMomStripper stripper]], the potential exists that he ran out on her.
* ''The Shaggy Dog'' (2006) features Dave as the psychologically absent father.
* ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'' had a father who [[spoiler: was in prison for the last twenty-five to thirty years because he was a deadly mafia assassin known as Il Duce. He gets sprung from prison by Yakavetta to take on the job of killing Rocco, who Yakavetta believes is behind the killings that the two protagonists are doing, and he ends up fighting both of his sons and Rocco in an explosive shootout. It is only when Yakavetta guns down Rocco himself and the Duke walks in on the brothers delivering the family prayer to him that he realizes exactly who the two men are and finishes the prayer himself, thus revealing to them that he is their father. He then joins in their campaign]].
* ''StarWars'': Luke's father is mentioned a fair bit in the first movie, and in the second one... [[LukeIAmYourFather Well, you know.]] This trope is kind of pivotal to the original trilogy.
** Anakin ''doesn't have'' a father, unless you believe the implication that Palpatine's former master, Darth Plagueis, created him by use of the Force.
** From the ExpandedUniverse: Princess Allana Djo Solo of the Hapes Consortium had a father whose duties as a Jedi kept him away, [[spoiler:and then he turned evil]].
* If ''Franchise/StarWars'' isn't a straight example, George Lucas did a big one later in ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' (as noted in the page quote).
** Done again in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''. [[spoiler:Indiana himself is Mutt's Disappeared Dad. In fact, Mutt has two. The guy he thought was his dad is dead]].
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'' the story is that when Inigo was very young, his father, [[TheBlacksmith Domingo Montoya]] was commissioned by the [[AristocratsAreEvil six-fingered man]] [[spoiler:Count Rugen]] to make a special sword. For a very long time Domingo worked on the sword, and it was his magnum opus. The six-fingered man offered a tenth of the original asking price, so Domingo refused to sell the sword. [[YouKilledMyFather The six-fingered man killed Domingo]], and young Inigo immediately took up the sword and challenged the six-fingered man to a duel. He spared Inigo's life, but gave him a pair of [[GoodScarsEvilScars awesome scars]] on his cheeks. When we meet Inigo, he's been training for the last twenty years to best the six-fingered man, working with [[SmugSnake Vizzini]] to [[PunchClockVillain pay the bills.]] "There's not much money in revenge."
** Also in ''Princess Bride'', there is the framing device of the grandfather reading the story to his grandson. Grandpa says, "This is the book my father used to read to me when I was sick and I used to read it to your father. And today, I'm going to read it to you." It's not mentioned why dad isn't around to read the book to the son himself, although he might just be at work.
* ''Okuribito'' (Departures): Daigo's father left so long ago he can't remember what he looks like. [[spoiler: At the end of the film Daigo claims his father's body and lovingly prepares him for his coffin. Daigo finds [[ChekhovsGun something]] that shows that his father still loved him despite leaving and finally remembers his face.]]
* In the [[ContinuityReboot rebooted]]'' Film/StarTrek'' film, the point of divergence includes, among other things, the death of Lt. George Kirk, James T. Kirk's father. As a result, the fatherless James grows up to be rebellious, self-destructive, cocky, and a bit more of a JerkAss, rather than being something of a humorless swot at the Academy and then later developing into just being a bit impetuous and unconventional.
* Kirk's son, David Marcus was like this until the events of ''Film/{{Star Trek II|The Wrath of Khan}}'' came about. David despises his dad for abandoning the family (Kirk, for his part, was only doing what Carol wanted("I did what you asked. I stayed away."), but Kirk patches things up with him in the end. Then [[spoiler: David gets killed in the next film.]] Oh well.
* Sophie wanting to determine which of three men is her father drives the plot of the film and musical ''Film/MammaMia''.
* In ''Film/SilentHill'', Alessa's father left her mother Dahlia.
* In ''Film/FindingNeverland'', Mr. Llewelyn Davies died before the film began, leaving his four sons in the care of their mother. They haven't all recovered from the loss yet.
* Charlie's father passed away before the story begins in ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''. (This does not apply to the [[Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory source novel]] or most other adaptations. Incidentally, in the 2005 film, Violet Beauregarde's father never appears, possibly implying her parents are divorced.)
* Charlie has one in ''Film/TheMightyDucks''.
* Cobb from ''Film/{{Inception}}'' is one himself, though not by choice.
* ''Film/TheManhattanProject'': Prior to the film, Paul's dad left his family and is now in Saudi Arabia. Paul is understandably somewhat bitter: "I guess he didn't like being married anymore. Actually he's a brilliant architect; he's just kind of a shit in his personal life."
* In ''Film/ChangingLanes'', one of Doyle's primary motivations in the film is to avoid becoming a Disappeared Dad to his kids by convincing his ex-wife not to move from New York to Portland. When Gavin's selfish actions jeopardize this, Doyle gets upset.
* Kevin Flynn in ''Film/TRONLegacy'', having been trapped in the digital world for twenty years.
* In ''Film/DonJuanDemarco'', both the 'real' and 'imaginary' accounts of the title character's life agree that [[spoiler: his father was killed well before he was old enough to cope with such a loss.]] His doctor [[spoiler: gradually takes over that role in his life.]]
* ''Film/{{Angus}}'': There's a brief reference to the title character's parents being divorced, his father is never seen, and he lives with his mother and grandfather; the latter sort of being his father figure. In the original script, his father was still present in his life, and was gay - due to the potential controversy, he was written out of the movie altogether, the divorce reference was added, and plot-relevant scenes that were supposed to have Angus and his father in them were re-shot with his grandfather there instead.
* ''Film/ThePokerHouse'': The family moves away from the abusive priest father and never hears from him again.
* In ''Film/LoveActually'', Sam's mom dies of cancer just before the start of the film; he's now living with his stepfather, Creator/LiamNeeson, who laments that "this stepfather thing suddenly matters much more than it did before". No mention of where his biological father fits into the picture.
* ''{{Film/Looper}}'': No mention is made of Cid's father, or where he might be. It's possible that Cid's mother, Sara, doesn't know who or where he is herself.
* ''Film/TheBookOfEli'': Solara tells Eli that Carnegie isn't her father, leaving her real one unknown and unmentioned. There's a fan theory on who is, however [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1037705/board/nest/193018806?ref_=tt_bd_3]]
* ''{{Film/Elysium}}'': The father of Frey's daughter Matilda goes unmentioned and unseen.
* In ''The Escape'' (1997) the main character Clayton (Patrick Dempsey) is an escaped prisoner [[MiscarriageOfJustice wrongly convicted]] of murder for killing two men in self-defense. He hides out with Sarah (Brigitte Bako), revealing in a touching conversation that his father was a trumpet player who [[ParentalAbandonment abandoned him]] and only showed up once, playing a song for him. It's implied this lack of a good role model likely contributed to his downward spiral into prison.
* In ''Film/AsGoodAsItGets'', the father of Spencer, Carol's son, is never mentioned or seen. It may be that, given Spencer's health problems, he ran out on them.
* Similarly, in ''Film/ForrestGump'', Forrest's father is unmentioned and unseen, perhaps for similar reasons.
* In ''Film/TradingMom'', the father of the kids left the family. As the kids are annoyed with their mom at the beginning, one of them remarks that their father left because he was also annoyed by their mom.
* Sarah Packard from ''Film/TheHustler'', whose father left her when she was seven. Her only contact with him are the monthly checks he sends her.
* In ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', Joe Brody becomes one in the emotionally absent but physically present sense after the Janjira disaster. He then becomes one in the literal sense right after he and his son Ford have finally reconciled upon the latter realizing Joe wasn't an obsessed nut.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'': Charles Xavier mentions that he has a stepfather. In the comics, his biological father died when he was young.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Quicksilver tells Mystique that Magneto left his mother before he was born, and Ms. Maximoff remains bitter at Erik for how he had treated her. She even tries to dissuade her son from attempting to contact his father.
* This is the catalyst for the plot of ''Film/WintersBone'' - Ree's father has failed to show up for court, and put their house up towards his jail bond. If she doesn't find him within a few days, she and her family will be evicted.
* Will Stacks, in return for ''Film/{{Annie|2014}}'' sharing a secret with him, shares his own: his father worked himself to death as a subway worker when Stacks was only twelve.
* ''Author Author'': The film deals with the repercussions on children of serial marriage and divorce. While the main plot deals with a newly MissingMom, it has quite a few {{DisappearedDad}}s, as well. Spike's dad is a professional baseball player and Geraldo's father lives in Spain. Neither appears in the movie, but at least Spike's dad takes him in for a time until Spike requests to move back in with his stepfather. Bonnie's and Debbie's father appears in the film, but is apparently more interested in stopping child support payments than actually having physical custody of his daughters. It's stated early in the film that prior to going to live with him, they'd never met his new wife.
* In ''Film/BigEyes'', while he is mentioned, Jane's father and Margaret's 1st husband never appears except for in a wedding photo.
* ''Film/SupermanReturns'': Superman himself is one to his son, though he didn't even know about him before returning to Earth. However, he then ''knowingly'' leaves at the end of the film. ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' speculated his son became a supervillain enemy of his in the future due to this (the boy is shown to have his powers).
* ''{{Film/Byzantium}}'': Eleanor was born to a {{sex slave}}, and thus naturally her father is unknown, though he might be Ruthven (if so in fact she's better ''off'' with him being absent).
* ''Film/TheHungerGames'': Katniss Everdeen's father died in a mining accident.
* ''Film/{{Selfless}}'': Damien was something of this to his daughter when she was little growing up, and became worse in later years. He regrets this, and in the end somewhat makes up for it, giving her a letter stating how much she meant to him.
* Film/GrandCanyon: Otis's father is neither seen nor mentioned in the film.
* ''Film/ThePurgeAnarchy'': Cali lives with her mother and grandfather, but her father is never seen or spoken of in the film.
* {{Justified}} in ''Film/HeroesForSale''. Tom can't be with his son because he was in jail and is being persecuted by anti-communist forces.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''{{Literature/Armada}}'', Zack's father Xavier died in an explosion when he was less than an year old. Later, [[spoiler: he turns out to have faked his death in order to help EDA]]
* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'', Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
** Abby and Anna's father died in a car crash.
* In ''Literature/TheHalfbloodChronicles'' by Creator/MercedesLackey and Creator/AndreNorton:
** ''The Elvenbane'': The titular character's foster mother is a single parent.
** ''Elvenblood'': The sympathetic [[OurElvesAreDifferent elf lord's]] father disappeared when he was a child.
* The disappearance of Meg Murray's father years ago becomes a central part of the plot in Creator/MadeleineLEngle's novel ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime''. [[spoiler:Working as a physicist on a top-secret project for the government, he'd accidentally teleported himself to another planet, where he was held captive. Meg and companions end up rescuing him.]]
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse''
** Alanna and Thome in ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' series have the psychologically absent version; their father has never gotten over the death of their mother and more or less ignores them. They manage to pull a TwinSwitch for ''years'' despite being of different genders.
** The absence of Daine's father in ''Literature/TheImmortals'' led to Daine being branded as a HeroicBastard and earned her much ridicule, but in the last book, she and the readers find out [[spoiler:he was actually a god]].
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' has it in a really twisted, really weird form.
** A more conventional version in Sam Vimes's backstory. His mother always told him that his dad was run over by a cart, Vimes's own theory is that this was a brewer's cart, and it ran him over a bit at a time for years. This is part of the reason he's so determined to be a good father to Young Sam.
* Specific cases in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', where if you're not missing one or both parents you will be soon enough (unless you're a Weasley. Lucky them).
** James Potter died when trying to make a LastStand to Voldemort to save his wife Lily and baby Harry.
** Frank Longbottom [[spoiler: is alive, but can't really BE a father since he was driven insane by the Cruciatus Curse]]
** Dean Thomas' father, as revealed by WordOfGod, [[spoiler:is a wizard who left his Muggle wife and unborn child because he feared they would be targeted by the Death Eaters. He was later killed, and his family never learned the truth.]] This [[WhatCouldHaveBeen would have shown up in the text]], but got dropped in favor of Neville's story.
** The first few books suggest Tom Riddle senior abandoned his wife and child because he didn't like magic. The sixth book revealed the much more sympathetic truth - [[spoiler: he fled from his captor Merope after she took him off the LovePotion she'd been [[SlippingAMickey feeding him]]. She thought after all this time and with [[TheBabyTrap a baby on the way]] he'd feel the real thing or stay in the forced relationship. He didn't, and Merope later went the DeathByChildbirth way. This led to SelfMadeOrphan years later...]]
** The Dumbledore family lost their father after [[spoiler:he went to Azkaban prison after attacking some Muggle boys who attacked his daughter.]]
** And of course [[spoiler: BOTH of Teddy Lupin's parents are killed in the Battle of Hogwarts when he was only a few months old. He at least gets to be raised by his grandmother, and is practically a surrogate son to his godfather Harry.]]
** [[spoiler: Lucius Malfoy]] becomes this in the sixth book because he's sitting in Azkaban and it's the [[spoiler: motivation for Draco to become a Death Eater, try to kill Dumbledore, and to get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts.]]
* Franchise/DocSavage's father leaves him [[TrainingFromHell in the care of teachers]] while he travels around the world [[GreatWhiteHunter big game hunting]] and [[AdventurerArchaeologist searching for lost treasure]] until Doc becomes a man. Then [[spoiler: [[DroppedABridgeOnHim he dies]] of the plague]].
* Pretty much all of Jacqueline Wilson's teen books contain this. Parents are almost always divorced and the father has usually vanished into the ether (occasionally to be replaced with a Wicked Stepfather)
* ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'', being a literal Cinderella story, places Ella's father as a frequently-traveling merchant. He also has little to no interest in what goes on around his house in his absence.
** By the same author, ''Literature/TheTwoPrincessesOfBamarre'' has the king (the father of the titular princesses) as a distant, negligent man. While not ''bad'' per say, he never takes action until he's spent a ridiculous amount of time consulting a book of proverbs he carts around. When his oldest daughter comes down with a deadly disease, he vows to go out and find a cure...after having a leisurely breakfast and spending several days consulting his book. [[spoiler:He ends up not even attending his younger daughter's wedding, because he thinks the proverbs advise against it!]]
