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Luke, I Am Your Father

Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke Skywalker: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (full quote here)

A specific variety of The Reveal.

A parent-child relationship between two characters who were previously thought unrelated is revealed, usually with generous dollops of melodrama — blood is, after all, Thicker Than Water. Beloved of soap operas, made famous by the Star Wars films (from which the trope takes its name, though as you can see, it isn't an exact quote).

Whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing for whoever is being given the reveal mainly depends on who is giving the reveal in question. Sometimes an ally, a Mentor or a non-romantic Mysterious Protector will turn out to be the parent of the person being given the reveal, but other times, the reveal of who a character's parent is will be cause for serious anguish, such as someone who just gave his or her life for him, someone who could have been a Love Interest, or worst of all, a villain working for the Big Bad or even the Big Bad himself, as in the most infamous Star Wars example.

In cases when villain and hero turn out to be parent and child, count on at least one scene where the hero worries that he or she will eventually end up like the parent.

Sometimes it's a bogus revelation, and at the end of the episode or plotline the Reset Button is pressed to restore the previous relationship — or lack of one.

Though the trope itself is too fundamental to become Discredited, any permutation of the actual line ("No, X. I am your father.") nowadays will be met with a groan and a "Not again!" from the audience. Also a popular insane fan theory.

Compare with Mysterious Parent, or Family Relationship Switcheroo where the characters were thought to be related, but are not parent and child. Frequently, it's a father-son relationship revealed this way.

This trope was already being mocked back in 1790 by Jane Austen in Love and Freindship (with four grandfather-grandchildren relationships revealed in under a page).

The flip-side is Luke, You Are My Father. Compare Long-Lost Relative, Luke, I Might Be Your Father, Everyone Is Related. Contrast with I Am Not Your Father.

As a plot twist trope, all spoilers on this page are unmarked.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the final arc of Bleach, the Big Bad Yhwach reveals that Ichigo is his descendent through his mother Masaki, calling him "my son born in the dark". The full explanation is not revealed for several chapters: Masaki was a Quincy, and Yhwach is the progenitor of all Quincies and source of their powers — hence he's also the ancestor of Ichigo's Aloof Ally and second cousin Uryu.
  • In Aquarion Evol: Nice Guy and The Hero, Amata Sora, barely even knew his mother, believing her to have abandoned him at a young age due to his levitation powers. Then it turns out that she never abandoned him and is with the Altairians, but also that his father is in fact the LEADER OF THE ALTAIRIANS!!!
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2, it is revealed that Ripple master Lisa Lisa is actually Joseph Joestar's mother.
  • In 20th Century Boys Friend tells Kenji that he is Kanna's father. Kanna learns this after the first major timeskip.
  • The third episode of Death Note: Light's father is the one leading the police effort to catch the mysterious murderer — actually Light.
  • Played For Comedy in the crossdressing manga Maid in Japan. The main character's master has hated maids since her father left her for one, and puts up with her current one begrudgingly. But things are not exactly as they seem.
  • In the Mazinger trilogy it was played straight, subverted and inverted:
    • Mazinger Z: "Kouji, Shiro, I am your mother." Subverted because in reality she was a cyborg, pretending being their real - and very deceased - mother.
    • Great Mazinger: Shiro learnt that Dr. Kenzo Kabuto is, in fact, his not-quite-dead father. Kouji learnt it later due to him not being in Japan during that time.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: It was inverted and played straight. Maria told Duke she was daughter of the King and Queen of Fleed, not knowing he was their son, and therefore, her brother. The moment they played this trope straight with each other and hugged at each other was definitely a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
    • Reboot Shin Mazinger reveals local innkeeper Nishiori Tsubasa to be Shiro and Kouji's mother. Her hairstyle and Slasher Smile are especially similar to Kouji's, as emphasized in a few shots in the episode where the reveal happens.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: Nadia learns that Captain Nemo is actually her long-lost father when he goes down with the damaged Nautilus at the beginning of the "castaway" arc of the series.
  • A recent chapter of the One Piece manga reveals that Luffy's grandfather is Vice-Admiral Garp, a legendary Marine, and his father is Dragon, the mysterious revolutionary who saved Luffy at Loguetown.
    • Chapter 550 reveals that Ace's father is Gol. D Roger. He was aware of this before it was publicly announced to the world, although the audience wasn't, and he's pretty emphatic that he considers Whitebeard his true father.
  • In Kaze to Ki no Uta, Auguste reveals to Gilbert that he is his father (not his uncle) to bring him back under his control. It doesn't go as well as he expected...
  • Misaki's relationship to Shuuko/Shuu/the Champion in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer. The anime lets the viewer in on Shuuko's secret long before Misaki knows, but in the manga, we only learn when she does.
  • A rather unlikely example in Mahou Sensei Negima!, where one of 10-year-old Negi Springfield's 15-year-old students claims to be his descendant. She's from a hundred years in the future — and can prove it — so it's not as crazy as it sounds...
    • The Lifemaker is Negi's and Asuna's ancestor. He also calls Evangeline "my daughter", although they might not be biologically related (He is her sire in the vampiric sense, not the paternal sense). Also in Negi's case, as The Lifemaker has possessed Nagi's body.
  • Used in the Monster Rancher anime (Monster Farm in Japan), in which Holly learns that the main bad guy is her father (with the villain using the Darth Vader's dialogue from The Empire Strikes Back). It takes the trope further by having Holly screaming "NOOOOO!" afterwards .
  • In Chapter 367 of Naruto, the most prevalent fan theory of the fandom is confirmed: Naruto is indeed the son of the Fourth Hokage. This is the third of three major clarified mysteries that were revealed within a span of less than five chapters. A while earlier this was a lesser one: Asuma Sarutobi is the Third Hokage's son but they had the same name and similar looks, so it was kinda obvious, just not said before then.
    • Aaaaand another for Naruto: his mother Kushina was the previous host for the Kyuubi.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion does this three times. Eva 1 contains the soul of Shinji's mother. Eva 02 contains the soul (well half) of Asuka's mother. Rei is occasionally compared to Shinji's mother (it is implied that she might be a clone of her).
    • And Lilith is the mother of all humanity.
    • All in all, in Eva, "Your Mom" jokes are done at your own peril.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The Abriged Series plays with this in an interesting way:
      01: Shinji, Gendo never told you what happened to your mother.
      Shinji: He told me enough... He told me you killed her.
      01: No Shinji. I AM YOUR MOTHER.
      Shinji: Ehhh saw it coming.
    • Kaworu pulls this off in Rebuild 2.0
      (Gendo and Fuyutsuki spot Kaworu sitting shirtless in hard vacuum)
      Fuyutsuki: A human? Impossible...
      Kaworu: Pleased to meet you, father.
      • An odd line, considering that Kaworu is likely much older then Gendo Ikari. This version of Kaworu might even be older the actual Universe they're in....
  • Soul Eater gives us a real good one, with Asura's "such a stupid little brother" line to Death the Kid, who just happens to be his little brother. Kid does not take this very well, as can be imagined.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Age gives us a unique variant. Big Bad Ezelcant is convinced that Kio Asuno is the reincarnation of his dead son.
