A Doting Parent is chiefly characterized by his or her rock-solid belief that no one on Earth has better, smarter, more talented, or better-looking children and will continually gush about that "fact" to... everyone. They are the kind of parents who are obsessed with following their children's love lives, fixing them up with members of the opposite sex, making sure they have the best opportunities in life to their eventual and complete embarrassment, sending them presents they don't want, and drive everyone around them insane by going on at length about the wonderfulness of their children!
Unlike the Overprotective Dad
or My Beloved Smother
, the Doting Parent is generally not controlling or overprotective and does not view their child's potential or actual love interest as a threat. They encourage dating and find it amusing to tease their child relentlessly about and progress or lack thereof in their relationship. They even go so far as to "adopt" their children's significant others into the family well before either of the parties involved are ready to make that sort of commitment because they are so confident in their children's ability to choose a fitting partner.
Likewise, they have no problems with children leaving the nest, however, there are similarities to Overprotective Dad
and My Beloved Smother
in that there may be some elements of smother. To this end, the Doting Parent may come to face some of the same situations, as their children tend to choose to live on their own as early as humanly possible in an (often vain) attempt to avoid their parent's embarrassing behavior.
Typically, the Doting Parents have no interest in actually running their children's lives
... after all, their superior children should be able to accomplish anything on their own. However, from time to time they may unobtrusively lend a hand and they are always open to giving advice (and are usually disappointed when their children don't
come to them for help when they need it). Doting Parents also generally do not concern themselves with what their children are actually doing
when out of sight, as long as when they do
get to see them they are healthy and doing well.
In darker circumstances, the Royal Brat
, the Spoiled Brat
, and the Enfant Terrible
often have Doting Parents, who are so (innocently or willfully) blind to their children's many faults they often end up enabling them. The lack of boundaries set can sometimes lead to consequences down the road, when the child reaches maturity.
Compare with Doting Grandparent
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Anime & Manga
- Tsuruga Ren's father in Skip Beat! can wax on for pages about how his son is the most wonderful child on Earth. Ren used to like it, but when he went into adolescence the pressure to stay at the same height of his father's hopes and claims cracked him, eventually leading him to leave his home country and beginning again in Japan, away from his family.
- Chiaki's father in Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne marries woman after woman because his son "needs a mother" but (reluctantly) lets Chiaki live on his own and is very fond of Chiaki's girlfriend, Maron.
- Tamaki's father Yuzuru in Ouran High School Host Club, who gets sad when Tamaki won't spend enough time with him.
- Maes Hughes (pictured) in Fullmetal Alchemist is the epitome of a doting papa, as well as an Overprotective Dad.
- Daisuke's mother in D.N.Angel is a great example of this. She's a genuinely loving mother that wants the best for her son—both in typical young teen problems and his activities as a Phantom Thief. Sometimes she's a little too eager to help, to the point where she (and her husband and father) once followed her son on a school trip to make sure an thieving attempt turns out alright.
- Spain from Axis Powers Hetalia is a volatile combination of this trope and Shotacon in regards to his ward, South Italy.
- To a degree, England was like this towards his adoptive brother America. He's now quite the Tsundere towards him.
- China, too, acted as a Parental Substitute for the other East Asian countries, and with him, being a Man Child Cute Bruiser that he is, was very devoted to them (even if only Korea returns his affections). In a more literal sense, he is even given Mr. Seahorse status in the fandom as he and England being Hong Kong's actual parents.
- Rome was (and still is when he comes back from heaven) this to North Italy. He also tries to be this to South Italy/Romano, but being a Tsundere Romano ends up crying and hiding.
- Most of the parents in Dragon Ball Z, to some degree or another. Of note is Mr. Satan, who makes no secret of the fact that he absolutely adores his daughter and granddaughter. Krillin and #18 also deserve a special mention. Also a participation award for Goku, who devotes himself fully to being the best father he can... but spends so much time dead and/or training that he's still gone for most of his children's childhood, and when he is there he makes some rather significant well-intentioned mistakes. Points for effort, though.