* Any books based on the life of Julius Caesar will include this trope, as he had to leave his daughter Julia behind when he was off being a badass in Spain and Gaul. Actually subverted in Conn Iggulden's ''Emperor'' series where Julia goes through a phase of teenage anger and resentment towards him, but otherwise pretty much worships her father. This is attributed to her growing up hearing the stories about her father's accomplishments but never seeing him do things like hurt his slaves, get himself drunk or punishing his soldiers. She even goes so far as to [[spoiler:helping her father in the civil war, despite the fact that it means betraying her own husband, who is Caesar's opponent.]]
** Caesar's father also died when he was 16, leaving him head of the family.
* Creator/RogerZelazny liked this one.
** In Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber, the absence and possible death of Corwin's father, King Oberon, drives much of the action. [[spoiler:Turns out he's not so disappeared after all, but concealing his identity. Mind you he really was captured and imprisoned in the Courts of Chaos; it was his escape and return he concealed.]]
** In ''Literature/{{Roadmarks}}'', one of the subplots involves a young man searching for the truth about his absent father, the protagonist.
* John Cleaver's father in ''Literature/IAmNotASerialKiller'' is absent from the book except when he sends John a letter and an iPod at Christmas.
* The father of the titular character in ''[[Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles Gregor the Overlander]]'', vanished when he was eight. [[spoiler:They find him though.]]
* The Literature/ArtemisFowl series begins with Artemis Sr. missing and presumed dead, though his son is determined to find him. [[spoiler:He succeeds by the end of the second book]].
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''[[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Dresden Files]]'' novel ''Summer Knight'', Harry is offered a chance at this: the Winter Lady offers him the information if he will only sleep with one of her court and ignore the ensuing pregnancy. He rejects it. Strongly.
** In ''Blood Rites'', Harry presupposes this after [[spoiler:Emma]]'s death, when he laments that her children are orphans. [[spoiler:Jake]] reveals that, in fact, she had not wanted to settle down with him, but he will raise their children.
** And then in ''Changes'', Harry finds out that he ''is'' the Disappeared Dad to the daughter nobody told him about. He is understandably furious with her mother but Susan had her reasons.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''The Gods of Mars'', [[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars John Carter]] meets a young man whose father died before he was born. [[spoiler:Three guesses as to who his father was and whether that info was accurate.]]
-->''"With drawn swords they made for me, but before I went down beneath them they had tasted of the steel of [[AncestralWeapon my father's sword]], and I had given such an account of myself as I know would have [[SoProudOfYou pleased my sire]] had he lived to witness it."\\
"Your father is dead?" I asked.\\
"He died before the shell broke to let me step out into a world that has been very good to me. But for the sorrow that I had never the honour to know my father, I have been very happy. My only sorrow now is that my mother must mourn me as she has for ten long years mourned my father."''
* Creator/StephenKing examples (his father left his family when King was two)
** Eddie Dean in Creator/StephenKing's ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series. He finds the Mid-World expression "forgotten the face of my father" ironic, because he wouldn't recognize his father if he met him. When he introduces himself as "Eddie Dean of New York, son of Wendell" in Calla, he thinks that leastwise, his mother always said that.
** Ben Hanscom and Eddie Kapsbrak in ''Literature/{{IT}}''.
** Bobby Garfield in ''Literature/HeartsInAtlantis''.
** Carrie White in ''Literature/{{Carrie}}''. Her father died in an accident before she was born.
** Louis Creed in ''Literature/PetSematary''. His father died when he was three.
** Hal Shelburn in ''The Monkey'' (short story in the collection ''Skeleton Crew''). His father was a seaman, like King's.
* ''The Dark-Thirty'', a collection of African-American ghost stories: A boy with psychic powers has an irresponsible, semi-AffablyEvil disappeared dad (mom despises him but when he's around it's usually a fun time). Dad takes his son back to the city when he learns about the boy's powers and uses him to make money on horse races, but when the kid's power disappears and he's beaten by his debt collectors he promptly returns the boy to his mother, never to be seen again ("And good riddance", says his mom).
* Matt's father died in an accident on the Aurora in ''Literature/{{Airborn}}'', which is why Matt must work at 15 to support the mothers and sisters.
* In ''Literature/{{Tranquilium}}'', Gleb Marin's father was killed when he was 17 or so. It's played somewhat more straight with his own son Billy, who doesn't know Gleb is his father; the man he ''thinks'' is his father is missing as of early Part Three (when the son becomes a character in his own right) because he is a prisoner of war. He is mostly raised by his mother, who is Gleb's former lover and the wife of Billy's adapted father, and by Auntie Olive, who is Gleb's former wife. Things inevitably get rather awkward when Gleb has to rescue Billy from a conspiracy (the fact that Gleb was by this point [[spoiler: a sovereign monarch]] didn't help)...
* ''Literature/TheGlassMenagerie'': Mr. Wingfield abandoned his family before the events of the play take place.
* In ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'', most of the demigods where the god is the father have never met their father and before finding out their heritage, usually are told that their father wasn't in the picture. Inverted for the godly mother, of course. In Percy's case, his mother Sally told him that his father wasn't dead but had been lost in sea. Seeing how Posideon was his father ...
* Sam of ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'' has never known his father. Then in the climactic final battle, he learns that his father is [[spoiler::his nemesis, Mizzamir. This revelation does not stop Sam from fulfilling the assassination contract on Mizzamir that he had accepted at the beginning of the book.]]
* Frances Hodgson Burnett seemed to love this trope as this happens to pretty much all of her main characters. [[Literature/ALittlePrincess Sara Crewe]] at least used to have a loving father, but both of [[Literature/TheSecretGarden Mary's]] parents are emotionally and largely physically absent even before they die. And then we have ''Little Lord Fauntleroy'' Cedric, whose loving father died when he was a toddler, and the plot is kickstarted when he and his mom go to England to meet his grandfather...
* ''Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium'': The prevalence of DisappearedDads in Tolkien's work may be inspired by Tolkien himself losing his father at a very early age.
** In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Aragorn's father dies in the war when he is two; he's raised by his mother and Elrond. There are more examples of disappeared dads, which tend to fall into ParentalAbandonment and ParentalSubstitute as well (Frodo, Éowyn and Éomer, Elrond and Elros...)
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', the Children of Húrin, Túrin and Niënor, lose their father at a young age, which is the beginning of all their trouble-he's captured by Morgoth and released only after [[spoiler: they've both killed themselves.]]
* L. Jagi Lamplighter's Literature/ProsperosDaughter trilogy opens with ''Prospero Lost''. His children still haven't found him at the end of the second book.
* In ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'', Kate's dad left her when she was two. [[spoiler: It is revealed to be Milligan, who was brainswept on a mission.]]
* Erika, Grünlich's daughter, suffers from this in ''Literature/{{Buddenbrooks}}''.
* Jake suffers from this in Literature/ObsidianMirror. His attempts to find his father kick off the story though in fairness, his dad didn't intend [[spoiler: to get TrappedInThePast.]]
* In Literature/WarriorCats, [[BigBad Tigerstar]] leaves his kits and their mother to join Shadowclan. There is a lot of bitterness involved as Tigerstar attempted to [[spoiler: murder Bluestar, the leader of Thunderclan, and also murdered Redtail, the former deputy]]. [[JustifiedTrope Unsurprisingly, Thunderclan does not want his kits, Bramblekit and Tawnykit, to [[TurnOutLikeHisFather turn out like their father]].
** Tigerstar's own father was absent - left the Clan to be a kittypet - and this is [[FreudianExcuse a major part of why he's evil]].
* The absent father is a major plot point in ''You Don't Know Me''. The entire premise revolves around the relationship between John and his stepfather (or the rough equivalent, anyway), so the missing father is really a necessity. The details are vague at best - though a fantasized version of the father is mentioned frequently, John has little to no recollection of who he really was, his mother rarely talks about him, and the actual disappearance was sudden and without explanation: one day there, the next day gone.
* In ''Literature/PaladinOfSouls'', it is revealed that Roya Ias' "boon companion" Chancellor Arbol dy Lutiz had essentially abandoned his latest wife and young son to attend upon his liege at court. Young Ahrys did not even remember his father but yet strove to excel in all the arts of warfare and statesmanship [[WellDoneSonGuy in the hopes of being summoned to the capital]] until the day the elder Dy Lutiz died. As Ahrys' half-brother (the result of their mother's long-term affair with the Castle Warder) put it:
-->"Me, I had a father for all of my life, or at least all of his. Ahrys had... a dream."
* ''Literature/{{Sunshine}}'' has Sunshine, aka Rae Seddon[[note]]legal name[[/note]], aka Raven Blaise[[note]]birth name[[/note]] bemoaning her absent sorcerer father. Unusually, it isn't the man himself she resents but his ''family'', who apart from her grandmother strictly avoided contact after the divorce. Which is now a problem because their heritage is the reason she isn't normal. Which is in turn the reason she isn't dead after the beginning of the novel, but some of the time she feels like [[DyingAsYourself dying]] at the start would have been ''so much less painful'', and she has no mentor. Except the vampire.
* In ''Literature/ExtremelyLoudAndIncrediblyClose,'' Oskar's grandfather abandoned his father before he was born. He tries to apologize and explain in letters entitled "Why I'm Not Where You Are," but only one ever gets sent.
* The Literature/InDeath series: A number of characters throughout the series are much more likely to have a mother in the picture than a father. Does Creator/NoraRoberts have a problem with fathers?
* Subverted in ''Literature/TimeScout''. Margo grew up thinking her grandfather abandoned her mother and grandmother. Turns out ''she'' left ''him''. And it [[ManlyTears still hurts]].
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', another case of parental divorce, and the dad's first appearance in the series is purely to say he's moving far, far away.
** And then we have Tobias, although Elfangor's disappearance was special circumstances.
* In ''Literature/LesMiserables'', Fantine's boyfriend Tholomyès abandoned her and their two-year-old daughter Cosette. His three friends are paired up with Fantine' three friends, and men abandon their women as a joke of sorts; Fantine either doesn't have a chance to tell him or finds out just afterwards that she's pregnant.
* In Creator/LMMontgomery's ''Literature/JaneOfLanternHill'', Jane believes her mother a widow for many years before learning her parents were separated.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': [[AdiposeRex King Robert]], in direct contrast to how his dear friend [[HonorBeforeReason Ned]] [[MissingMom raised his bastard]], entirely ignores the existence of fifteen of his illegitimate children and does his best to avoid Edric Storm, the sixteenth. Gendry, one of his eldest children, doesn't even know that Robert ''is'' his father.
** He isn't much better to his legitimate children, being the "psychological absence" type who wants nothing to do with them, leaving their [[MyBelovedSmother mother]] Cersei to raise them. [[spoiler: Of course, they aren't [[BrotherSisterIncest his]], but neither he nor they know that]].
* Antonia's father dies before the events of the ''Literature/TheMonk'', leaving her to be raised in relative poverty and obscurity.
* In ''Literature/DragonLance'', Kitiara Uth Matar's father, a Solamnic Knight, leaves the family when she was seven years old. She later sets out to find him, never managing to do so, but becoming a mercenary and adventurer on her journey.
* In Creator/MichaelFlynn's ''[[Literature/SpiralArm Up Jim River]]'', the harper was raised by her mother alone, with only some information about her father. When her mother disappears, her quest for her also has the unspoken desire to find her father.
* In Creator/SarahAHoyt's ''Literature/DrawOneInTheDark'', Tom's father threw him out of the house at gunpoint when he found he turned into a dragon. (His mother had already left.)
* The main character of ''Wonder Show'', Portia, is actually [[ParentalAbandonment missing both of her parents]], but more emphasis is put on her father since he's the only one she remembers well. Most of her motivation in the story comes from trying to find him or get her hands on a file containing information on him. In the end, [[spoiler:she finds out out he died long before the main events of the story]].
* In Creator/SeananMcGuire's Literature/OctoberDaye novel ''Ashes of Honor'', [[spoiler:Etienne]] reveals he has a daughter whose mother never told him about her, until she calls him up one day and furiously accuses him of kidnapping her.
* The father of the main character in Esther Friesner's ''Gnome Man's Land''/''Harpy High''/''Unicorn U'' trilogy stepped out to get a newspaper and never came back. It's revealed in the middle book that this was due to [[spoiler: his becoming Champion of the Sidhe]].
* In ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow'', Draco goes off and creates a new capital city with a new queen who gives him sons and forgets Arpazia and Coira. Played with in that they don't miss him and soon leave the city themselves.
* In ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'', Zoey's biological father left when she was two years old.
* [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]]: Lucy's father. [[spoiler: It wasn't his fault he left; not really. She and her mother get him back.]]
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Jerin and Ren have this in common, both having deceased fathers. Jerin's died of an accident a few months before the start of the book, resulting in Jerin's PromotionToParent to his younger siblings. Ren thought her father had died of illness, but [[spoiler:when Jerin, now betrothed to Ren and her sisters, is moved into the palace's husband quarters, he [[PersonalEffectsReveal finds evidence]] that his predecessor, Keifer, was involved in killing the princesses' father with poison]].
* Creator/DonDeLillo placed the Disappeared Dad trope at the innermost core of his monumental novel ''Literature/{{Underworld}}''. Protagonist Nick Shay believes that when he was a boy his father had been abducted and murdered by the Mob, because Italian fathers do not leave their families; they just don't. Told in [[BackToFront backwards chronological order]], the novel finally [[spoiler:reveals that his father had secretly left in a case of ParentalAbandonment after all]].
* Literature/SixtyEightRooms: Jack is raised only by his mother. The lack of a father isn't a plot issue, but their lack of money is.
* Literature/FirstLight: An aspect of their community. Children are raised by their mothers and never know their fathers. Thea eventually finds hers, however.
* In the Creator/KarenTraviss-penned ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' expanded universe novels, Anya Stroud was raised by her single mother Helena. Helena refused to tell Anya who her father was (or if he was even still alive) before her death, and Anya is understandably a little bitter about it.
* This happened to ''two'' of the main characters in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', as Katniss and Gale's fathers were killed in the same mine explosion when they were eleven and thirteen, respectively.
** Also, [[spoiler: Finnick dies in the last book before Annie gives birth to their son.]]
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Reynard's father abandoned him when he was very young (he doesn't even know his name.) [[spoiler: Later, he came down with a bad case of MissingMom, leading to a full blown case of ParentalAbandonment.]]
* In ''Literature/PenrynAndTheEndOfDays'', Penryn's father left because he could no longer cope with his mentally ill wife.
* This seems to be the most common result of male Moroi and female Dhampir relations in ''Literature/VampireAcademy''. The dad takes off and the mother raises the children on her own.