  • Tenchi Muyo!! is full of these. Piece by piece we learn that Katsuhito is Ayeka's and Sasami's half-brother, which means they're both Tenchi's great aunts; then that Washu is Ryoko's mother; and eventually that the woman we thought was Tenchi's mother is actually his sister and that Washu is also Mihoshi's great great grandmother. Then in the second movie, Daughter of Darkness, Mayuka turns up on the doorstep claiming that Tenchi is her father, which is awkward because they're both in their teens; but Washu does a DNA analysis, and yep, she's right. There's the moment in the first movie when Tenchi tells Achika and Nobuyuki that they're his parents, even though they're all about the same age, but that doesn't really count.
  • It's nice to see a good old-fashioned subversion, and Rave Master brings us one: there are two characters named Gale, one the antagonist (and head of the evil organization), one a good guy (who we've never seen before). Angst-tastic as it would be, the hero assumes his father is the former. Nope. It's the latter. They also play it straight with the two Musicas.
  • A variation exists in the third season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. After a successful raid on an illegal research facility, Quint adopts a pair of experimental Combat Cyborgs because they looked so much like her and raises them as her own daughters. It's later revealed during a medical examination that the reason why Subaru and Ginga looked like her was because their genetic structures were identical. Somehow, Quint's genetic data had been acquired by the researchers and was used to create the two children. It's also later revealed that Nove is Quint's genetic daughter, too, explaining her strong similarity to Subaru.
  • In the manga version of Rurouni Kenshin, Enishi, who wants revenge on Kenshin, is his brother in law (obviously Kenshin knew when he first met him). The old guy who befriends Kenshin is Kenshin's father in law who accepted that Kenshin killed his daughter accidentally. Naturally, Enishi ends up with the old guy and both remark that they remember seeing each other.
  • Subverted in Saint Seiya. Along the series, there had been a lot of hints that Marin was Seiya's long-lost sister Seika. She wasn't, his sister was actually a Waif Prophet, and Marin's brother Touma even appears as an enemy in the Tenkai-hen movie.
    • And played quite straight in the manga where, it was revealed that Mitsumasa Kido was actually the birth father of all the orphans he sent around the world to be trained as Saints.
  • Digimon Frontier, with Koji learning he has a twin brother he was Separated at Birth from: Koichi, the Face Heel Turned Sixth Ranger with the Spirits of Darkness. Digimon Savers also has Keenan Crier finding out he is one of the "humons" he despises so much, but it's painfully obvious that he was human from the start.
    • Also from Savers: Initially, it looks like Masaru's Disappeared Dad is Yggdrasil, the "world tree," central computer and god of the Digital World. But BanchouLeomon reveals that he is Masaru's father. Yggdrasil was about to kill Suguru, but BanchouLeomon absorbed his soul. Unfortunately, Yggdrasil (being a god and all...) realized it, and has been using Suguru's body for its own ends.
  • Parodied in a later episode of Magical Project S. Romio claims that she's the older sister of Sasami, citing the fact that they share blue hair and the lack of resemblance between Sasami and her parents as the logical reasoning. Just as Sammy was going to run up for a "family reunion", Misa stops her and makes her realize it was a lie, which Romio confirms.
    • Romio's character design is base on Ayeka who actually is Sasami's sister in the Tenchi Continuity.
  • Sonic X. It is strongly suggested (said outright in the dub) that Dark Oak is Cosmo's father. However, while the characters do learn that the two are of the same species, Cosmo never directly learns of her heritage.
  • In Princess Tutu, Rue's father is revealed to be the Raven in the second season. That's not so surprising considering she's the Dark Magical Girl...but it's later revealed that he actually kidnapped her as a child, and she's just a normal human girl after all. It's also later revealed that Drosselmeyer is Fakir's great-great-grandfather, and Fakir inherited his powers.
  • The very last volume of the Chrono Crusade manga reveals that Chrono and Aion are twins, and their mother was a human woman turned into Pandaemonium when she was pregnant with them. Also, Satella discovers that her long-lost sister is Fiore.
  • In Gravion Zwei, it's eventually revealed that Sandman is Leele's father, as well as the brother of the Zeravire's creator/leader, and that Raven is Eiji's missing sister Ayaka.
  • In RahXephon... er, this is going to take a while: Ayato's real mother isn't Maya, but Itsuki's adopted sister Quon. Quon is also Maya's twin sister and Itsuki's mother, making Itsuki Ayato's brother. Shirow Watari is their father. Haruka Shitow's uncle, Shougo Rikudoh, was the adoptive father of Maya and Quon. And Haruka? Before her mother remarried, her family name was Mishima - making her the same long lost "object of desire"/childhood sweetheart that Ixtli/Ishtori took her appearance from. Or, for those that don't like to read: everyone is related to everyone ever.
  • Altair and Vega in GEAR Fighter Dendoh are brother and sister, both of whom had presumed each other dead for years (wearing those damn masks all the time probably only added to the confusion). Then there's Vega's true identity as Hokuto's mom.
  • Glass Fleet had a pair of sibling enemies learn at the same time that they were related. Vetti and Cleo were none-too-pleased to say the least.
  • Silver and Giovanni from Pokémon Special. It is hinted that Silver's game counterpart is also related to Giovanni.
    • Confirmed in a sidequest event, from HeartGold and SoulSilver. Silver knows who his dad is though, since he's arguing with him.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has Ken and the leader of Red Impulse. Just seconds before the latter's Heroic Sacrifice, in fact.
  • Played for drama in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, where Cardeas Vist, wounded and on the verge of dying, reveals to protagonist Banagher Links that he was his real father, and entrusting him with the Unicorn Gundam.
  • Dai no Daibouken has the reveal that Baran, one of the six evil generals, is actually Dai's father. And because that's what evil dads do, he wants Dai to help him rid the world of humanity.
  • Legend of Lemnear Manga has some examples well 2: Buan turns out to be lian's father and near the finale Lord Varol turns out to be the real father of Lemnear, who turns out to have wanted Lemnear to defeat him for the greater good after the evil has corrupted him; also near the finale Ragna turns out to be Varol's twin brother, which makes him Lemnear's uncle
  • Rihoko from the Witchblade anime, with both parents.
  • Halfway throughout Shaman King, Mikihisa, Yoh's father, reveals to Yoh himself and his friends that Hao, the Big Bad, is actually Yoh's twin brother, much to their huge surprise.
  • Done twice in Supercar Gattiger: Emperor Black Demon is the grandfather of Joe Kabuki, while Queen Demon is Joe's mother.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, it is revealed that Father is a clone of Ed and Al's dad, and the homunculi are Ed And Al's siblings, as they are Father's "children."
    • A similar thing happened in the 2003 anime version. Envy is revealed near the end to be the Elric siblings' half-brother, being that he was the son of their father and Dante.
  • Tiger & Bunny reveals that Yuri Petrov/Lunatic is Mr. Legend's son. This in of itself isn't too startling a revelation until it's combined with a previous revelation of Yuri's history: Yuri's first kill was his own abusive father.