- The anime-only character Daddy 'the Father' Masterson of One Piece. He quit his job as a skilled and high-ranked Marine Officer and reduced himself to taking out some of the One Piece world's more pathetic criminals for a living, all so he wouldn't run the risk of getting killed and leaving his daughter with no one to take care of her.
- Kiri's parents in Double Arts are not only Happily Married and making a warm, loving home for their son—they immediately adopt his new friend, Ellie, into the family, and promptly begin loving, spoiling, and feeding her just as enthusiastically as their own child, if not more so. (When they're not exchanging knowing looks behind both teenagers' backs.)
- Spirit Albarn from Soul Eater, to his daughter Maka. Thinks she's an angel, insists on her general loveliness (and in a misguided moment of parental support, attractiveness). This is not appreciated by Maka.
- Shinigami doesn't count in practice, but could be seen as this from at least his and Kid's first exchange in the series. Well, Kid's stripes are cute...
- Cyril Kamelot of D.Gray-Man is most definitely, without a doubt, this towards his adopted daughter Road. It's creepy at times.
- Sachiko Yagami of Death Note, which makes her situation at the end all the more heartbreaking.
- The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Comics A la Carte official anthology book has the one-shot comic "2nd Mother's Day", which portrayed Fate as this.
: (after getting a Father's Day gift from Vivio)
Dear neighbors... OUR DAUGHTER IS CUUUUUTE!! Nanoha
: Fate-chan, you're disturbing the neighbors.
- Mrs. Katsura of Hayate the Combat Butler, as Hinagiku's foster mother, is often seen acting this way. She's probably the first one who adopted Hayate into their family, despite Hinagiku just being a leading member of Hayate's unnoticed harem, and actually tells him to resist her attacks when she's probably the only young woman who hasn't taken any action towards him.
- Reika's father in Ojamajo Doremi. In a twist, it's because he accidentally caused baby!Reika to get badly burned. Thus he swore to himself to never ever make her cry again and spoiled her in an attempt to make her happy. This is the reason why she's the Alpha Bitch.
- In Wild Rock, Nava has some incredibly doting uncles, but his dad is even worse.
- Tiger & Bunny's Kotetsu T. Kaburagi might not be able to see his daughter very much due to his line of work, but so much as putting him on the phone with her leads him to devolve into a sting of syrupy, Cuteness Proximity-induced praises.
- In Shugo Chara!, Amu's parents crank this Up to Eleven regarding Amu's little sister Ami.
- In Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl Hazumu's dad is this. It comes off as somewhat incest-ish though.
- Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo has Shioya, who when he talks about something that isn't work, it's about his daughter. And often instead of work.
- In Cyberteam In Akihabara this is plot-relavent: Hibari's doting parents initially drives Tsubame to hate her, because Tsubame has never had anyone love her, much less dote on her. It comes to a head in a very heart-pulling "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- In Toriko Melk dotes on his adopted daughter Melk II. Unfortunately since his voice is so quiet she never heard any of his praise for years and thought that he didn't approve of her skills. They both feel like complete idiots when they realize the truth.
- In Sangatsu no Lion, the Kawamoto sisters' grandfather has very soft spot towards his youngest granddaughter, Momo.
- Holly Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is very affectionate towards her son Jotaro and insists he's a nice, sweet young man even when he's acting like the violent, foul-mouthed delinquent he is.
- Sekainohate De Aimashou plays with this trope when involuntary Gender Bender Ryouma dreams of being a doting mother and is horrified to realize that the prospect isn't as disturbing as he thinks it should be.
- Bruce Wayne has repeatedly said that his adopted son Dick Grayson was the only thing he ever did right.
- Roy Harper was a great father to his daughter, Lian, functioning as a single parent (granted he sometimes hired nannies) longer than most superheroes. Then Justice League: Cry for Justice happened and she died. And then the reboot happened and she was retconned out of continuity.
- John Jonah Jameson yes, THAT John Jonah Jameson. He REALLY cares for his son.
- Jim Gordon is this to his daughter Barbara, especially after the 2011 reboot, where it's revealed that Jim was the one who found the clinic in South Africa that helped Barbara regain her ability to walk follow being shot by The Joker in The Killing Joke.