* A lot of characters in [[UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker Erich Kästner's]] books miss one or both parents, and since in the cases where the father is missing the relationship between the child and his or her mother is played up, which resembled Kästner's extremely close relationship to his mother, some critics tended to focus on that to the exclusion of the missing mothers. Note that at the time Kästner wrote his books -- after World War I (and the Spanish Influenza) and after World War II -- [[TruthInTelevision it was not that uncommon for children to be missing one or both parents.
** In ''Literature/EmilAndTheDetectives'', Emil Tischbein lives in a two-person household with his mother. [[spoiler: The sequel "Emil and the Three Twins" indicates that this will change soon when Mrs. Tischbein will marry Oberwachtmeister Jeschke.]]
** As does Anton Gast in ''Pünktchen und Anton''.
** In ''The Flying Classroom'', Johnny Trotz was callously abandoned by both parents before becoming the ward of a sea-captain.
** In ''Drei Männer im Schnee'' (which among other things became the basis of the 1938 movie ''Paradise for Three''), Hildegard, the female half of the romantic couple has no mother, Fritz, the male half, has no father.
** In ''Das doppelte Lottchen'', the novel on which ''Film/TheParentTrap'' is based, Lotte and Luise discover that they are living with the respective parent that the other one is missing.
** In ''Der kleine Mann'' and its sequel, ''Der kleine Mann und die kleine Miss'', Mäxchen Pichelsteiner, having lost both his parents in a tragic accident, is raised on his own by the stage magician Jokus von Pokus. Eventually he gains a new mother in the shape of Rosa Marzipan, Jokus' lover and later wife.
* ''Literature/GoodInBed'' features two examples. Cannie's father walked out on his family while she was young, and [[spoiler:is later discovered to be a plastic surgeon in Hollywood, who refuses to face up and give her answers when she confronts him]]. There's also Bruce, the biological father of her child from SexForSolace, who continues to keep his distance from Cannie, even after getting this news.
* In ''Literature/TheWitchesOfWorm'', Jessica's father left shortly after Jessica was born.
* ''Literature/RabbleStarkey'': Rabble's father abandoned her mother, Sweet Ho when Rabble was about one month old.
* ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'': Mary might as well not have ''had'' a father for all she remembers him.
* Michael's dad is never mentioned in ''Literature/TheTraitorGame'', in contrast to his mum, who is an important supporting character. His absence is conspicuous enough that we can infer he's not in the picture.
* ''Literature/TheStrangerBesideMe'': Ted Bundy's father left his mother before he was born.
* In ''Literature/{{Zeroes}}'', Scam's father left him and his mother when Scam was young. Bellwether wonders if Scam accidentally caused him to leave using his superpower, which he had no understanding of or control over at the time.
* Nora's father was murdered shortly before ''Literature/HushHush'' begins.
* In ''Literature/ThreeDaysToNever'', the protagonist and his sister were raised by their grandmother after their father disappeared when they were very young. [[spoiler:It turns out their father didn't deliberately abandon them -- he was done in by the bad guys.]]
* Blaze's father in ''Literature/BlazeOrLoveInTheTimeOfSupervillains'' left the family to pursue his acting career in New York. Blaze is convinced that he'll eventually find success and come back for them.
* ''Literature/SchooledInMagic'': Emily's father departed from her life when she was very young.
* ''Literature/TheCrimsonShadow'': Siobhan's elven father abandoned her mother (a human) before she was born as he couldn't bear to see them both die before him of old age.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ICarly'': Carly/Spencer's father is in the military. Freddie's father is never mentioned and his mother seems to have raised him on her own.
** Sam's father's abandonment is finally addressed in "iParty With Victorious":
--> '''Sam''': Yeah, and my dad told my mom he was coming back.
* ''{{Series/Arrow}}'': Tommy Merlyn's father, Malcolm, physically disappears to train with the League of Assassins after his wife is murdered [[spoiler: and he has murdered her supposed killer]]. Even after he returns, he remains distant.
--> '''Tommy (to Oliver Queen)''': ''Your'' dad took me to my first hockey game. ''Your'' dad taught us how to fly fish. ''Your'' dad took us to our first R-rated movie.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'': Does Kara "Starbuck" Thrace even ''have'' a dad? All we know is that he was a piano player. There's no mention of him when she talks about her abusive mother.
** Late in the series, we learn what happened to him. When Kara was young, her mother forced him to [[SadisticChoice choose between his family or his music]]. He chose music [[spoiler: some of which was written two thousand years ago by Sam Anders (or possibly Bob Dylan) on Earth]], leaving Kara with a woman who thought DrillSergeantNasty was a valid parenting method.
** Not to mention the original (male) Starbuck of the original series. He grew up without a father, then one day a con artist shows up and hints at possibly being his father as part of a scam. Surprise-surprise, the con artist was really his father (which shocked the heck out of him). In the end, Starbuck's dad pretends that he is NOT Starbuck's father so he won't drag his son down (that and the part was played by expensive and elderly actor Fred Astaire)
** Bill Adama is stated to have been this to Lee and Zak during their childhood, what with hardly ever being around.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'': Scott's absent father. He comes back in season 3, and it's revealed that [[spoiler:Melissa told him to leave after he got drunk and accidentally pushed Scott down the stairs.]]
* ''Series/TheBradyBunch'': A Disappeared Dad was in its BackStory before the show's timeline begins officially and Carol married Mike.
** Creator Sherwood Schwartz's original concept for the show had been for Carol to be a divorcee, but the network deemed this too controversial for the era and demanded a script change. One description of the pilot (a result of this change) has Carol being a widow (the reason why Carol's first husband apparently has no contact with his daughters), although her actual background is never explicitly stated in any of the scripts.
** In the final episode of the series, "The Hair-Brained Scheme," Robert Reed's bitter objections to the script (Greg's hair turning orange as the result of using a non-FDA approved hair tonic) resulted in what turned out to be a one-episode "Disappeared Dad" ... just in time for Greg's high school graduation. Had the series been renewed for a sixth season, Schwartz contends that Reed would have been fired, with possible scenarios being that Mike Brady would have either been killed off (off-screen) or sent on a season-long out-of-town architectural project. (The other possibility was hiring a [[TheOtherDarrin new actor]] to play Mike.
* On ''Series/{{Mom}}'': Alvin, Christy's father and Bonnie's true love, abandoned them right after Christy was born. Christy tracks Alvin down years later and after a rocky introduction, Alvin decides that he should try and make an effort to get to know Christy and her family, even introducing Christy to her half-brothers. Unfortunately for Alvin, the decision ends up costing him his current marriage.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy's dad pretty much disappears after the second season premiere, even when Buffy's kicked out of her mother's house she doesn't go to him and she tells Angel that he never even came to Joyce's funeral. Further, attempts to replace him were disastrous as well.
** We never see Willow's father (and her mother is only in one episode, at that). Xander's parents are occasionally mentioned and do make one appearance, although it's pretty evident that Xander wishes they ''had'' disappeared.
** Angel is this for Connor for a while in Season 9, refusing to see him or even answer his phone calls. Angel, being Angel, does this because he thinks Connor will be better off without him. Angel gets the appropriate WhatTheHellHero? from Faith. It gets even sadder when Connor reveals that his surrogate family doesn't remember him anymore since the magic went away.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** Mal himself is described as being raised by his mother and "about forty hands". No mention of a father.
** Jayne, similarly, appears to be the sole breadwinner in his household, sending money back to his mother and ailing sibling. No mention of a Mr. Cobb is made in Jayne's letters.
** Emma [[spoiler: Washburne]] has this as well now that [[spoiler: her father has passed on]]/
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Angel himself was absent from his son's life for most of it due a PlotRelevantAgeUp in another dimension, and wavered a bit over his involvement when he was there. Like when he threw him onto the street and then went to Vegas.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Harm's father was shot down over Vietnam [[spoiler: on Christmas Eve 1969]] when he was a kid, and Harm's attempts to find him were a recurring subplot for the first three seasons.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': After years of absent and/or neglectful non-parenting, Papa Bartowski finally left his children at some point before the series started.
** He did have a good reason for it, as he didn't want his kids to be caught in the crosshairs of enemy spies who wanted his secrets[[note]]He's the creator of the Intersect, the very same one that Chuck would eventually have in his head.[[/note]]
** Stephen promptly disappears again after the end of Season 2, before being lured out of hiding by [[spoiler: Shaw. No sooner does he promise Ellie that he'll never leave again, than he's shot and killed by Shaw]].
** Other disappeared dads include Sarah's conman father, whom although she was very close to, still couldn't rely on him (which "Jack" himself acknowledges).
** [[spoiler: Casey himself was a disappeared dad to his daughter, Alex, after faking his death in Honduras to join an elite black ops unit. He later reconnects with her after Daniel Shaw threatens the team's families]].
** The whereabouts of Morgan's father are never addressed.
** Alexei Volkoff was a disappeared dad to his daughter, Vivian, though he did keep close tabs on her [[spoiler: and secretly was grooming her as his eventual successor]]. The relationship was played around with ''even further'' [[spoiler: at the end of the season, when it's revealed that Volkoff is actually Stephen Bartowski's friend Hartley Winterbottom, another scientist on the Intersect Project, who was turned into Volkoff by a malfunctioning early version of the Intersect. Hartley ''never even knew he had a daughter'']].
* ''Series/GoodTimes'': The Evans' family patriarch, James, is killed in a car accident to start the 1976-1977 season, the character being dropped after John Amos was fired (after disputes with the production staff). The explanation: He had left to close a partnership deal with an old friend in Mississippi, the resulting career opportunity making it possible to move his family out of the Chicago slums, and on the way back was involved in a car accident where he was fatally injured.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}''
** The BigBad Sylar's dad walked out on him and his mother when he was very small. This may be what made his mother quite so obsessed, and contributed to his FreudianExcuse and MommasBoy issues.
*** The mother he [[spoiler:killed]] wasn't even his [[spoiler:real mother, who happens to NOT be Angela Petrelli...who also abandoned him.]]
*** It also turns out that he was abandoned [[spoiler: by two fathers. His birth father (a taxidermist) sold him to his uncle (the watchmaker), who only wanted him so that he could abandon his annoying wife with a clear conscience. Birth daddy also killed birth mommy while young Gabriel watched.]]
** Micah's dad was a now-you-see-him-now-you-don't sort of disappeared dad. He was in jail, then came back, then died, then faux-returned in flashbacks before being gone altogether.
** Claire is a weird twisty aversion. For the first 18 months of her life, Claire was raised by her MissingMom, Meredith Gordon, until a fire happened. As a result, Nathan Petrelli, Claire's DisappearedDad, and Meredith, Claire's MissingMom, were told their baby daughter perished in the fire and they believed Claire died. However, her father's parents, Angela and Arthur Petrelli, knew she survived the fire and let Nathan believe his daughter died. Angela and Arthur made arrangements for their granddaughter to be adopted by an agent in their company, Noah Bennet, and continued to watch over Claire from afar. Claire was lovingly raised by her adoptive parents, Noah and Sandra Bannet, and she reconnected with her birth parents, Nathan and Meredith, ultimately resulting in Claire having [[HasTwoMommies two fathers and two mothers]].
** Hiro is a particularly tragic example. He began with MissingMom Ishi, but his father Kaito [[spoiler:was murdered by a vengeful Adam Monroe]] just as Hiro and Kaito had finally found common ground after a lifetime of Hiro never measuring up to his father's standards, and right after they'd finally begun bonding. This completes the loss of his parents and makes Hiro an adult onset ParentalAbandonment case.
*** Hiro's example is more complicated than that. Throughout season 1, Hiro was made to work at the lowest levels of his company. When his father brought him and his sister in to name the proper heir to the company after retirement, he names Hiro initially, but when his sister protests, arguing that she already ran three divisions of the company, Hiro relinquishes. His father was feigning much of the disappointment he displayed and it was revealed near the season's end to be part of his plan. His father secretly knew about Hiro's powers and had greater expectations in mind, this was brought to light in the episode where Hiro meets his father dressed in traditional Samurai/Shogun robes and they spar with katanas.
** Matt Parkman is a triple-sided example.
*** His own father disappeared when he was 13 [[spoiler:only to show up later as a villain, whom Matt defeats.]]
*** Matt is technically the Disappeared Dad of his own child when his wife left him. It's believed that [[spoiler: said kid wasn't actually his, as his wife Janice has been cheating on him... but "Fugitives" confirmed Matt as the baby's father, making him a genuine Disappeared Dad; now that he know's the truth, it appears he'll stop being one as he protects his son from TheGovernment.]]
*** And Matt is ''not'' the Disappeared Dad, having adopted Molly Walker, who is [[ParentalAbandonment an orphan]] thanks to [[spoiler:Sylar killing and freezing her parents early in Season 1]].
** Mohinder Suresh's father Chandra abandoned his family after the death of Mohinder's sister Shanti to pursue his research into weird genetic superpowers (not quite directly afterwards, as Mohinder was the second child and was born some months ''after'' Shanti died). Then only days prior to the start of the pilot episode, Chandra Suresh is murdered by Sylar.
** Arthur Petrelli, the father of Peter and Nathan, killed himself six months before the start of the series. [[spoiler:As it turns out, not so much. He's the BigBad of Season 3.]]
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' has the same Disappeared Dad as the movie from which it spawned.
* The cast of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' seems to have an inordinate amount of father issues -- usually resulting in an absence from the character's life at one point in time. The only problem is that they don't stay absent and quite often appear in flashbacks.
** Jack -- Turns his alcoholic dad in for malpractice, dad vanishes to Australia. He then dies, and Jack was supposed to bring his lifeless body back... in the Oceanic Flight.
** Kate -- She murders her stepfather and runs to her dad for help; her dad refuses and we have yet to see him again.
*** Actually the man she thought was her stepfather was actually her biological father. The guy she thought was her biological father wasn't.
** Locke -- He doesn't know his biological father until he appears and steals a kidney from Locke (don't ask). When confronted about this, he pushes Locke from a window, paralyzing him.
** Sawyer -- His father killed his mother and [[MurderSuicide then himself]].
** Hurley -- His dad is completely absent from his life until he wins the lottery (and then only appears for the money). To be fair, both Hurley and his mother forgave his father and his father formed a strong bond after Hurley [[spoiler:came back from the island.]]