  • Used at the beginning of Dragon Ball Z where invading space alien Raditz turns out to be Goku's brother.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch reveals that Kaito and Gaito/Gakuto are twin brothers.
  • Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu Double Subverted this trope. Captain Garis continuously exhibits the exact same mannerisms as Daiya's father. His voice sounds similar, he acts as A Father to His Men, and even the opening focuses on him during the line "you can hear your father's voice''. Then it turns out that he's not even the same SPECIES as Daiya's father - he's just really damn caring. THEN it's revealed much later on that he's RURU's father, a memory that she'd suppressed up until that point.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ragyo Kiryuin reveals she is Ryuko Matoi's true mother, which also means her daughter Satsuki is Ryuko's older sister.
  • In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Yuri and Tsubomi both find out that Professor Sabaaku, the creator of the Dark Precure, is actually Yuri's long-lost and brainwashed father, Professor Tsukikage. What makes this a bit more heartbreaking is that Tsubomi's grandmother, Kaoruko, figured this out and tried to have Tsubomi keep Yuri away from him. Didn't work out too well.
    • And then he reveals that he created Dark Precure from Yuri's DNA, making them biological sisters. The worst part about it: Professor Tsukikage tells Yuri about this after Yuri defeated Dark Precure who's dying at this moment.
  • In Suite Pretty Cure ♪, the Masked Cure Muse reveals her identity infront of her Brainwashed and Crazy father Mephisto: she's Ako. The next episode also reveals that Ako is Aphrodite's daughter and Otokishi is Aphrodite's father. Hibiki and Kanade are surprised by these reveals and Ellen and Hummy didn't recognize Ako as their princess.
  • In Smile Pretty Cure!, Candy turns out to be Royale Queen's daughter and successor. This surprises everyone, even Candy's brother Pop.
  • In Doki Doki Pretty Cure, it turns out that Aguri, Regina and Ai-chan originated from Princess Mari-Ange's life, meaning that they are not only sisters in a weird sense, but also that Aguri and Ai-chan are daughters of King Jikochuu.
  • In Fairy Tail, Gray meets his believed dead father Silver. Of course, Gray does not believe this at first, but then Silver reveals to be Gray's Arch-Enemy Deliora, whose soul possesses Silver' revived body. And when Gray manages to defeat him, Gray tells him he has already realized that Silver is not Deliora, but really his father.

    Comics 
  • Eighteen years after their creation, it was revealed that Avengers Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were actually the children of their former leader, long-time X-Men antagonist Magneto. Their feelings over this revelation were mixed, to put it mildly.
    • Polaris, of the X-Men, was revealed early on to be Magneto's daughter, too. But then that was revealed to actually be a plot by the villain Mesmero, who was using a Magneto robot to make that claim. Then later it was again revealed that she is his daughter... then once again not. Currently, she is once again revealed to be Magneto's daughter... ugh.
  • A Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series in the '80s started with the premise that R. J. Brande, the team's billionaire sponsor, was dying, and in order to save him, the Legionnaires had to figure out which one of them was secretly his child — an idea that had never been even hinted at before. It finally turned out to be Durlan shapeshifter Chameleon Boy; Brande was revealed to also be a Durlan who'd contracted a disease that froze him into human form.
  • Chris, Superman's adopted son, was found in a rocket similar to his. It was revealed during an invasion that the rocket was sent from the Phantom Zone, and he was the son of Zod and Ursa.
  • Mr. Sinister pulls a particularly unpleasant Luke, I Am Your Father on Gambit in X-Men: The End when he reveals that Gambit is a clone created from Sinister's original DNA mixed with that of Scott Summers.
    • Gladly, this probably isn't canon, the Summers have a messed up history as it is.
  • In Booster Gold One Million it is revealed to the audience — but not to any of the other characters — that Booster's mentor Rip Hunter is actually Booster's son.
  • The plot of Batman RIP. essentially involves multiple Mind Rapes piled on top of each other to see how many it takes to make Batman crack. The biggie? Enigmatic villain Simon Hurt claims that he is actually Thomas Wayne, and that he faked his own death after hiring Joe Chill to kill his faithless whore of a wife. The truth of his story hasn't been determined, but Bruce decides to reject it at the end of the arc.
    • There are strong hints in Batman R.I.P. that Hurt is actually a part of Bruce Wayne's psyche come to flesh. Which would mean that the proper phrase here is, "Luke, I am your subconscious!"
      • But if you paid enough attention to the first few pages of the chapter Midnight in the House of Hurt, Dr. Hurt made arrangements for a false suicide note, doctored documents and phony witnesses for a recent victim that was killed by one of his associates. Apparently, it's not enough for the doctor to ruin and leave you as a empty, broken shell of a man after one of his twisted games in the Black Glove; when you're killed, he makes damn sure you'll be remembered as a chronic junkie, a horrible pedophile or worse. His claims that he's Batman's father and his family's "dark history" is a last attempt to screw Bats over and coerce him to join the Black Glove as his Evil Plan was crashing down like a house of cards.
      • Ultimately, it turns out Hurt is a centuries-old member of the Wayne family, who harbored a serious grudge against Thomas and Martha.
  • Preacher: "Mom?"
  • In Umbrella Academy: Dallas #6, it's revealed that 00.01 and 00.05 are biological siblings (they were adopted siblings before this point).
  • Rose Walker's grandfather in The Sandman is Desire, who impregnated the comatose Unity Kinkaid during Dream's imprisonment.
  • A pivotal turning point in the original Spider-Man 2099 run featured Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man) discovering that the main antagonist of the series and head of the megacorp Alchemax, Tyler Stone, was in fact his father. This derailed the current plotline for quite a few issues as Miguel wrestled with his hatred of the man. The trope was lampshaded near the end of the title's run, when Tyler attempted to shock Miguel into following his orders by dropping the bombshell of his parentage, only to have Miguel, who by this point had come to terms with the fact, casually sip his coffee and then smugly and calmly reveal that he knows.
    Tyler Stone: And you will do it... because I'm your father.
    Miguel O'Hara: (sips coffee) Yeah, I know.
    Tyler Stone: You... you know?
    Miguel O'Hara: Yeah. Now get out of my office... dad.
  • Tossed in a blender with Luke, You Are My Father (but not really) in Usagi Yojimbo: Usagi discovered that his old flame Mariko's son Jotaro is actually his son, and Mariko's husband (Usagi's very unfriendly rival) also knows but loves Jotaro anyway. Usagi and Jotaro's sword master guessed almost immediately (they're very much alike), and gives them the opportunity to travel together for several months; after talking with Tomoe about responsibilities and relationships, Usagi decides not to break the bond between Jotaro and his family, while Jotaro decides not to force Usagi to give up his wanderer lifestyle to take care of him. It turns out Mariko told Jotaro the truth, but left out the part about Usagi knowing too. Upset at his "weakness" and the fact that he doesn't know when or if he'll ever see his "uncle" again, Jotaro calls out "Miyamoto Usagi! You are my father!!" but Usagi is already too far away to hear ("Just a trick of the wind, I must be tying my ears too tight"). TL;DR: Father A and Son B know they're related, but they don't know the other knows the truth (C,D,E, and F know the truth too but they aren't talking, mainly out of respect).