- He isn't this to his son James Gordon Junior, but that's understandable since Junior is a murderous lunatic.
- Inverted in Runaways. The Pride honestly care greatly about their own children, just not the children belonging to the other members. In fact, when Gert's parents found out about her death, they went mad and tried to completely wipe out a major section of early New York because they really, really hate superheroes and blame them for a major part in everything horrid that has happened in the world, including being a factor in Gert's death. They have a point, actually. Well, not about Gert's death, but in general. The Pride also generally tried backstabbing each other constantly in the first 18 issues, including the other kids. It was for the sake of their kid so they would survive in paradise when the world ended.
- Jade chan from the Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction Web Work after turning into a Spider People/spider demon goes from hating her eggs to talking to them like she would talk to human babies, even calling them her 'sweeties'. Her mentor finds this odd since their kind are not normally so doting on their young.
- She even treats her henchwomen more like little girls than grown women after she turns them into spider women too.
Film — Animation
Film — Live Action
- Charlie Baileygates from Me, Myself, and Irene shows that he's an incredibly loving father to his three sons, none of whom are even his. Notably, they're from when his wife had an affair and ran away, yet he still cares for them. In return, they love him back and go to great lengths to help save their dad.
- Cherrybomb: Malachy's family (especially his mother) are a relatively subtle version of this trope.
- Gunn's Mom, and his dad to a degree in Make the Yuletide Gay. This actually drives most of the plot, as Gunn doesn't want to lose this by coming out to his parents for fear of being rejected by them. The parents don't care and actually placed a bet on whether or not he actually is.
- Sam's parents in Transformers are this, along with being Amazingly Embarrassing Parents.
- Simon Tam in Firefly is sort of like this except he's not a parent. He would be a doting big brother.
- "She wasn't just gifted, she was a gift"
- Richard Castle tends to vary between this and the Overprotective Dad when it comes to his daughter Alexis; as long as boys or activities that might attract boys aren't involved, he's often indulgent and keen to actually encourage his daughter to break the rules and let her hair down a bit.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: despite being not her true father, Mayor Richard Wilkins acts this way towards Faith, stepping into Papa Wolf whenever she's in danger.
- A running theme in Power Rangers is that even villains have family, and no matter how evil they are to the heros, they can be this trope to their children. Shows up in particular with Ecliptor towards Astronema in Power Rangers in Space, Scorpius towards Trakina in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, and Ransik towards Nadira in Power Rangers Time Force.
- What with the larger-than-life-size portrait in the entryway, the custom-built stage in the basement, the dance lessons and singing competitions practically from the moment she came out of the womb and the fact that they have only ever been seen on-screen in a couple of photographs in the pilot episode, it's heavily implied that Rachel Berry's two dads are like this.
- Marshall Ericksen's parents in How I Met Your Mother are like this, which gives Lily a lot of anxiety about not being able to live up to their expectations for how well their beloved son's wife should treat him. Barney and James's mother Loretta also is this, although she was rather inept at it when they were kids.
- Hester Crane from Frasier is described as this. In her one appearance on Cheers, she threatens Diane (who was Frasier's girlfriend at the time) because she thought Diane wasn't good enough for her son.
- Raising Hope: While Burt and Virginia tease and mock their son Jimmy at every opportunity, they genuinely love and care for their son and help him become a Doting Parent in his own right to his infant daughter.
- Dragon Quest VIII has King Trode, who dotes over "his precious Medea" at any opportunity and cares far more about her welfare than anything else in the world. One of his most sympathetic moments is when he begs a Royal Brat who was beating the party's horse (which is Medea's cursed form) to beat him instead.
- It is hinted that King Krichevskoy from Disgaea was one of these. His son Laharl seems to have distanced himself from Krichevskoy after his mother’s death, but that did not stop Krichevskoy from thinking very highly of his son and having great faith in him. He also thinks Laharl inherited his own “sparkling good looks”. He also executed a plan that evidently involved getting Laharl two pretty girls and willingly acts as a “rival” to help his son get stronger. Laharl is also a Royal Brat, no idea where that came from.