** Claire -- Her father was absent. [[spoiler:And considering he was Jack's dad as well...]]
*** The father of her son, Aaron, abandoned them too.
** Walt -- His mom raised him away from his biological father, Michael. His step-father then gave Walt's custody to Michael. And let's not mention all the things Michael did for his son after the crash...
** Miles--Never knew his father and was told by his mother that his father hated him. Miles eventually discovers that [[spoiler:Pierre Chang]] is his father and that his father always loved him. [[spoiler:Miles eventually convinces Pierre to abandon his mother and his infant self in order to save them...time travel is weird like that.]]
** Daniel --He never had any idea who his father was and was raised entirely by his mother. [[spoiler:His dad turns out to be Charles Widmore, so this may have been for the best...kinda.]]
** Jin -- Seeks to be a success and is ashamed of his father, a poor, uneducated fisherman.
*** Who might not be his biological father, though Jin doesn't know it. Jin's mother was a prostitute who abandoned him shortly after his birth. His father raised him anyway, telling him that his mother had died and leaving out the part where she was a prostitute in order to prevent him from feeling further shame about his parentage.
** Sun -- Wants to run away from her crime boss father. [[spoiler: She later out-gambits him and takes control of the business.]]
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'''s father was, until recently, a Disappeared Dad. He is still not the greatest at fatherhood, but he's trying.
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'' has a recursive one that starts out messed up, and just keeps getting worse:
** Ned, not knowing how his power worked, revived his mother from her death, causing the permanent death of Chuck's father.
*** Only [[spoiler: to dig him and bring him back to life. Soon after, the father departed again, this time stealing Ned's car.]]
** ''Still'' not knowing how the power worked, Ned didn't stop his mother from kissing him goodnight, causing her second and permanent death.
** Ned's father abandons Ned in boarding school, and ran off to start an entirely new life (complete with new wife and new sons), ignoring his eldest son entirely from that point on. And later he abandons those sons as well. At a magic show.
*** In one of the last episodes of the show, [[spoiler: Ned's father has reappeared, and is evidently supplying Ned with covert assistance.]]
** Emerson Cod is an involuntary Disappeared Dad; he and his daughter became separated while she was still an infant. He is writing a book hoping to get it published and lead her to him.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Sam and Dean's father John raised them, but for most of Season 1 he's missing -- in this case, the absence is of the "off fighting evil" variety. But still, he doesn't come when Dean is dying or even when Dean leaves him a tearful "Please help me" message when they're having problems with their old house. He does apologize for most of it in the last few episodes of season 1, and admits that his sons are right to resent him.
** John was pretty much a Disappeared Dad for most of Sam and Dean's childhood. He would go off hunting monsters leaving them alone for days and later months at a time. He finally does something decent for Dean in a RedemptionEqualsDeath type moment; later, Dean finally faces up to how much of his psychological problems is John's fault in a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind.
*** John fathered [[InTheBlood Emergency Backup Angel Suit]] Adam Milligan about seven years after his wife died, and was very occasionally present in the kid's life. He was much warmer and more pleasant with Adam than with the kids he was actually raising, but Adam never considered him family.
** {{God}} would probably count as this too, actually.
*** The archangels' ([[spoiler:and then Cas']]) abandonment issues about God drive the plot of at least two seasons. That Dean and Sam's reactions to John's bad parenting partially parallel Michael and Lucifer's relationships with God is just this side of Anvilicious in Season Four.
*** And when Castiel spent Season Five persistently looking for God in the expectation that his father would fix everything, and Dean and Sam came back from heaven with the message via Joshua that God expected them to "Clean up their own messes" it was ''devastating.''
* ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'' - Viktor Adler "[[NeverSayDie finished off]]" both of Cole's parents shortly after finding the remains of the original Master Org.
* ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'' - Both of Trent's parents died before the series began, and, contrary to what you might expect, that's it.
* ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'' starts off with Nick as a total ParentalAbandonment case (sort of, he does have a foster family somewhere), which morphs [ahem] into a subverted MissingMom case, and then, a Disappeared Dad case before the family is happily reunited, subverting all three tropes. The series ends with the three of them riding off on motorbikes so Nick can introduce them to his foster parents.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', Caroline has the "Gay Dad" variety.
** There's also Elena's biological father.
*** As of "Isobel" we now know that it's John Gilbert.
* In ''Series/VRTroopers'', Tyler Steele, Ryan's dad, was turned into Dark Heart by Grimlord.
** In ''Series/ChoujinkiMetalder'', Top Gunder (Dark Heart's counterpart) was nobody's father (since he and Metalder were robots). However, in ''Series/JikuuSenshiSpielban'' (the other ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'' show that was adapted into ''VR Troopers''), Dr. Bio (General Icebot's counterpart) was Spielban's missing father, Dr. Ben.
* ''Series/{{Reba}}'' kicks off with Dad running off with his secretary; the two later show up and become regulars (much to Reba's annoyance).
* ''Series/TheMiddleMan'' begins with Wendy playing with a Zippo that's the last memento from the dad who vanished when she was 14. It turns out to be something of a sticking point with Wendy.
* Sam Tyler in ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'' [[spoiler: winds up being ''responsible'' for his dad's disappearance; turns out, the guy was a murderous criminal, and Sam decided that, given the choice between two terrible alternatives, he didn't want his mother and his younger self to go through the public shame of an arrest.]]
** [[spoiler: Considering that it all took place in a reality that was basically purgatory for policemen, chances are that his dad was just your run-of-the-mill deadbeat dad. Unless you subscribe to the theory that he was the one that killed Annie...]]
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' loves playing with this trope. Morgan and Elle's fathers are both dead; Reid's ran out on him and his mentally-ill mother; Garcia apparently got her last name after being adopted by her stepdad; Prentiss's has gone significantly unmentioned in comparison to her overbearing mother; meanwhile, Gideon's implied to be a Disappeared Dad to his son and [[spoiler: becomes Disappeared Dad to the team when he leaves the series (because face it, Gideon is Dad, Hotch is Mom)]], and Hotch is trying desperately not to become one. JJ apparently sprung full-grown from the forehead of Zeus.
** Reid gets a [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou Reappeared Dad]] when a case triggers disturbing memories. [[spoiler: Reid starts to suspect his dad was a pedophile. When they're reunited (along with Reid's mom) it turns out he left because he thought his wife killed a pedophile when in fact she had unwittingly identified him to the leader of a vigilante mob (her paranoid schizophrenia getting worse didn't help either). It was really just a case of poor communication kills.]]
** Rossi turns out to be one, but he didn't know until his long-last daughter arrived at America to find him. His second ex-wife never informed him of her pregnancy and he's unsure how he would have responded if he was told. He subverts this trope by becoming more involved with her life.
* The titular character of ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' would seem to have been raised by his mother. There's yet to be a single mention of his father, which, due to [[HalfHumanHybrid the legends about him]] has led to endless speculation amongst the fans.
** Of course, all this changed in the final episode of season two. [[spoiler: Until of course, he dies at the end of the episode.]] [[StatusQuoIsGod The more things change, the more they stay the same.]]
* ''Series/TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' has a few, which isn't surprising for a teen drama.
** Grace's dad dies in a plane crash during the series. She later gets a stepdad, but she's rather cold towards him due to the fact that her mom married him fairly soon after her dad's death.
** Adrian doesn't meet her dad until she's 16. He blows her off at first since he "has another family now." He later abruptly dumps them, gets involved in Adrian's life, and marries Adrian's mom.
** Jack's dad is dead before the series starts, [[ParentalSubstitute but he has a good relationship with his stepfather.]]
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Finn has a dead father while Puck's is a deadbeat. This gives them both a nice FreudianExcuse to try to be there for Quinn when she reveals she's pregnant.
* On ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney's father abandoned him when he was very young, and his mother doesn't seem to know who his father is either. She tells Barney his dad is Bob Barker, former host of the Price is Right, which he deludes himself into believing is true. His friends go along with it in order to spare his feelings.
** He finally meets his father in Legendaddy. Ironically, he did spend time with him as a boy, but at the time believed he was just [[HonoraryUncle "Uncle" Jerome]]. They manage to reconnect and start to build a proper father-son relationship.
* In ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' episode "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse" Will Smith's dad played by Ben Vereen shows up after abandoning Will and his mother years ago. He gets Will's hopes up about spending time together but then splits again leading to one of Smith's big dramatic moments on the show.
--> '''Will''' (to Uncle Phil): "How come he doesn't want me, man...?"
* Richard on Series/{{Castle}} doesn't know who his father is. In a curious aversion from numerous others in this trope, however, although the lack of a prominent male role model in his life has left him as something of an immature ManChild he appears to have otherwise adjusted quite well to this state of affairs, with a notable lack of {{Wangst}}ing in the episode where this trope is a prominent focus.
** An interesting case is that Castle has stated in earlier seasons that he doesn't '''want''' to meet his father, because as long as he's missing then he can imagine him as having a really awesome job, like being a spy. Which becomes heavily ironic in the fourth season reveal that he actually '''is''' a spy, when he appears to help rescue his kidnapped granddaughter from an old enemy. It also turns out that, despite not being there in person, he has kept tabs on his son throughout his entire life, and was even directly responsible for Castle becoming a writer in the first place.
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'', Mulder must leave behind Scully and their newborn son, William, to go into hiding.
* ''Series/DeadliestCatch'':
** While the dads of the crews usually return, they're gone for so long and in such dangerous conditions there (multiple) divorces are not uncommon and actually a deterrent for one young father who was thinking of joining the family business.
** Jake Anderson's dad literally disappeared, although he wasn't a crew member.
* ''Series/{{Misfits}}'': Nathan's father. Implied to have been the "psychologically absent" type before leaving Nathan and his mother altogether. Apparently he cheated on Nathan's mother, walked out on her, and has [[spoiler: another son]] he'd never bothered to mention. Oh, and he also left Nathan alone and unattended in Ikea for three hours on his eighth birthday, during which time Nathan ended up having lunch with a known pedophile.
-->'''Nathan:''' That sick pervert cared more about me than dad ever did...''he'' would've taken me to the zoo.
** The father of the baby in 1.5. as well, which inspired his power of making any man he comes into contact with want to be his dad. [[spoiler: Kelly suggests his mother bring him to his real father at the end, so this can make him want to stick around]].
* Jeremy from ''Series/PeepShow'', who is in many ways an unmitigated Jerkass, broke down and wept at one point in series 6 on account of his father abandoning him at the age of ten. It was unexpectedly touching.
* This happened a few times on ''Series/{{Charmed}}''.
** Victor was forced away by Grams and Patty because he didn't want his girls to be raised as witches and to be put into danger. Apparently, Grams also used magic against him.
** Sam, Paige's father, had to abandon Paige because of his fears of what the Elders would do to her because she's half whitelighter.
** Chris from the future had suffered from this in his childhood. Leo, in his time, had Elder duties that kept him away from his family. He has issues with that.
* On ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Radar mentions that his father had him at 63 and died when he was young.
* An episode of ''Series/AccordingToJim'' had Jim look after a karate classmate of his daughters (on whom both girls have a crush) whose father is hours late. When the boy's parents arrive at Jim's home to pick up their son, Jim makes the startling realization that the boy's dad is his own, who left when Jim was 10, 35 years prior. No mention is made of Jim's daughters unknowingly crushing on their half-uncle, possibly to avoid the [[{{Squick}} Squickiness]] of the concept.
* ''Series/{{Wings}}'' started with the Brothers Hackett reuniting thanks to the posthumous machinations of their prankster father. [[spoiler: Ended in a similar fashion, as well.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': Rose's dad was hit by a car when she was still a baby. Befriending an alien with a time machine gives her a chance to meet him, but then she tries to stop the accident, [[TemporalParadox and..]]
* On ''Series/HomeImprovement'', Tim's dad died when Tim was eleven years old. Judging by the way Tim talks about him and reacts to others mentioning him, the death was utterly devastating and traumatizing to him as a child, and still haunts him with unusual severity throughout the series.
* In ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' episode "Boring" this is an exchange between Vyvyan and his mum:
--> '''Vyvyan''': 'ow's Dad?
--> '''Vyv's Mum''': Oh honestly, Vyvyan, I wish you wouldn't ask me that. You know I have absolutely no idea who he is.
* ''Series/StepByStep'': The reason why Carol Foster is single in the series' pilot. Her first (unnamed) husband, with whom they had three children (Dana, Karen and Mark) had died about two years before the series' start.
* ''Series/FamilyMatters'': Why Rachel Crawford is a widow and baby Richie has no father (Robert Crawford had died of an illness shortly after Richie was born, about a year before the series began). Carl Winslow, Richie's uncle and Rachel's brother-in-law, becomes the father figure in his life.
* ''Series/HappyDays'': As a child, Fonzie's father had abandoned him and his mother, something that Fonzie remains bitter and resentful about for years. All that the father had left his son was a locked box without a key; the box's contents are eventually revealed to be ... the key that would have opened the box! In a later episode, Fonzie receives a letter from his father (delivered to him by a sailor, who unknown to Fonzie is his father), which reveals that his father had joined the Navy and that he didn't have the courage to face his son and explain why he left. The explanation brings some closure to Fonzie's feelings about his father. At a point late in the second season until the series' conclusion, Howard Cunningham is the ''de facto'' father figure in Fonzie's life.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'''s Morgan Brody-Ecklie's dad left when she was 14.
* Wataru of ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' has a missing father. Part of the show focuses on the events that led to his father's disappearance and any other event that resulted in what is happening presently.
* The Partridge Family: Shirley Jones' character was a widowed mother of five. The group's manager Reuben Kincaid sometimes acted as a father figure.
* While ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' has its share of [[MissingMom missing mothers]] and is a big practitioner of the EstrangedSoapFamily generally, the show is very fond of this trope. Adrianna's father is simply absent and his whereabouts or whether he is even alive or not have never been so much as hinted at. Liam and Navid both have convicts for fathers: Liam's dad is on the run and has no contact with his son, while Navid's father was also on the run for quite a while before turning himself in. Annie and Dixon's father is divorced from their mother and doesn't seem to be in their lives much. Naomi, Teddy, Austin and Ivy have merely {{Jerkass}} estranged fathers they want nothing to do with.
* In ''Series/MyMadFatDiary'', Rae’s dad left her and her mum sometime during her childhood and [[spoiler:has not been heard from since.]] Rae believes he is living in Scotland before [[spoiler:she discovers it is actually her mum sending the postcards to her.]]
* In ''{{Series/Alphas}}'', the father of Skyler's daughter Zoe is never mentioned, nor his absence explained.