  • In Green Lantern Corps #35, Sinestro tells Soranik Natu that she is his daughter. He left her in the care of her foster family to keep her away from the dangers of being associated with him; making this one of the only semi-decent things he's ever done in his life. Since it's Sinestro, he could be lying.
    • The last page of Green Lantern #36 makes it pretty clear that he's telling the truth.
  • Watchmen has a particularly twisted example of this. Laurie, the second Silk Spectre, knows from a tell-all book written years earlier that the recently-deceased Comedian tried to rape her mother, the first Silk Spectre. Then Laurie finds out that after the near-rape, her mother had consensual sex with him anyway, and that the Comedian is in fact her father.
  • Parodied brilliantly in FoxTrot. Jason is wearing his Darth Vader helmet to see Episode III, but gets stuck in his helmet. His father helps him get free, commenting that he had that problem with his Vader helmet when he was Jason's age.
    Jason: Wait, you're saying that you were a Star Wars fan long before I was?
    Dad: Search your feelings, you know this to be true.
    Jason: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
  • In Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, Huntress gets an old photo of her deceased mother, Maria Bertinelli, in flagrante delicto with mob boss (and rival to mob boss Franco Bertinelli, Maria's husband) Santo Cassamento, and demands to know what they were doing in that hotel room together. His answer: "Isn't it obvious? We were conceiving you, Helena Rosa." That doesn't stop Huntress from ultimately killing him.
  • Parodied in Mafalda. Remember, the protagonists are all little children.
    Susanita: Felipe, did you get me something for Mother's Day?
    Felipe: Why should I get you something for Mother's Day?
    Susanita: Well, I don't know how to say this... You have to get me something for Mother's Day because...
    (cue melodrama) I AM YOUR MOTHER!
    Susanita: (disheveled and bruised) I don't understand, it works in the soaps!
  • The original Gen 13 had more of a "Luke You Are His Father", with Burnout and team mentor Lynch simultaneously learning that the former is the latter's long lost son.
  • Lampshaded in Peter David's Supergirl #57:
    Buzz: Dominique... I am your father... Oh, I'm certain that didn't sound too "Darth Vader".
  • In nine issues, Brightest Day has already had three separate revelations about familial bonds between heroes and villains.
  • Hiro-Kala knew that he was the son of The Hulk. He didn't know that Bruce Banner was the Hulk. So when they first met, the following exchange happened:
    Hiro-Kala: Who are you?
    Banner: Your...your father.
    Hiro-Kala: Hmp. I don't think so.
  • In the Sonic The Hedgehog comics, Knuckles' girlfriend Julie-Su discovers that she's the half-sister of Dark Legion leaders Kragok and Lien-Da, which also makes her a descendent of Knuckles' ancestor Dimitri (making her and Knuckles very distant cousins). And sometime later, it's revealed that Remington is Kragok's son.
    • In a dark alternate universe, 30 years in the future, Lara-Su was raised to believe her father Knuckles had been killed by Constable Remington. However, after she goes back in time (and travels to the wrong dimension too), her mother Julie-Su finally tells her that, in fact, Knuckles wasn't killed by Remington, but went insane with Chaos Powers and became the dreaded leader of the Dark Legion and by extension tyrant of the entire planet, Enerjak.
  • Pre-Flashpoint, Wonder Woman discovered that one of the Hechatonkaires was her "father": the clay that was used to create her came from his imprisoned body.
    • Post-Flashpoint she learns that the whole clay story is a lie, and she's the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus.
  • During John Ostrander's run of The Punisher, Jigsaw has kidnapped the member's of a mafia family that Frank has fallen in with. While talking with the oldest sister, he tells them why he's doing this; he and Frank are cousins. When they were kids, Frank was always showing him up, and everyone loved him. When she asks him if it's true, he says nah. He was just lying to pass the time.
  • Gen-Active revealed A. Sublime of DV8 isn't adopted, and B. her biological father is Michael Cray, alias Deathblow, one of the most prominent figures in the Wildstorm universe. Notably, it's revealed to the reader, but not necessarily the characters — Sublime's mother doesn't seem to remember his name.
  • Lilith from the Teen Titans knew nothing about her past. Nothing at all. Until her mother kidnapped her, to rule Olympus togheter. Her identity? Oh, nothing important: it was Thia, the godness of the sun. Which implies that Lilith is a god as well.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live Action 
  • This is The Reveal from the second part of the original Star Wars trilogy.note  The reason that this reveal worked and a lot of the imitators fell flat was that a big part of Luke's story revolved around his Jedi Knight father, whom he sought to emulate as a Jedi himself, which was why Luke let out the Big "NO!" in response to the Awful Truth about said father being revealed. It also gives new light to Uncle Owen's reasons for refusing to let Luke accept the Call to Adventure, in particular Aunt Beru's assessment that "he's got too much of his father in him" and Owen's response "That's what I'm afraid of". Also, the reveal in Return of the Jedi is that Leia is Luke's sister.
  • Parodied in the second Austin Powers movie with Dr. Evil claiming to be Austin's father (in an exaggerated voice akin to Vader's) and then admitting almost immediately that he was just making it up.
    • In a twist, the third movie features the revelation that Austin and Dr. Evil were in fact brothers, separated as infants.
  • Parodied in Spaceballs:
    Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate!
    Lone Starr: What does that make us?
    Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing, which is what you are about to become!
  • In the movie The Boondock Saints, the hitman known as Il Duce, who previously gave the MacManus brothers the fight of their lives, is revealed to be their long-lost father when he walks in on them delivering the family prayer to their fallen comrade Rocco (whom he had previously been hired to kill) and finishes the prayer himself.
  • Transamerica: when Toby, a teen runaway who had made a living as a hustler and who seems to only show affection sexually, attempts to seduce the Transsexual woman, Bree, who is adopting him, her only recourse is explain him that she was, in fact, his father before transitioning. She'd kept it secret from him because she knew he thought his father was a famous actor and didn't want to disillusion him. The fact that the audience already knows this is a considerable source of Squick in the scene.
  • Scanners: Darryl Revok, the villain, reveals that he and Cameron Vale, the hero, are the sons of Dr. Paul Ruth, the Broken Pedestal mentor.
  • In the film Wanted, this is used as the twist about 3/4ths of the way through the film. It actually makes sense, because it's the only reasonable explanation for why Cross never seems to be able to hit Wesley despite his improbable superpowered gun skills; turns out he was never trying to kill him in the first place.
  • The big reveal in Angel Heart where Harry Angel is revealed to be Johnny Favorite, and therefore the father of Epiphany Proudfoot, who he has been having sex with, and has just murdered during a blackout; in a rather bizarre set of supernatural circumstances.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in Dirty Work. Mitch and Sam are talking to Sam's father, Pops, who reveals he's also Mitch's father. They don't believe him; so he pulls out a locket:
    Mitch: That's you and my Mom!... having sex!
    Sam: You were unfaithful to my mom!
    Pops: No I wasn't. Who do you think took the picture?
    (later)
    Sam: Hey, Mitch, remember when you had sex with my sister?