- Hakan from Street Fighter IV has seven little girls, apparently septuplets. His ending shows him as being this through and through to all of them.
- Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten has a rather bizarre example in the form of Petta's father Overlord Zetta, who spoils his daughter rotten while trying to look like a strict, hardass taskmaster in the process, because he's a Slave to PR.
Zetta: Keep in mind my training menu is the most difficult in the universe! I only allow you to wear designer clothes! Also, 3PM snack time is mandatory, every day! You may only nap two hours each day!
Emizel: ... That's like a joke...
Not only is he the strongest in the universe, he's the biggest tsundere
Zetta: S-Shut your mouths!
- Horribly deconstructed in Silent Hill: Homecoming with Doctor Fitch and his daughter, Scarlett.
- After adopting Trucy Enigmar following some unfortunate circumstances seven years before Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright grows into one of these as it helps him move on from losing his attorney's badge.
- Bryce and Eleanor Cousland, in Dragon Age: Origins, are very Good Parents, but Bryce in particular is a Doting Parent to his younger child, the Human Noble Warden.
- Similarly, King Endrin Aeducan is a Doting Parent to the second of his three children, the Dwarven Noble Warden.
- In Misfile, Ash's father is like this post misfile, which leads to some extremely embarrassing moments for Ash, considering dad's the gynecologist for all of Ash's friends.
- For a time, it was also caused some true grief, as Ash implies that their life pre-Misfile was barely cordial.
- Steve's parents in Khaos Komix are bit too understanding for comfort.
- The father who didn't bring enough money for both his cigarettes and his daughters chips in this Welcome To The Convenience Store chapter.
- He returns sixty chapters later to buy a packet of cigarettes and a snack for his daughter, but then she breaks something (which he needs to pay for) and so he's stuck choosing between a snack for her and his cigarettes again.
- Tower of God: Ha Jinsung towards his student Viole.
- Ship Leesoo towards Anak. Neither are related to their children, but it is that kind of relationship.
- John's Dad in Homestuck positively smothers John with cakes, and his house is filled with notes informing John how proud he is of him, just in case John happens to perform the feat involved to reach the note. However, given John is traumatized by a doll version of Jack Noir, and subconsciously scribbles things like "Lame Kid" and "FOOL" all over his walls, it's very understandable. Post-Scratch Dad is similarly supportive of Jane, although assassination attempts have forced him to be a bit more protective of her.
- Commander Badass, from Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, is an absolute marshmallow where his two kids are concerned. It's seen more often with his daughter, who is old enough to insist that Daddy join her watching Jem, help her bake the most ridiculous muffins ever, and bring her a pet from his stay on a planet full of millipedes (which he's grown to hate due to his stay on a planet full of millipedes), among other things.
- In the DuckTales episode "Top Duck", Launchpad's mother Birdy keeps a walletful of photos of her son, which she proudly shows to Scrooge.
- On The Fairly Oddparents, Wanda sometimes allows Poof to grant some of Timmy's wishes, despite how much he messes them up.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz of Phineas and Ferb has a bit of this towards his teenage daughter Vanessa, such as when he throws her an embarrassingly-childish birthday party and invites all her friends. She found this annoying in early episodes, but more recently their relationship has become warmer. The turning point was when he presented her with a doll she'd said she wanted when she was seven, and reveals he spent the last ten years scouring garage sales and the internet looking for it.
- Kim Possible has Mr. and Mrs. Drs. P, Kim's loving parents who encourage their children with the family creed of "Anything's possible for a Possible."
- Chief Wiggum, of all people. While he may be a horribly inept and corrupt cop, he genuinely cares for his son, Ralph Wiggum. He's the only one who actively encourages his son, and their interactions usually end up with Ralph coming out better for it.
- Bud Gleeful is one to Li'l Gideon in Gravity Falls.
- Cartman's mother in South Park gives in to his demands, even if she tries to protest.
- As revealed in "Tsst!", she's like this mainly because she thinks of her son as her only friend, so she's willing to bend over backwards for him.
- Galfore is this to Starfire in Teen Titans, an interesting case of a subverted trope as Doting Parents are actually looked down upon as an embarrassment in Tameranian culture.