* Worf spends most of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' as this to Alexander, who is understandably resentful at being left in the care of the Rozhenkos with little to no contact. So much so that when he turns up on the ''Rotarran'', he introduces himself as "Alexander Rozhenko, of ''no'' house", instead of [[IAmXSonOfY "Alexander, son of Worf"]].
** Data thought his creator was dead, until Soong made contact. Unfortunately, Soong's idea of looking him up was to [[AbusiveParents brainjack Data]] and force him to come, putting a young boy at risk. Guy's never heard of email?
* B'elanna Torres' human father left her and her mother when she was a child, which the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Lineage" reveals how it happened. It would be years before she and her father would talk to each other again in "Author, Author."
* Towards the end of ''Series/HeyDad'', Martin Kelly goes to Saudi Arabia for a highly-paid job, and a friend of the family will play the father's role instead.
* In ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'', Charlie and Alan's father (as well as several stepfathers) died, leaving them with some serious MommyIssues.
** Averted with Jake. His parents are divorced, but he spends the weekends with his dad.
* Marti's father's disappearance in ''Series/{{Slingers}}'' is her primary motivation for joining with the rest of the crew.
* Series/PunkyBrewster's woes began when her dad ran out on her family and then [[MissingMom her mom abandoned her]] at a grocery store. Then, Henry Warnimont came into her life.
* ''Series/WitchesOfEastEnd'': Ingrid and Freya's father isn't mentioned until [=S01E08=], when it's stated he's been gone for ''over a century'', making this an extreme case. Due to their {{born again immortality}} Ingrid and Freya have never seen him before in their present lives, nor in most of their past ones going back centuries. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ingrid is bitter with him over this, although Freya warms up more quickly. It's somewhat different because Joanna asked him to leave, and thus he's upset that she told his daughters he'd abandoned them.
* Richard Blake in ''Series/OpenHeart'', who's disappearance is the driving force behind the plot as his daughter tries to find him.
* Jake Peralta from ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' has a disappeared dad.
* In ''Series/AgentsOfShield'', Skye's father hasn't been a part of her life for twenty-five years. To be fair to the man, the separation wasn't his fault, he spent most of that time trying to find her again, and once he does he immediately tries to reconnect with her. Unfortunately, those years turned him into [[spoiler:a violently bipolar criminal]], so she doesn't want to have anything to do with him.
* ''Series/GirlMeetsWorld'': Maya's father has another family and isn't part of her life. Season 1 made appear she had a MissingMom as well until it's revealed she works a lot of overtime to give her daughter a better life and willingly takes undeserved blame for Dad's disappeared status so Maya wouldn't resent him as much.
* ''{{Series/Sense8}}'': Capheus's father died when he was a little boy.
* ''Series/FearTheWalkingDead
** No mention is made of what happened to the father of Nick and Alicia. Travis is trying to blend with the family as the show opens.
** Travis is himself a disappeared dad to his own family. His own son doesn't even want to visit on Travis' weekend.
* In ''{{Series/Quantico}}'' Alex's father died in her childhood [[spoiler: at her own hand, defending her mother]]. Shelby's father was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack, along with her mother.
* In ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' no mention is made of Trish Walker's father, though her abusive mother is prominently featured.
* ''{{Series/Believe}}'': Tate didn't even know about Bo before they met, and she had no idea who her father was (her mother having died shortly after her birth).
* ''{{Series/Elementary}}'': Joan Watson's birth father was gone from her life at an early age, though she became close with her stepfather, calling him Dad (he's also where she gets her last name).
* ''Series/HeroesReborn2015'': Taylor's father is not mentioned before "Company Woman", when we discover he was an Evo who coerced her mother into having sex with him. Then he tried to take Taylor from her after he found out, and Erica killed him. Additionally, Tommy and Malina's birth father hasn't been revealed, as Claire died without telling anyone.
* ''{{Series/Gotham}}'': Oswald Cobblepot's father is not mentioned before he shows up in ''Wrath of the Villains: Mad Grey Dawn'', his mother having told him he died when Oswald was a baby. It turns out that his father didn't know he existed, as his parents sent Oswald's mother off because they didn't approve of their relationship and told him not to contact her.
* ''{{Series/Guilt}}'': Stan turns out to have been this toward his long-lost daughter.
* ''{{Series/Narcos}}'': The father of Maritza's daughter isn't mentioned or seen. Pablo's own father also doesn't get a single mention before he hides out in his farm in the second season. It's quickly made clear they aren't that close, and possibly have been estranged for some time (his parents apparently divorced or separated). His father finally tells Pablo that he's completely ashamed to have him as a son, prompting him to leave.
* ''Series/NoTomorrow'': Xavier's father was one of the "emotionally absent" kinds to him, and they haven't spoken for years. Now doing so on his bucket list.
* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'': Trish's abusive, controlling mother is talked of a lot, and makes an appearance later by flashbacks and in the present. Her dad is not mentioned or seen though.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In Music/{{Ayreon}}: TheHumanEquation the protagonist's father is a womanizing jerk who left his mother long ago. He appears in his comatose hallucination to mock him (''"Day sixteen: Loser"''), the grudge the protagonist held on him was essential in igniting his rage and letting him wake up four days later.
* A Disappeared Dad is among the {{Wangst}} (PlayedForLaughs) of TheOffspring's "She's Got Issues":
-->You told me a hundred times how your father left and he's gone\\
But I wish you wouldn't call me daddy\\
When we're gettin' it on
* And let us not forget Johnny Cash's 'A Boy Named Sue' in which the abandoned son hunts down his father for giving him that name.
* Cat's In The Cradle by HarryChapin is this trope told from the ''dad's'' perspective. It's also a bit of a TearJerker.
** Although this one is less about a truly disappeared dad, but rather about one who was emotionally distant.
* Jason Meadows's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9VwYXrbiVM 18 Video Tapes]] concerns a man who dies from an unspecified illness before his son is born. Before he dies, he makes a set of tapes-the titular 18 video tapes-to impart wisdom to his son from beyond the grave.
* Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheWall'', the song "Another Brick in The Wall part I" starts with the lyrics "Daddy's flown across the ocean/leaving just a memory/a snapshot in the family album/daddy what else did you leave for me?" It's implied that he went to war and died overseas, just as lead singer Roger Waters' dad did during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* The Mexican group Mana, in the song "Relojito cucu" ("Cuckoo little clock") it's about the last moments of a kid with its father and how the family grew-up without him after the father death. By the way, lead singer Fher lost his own father as a kid, [[RealLifeWritesthePlot maybe the song its about his own story]]...
* Marie Claire D'Ubaldo's song "My father's eyes" ("Los ojos de mi padre", in Spanish) is from the POV of a girl who misses her father and angsts quite a bit about it.
* Part of the persona of [[http://www.unknownhinson.com Unknown Hinson]] is that he is named after his disappeared father: "Says right there on my birth certificate. Momma: Mrs. Hinson, Daddy, Unknown."
* Country music singer Red Sovine, whose specialty was recitations about truck drivers, recorded at least two songs about disappeared dads:
** "Giddyup Go," which actually is told through the eyes of a "disappeared dad." A No. 1 country hit in 1966, the main protagonist is a truck driver whose wife and son had left him about 20 years earlier (and provided no contact information); to the son, who was very young when his parents' marriage ended, he was a "disappeared dad" ... until the day they had a chance meeting at a truckstop, the happy reunion told in the song's climax.
** "Teddy Bear," about a young paraplegic boy who lost his father in a road accident a few months earlier. The boy, who uses his citizens-band radio to keep in contact with his father's former truck driving friends, says his dream of spending the summer on the road with his folks also died in the accident ... until the teary-eyed truckers decide to make his dream come true. The resulting song, recorded and released at the height of the CB-radio craze, was a No. 1 country smash (and minor pop hit) in the summer of 1976.
* LupeFiasco's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoLQaZEnSwo&feature=related He Say, She Say]].
* [[Music/BackstreetBoys AJ McLean's]] "Sincerely Yours," a case of CallingTheOldManOut.
* A recurring motif in the works of Music/TomWaits, whose dad ran out on the family.
* "Tiberius Rising", by OoklaTheMok, is from the perspective of a father who misses his now-grown son, Jimmy, and is almost an inversion of this trope, since it's the son who was always the distant one. If you pay attention to the subtext, you'll realize that [[spoiler: Jimmy is [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries James Tiberius Kirk]].]]
* Belgian artist Music/{{Stromae}} sings of an absent father and the excuses his mother makes up in ''Papaoutai'' (a phonetic spelling of ''papa, où t'es?'', meaning ''daddy, where are you?''), while the video shows a young boy singing to his present but silent dad. This is Stromae's own story, he saw his father only a very few times in his life, and he is quoted as saying his father was already gone for him before his death.
* "Biological Didn't Bother", by [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]] star and part-time rapper Shaquille O'Neal, is a simplified version of Shaq's real-life abandonment by his biological father. The track ends with the words "Phil is my father", referring to his stepfather Phillip Harrison.
* "No Man's Land" by Music/JohnMichaelMontgomery. The father is out of the picture for unexplained reasons, and the song is mainly focused on the single mother trying to raise the family by herself.
* "Sk8er Boi" by Music/AvrilLavigne has the line "Five years from now she sits at home, feeding the baby; she's all alone", which describes the unnamed girl who passed up the titular skater boy.
* In the ballad, "Waltz For My Father", the titular father impregnates the singer's mother and leaves: "And not a thing he left behind/Except for my sad blue eyes."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''Comicstrip/{{Dilbert}}'', the title character's father, who never appears in the comic, has been living in an all-you-can-eat restaurant in the mall since Christmas 1992; he won't leave until he's literally had all he can eat. When Dilbert's girlfriend Liz expresses astonishment that neither he nor his mother have so much as visited him in all this time, Dilbert replies, "We're waiting for a sale." The joke is recycled for the [[WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}} animated series]], where the father, still living in the restaurant (since [[ExaggeratedTrope 1979]] in this version), does appear, but [[TheFaceless his face isn't shown]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Based on the evidence available, certainly true for Treelo on ''Series/BearInTheBigBlueHouse'', almost certainly true for all of the other main kid characters on the show. It is never, ever talked about.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In the musical version of ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', we are told that Cosette's father abandoned her and her mother when she was very young, although without most of the detail that's in the original novel.
* In William Inge's ''Theatre/{{Picnic}}'' (as well as in the 1955 film adaptation), the father of the Owens family has long since abandoned them.
* In ''Theatre/{{Chess}}'', Florence's missing father, who may or may not have been killed by [[RedArmy the Soviets]] in the 1956 Budapest Revolution, is brought up many times, in most versions eventually becoming a an important part of the plot when it's revealed that he may, in fact, be alive in a prison in Russia... but Florence will have to give up her Soviet defector boyfriend if she wants him released. (Meanwhile, her mother is rarely mentioned.)
* In ''Theatre/AChorusLine'', Maggie's father left the family sometime after her birth when he realized Babies ''Don't'' Make Everything Better.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Going to meet the missing father is what kicks off the plot of ''VideoGame/AnotherCode''.
* ''SilentHillShatteredMemories'': Harry Mason to Cheryl.
** Alessa's father was completely absent in [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 the original]].
* This is a main plot hook in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. [[spoiler:Not long after, he pulls a HeroicSacrifice to stop the Enclave from getting Project Purity. Unfortunately, Colonel Autumn recovers.]]
** The missing father of Sydney the Relic Hunter was killed during a weapons trade off, along with [[MissingMom her mom being killed by Raiders earlier]]. You can find an ApocalypticLog from her dad on a bed in the Statesman Hotel; giving it to her earns you a unique 10mm SMG.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', Rose of Sharon Cassidy states that her father [[VideoGame/{{Fallout2}} John Cassidy]] left her and her mother not long after she was born.
** Arcade Gannon's father, a member of the Enclave Remnants' squad, was killed while away on a mission when he was an infant.
** A male [[PlayerCharacter Courier]] with the [[TheCasanova Lady Killer]] perk is this, or at least thinks he ''might'' be. When the Courier learns that the Lonesome Drifter is from Montana and that his dad took off when he was a young kid, the perk unlocks a dialog option where the Courier can nervously ask if the Drifter is 17 years old. [[note]]He's not, and his dad is pretty much outright stated to be the Mysterious Stranger.[[/note]]
* This is ''also'' the main plot hook in ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce''.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Every game in the main series, with the exception of Gen III's ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' and their remakes, has the protagonist suffer from this, with the father rarely mentioned (if at all). The aforementioned games where your character's father does appear is because your family moved to the region specifically because he got a job as gym leader there. Otherwise, if the character's father is mentioned, then it is usually something minor: for example, an offhand mention of how "dad would like this" about a sports video game back in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue''. Rivals occasionally suffer from this as well: Blue's father is never seen or mentioned, [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite both of Cheren's parents are never mentioned]], as is the same with most of your rivals in ''VideoGame/PokemonXandY'', and [[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Hau's father is only mentioned post-game as working overseas.
** As far as spin-offs go, the player character of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness XD]]'''s dad is explicitly said to have died a few years prior.
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', the protagonist's father is mentioned exactly once, to establish that nobody in West Harbor has ever met him. Of course, seeing as their mother is only mentioned a handful of times and they are raised by a friend of their mother that is understandable.
* Naturally, this happens a lot in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Cecil Harvey and Kain Highwind have one each in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. Kain's was a valiant Dragoon who died in battle. Cecil's was [[spoiler:a moon-man named Kluya. Who was also Golbez's dad!]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', King Tycoon's disappearance in the prologue becomes a plot point and one of Lenna's motives. [[spoiler:And Faris', it turns out]]. Bartz's father passed away a few years before the game and asked his son to [[WalkingTheEarth travel the world]], which Bartz does.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', Relm's parents are only directly referred to in her equitable OrphansPlotTrinket, whose description says "departed mother's love protects from instant death attacks". [[spoiler:Shadow, the ninja, can also wear it and has nightmares of siring a daughter and abandoning her after the mother suffers DeathByChildbirth.]]
** Even more in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'':
*** Tifa's father was murdered by Sephiroth in his Nibelheim rampage. In front of young Tifa, to make it worse.
*** Then we have [[spoiler: Dyne, Marlene's biological father and Barret's old friend, who passed the DespairEventHorizon after Shinra's destruction of Corel Village and unwillingly getting an ArmCannon; [[WoobiedestroyerOfWorlds after that, he's pretty much an Empty Shell of the man he once was]]. He becomes a full DD when Barret defeats him in combat; he then begs him to keep taking care of Marlene and throws himself off a cliff, despite Barret's pleas.]]