  • Subverted masterfully in the movie Pirate Radio, through out most of which it is implied that Quinten is Young Carl's father, only for it to be revealed by Young Carl's mother that Bob, the 3-6 am DJ is his father instead. Quaintly enough, Young Carl?s reaction is eerily similar to that of the trope namers.
  • The 2002 adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo has Robert revealed as the son of Edmond, conceived right before Edmond is framed for treason and shipped off to prison 16 years earlier.
  • The Man from Earth: in the end what confirms that John wasn't lying about his claims to be an ageless immortal was when Gruber (a colleague of John's who appears to be about twice John's age) realized that John is his father. (John had suddenly left his family of the time when Gruber was just a few years old.) The shock ends up giving Gruber a heart attack and he dies shortly after.
  • Before dying at the end of The Man in the Iron Mask, D'Artagnan barely has the time to reveal to Philippe (and Louis) that he is their father.
  • Near the end of Big Money Rustlas, before dying of a gunshot wound inflicted onto him by Sugar Wolf, the film's villain, Big Baby Chips, reveals to Sugar Wolf that he is actually his father, Grizzly Wolf, prompting Sugar Wolf to rub off his face paint to see if he was telling the truth. He was.
  • Inverted in TRON: Legacy when Sam Flynn seems to finally find his lost father on the Grid; it turns out only to be a program written by Dad, though the dialog is almost verbatim.
    CLU: I'm not your father, Sam. But I'm very, very happy to see you.
  • Candyman Farewell To The Flesh has the main protagonist Annie discover that she is the great-great-granddaughter of the Candyman.
  • The Terminator: Kyle Reese is John's father by Time Travel.
  • In the 2003 film version of the Filipino superhero Captain Barbell, the Big Bad Lagablab, reveals he is Enteng's (Captain Barbell's mortal alter-ego) Disappeared Dad. Captain Barbell is shocked but defeats him anyway.

    Literature 
  • The Radix: Played with. The fact that Edgar Wurm is Adriana Borgia's father comes as a surprise for the reader, but both characters have known it from the beginning.
  • Inverted in the Chronicles of Prydain, where Taran goes on a search for his parents. He encounters a crippled shepherd who reveals that he is Taran's father but after a few months of living with Taran, the guy has a fatal accident and reveals that he was lying, that his son died years ago and that he told Taran this because he was so lonely.
    • Inverted again at the end of the series, when it's revealed that the identity of Taran's parents will never be known.
  • Terry Pratchett does a great job of Lampshade Hanging on this one in the Discworld novel Maskerade. In an early scene, Nanny Ogg explains the plot of the opera La Triviata to Granny Weatherwax thusly: "Well, there's a lot of humorous dressin' up, etcetera, someone will probably turn out to be someone's long-lost father or somethin'..." Near the end of the book, it is revealed that the star singer in the production of Il Trucadore really is the long-lost father of a young man in the audience. When Agnes (the junior witch) complains "This sort of thing does not happen!" the more Genre Savvy Nanny replies, "Happens all the time in opera."
    • A more interesting variation happens in Thief of Time. First, Susan has to tell Lobsang Ludd that he and Jeremy Clockson are the twin sons of the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time. Later, she admits she was lying, sort of: Lobsang and Jeremy aren't twins, they're the same individual, bifurcated at birth by the complexities of Time going through labor. For that matter, Susan's discovery that there are other children of Anthropomorphic Personifications, and natural-born, not adopted, almost qualifies but fails the "met before" requirement.
    • Subverted in Witches Abroad, where Mrs. Gogol never does more than hint to Ella that she's her mother.
  • This happens not once, but twice, and to the same character, in Ann Radcliffe's 1796 Gothic novel, The Italian. In the first instance, the evil monk Schedoni is about to murder the virginal heroine in her sleep when he happens to glimpse her locket — her ownership of which reveals that she is (gasp!) his long-lost daughter!... Only, turns out she isn't. Still, it was a pretty good reveal, wasn't it? She actually turns out to be the long-lost child of a nun who was nice to her earlier in the book, and to whom she'd previously felt a "mysterious connection."
    • Even though it turns out that Schedoni isn't Elena's father, he does turn out to be the brother of her long-deceased father whom he closely resembles, making him her uncle. Thus, this is perhaps an example of Everyone Is Related.
  • Inheritance Cycle: Murtagh reveals that the evil Dragon Rider Morzan was Eragon's father, making Eragon and Murtagh brothers. This is subverted in the third book, when it turns out that Morzan is not Eragon's father, and it was actually Brom, who fell in love with Selena, Morzan's consort (also known as the Black Hand), thus making Murtagh and Eragon only half-brothers. There is also a scene where Arya is revealed to be the daughter of the elf queen Islanzadi, but this may or may not qualify since both Arya and Islanzadi knew about it even if the reader did not.
  • In The Wild Hunt Trilogy, Judith's father is revealed to be her husband's friend, seduced at age 14 by her mother to appease her husband's demand for an heir.
  • His Dark Materials: Lyra's father is Lord Asriel, the man she thought was her uncle, while her mother is Mrs. Coulter, the first book's major villain. Though this could be seen as a rather knowing use of the trope, given that the reveal occurs unusually early in the story. In the film adaptation, on the other hand, it appears in the typical place as a third act plot twist.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's short story —All You Zombies—, the main character is revealed to be his own father. And mother. And responsible for getting them together. And taking away his baby self away and putting her in an orphanage. And he's the bartender selling booze to most of the above throughout the story. Did we say "main" character? We meant only character.
  • In Terry Goodkind's Wizard's First Rule, the first book of the Sword of Truth series, it is revealed that Richard is actually the son of Darken Rahl, the antagonist. Yes, his name is Darken. And he's the father of the protagonist, who has a magic sword, and is taught by an old man. This editor would have blanked it out with spoiler tags, but frankly it's not that important. And it's not even the father revealing it to his son, but his son's maternal grandfather. So.
    • This then happens several more times with different characters.
    • The TV series loosely based on the books also follows the trope but replaces Luke, I Am Your Father with Luke, I Am Your Brother, and this time, Zedd is not the one who reveals the truth. The substitution is likely because the actor playing Rahl is much younger than the character in the novel, making Richard only about 10-15 years Rahl's junior in the show.
    • This is actually one of Goodkind's better instances of Playing with a Trope. It starts with Darken Rahl accusing Zedd of being Richard's father. Zedd responds, in short, "Actually, I'm his grandfather. Remember how you raped my daughter? You're his father." Richard is not present for this scene, and doesn't find out himself about either of these relations until the next book.
  • Charles Dickens had a thing for lost parents.
    • In Great Expectations, Magwitch, Pip's benefactor, turns out to be Estella's father.
    • In Bleak House, Lady Dedlock and Captain Hawdon ("Nemo") are Esther Summerson's mother and father.
    • In Nicholas Nickleby, Ralph Nickleby turns out to have been Smike's father, but he only finds out after Smike's death. The revelation drives him to suicide.
    • In Oliver Twist, Mr. Brownlow is an old friend of Oliver's Disappeared Dad, Edwin Leeford, and he actually adopts Oliver as his son in the end. What else? The Smug Snake Monks is Oliver's half-brother (real name: Edward Leeford) and Rose Mayley is Oliver's aunt (his deceased mother Agnes was Rose's older sister). (The musical Oliver! simplifies matters enormously by making Mr. Brownlow Oliver's grandfather and leaving Monks and the Mayleys out entirely.)
    • The best Dickensian example of this trope is in Barnaby Rudge, in which the mysterious robber, murderer and general villain that has haunted the book turns out to be Barnaby's father. He even reveals this using the phrase "I am your father". If only he'd said "Barnaby, I am your father" it would be perfect. Being simple-minded, Barnaby doesn't react with the same horror as Luke.
  • Done intelligently in Rafael Sabatini's romantic historical adventure Scaramouche: André-Louis Moreau spends most of the book as the nemesis of the abhorrent Marquis de La Tour d'Azyr, who dun DUN DUN, unsurprisingly turns out to be his father—but Andre-Louis has never particularly cared for anyone except his Parental Substitute; and the fact is resolved within a couple chapters.
    • The 1952 movie had the Marquis turn out to be his older brother.
  • In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy, Lirael finds out the identity of her real father at the end of book two: it's the former Abhorsen, Terciel, making Lirael Sabriel's younger sister, and Sameth's aunt. This accounts for much of Lirael's Wangst — that is, morbid tendencies, et alia. Fortunately, she had already prevented her nephew becoming attracted to her by saying that she was thirty years older than him.
  • Neil Gaiman's American Gods: Shadow's father is Mr. Wednesday, the man who hires him after he is released from prison. Mr. Wenesday is also the Norse god Odin.
    • Shadow's real name also happens to be Baldur.
  • Son of a Witch: While the title implies it pretty strongly, it's left very much in doubt whether Liir is Elphaba's son until the very last line, when Liir's own newborn daughter is revealed to be green like Grandma. Apparently the complexion is genetic, but only expressed in females.
  • In Meredith Ann Pierce's The Firebringer Trilogy, Jan, the lead character and prince of the unicorns (all the main characters in the trilogy are unicorns), discovers in the third book that his father Korr mated with another mare before he pledged himself with Jan's mother- which is something of a problem, as the other mare's child is Jan's own mate and the mother of his children, and unicorn custom absolutely forbids incest. Lucky thing then that it turns out the mysterious, renegade stallion Calydor, who Jan felt oddly connected to upon meeting for the first time, was actually Jan's mother's first love- and Jan's biological father.
    • Another Meredith Ann Pierce example: the white witch Oriencor is actually the daughter of Ravenna the Ancient. Her excuse for becoming the Big Bad was that she felt cheated of her inheritance since Ravenna promised, falsely, that she could one day return to Oceanus with the Ancients; Oriencor's schemes to take over the world are really just Part One of her attempts to get there on her own. The heroine of the trilogy, Aeriel, also has one: raised an orphaned slave in the land of Terrain, she later discovers she's the heir to the suzerainty of Pirs. Made squicky by her uncle, who killed her father and attempted to force her mother to marry him, and tries to seduce Aeriel.
    • And another: Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood. Hannah is the "daughter" of the Queen, having grown from the branch the Wizard stole. Pierce really likes this trope.
  • In the Animorphs supplemental novel The Andalite Chronicles, we find out that Elfangor, the Andalite prince that gave the kids the power to morph, is actually Tobias' father, from some fancy time manipulation care of the Ellimist.
    • To be fair, you also find the same thing out in "The Pretender".
    • Marco's mother has been taken over by the leader of the invaders.
  • In The Night Angel Trilogy, the Godking does this to both the protagonist and someone else. In the protagonist's case, the Godking is just screwing with his mind. In the latter case, she kills him anyway.
  • In The Last Book in the Universe, Spaz finds out from Ryter in the final moments of his life that Billy Bizmo is his father and Lotti Getts is his mother.
  • In Christopher Moore's Fool, titular character and king's fool Pocket learns that his father was King Lear's brother, since Lear made him rape Pocket's mother. Uh-huh. (This means he's been screwing and lusting after his first cousins.)
  • Done twice in Karen Miller's Godspeaker Trilogy. In Dmitak's case it's moments before he kills his mother and gets killed himself.
  • Inverted (and partly subverted) in Robin Hobb's Tawny Man Trilogy where the main character is forced to interact with his children, who doesn't know who their real father is.
  • In the first book of Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series (Storm Born), it is revealed, fairly early on, that Storm King is Eugenie's father. On a slightly different note, it is also revealed, much later on - close to the very end of the book, in fact - that Jasmine is her half-sister.
  • In the third book of the Maximum Ride series, Max is horrified to learn that the Director and leader of Itex is her mother. Later, Jeb informs her that this is a lie and he is her real father and Dr. Martinez is her real mother. She takes this revelation much better, though is just as shocked.
  • In the Brother Cadfael novel The Leper of St. Giles by Ellis Peters, the titular leper turns out to be the unwilling bride's long-lost grandfather, whom everyone thought had died in the Crusade. Subverted in that, while he admits the truth when Cadfael confronts him about it, his leprosy has disfigured him so badly that he refuses to reveal himself to anyone else, not wishing to be a burden or to spoil tales of his Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Cadfael himself also turns out to be the father of Olivier, a young man from the Holy Land who makes his first appearance in "The Virgin in the Ice."
  • In All the King's Men, Judge Irwin was revealed to be Jack Burden's father at the precise moment it was also revealed that he had shot himself.
  • Near the end of Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief, Ren discovers that he is the son of Mc Ginty's sister and Benjamin Nab. That last is a big maybe, however.
  • In Villains by Necessity, it turns out near the end (hinted at earlier subtly main antagonist Mizzamir is Sam's father, and wiped his mother's mind after raping her, proving Light Is Not Good, indirectly helping to put Sam into his life of being a cold-blooded hired killer.
  • Played with in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn. Main character Vin knows from the beginning of the story that her father is an important nobleman (she inherited her powers from him), but doesn't know his identity. He turns out to be Tevidian, High Prelan (priest) of the Corrupt Church and right-hand-man to the Lord Ruler. Surely this leads to a dramatic moment where the rebel Vin confronts and defeats her badass Dragon father? Wrong- when we meet Tevidian, he turns out to be a coward who toadies to the Inquisitors (the real Dragons) and gets killed offhand for essentially annoying them without ever getting a chance to speak with his daughter. But honestly, nobody was really that torn up about it.
  • The Lost Symbol: The main antagonist throughout the book is revealed to be the son of one of the main protagonists.
  • In Ben Bova's Venus, the protagonist, Van, is really Fuchs' son, not Humphres'.
  • Done once or twice in Evil Genius: Cadel knows his adoptive parents aren't his real parents, and he's told by his psychologist, Thaddeus, early in the story that his "real" father is Phineas Darkkon, and his mother is dead. Later in the novel, however, Thaddeus mentions how lucky it is that Cadel looks like his mother rather than his father, which confuses Cadel. It's revealed that Thaddeus is actually Cadel's father, which nearly gives him a Heroic BSOD.