*** Aerith's father [[spoiler: was Professor Gast Faremist, a scientist who was Hojo and Lucrecia's "partner" in the experiments that would lead to Sephiroth's birth. He left Shinra shortly afterwards and later lived with a Cetra woman, Ifalna, and fathered Aerith with her, but was gunned down by Hojo while trying to protect his wife and daughter; Ifalna dies some time later, but manages to entrust Elmyra with bitty Aerith before kicking it.]]
*** Cloud himself has a mother, but his father is never mentioned. (WildMassGuessing abounds.)
*** Sephiroth, on the other hand, appears to have ''known [[ScienceIsEvil Hojo]] was his father,'' which means the man was entirely too present in his life--but emotionally, there was no father there. Meaning he invested a lot of emotion in the mother of whom he had only a name, 'Jenova.' Which wasn't even his actual mother, exactly, but it did make it easier [[EldritchAbomination for her]] to [[OmnicidalManiac get into his head]]...
*** In the prequel game CrisisCore, major character Director Lazard turns out to be motivated by this--he's President Shinra's illegitimate son, and resents the man fiercely. And presumably [[OverlordJr Rufus]], too.
** Jecht from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' messed up his kid by disappearing for ten years, then messes him up even more by not being quite the same upon resurfacing. [[spoiler:It turns out that Jecht became the Final Aeon for the last Final Summoning, resulting in him becoming the current Sin because of the ViciousCycle perpetuated by Yu Yevon]].
** Ritz from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' has mentioned her mother before, but never her father.
* Crono's father in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
** Not only Crono's, but [[spoiler:Magus]]'s father never appears during the game, either. [[spoiler:It is vaguely stated by an NPC that Queen Zeal (Janus' mother) [[FreudianExcuse hasn't been the same since the King died]], at which point she started neglecting her children and unwittingly turned Janus' sister Schala into his mother figure.]]
** The sequel, ''Chrono Cross'', continued this with the noticeable absence of Serge's father, although we see Serge's mother at the beginning of (and various times throughout) the game.[[spoiler: It is eventually revealed what happened to Serge's father; [[LukeIAmYourFather he's Lynx.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 4}}'s'' Jude lost his father before he was even born. He later finds out what happened to him when [[spoiler: he fights him to save the world, and later convinces him to finally let his spirit rest after the battle]].
** This seems to be a pretty common trope for ''{{Wild ARMs}}'' protagonists, Virginia from ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}'' was abandoned by the father who taught her to use her [=ARMs=]. This is doubled when we later find out that her absent father was also a substitute father figure for fellow playable character Jet. [[spoiler: Then, after he seemingly comes back, it's revealed that he's actually a "recording" of sorts of her real father made by a electronic library, a mere projection. Virginia then has to "kill" him when she destroys the library. Abandoned again.]]
* The prologue to ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' shows the hero's father, Ortega, fighting a dragon on the rim of a pit. They both fall in, and are never seen again. [[spoiler:Until you get to near the end of the game, where the dragon kills him, and then you finish it off for him.]]
** Which totally inspires FridgeLogic when you realize [[spoiler: Ortega's been missing/presumed dead for about ten ''years''. In all that time in, presumably, the Dark World, he not only managed to reach the Charlock Castle ''without'' the rainbow bridge, but failed to become stronger than his son/daughter, despite the fact that he was already much, much stronger than that, considering the fact that he's on the final floor of the last dungeon in the game? What the hell?]]
* An inversion of this trope occurs in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV''. [[spoiler: You are the Disappeared Dad to your son and daughter, having been turned to stone along with your wife by the villains shortly after they were born. Eight years later, however, they manage to find you and turn you back to normal.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'': True to the trope, Lloyd's father [[LukeIAmYourFather isn't really gone]]. [[spoiler:He's one of [[MeleeATrois three millennia-old beings running counteracting]] {{plan}}s. His having a family was the major reason he broke off his alliance with the BigBad.]]
* In the ''Purple Moon'' games, Sharla's father walked out on her and refuses to take her to a father-daughter function previous to her teenage rebellion, which is implied to be partially caused by this. Nobody knows where Dana's father is, either, but she certainly doesn't like her stepfather much.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'', Ness's father is always away, and can only be contacted by telephone. In fact, in the ending credits his sprite ''is'' the telephone.
** Same goes for ''MOTHER''. ''VideoGame/MOTHER3'' is the only game in the series with a father that's present, [[spoiler:though he does disappear for about half of the game while searching in the mountains for Claus.]]
* ''Videogame/LaMulana'''s Kosugi family has at least two instances of this. Shawn dumped his son on his own father to go looking for the ruins of La-Mulana, and Lemeza himself [[HeroWithBadPublicity had to go into hiding]] during the gap between ''La-Mulana'' and ''La-Mulana 2'', leaving his daughter Lumisa alone at some point.
* In ''Seiken Densetsu 3'', Duran's father died while on a quest to defeat the Dragon Emperor. This becomes an important plot point for Duran's story later on, as a setup for [[spoiler:a LukeIAmYourFather scene with the [[BlackKnight Darkshine Knight]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Season 2'', it is revealed that Bosco was a test tube baby (courtesy of an instant-baby-generating contraption that extracts DNA from saliva samples), due to the fact that his mother was a feminist who wanted total independence from men. The source of Bosco's paternal DNA (and thus his biological father) is revealed to be [[spoiler: then-president John F. Kennedy, who his mother met (but apparently did not recognize) about two and a half months before his death.]]
* Sparda from the ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' series. He's treated as gone, but what exactly happened to him hasn't been elaborated on. Dante doesn't think much of his father, though.
* An interesting take on this trope occurs in ''[[HarvestMoon Rune Factory 2]]'' where the missing dad is ''the main character''. Instead of the game following him when he leaves his family, player control switches over to his son/daughter who embarks on a quest to find out what happened to his/her father.
* Princess Zelda's father is ostensibly the King of Hyrule, but he's missing from almost every game in the entire series, leaving his underaged daughter to run the kingdom. And in one of the only two games where he ''is'' seen (''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'')[[note]]He isn't even seen, but present offscreen when Link first gets a glimpse of Ganondorf while he's pretending loyalty to the king.[[/note]], he's murdered by the BigBad.
** Lest we forget, her father was in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDIGames the dreaded CD-I games]].
*** Let's pretend those [[LetUsNeverSpeakofThisAgain never happened]].
** Link himself is even worse off. His mother is mentioned in about one game (Ocarina of Time, again) and his father never. The closest relatives he ever lived with was [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToTHePast an uncle,]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker a grandma and a little sister.]] He even played KnightTemplarBigBrother to the later.
*** It's worth pointing out that many (but not all) of the Links are related, and that the Triforce is passed down from parent to child. So, Link's absent father may very well be another Link. Nintendo has confirmed that the Hero's Shade in Twilight Princess is the Link from Ocarina of Time (from whom the Link in Twilight Princess inherited the Triforce of Courage). The Shade even calls Link "my child". (Although, the creators have stated that the Twilight Princess Link isn't the Ocarina of Time Link's descendant; he's a ''reincarnation''.)
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', Anju lives with her mother and grandmother, but her father has died (a fact you'd learn if you speak to Anju while she is making lunch on the First Day). In an obscure cutscene, she and her mother talk about fleeing to the ranch, and it's revealed that Anju's father mysteriously left years before and was never seen again. This is part of the reason Anju's mother is so angry at Kafei and is skeptical that he'll return.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'': James [=McCloud=], Fox' father, disappears in the backstory. He has been on-screen a few times, but [[MindScrew likely]] as a hallucination every time.
* In the game ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', [[spoiler: Kanji Tatsumi]]'s father is implied by his mother to have collapsed while [[spoiler: Kanji]] was somewhere else. He was proclaimed dead at the hospital.
* It is never explained what happened to Lara's parents in the first ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series, although according to the backstory of ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend Legend]]'', Richard Croft died/disappeared during an expedition in Cambodia. She has a MissingMom too, so that's Parental Abandonment.
** ''Underworld'' reveals the details of what happened; Lara's mother [[spoiler: became a zombie upon being transported to the Norse underworld]] and Lara's father [[spoiler:was killed by the BigBad for not co-operating with her plans]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Dwarf Commoner origin is sad. You're a lowlife thug, born as a Casteless, forever shunned by the rest of your kind, without almost any rights and stuck in the aptly-named ''Dust Town''. Your sister is on her way to become a pseudo-prostitute and your mother is a bitter alcoholic. Your father? Left to find a new life on the surface. You should really feel sorry for yourself.
** In the ''Awakening'' expansion pack, Oghren is revealed to have run off on his new family to join the Grey Wardens because as a BloodKnight [[InHarmsWay he simply could not accept peace]]. By raising his approval, it's possible for the player character to convince him to be a part of his son's life through letters.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Feynriel's father Vincento walked out on his mother when he discovered she was pregnant, partly because his work as a trader couldn't allow family time, but mostly because he wasn't interested in having a son. It obviously had quite an effect on Feynriel, because in "Night Terrors," the Desire Demon's LotusEaterMachine scenario involves him being accepted by Vincento and taken along with him on his travels.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': This comes up in three of the loyalty-securing missions.
** The first: Jacob learns that his father, who has been presumed dead for ten years, might still be alive. He admits that they hadn't spoken for ages even before the man vanished, but he naturally wants to investigate. [[spoiler: He doesn't like what he finds.]]
** Second: Thane, who ''is'' the absent father trying to reunite with his son Kolyat...[[spoiler: so he can stop Kolyat from following in his footsteps as an assassin.]] It's even called "Cat's in the Cradle".
** Third: Tali'Zorah's father (as mentioned ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'') was a [[WellDoneSonGuy "Well Done Daughter" Gal]] type, and as we find out come 2, [[spoiler: he was also a "going through the motions" type in day-to-day, because he was so focused on reclaiming the quarian homeworld as a "gift" to her. He wound up being killed by an experiment gone wrong]].
** Subverted with Shepard themself if you choose the Spacer origin, while Shepard's mother is briefly interacted with in the first game and mentioned many times as a highly respected navy captain in the second. Shepard's father is never mentioned at all.
** There's also Liara's "Father" (Asari are an [[OneGenderRace all female]] race) who Liara never met. She only knows it's another Asari, and received the typical backlash about being a "Purebreed". You meet her father, [[spoiler:Matriarch Aethyta,]] in the second game, and can even reunite the two in the third.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
** What little James Vega mentions about his father doesn't paint their relationship in a good light. As the Reaper invasion means Shepard has a lot less time to sort out their teammates' personal issues, whatever caused the falling-out remains a mystery the whole game. The Homeworlds comic shows what happened.
** Kaidan Alenko previously stood out from the rest of Shepard's squad for the fact that he had two living parents and no particular problems with them, but when the Reaper War began, Kaidan's father reported for active duty and went MIA and was presumed dead.
* ''VideoGame/{{Scaler}}'''s dad left when he was little. [[spoiler: It later turns out that Leon is his father - and had been stuck in a different world.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', you get to see Ezio's father "disappear"... [[spoiler: executed by hanging.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII'' Chris' father has been missing since she was little. She meets up with him again as he is dying.
* In ''VideoGame/EvolutionWorlds'', Mag's father, Asroc Launcher has been missing for three years when the game starts.
* In ''VideoGame/CarBattlerJoe'', Joe's father has been missing for years, and Joe sets out to find him.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia'': Marth and Ellice's dad Cornelius was murdered early on. Linde's dad Miloah died at the hands of Gharnef. Yumina and Yubello's dad, Ludveck, is killed too.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'': Alvis and Azel's dad [[spoiler: was SpurnedIntoSuicide.]] Not only that, but [[spoiler: Sigurd and Ethlyn's dad Vylon, Deirdre's father Kurth ''and'' Briggid and Aideen's dad Ring were murdered in a conspiration. (And Ring was killed [[SelfMadeOrphan by his own son Andorey's hand]])]] And later [[spoiler: not only Quan died in the Yied Massacre and Eldigan was executed by Chagall, but Sigurd ''and'' all of the guys in his group who were paired up (Save for Lewyn, but [[SoulJar that's another bag of cats]]) died in the Battle of Barhara.]]
*** And Thracia 776 adds [[spoiler: Miranda's father aka the King of Alster, murdered by the Empire for sheltering Leaf years ago; [[BrokenBird Miranda]] is very, ''very'' angry at Leaf because of that]]. Not to mention there's [[spoiler: Mareeta's father Galzus, but unlike the others he comes back as long as you don't get him killed off -- and if he lives to the end of the game... he leaves her again in the care of her adoptive mother Eyvel, [[ItsNotYouItsMe since he thinks he's too bloodstained to stay with his child]], but promises to visit Mareeta regularly.]]
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe'': The deaths of [[spoiler: Lilina's father Hector]] and [[spoiler: Eliwood's father Elbert]] end up being ''very'' important in the plots of the games they're in. Aside of that we have [[spoiler: Ninian and Nils's father... the local ArchnemesisDad, Nergal.]] Roy is a notable [[AvertedTrope Aversion]], because he's ''the only main character in the entire series whose father (Eliwood) is still alive by the end of the game.''
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'': The game ''starts'' with the death of Eirika and Ephraim's dad, King Fado. And the death of [[spoiler: Lyon's father Vigarde]] is just as important since [[spoiler: it triggers Lyon's fall into despair, as well as the start of his experiments with BlackMagic, and ultimately ''the whole plot of the game'']]. A background case is [[spoiler: Franz and Forde's father, a famous knight of Renais who died in the job years ago, when Forde was a teenager and Franz was a kid]].
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'': [[spoiler: Ike and Mist]]'s father [[spoiler: Greil]] dies quite early on.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'':
*** The previous Exalt of Ylisse (the father of Emmeryn, Chrom, and Lissa) died when Emmeryn was only nine years old, prompting [[AChildShallLeadThem her ascension to the throne]].
*** The Avatar [[spoiler:was taken away from his/her father shortly after being born, as the father was intending to use him/her as a vessel for Grima. When [[ArchnemesisDad said father]] (the EvilSorcerer Validar) returns... uh, things start taking turns for the '''worst'''.]]