  • In Shocker, the main villain reveals himself to be the protagonist's father before he is executed in the electric chair and is turned into a Psycho Electro.
  • In Flora's Dare, Flora learns that Hotspur really is her father, but her biological mother is the notorious Butcher Brakespeare.
  • In The Warlord Chronicles, Derfel gets an unusually subtle version of this from Aelle, who instead of telling him straight out instead criticises him for not visiting his mother and leaves him to work it out for himself. Later, Aelle declares Derfel to be the best of all his sons. Just before Derfel kills him.
  • Used straight in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, with the revelation that Camaris is Josua's father, rather than King Prester John, and rolled into the Aesop that lies told and retold are what shape civilizations. This also retroactively explains the Cain and Abel relationship between Josua and Elias, even before their falling out over the death of Elias' wife.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Gudule is Esmeralda/Agnes'a mother. If you know about Victor Hugo's love for One Degree of Separation, you saw it coming.
  • In Alan Garner's The Owl Service, Gwyn has just found proof that Huw, the mad gardener, killed his mother's lover Bertram and accuses Huw of killing his father. Huw then reveals that he is Gwyn's father.
  • In Warrior Cats, the former Thunderclan leader Bluestar is revealed to be the mother of three Riverclan cats, Mistyfoot, Stonefur, and Mosskit. The kitten died though.
    • Yellowfang also reveals to Brokentail that she is his real mother, after she fed him the deathberries that would kill him.
    • In the third series Leafpool reveals that she is the mother of the Three.
  • The Dresden Files: Seriously, don't mess with Harry Dresden. If he doesn't fuego the crap out of you, his vampire half-brother Thomas will. If you're really lucky, Grandpa Ebenezer will drop a Soviet satellite on your ass.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, Miranda learns that her mother was not who she thought she was. (Her half-siblings let it slip, not realizing she doesn't know.) She's Caliban's half-sister! And while William Shakespeare fictionalized some events in The Tempest, the Attempted Rape in the Back Story is not one of them.
  • Played with for Mareth, the young Druid-in-training in First King of Shannara, has revealed to her during the course of the journey that the innate, nearly out-of-control magic she possesses was inherited from her father—a Skull Bearer. She has the appropriate reaction, and almost succumbs to a Heroic BSOD until Kinson Ravenlock snaps her out of it. In the end, however, it is never revealed if this was actually the truth, or part of a trap by the Genre Savvy Warlock Lord to ensnare her powerful magic through her longing for her Disappeared Dad.
  • In The Mysterious Benedict Society, Kate's Disappeared Dad is revealed to be Milligan.
  • It's played straight in On the Jellicoe Road with Taylor, who finds out who her dad is the boy in the picture and her aunt is Hannah. This is played with for Jessa; Taylor (a third party) finds out her father is the Hermit late in the story but its unclear if Jessa connects her dad to the Hermit.
  • Inverted in Dune, as it is actually Alia Altreides who reveals her relationship to Harkonnen, her grandfather, just after she poisoned him, and it is actually Harkonnen who is shocked at the lineage.
  • In Stephen Hunt's The Rise of the Iron Moon, Black is astounded to recognize his own features in his daughter; he had seen her mother fall, with a head wound, in a fight.
  • An example from Harald: Though the individual characters know the relationship from the beginning, King James is lead to believe that Harald will join him against Carala, and he gets this sort of surprise when Harald reveals that he's her father.
  • In the Alcatraz Series, Alcatraz Smedry learns that The person he thought was his emotionally abusive social services case worker was really his mother and one of the evil librarian cultists that rule the world.
  • Boneshaker: Dr. Minnericht is said to be the (supposedly) dead Mad Scientist father of one of the main characters. He's lying.
  • Mrs Lestrange (no, not that one) is Lettice Protheroe's mother in Murder At The Vicarage.
  • Pol discovers that Ianthe is his mother and not Sioned as he believed in Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince. The readers know this before he does.
  • Septimus Heap:
    • At the end of Magyk, Boy 412 is revealed to be the Heaps' supposedly dead son Septimus.
    • In Flyte the man who keeps asking people about Jenna turns out to be her father, Milo Banda.
  • At the end of Fred Saberhagen's Empire of the East trilogy, the demon prince Orcus realizes that Ardneh is his father in a sense (not the biological sense, since neither being is biological), and that, in killing Ardneh, he has also destroyed himself.
  • In Michael Flynn's Up Jim River, Donovan is in denial, and the harper doesn't want to talk about once she realizes. When Donovan puts it together, the conversation that ensues has both this, and Luke, You Are My Father.
  • Even if the characters themselves knew about their connection, it is revealed pretty late in the first Jon Shannow book by David Gemmell that outlaw gang leader Daniel Cade is Jon's brother.
  • In the historical novel Wings of Dawn: Thomas and Lord Hawkwood.
    • Also Luke I Am Your Love Interest's Father, with Thomas and Sir William.
  • In The Wildcats by J.T. Edson, Calamity Jane discovers that Madam Bulldog is actually her mother.
  • In the Brazilian book Lobo Alpha (Alpha Wolf) the main character (Amy) finds out about Creatures (beings that can change shape into animals) and befriends (soon falling in love) with Marco, a Wolf Creature (white wolf to be precise) who is the Omega of his pack. Some time after, they find out that Amy is adopted and that she, too, is a Creature after being killed -only turns out she wasn't- by Bloter while Marco was fighting Cannish (Members of Marco's pack). Amy is called a Crossbred (meaning that one of her TRUE parents was a creature and the other was a human. Although this breeding is rare, she eventually meets another Crossbred near the end of the book). She learns more about her true mother, Yuu. At first everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) thinks that Amy is the daughter of Wulfmayer (the Alpha wolf, who had been in love with Yuu despite being married) until, during a dinner with the said pack, Wulfmayer reveals that he raped Yuu (along with Bloter) but didn't kill her because he felt she was pregnant and that Amy is actually Marco's daughter (cuts to "eeeewww" since they were in love and had already had sex).
    • That doesn't last (thank God) 'cause when Marco leaves the room, Amy follows and asks him about it. He then tells her there is no way for him to be her father because, though he loved Yuu, they had never been "this close" and he just didn't say anything so they could have time to find out who was Amy's father. After some time, we get the reveal of who the said father is: Cannish. The (honestly badass) irish wolf. Now, remember he attacked Marco and Amy with Bloter? Remember how he killed Jill's friend (a journalist who befriends Amy and Marco and tags along with them) and several other people? Remember he also devoured Amy's grandfather who she never met? So, yeah, she is less than pleased about this.
      • However, still during the first book (yeah, this all happens in the first book) after realizing that Amy IS his daughter (he just realized it during the dinner when Wulfmayer told the others he had raped Yuu at an old park where she had been actually waiting for Cannish and after the said rape, to protect him -who was going to leave the pack and run away with her-, Yuu told him she didn't want to see him anymore, so he didn't know Amy was his) Cannish changes sides to help Marco and the group and we find he is actually a cool guy.
  • Mortal Instruments: Valentine is Clary and Jace's father.
  • At the end of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Joe is revealed to be Tommy's real father. Sam married Rosa after the child's conception to conceal Joe's out-of-wedlock parenthood as well as his own homosexuality.