*** [[spoiler: ALL the men who got married and fathered kids become this in the BadFuture]]. The case of [[spoiler: Chrom and Lucina]] is specially... complicated.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'':
*** King Sumeragi of Hoshido is this to the Avatar and his other children, dying in the previous war against Nohr [[spoiler: protecting his (adoptive) son/daughter who is later taken by Garon and the Nohrians anyway.]]
*** [[spoiler: The ''actual'' father of the Avatar is the sane half of Anankos, the BigBad. He dies in a HeroicSacrifice to protect Lilith, the Madness of Anankos in human form and his daughter of sorts as well.]]
*** [[spoiler: Kaze and Saizo's father was the previous Saizo and leader of their {{ninja}} clan. He was murdered by Koutarou, the ruler of the Principality of Mokushu; Saizo [[YouKilledMyFather attempted to avenge him]], but barely survived [[EyeScream and lost his eye in the process]].]]
** In the DLC stage [[spoiler: ''Heirs of Fates'']], [[spoiler: there's an AlternateUniverse in which Anankos managed to take over several different Deeprealms and kill pretty much everyone there. The fathers of the children characters that manage to escape (or [[MissingMom mother]] in the case of Male Kana) are specifically said to have died [[PapaWolf to make sure their kids would survive]]. In a subversion, Anankos revives said fathers (plus the Female Avatar and the royal grandparents, save for Garon) to force the kids fight them... and in a DoubleSubversion, once this is done the kids return to their restored worlds, where their parents have been revived.]]
* Julian Gardna-Brennan, the PlayerCharacter of ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X2: The Threat]]'' and ''X3: Reunion'', is the son of the previous game's PlayerCharacter Kyle Brennan. His parents divorced when he was two, his mother got custody, and they moved halfway across the galaxy which resulted in him growing up without ever knowing his father.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'', there is no mention of Emily's father. It is however hinted and eventually confirmed via WordOfGod that Corvo himself might be her biological father.
* The disappearance of the main character's father during the prologue is what kickstarts the plot of ''Nostalgia''.
* In ''VideoGame/TheNightOfTheRabbit'', Jerry Hazelnut's father is nowhere to be seen in the opening sequences of the game. [[spoiler:But late in the game we find out that his father was trapped in the space between worlds and the memories about him were erased from other people. Fortunately he is restored back to normal.]]
* It's widely accepted that Dr. Light thinks of [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Rock]], Roll and Blues (Proto Man) like children. However, VideoGame/MegaManX got stowed in a capsule for a hundred years, and his "father" died before X was "born" (activated). Poor X has nothing but holochambers to remember Light by.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Robopon}}'', Cody's dad leaves on a business trip at the very beginning of the first game and is never seen again, even in the sequel.
* In ''VideoGame/GuildWars'' Queen Salma was the illegitimate child of the Krytan king and a priestess. While he was kind to her and considerate enough to pay for her upbringing, he fled the country when Charr invaded. Salma was understandably torn over her father abandoning both her and Kryta, but resolved to become ruler in his place.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'', Jake is revealed early on to be the son of [[OmnicidalManiac Albert Wesker]]. He does ''not'' take it well when he learns how batshit insane his father was. He also flips out when he finds out Chris killed Wesker, and the only thing that keeps him from shooting Chris right then and there is the desire to ''not'' be like his father[[note]]Chris is one of the few people left standing in the way of NEO Umbrella's plan that will infect the world, and killing him would almost guarantee an outcome similar to Weskers '''[[LargeHam COMPLETE]] [[MemeticMutation GLOBAL]] [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt SATURATION]]'''[[/note]].
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'':
** ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonAWonderfulLife'' starts with your father having recently passed and you taking over his farm.
** Elli and her little brother Stu from ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonBackToNature'' have both their parents mentioned to have died.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': Supplemental material reveals that this trope his several of the mercs pretty hard:
** Demoman: Father is dead of unknown causes. His parents were also demolitions experts, though, so this may have led to his death.
** Heavy: Father was murdered trying to protest the Communist uprising. His sisters were much younger than him when this happened, so he pretty much had to help his mother raise them for their entire lives. This resulted in him becoming incredibly overprotective of them (and in his own words, bossy), although he backed off when his sisters proved they were strong enough to take care of themselves.
** Sniper: His [[spoiler: adoptive]] father, Jonathan Mundy, is dead of unknown causes, while [[spoiler: his biological father, Bil-Bel]], is negligent, only seeming to bother Sniper to borrow money.
** Scout: Claims his father is dead, but seems to have repressed memories of Spy from his childhood. Heavy seems to believe Spy is Scout's biological father, but Scout actively denies this.
* In ''Clouded Heart'' Marth's father went off to the city three years before the flashback prologue and never returned. His mother's fear of missing him when/if he did come back turned her into a recluse who eventually never left their home village.
* This trope is a major plot point in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon''. Dart undertakes his quest in hopes that he will find and kill the "black monster", who supposedly killed both of his parents several years before the start of the game. While his [[{{MissingMom}} mom really is dead]], it turns out [[spoiler: his father Zieg was, upon attempting to activate his Dragoon spirit, possessed by the spirit of the Wingly leader Melbu Frahma, who disguised himself as the long dead Emperor Diaz, where he proceeded to manipulate the likes of Lloyd to acquire the power to destroy the signet spheres so he could call down The Moon That Never Sets. Any questions?]]
* There are many missing parents in the [[{{VideoGame/Lunar}} Lunar series]], but one of particular note is Mia's father, the husband of Lemia Ausa... or any male in the Ausa line, for that matter. While he's simply never mentioned in the game, bonus materials turn this into a JustifiedTrope: the heiresses of the Ausa family keep their romances and marriages a secret from the public to separate their family life and their responsibilities to the Magic Guild as much as possible. Suddenly, it makes sense why there's no mention of Lemia's husband, and why the series makes a point of avoiding confirmation on whether or not Mia and Nash got together.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''[[VisualNovel/{{Ever17}} Ever 17: The Out of Infinity]]:'' You's father was a researcher at Leiblich Pharmaceutical, and disappeared under mysterious circumstances a year after You was born.
** [[spoiler:Rare protagonist example: Takeshi becomes one to Hokuto and Sara, though in his case, at least he had [[HeroicSacrifice his]] [[HumanPopsicle reasons]] (not to mention he didn't know they existed.]]
* Emiya Kiritsugu in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' for Shirou [[spoiler:and also Ilya]]. Tohsaka's father, Tokiomi, died in the [[Literature/FateZero last holy grail war]], [[spoiler: at the hands of Kotomine Kirei]]. Both are fairly important due to their absence, the former more so than the latter.
* In [[{{VisualNovel/Tsukihime}} Tsukihime]], Kiri Nanaya is this to [[spoiler:Shiki Tohno]]. He was killed by [[WorldsStrongestMan Kishima Kouma]], along with the entire rest of the Nanaya clan aside from his six-year-old son, who was forced to watch[[note]]Although mercifully spared watching Kiri himself die[[/note]]. [[EnemyWithin Shiki]] [[EnemyWithout Nanaya]], who doesn't have the LaserGuidedAmnesia that his other self has, is understandably a [[UnderStatement little bit bitter]].
** Makihisa Tohno also became this shortly before the Visual Novel begins. Nobody really cared too much.
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'':
** We have [[spoiler: Emi Ibarazaki]]'s father. [[spoiler: He died eight years ago, either in the same accident where Emi lost her legs, or few days afterwards. His death mentally scarred Emi a LOT, but she [[StepfordSmiler hides it]].]]
** [[spoiler: Lilly Satou]]'s father lives abroads, [[ParentalAbandonment and so does her mother.]] [[spoiler: Lilly's sister Akira [[PromotionToParent pretty much raised her]], and she's not exactly happy about it; she loves Lilly very much but clearly knows that she cannot replace their parents.]]
** [[spoiler: Hanako Ikezawa]]'s father [[spoiler: died in the fire that left her scarred and fully orphaned.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' Maria's father is nowhere to be seen, having left her mother Rosa before she was born; Rosa claims that he's on a "business trip." Later on, she makes comments about Maria that seem to imply that she was [[HeroicBastard born out of wedlock]]. In [=EP7=] it's revealed that since Rosa violently denied her father's existence every time Maria asked about him, she eventually became convinced that ''God'' was her father and she was conceived the same way {{Jesus}} was.
** To a degree, all the dads become this when they get killed off in different continuities.
* In ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', during Chiaki Nanami's Free Time Events she mentions her father in the past tense, making Hinata wonder if he died. [[spoiler:It turns out Nanami's "father" is Chihiro Fujisaki, the Super High School Level Programmer who died back in ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa''; Nanami is an ArtificialIntelligence that he created.]]
* Because of the strong female influence on the Fey clan in the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' games, the fathers of prominent characters, sisters Mia and Maya and their cousin Pearl, are never mentioned, and explained to have either died or left the family for financial or personal reasons. The clan itself has an abnormally high divorce rate, and seeing all these divorces is why Pearl [[ShipperOnDeck wants Maya and Phoenix to get together.]]
** This also seems to be the case with the ''Apollo Justice'' game on [[spoiler: Apollo himself]] after [[spoiler: Lamiroir is revealed to be his birth mother, with only a passing mention that his father died in an accident a long time ago]].
** In ''Investigations'', Lauren Paups's father left before she was old enough to even remember his face, [[spoiler: which is why she never noticed that the butler Oliver Deacon actually was her father. He was in hiding from the law and thus couldn't reveal his identity to her.]]
** It's unclear whether her mother is alive or not due to her vague mention of going to live with her 'mother's family', but [[spoiler: Kay Faraday's father dies very dramatically when she's ten. A young Edgeworth solves the case but the killer isn't brought into custody until seven years after the murder.]]
** The entire plot of Case 1-4 centers around the death of Edgeworth's father, and how he was affected by it.
* In ''VisualNovel/ScandalInTheSpotlight'', [[spoiler:Kyohei Rikudoh]]'s father Hiromi was a famous pop star, but died at the age of 27, in the height of his fame, rescuing his then five-year-old son from drowning. [[spoiler:Kyohei]] blames himself and is determined to surpass his father's success as a way of making up for cutting his life and career so short.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/CosmicDash'' features Dash's father, Razaar, who apparently vanished, is currently hunted, and whose son is now hunted in order to lure him out. Not a pleasant guy, either, as [[spoiler:he has eviscerated an attacker in front of his son, and was last seen with a mysterious race mentioning an expedition]].
* ''Webcomic/CountYourSheep'' has a Disappeared Dad in the form of Marty who we only ever hear about in flashbacks or wistful reminiscences. He's explicitly dead, though.
* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'' both inverts and averts the trope, as the first time we hear about Helen's father [[spoiler:it's implied Helen's mother served him for dinner]], and then once the truth is revealed, [[spoiler:we discover there never was a dad -- Helen is a clone;]] it turns out to be a Should've Seen That Coming due to the fact that Helen's mother is a MadScientist.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Fans}}'', many of neurotic IceQueen Shanna's issues stem from the fact that her father abandoned her and her insane mother when she was just a child. Unlike many of the fathers on this page, however, when he ''does'' finally appear he's treated somewhat sympathetically; whilst his abandonment of his wife and daughter isn't condoned he's depicted as an uptight-but-decent man who just snapped under the pressure of his life and later genuinely regretted his actions, but felt too ashamed of himself to return.
* Jodie's father (from ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'') is missing, as told [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/461 here]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'', Emily's father disappeared before she was born, never to return. His only contribution to the plot (apart from Emily obviously) was to ensure Emily's mother became the EducationMama we all know and...er...know. A [[EpilepticTrees fan theory has been advanced that Rumisiel could even be her father]]. We pray that it gets {{Jossed}} quickly.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' the first time Molly ever hit anybody was when Galatea taunted her for not having a "real" daddy. (Molly felt very guilty afterwards for hitting her.)
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' Annie's father left her and her dead mother shortly after his wife passed away, without telling anyone where or why. He has refused to contact his daughter since. It is stated, though, that this behaviour isn't exactly ''new'' for him... In Chapter 51 he takes a position at the Court, and seems [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=1488 just as distant]] as when he wasn't there at all.
* Kimiko's father hasn't really been around much in her life in ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'', aside from giving her a bunch of money when her mother died.
* Faerun of ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}''.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Susan's father left after being caught cheating and going through the ensuing bitter divorce. Neither Susan nor her mother handled it very well.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', ''both'' of Agatha's biological parents and her uncle Barry have been missing for years. Her mother has since reappeared (sort of), but given that Lucrezia Mongfish is also [[spoiler: The Other]], Agatha would probably have been better off if she had ''stayed'' missing.
** There is also a case of Baron Kalus Wulfenbach. His son Gilgamesh spent his early childhood knowing nothing about his father. It was supposedly done for his protection.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDreamer'', Alexander's dad left the family (or rather, his mom kicked him out) when he was about 10 years old. He's never seen him since.
* In ''Webcomic/OutThere'', Miriam's mother makes occasional appearances, but [[http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20091218.html the first time Miriam mentions her father]], she implies she hasn't seen him for awhile, if ever.
** Turns out [[http://outthere.keenspot.com/d/20110712.html there's a pretty good reason]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Elan's father was one of these, until recently. Haley's father has apparently been kidnapped. Roy's father, however, has been quite active in his son's life, even though he's dead. Durkon's apparently was this from a very young age.
** Eugene is an interesting case. It seems that he wasn't active in Roy's life ''until'' he died; prior to that he seems to have been [[ParentalNeglect quite neglectful]], was bitter that Roy became a fighter [[FollowInMyFootsteps instead of a wizard]] and showed clear ParentalFavoritism to Julia. However, he specifically passed up a chance to defeat Xykon because it would have involved abandoning the family and possibly putting them in danger, but [[HiddenHeartOfGold specifically lied]] to Roy saying he would have left them if given the chance.
** [[spoiler:Haley's reunion with Ian was contentious, since she's abandoned the paranoia-happy way he tried to raise her. However, they smoothed things ago again before the plot went on from him.]]
** In a flashback, Durkon's father is referred to in the past tense even when he was a very small child -- apparently he died, possibly even before Durkon's birth.
* In ''Webcomic/OverlordofRavenfell'', Razin's father was a feared EvilOverlord who was killed in a battle against a hero.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Strays}}'', Meela's father never appears; she also [[DreamingOfTimesGoneBy dreams]] of a boy whose father was murdered.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Memoria}}'', Cazula's BackStory.
* Eiji of ''Webcomic/NinthElsewhere''; he claims to see his father at family dinners once in a while, but his mother points out that he hasn't been to one in months.
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfShanShan'', [[http://shanshan.upperrealms.com/view.php?pageid=014&chapterid=1 this lends weight to ]] ItWasAGift: she received it just before he disappeared.
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', The Boy's father threw him out -- as he did in the FairyTale. [[http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/04i-13.html Even his sunshiny nature can't ignore it entirely; he's wistful seeing how much November's father loves her.]]
* ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'' runs [[LonelyRichKid Miranda]] through multiple flavors of ParentalAbandonment, including this one.
* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'', Dara's SecretLegacy [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/ISSUE07Pages/ib155.html is tied up with her father]] [[spoiler:the Ancient they are looking for.]]
* In ''Webcomic/DragonMango'' [[http://dragon-mango.com/comic/chapter03/dm03-11.htm Mango doesn't even know her father's name.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Witchy}}'' opens with the main character's father being executed.
* In ''Webcomic/TheStoryOfAnima'', [[http://tapastic.com/episode/54589 siblings Hayden and Ada our on a journey to find their dad]]. Coincidentally, their traveling companion Kit is on a similar quest.
* In ''Webcomic/StringTheory'', [[spoiler:Dr. Schtein has an estranged daughter named Alice.]] Schtein's father also died soon after he was born.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* While what actually went on is unclear, WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic still lives with his abusive mother. His Dad, who Critic still appears to have scary memories of, is implied to have left the family a while ago and it's also likely that he died before the ''Film/{{Alaska}}'' review. (This is all in-character, of course, Doug's parents are lovely and helpful.)
* Two versions in WebVideo/DemoReel, as Tacoma's dad is in jail, and Donnie's dad left when he was little. Both turn out fairly dark, as the former was exposed by ''Tacoma'', making his family hate him, and the latter leaving was partly the catalyst for Donnie's mom to commit suicide.
* The De Noir family's only son has one in ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn''. It turns out he's an evil sorcerer.
* ''ErikasNewPerfume'': So far there has been no mention of the patriarch of the Swanson family in the original story or in any of the sequels or related comics. [[spoiler:He does end up appearing eventually.]] According to the author, [[spoiler:there was an ugly divorce, which is why he didn't show up for some time; Veronica (Mrs. Swanson) was likely deliberately avoiding talking about him.]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', Omaroch vanished from the lives of his sons Refan and Kareth but later returned to guide them. It turns out he was kidnapped by his brothers who then tortured and brainwashed him to serve the dark god Mardük, and he returned only to use the sons for fulfilling an ancient prophecy about Mardük. He eventually snaps out of it, but by that time it's too late; the damage has already been done, and he has not only lost the trust of his sons but also indirectly causes the Cataclysm and the birth of the Godslayer.
* Dr. James Melfton of ''Literature/LightningDust'' is the neglectful variation to his son Klaus.
* Will Scarlett in {{Sherwood Forest}} tells Shaima that he was raised by Robin and Marian; if his biological parents are still alive, it hasn't been mentioned. So you can imagine how well it went over when his only father figure took off to fight in a Crusade for two years, leaving Will to fend for himself after Marian was kidnapped.
* In ''WebAnimation/XRayAndVav'', X-Ray mentions that not knowing his father was one of the two things he would die with (the other was being a virgin).
* In ''WebVideo/PokemonPals'', Ash's father left when Ash was very young. He doesn't remember anything about him.
** Brock is one of these. He left his wife and kids because he wanted to able to sleep around. He continues to travel with the group as an excuse.
* The advice podcast ''PodCast/IfIWereYou'' features one email from a young teen whose father was never around to teach him to shave. In the letter, he asked if he should wait until his father decided to make more time for him, or just "YouTube that shit" (that is, look up an online tutorial).
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' Season 14's {{crossover}} with ''WebVideo/DeathBattle'' it seems to hint that [[spoiler:Sarge is this towards Boomstick, who opted to join the army for the express purpose of getting away from Boomstick, whom he never wanted at all.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', Richard's father went to buy milk 42 years ago and never came back.
* ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'': Ginger's dad is divorced. And he's been making promises to Ginger and letting her down for years. By the end of the series, he's only visited Ginger a few times, and most of those meetings weren't exactly Kodak moments.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Katara and Sokka started out with a MissingMom, followed by their father Hakoda becoming a Disappeared Dad when he left to fight the Fire Nation, leaving Gran-Gran doing the raising and a full-on case of ParentalAbandonment. Their father does come back, only to have Katara [[CallingTheOldManOut angrily tell him off]] before they definitely reconcile, and then he is gone again, [[spoiler:captured by the Fire Nation.]]
*** In fact, Katara and Sokka's entire village has a case of Disappeared Dad. All the men have gone off to fight the war against the Fire Nation. All of them. Sokka is the oldest male around.
** Zuko's father Ozai the Fire Lord only appeared as silhouettes and partial face shots for the first two seasons. Given that he disfigured and banished his only son, he qualifies as the "missing in fulfillment of fatherly duties" sort anyway. Fortunately, Zuko has a substitute father figure in his kind uncle [[CoolOldGuy Iroh]]
** Aang is a full-on case of ParentalAbandonment, as far as anyone knows, but he had some substitute father figures: Monk Gyatso and Avatar Roku.
** Toph is an almost forced-inversion example. Her parents are present, but sheltered and narrow in their thinking. They're also so inattentive of their "tiny, helpless fragile" child that they leave the overwhelming majority of her caretaking to servants. Because of this, Toph is able to secretly become a master [[ElementalPowers Earthbender]] under their noses. And upon finding out, instead of being impressed, Mr. Bei Fong tightens the yoke of parental overprotectiveness, which results in Toph abandoning her parents and running away with Aang's group. The trope would later apply to her own daughters, both of whom state that neither of them knew who their fathers were, only that they were sired by two different men.
* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends''
** Mac and Terrence's father is a Disappeared Dad, though WordOfGod tells us he's dead.
** Frankie, however, is a total ParentalAbandonment case, as Madame Foster is her grandmother and we see no signs of her parents. Given her age, she just might have moved out of her parents' house, but she has also appeared in old copies of the annual house photo, giving the impression that Madame Foster raised her.
** Goo on the other hand, is an aversion. Her parents are alive, just mostly offscreen.
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' is a MommasBoy, but there's no mention of what happened to his father.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' foe Princess has a father who's present, but he mainly is a walking bankroll who isn't there for her in any way that doesn't involve throwing money at her.
** [[SpoiledBrat She doesn't seem to mind]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower''
** Sam Dullard's father was the now-you-see-him-now-you-don't variety, just barely. We know that his father is an executive with no time for the family, and that's why there was a divorce. When he shows up in Ocean Shores, he is physically there, but so busy with work, he's still absent. The episode does have a happy ending, where he decides to spend the day with Sam, and he throws his ringing cell phone behind the seat of the car.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'', Tino's father seems to be disappeared. however its later revealed that Tino's mom divorced him. He lives on the other side of the country, so he can only visit once or twice a year. He does show up in a few episodes.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'', Will's father: In the TV series, he returns tries to make amends for being absent so long. However, in the comics [[spoiler: Mr. Vandom had a gambling problem so huge it was ruining his family life, so Susan ended divorcing him and moving away to protect Will. He later hired a private investigator and threatened to take custody - only for blackmailing Susan into giving him more money.]]
** Caleb begins the series as an orphan, only for his dad to show up halfway through the first season - he was a prisoner - and his [[BigBad mom]] in season 2.
* There's an episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' wherein the ex-con father of a little girl can turn {{invisible}} with some AppliedPhlebotinum, which makes him ''literally'' a Disappeared Dad. Not only that, but his ex-wife tells him:
--->'''Ex-wife:''' [[LampshadeHanging I want you to disappear!]]
--->'''Ex-con:''' BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor.
* And then there's ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', where Terry [=McGuinness=]'s father [[spoiler:dies before the Third Act of the pilot movie]]. Then the finale to ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' [[spoiler: reveals Bruce Wayne as Terry and his brother Matthew's biological father, due to some genetic tinkering by Amanda Waller.]]
* At the start of ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'', Brenden's (divorced) dad is an example of this trope, but he then reappears and awkwardly attempts to connect with his son, until he has a kid with his new wife Linda and disappears again completely.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'', [[WrenchWench Gadget's]] father Geegaw is dead.
-->"He's not coming back. I lost him over a year ago."
** Though not explicitly, as her adventurer father could have just as easily been "lost" on an expedition.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'' the title character's parents divorced years before the beginning of the series, her father is often mentioned but never shown until the Christmas episode. He does appear in a few episodes after that, though.
* Skwisgaar Skwigelf of ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' has no idea who his father is and likely never will, due to his mother, a faded former beauty queen, being... just a TAD promiscuous.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StreetSharks'', the disappearance of the protagonists' father is one of the running mysterious. He shows up very briefly in the first episode, during which time he is [[spoiler:turned into an unseen monster by his Mad Scientist college]], but he never shows up again after that (though he is mentioned in other episodes)
* An interesting case on ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'' - Dot and Enzo Matrix's father was responsible for the explosion that nullified Mainframe's twin city, turning everyone there into nulls, mindless energy-draining slugs, as well as splitting the virus that his gateway drew to the system into recurring antagonists Megabyte and Hexadecimal (Hex later begins to think of herself as Dot's sister because of this). The null that was Wellman Matrix was taken by Megabyte to be a pet, referred to as 'Nibbles.' (Or, on one occasion, 'Father.')
* Professor Membrane from ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': though he ''technically'' is the one raising his kids, he's at [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou the lab]] so much that many episodes have him communicating with his family through a floating screen (which many fans suspect uses recordings rather than live messages). Their MissingMom makes this practically a full case of ParentalAbandonment.
* On ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb,'' no mention is ever made of Phineas and Candace's biological father, though their stepfather cheerfully takes up the role. (He is briefly mentioned in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbStarWars'', and Phineas is ''just about'' to say what happened to him when [[TheUnreveal the Death Star explodes]]. Although whatever he said [[AlternateContinuity wouldn't have been canon]] anyway.)
** Dr. Doofenshmirtz is a subversion: his ex-wife has primary custody of [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter his teenaged daughter Vanessa]], but he still manages to balance [[MadScientist his villainous plans]] [[TakeOverTheWorld to conquer the Tri-State Area]] with his fatherly weekends. If anything, his fault is being a bit too clingy, embarrassing his daughter to no end. (Doofenshmirtz himself had present but horribly AbusiveParents.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Minoriteam}}'', Fasto never knew his father because his mother said she didn't know who he was. As an adult, he discovered his dad was an alien from the planet Blackton and his mom had lied to him the entire time. "Wait, so you pretended you ''didn't'' know who my father was? Damn, that's like the opposite of every other kid in the ghetto."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'': Cosmo's dad shows up in a home movie, but now Mama Cosma is noticeably single. [[EvilTeacher Crocker]] also has a single mother, even when he's ten.
** It was shown that Cosmo turned him into a fly, with possibly no way to reverse it.
* For having one of the most extensive casts, it becomes all the more noticeable to see the absence of [[TheSimpsons Marge's dad]], whose fate has only been casually mentioned.
* The dingo family's father in ''WesternAnimation/BlinkyBill'' is virtually nonexistant.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' Bloom suffers from this for the first three seasons. Her birth parents are missing, but she DOES have her adoptive parents.
* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest''. In the original 1960s series, Hadji is an orphan whose parents are never mentioned. ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' provides a backstory where Hadji's father was a sickly man and died young. His [[TheEvilPrince uncle and cousin]] force his mother to flee and attempt to have Hadji assassinated. His would-be assassin took pity on the kid instead and later handed him over to Dr. Quest to be given a new life in America.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Hurricanes}}'', the main female character is a teenage girl who inherited a soccer team from her deceased Dad.
* ''WesternAnimation/WheelSquad'': Emilie's biological father is never mentioned. Fortunately her stepfather is happy about [[HappilyAdopted filling the role]].
** Jessica's parents are divorced. [[VisitByDivorcedDad He only appeared once]].
* Rick Sanchez on ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' was this to his daughter Beth, being gone for a big portion of her life. She says that she used to draw him into family pictures with crayon. He eventually comes back and she is willing to do anything to keep him in her life, putting up with his antics and even allowing her children to go with him on potentially dangerous adventures and be a fugitive.
* Lance's father, Edward in ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan''.
* It's eventually revealed in ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' that Roger's parents are divorced and his dad lives out of town.
* ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty'': Betty's mother's father. For 30 years.
** Also, Sparky's Dad was never mentioned even in episodes where his mom appears.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeachersPet'', Leonard's dad never appears nor is mentioned in the series. It could be possible that his dad died or his parents divorced prior to the events of the series.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScaredySquirrel'', Nester is only seen with his mom. The whereabouts of his dad is unknown.
* In season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/BroTown'', it was discovered that Sione has a missing dad named Ralph Tapili.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyB'': Bessie and Ben are only shown with their mom, Hilary.
* In ''WesternAnimation/PeaceOnEarth'' the father of the two squirrel children is nowhere to be seen.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ChalkZone'', Penny's dad is nowhere to be seen, and is never mentioned once.
* On ''WesternAnimation/MikeTheKnight'', Mike's father the king was one, always said to be off questing somewhere. Then, however, he appeared in two specials, a ChristmasSpecial another called ''Journey to Dragon Mountain''. In the same special, [[spoiler:Mike's dragon companion, Squirt, discovers both his disappeared dad and his MissingMom, and has a baby sister hatch as well from an EggMacGuffin.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'', Henry's mom has been seen in four episodes and one of the Nickelodeon Magazine comics, but his dad has never been seen nor mentioned.
* In TimothyGoesToSchool the only students who fathers aren't seen are Yoko and Lilly who only has a mother.
* On ''CodenameKidsNextDoor'', we're never told what happened to Hogarth P. Gilligan Sr.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' starts with the death of the Benton sisters father. It's later revealed he knew he was SecretlyDying and kept a diary.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', the Smiths' neighbor Lisa Collins is a single mother. While she does mention the father of her children, and still has his old weight bench, it is not stated whether she is widowed or divorced.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* President UsefulNotes/BillClinton never got to meet his biological father, as he was killed in a car accident three months before Bill's birth.
* UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi rarely had time for his four sons, even neglecting their formal education. His estranged first son Harilal became a vagrant and died an alcoholic.
* No one knows who Billy the Kid's father was.
[[/folder]]
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