    Live Action TV 
  • Princess Returning Pearl: Xiao Jian says a variation of this line to Xiao Yan Zi to reveal that he is her brother.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: It was hinted at throughout their character arcs, but nevertheless was a huge surprise when it was revealed that Enabran Tain and Elim Garak were father and son. However, Tain and Garak both knew it all along. The reveal was mainly for the audience who had not known it. The drama of the reveal is based on Tain wishing on his deathbed for Garak to avenge his death, while Garak wants - for once in his life, and before it's too late - for them to have a moment as father and son, instead of a superior and inferior officer or a mentor and his protégé.
    • It's also strongly hinted, but never acknowledged, that Tain's live-in-housekeeper is Garak's mother. She definitely raised him and at one point he implies she is the one person he knows genuinely cares for him.
  • Carnivŕle Where to begin? The mysterious Henry Scudder is Ben's father. Lucius Belyakov (AKA Management) is the father of both Justin and Iris (who were born Alexei and Irina Belyakov). And Justin is Sofie's father, having raped her mother Appolonia as a young man.
  • The main plot of Graduados. Back in High School, in The Eighties, Loli was cheated by her boyfriend Pablo Catáneo, escaped with Andy Goddzer, and had sex in his truck. She got pregnant, but they all thought that it was with Pablo. Her father ordered them to get married to raise the kid, Martín. Then, in 2012, it was the time for a meeting of former students. Loli saw Andy again, remembered the whole thing, and arranged a DNA Test: it got that Andy is the father of Martín.
  • LOST: Claire and Jack are half-siblings. And it seems their father (or his ghost, or SOMETHING like it) is close to the mysterious Jacob.
    • In season 5, Pierre Chang, the guy from the orientation tapes, turns out to be Miles's father. "The third day we were here, I was in line at the cafeteria and my mother got in line behind me. That was my first clue."
  • Parodied in the Stargate SG-1 episode "200": the rest of the SG team momentarily trick Mitchell into believing that O'Neill is his father by means of Time Travel.
    • Then again, all the numbers work out, those are some good arguments they give, and they never tell him they were joking. Who knows?
      • Well, since Mitchell is Acting for Two with his grandfather, it doesn't seem likely.
      • Most folks have two grandfathers. Unless they're Fry.
      • It's made clear that the aforementioned grandfather is his paternal grandfather, therefore O'Neill can't be his father. Plus, O'Neill knew fully well during his time-travel experience that he shouldn't meddle with the past, so he's not going to do something like that. He knows how much it could screw up the timeline.
  • Sanctuary: While the audience learns in episode 1 that John Druitt (AKA Jack the Ripper) is Ashley's father, she doesn't get the news until later in the season when he kidnaps her.
  • The second-season finale of The Pretender: Miss Parker learns that she has a twin brother she was never told about because he supposedly died at birth — and not only is he still alive, he's one of the recurring characters! (All four of the series' season finales feature a "He's the brother you never knew you had" reveal for one of the lead characters — counting the clone in the third season finale as a brother — but this is the only one where the brother is an already-established character.)
  • The Vampire Diaries: Turns out that Uncle John is this to Elena.
    • Subverted when ELENA confronts him with the reveal in order to get him to let her go.
  • The X-Files: Hints had been dropped throughout the series that Bill Mulder was not Mulder's father, but that his father was C.G.B. Spender. It was left up in the air until season seven's "The Sixth Extinction: Amor Fati", we find out that he is Mulder's father, but Mulder does not find out until much later.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: Maeve, the Big Bad, reveals she is The Chosen One Rohan's mother. There is no indication at what point she learned this; Maeve seemed as shocked as anyone when Lugad told her Rohan told him they were brothers. The line is almost identical to the movie's with the names changed appropriately.
  • Power Rangers has been fond of this one and uses it regularly since it was so successful the first time around:
    • In Power Rangers In Space, we are treated to the tasty reveal that Big Bad Astronema is The Captain Andros's long-lost sister Karone after brainwashing.
    • Two years later in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, we are treated to the revelation that then-evil Sixth Ranger Ryan is Mission Control Captain Mitchell's long-lost son (And, thereby, Pink Ranger Dana's brother).
    • In Power Rangers Ninja Storm, we find out that Big Bad Lothor is Sensei Watanabe's twin brother, and Sixth Ranger Cam's uncle. This was fortunate for Lothor's nieces by marriage, as they would have been destroyed if Cam hadn't decided to save them—because "they're family."
    • In Power Rangers Dino Thunder, we have the revelation that Sixth Ranger Trent is the adopted son of Big Bad Mesogog's human counterpart Anton Mercer.
    • But the all-time leader is Power Rangers Mystic Force, where we learn in short succession that the evil Wolf Knight Koragg is the mind-controlled form of Leanbow, husband to The Obi-Wan Udonna. Udonna then discovers that Red Ranger Nick is actually her long-lost son Bowen. Meanwhile, we discover that comic relief character Leelee is secretly the daughter of Necrolai, queen of the vampires.
      • It would have helped if they hadn't been playing what sounds like a fantasy-sounding version of the theme from the Star Wars prequels throughout the season. Unlike Luke, however, Nick actually does take up the mantle of the Master's apprentice as the new Knight Wolf, for a short time.
      • This is invoqued a little differently in the original Mahô Sentai Magiranger serie. There is Wolzard, who has "killed" Miyuki Ozu, mother of the five heroes. But in fact, he has transported her in a safe place. He revealed the truth to the heroes at the same time he sacrified him to defeat N'ma. But he still alive and come back to become Magi Fire Red along with the heroes and his wife, Magi Mother.
    • Following In Space's example, RPM reveals that Dark Action Robot Girl Tenaya 7 is actally Dillon's missing sister, which surprises... absolutely no one.
  • Parodied on The Brak Show episode "All That I Desire You", itself a complete send-up of soap operas; Dad is revealed to be living a double life as billionaire oil baron Drake Gainway, and is father to Zorak, Clarence, and his secret third wife Cynthia - in addition to Brak and the Gainway children.
    • And just for extra craziness, when The Brak Show was "hosting" [adult swim]'s New Year's Night, it was revealed that Thunderclese's father was none other than Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a completely different show.
  • In series 7 of Red Dwarf it is revealed that Lister's father is himself, and his mother is Kochanski, his long-lost love.
  • Catherine Willows on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, when she finds out that Sam Braun is her father.
  • In the series Heroes, Claire is revealed to be the daughter of Nathan Petrelli.
    • The earlier reveal, when HRG/Noah comes home and we find out that he is Claire's father. (He adopted her, but she considers her adopted parents her "real" parents)
      • And in the Season 3 premiere, Gabriel Gray/Sylar is another Petrelli Brother.
      • Not so much...
      • There's also rumours of yet another Petrelli on the way. I'd guess Adam, but I don't know.
      • Adam's impossible as he's been around for hundreds of years and looks nothing like the Petrellis. Matt Parkman on the other hand... though his dad, Maury, has already been a character, but we don't know if he's not a HALF brother...
      • On the subject of the "new Petrelli", hilariously it ended up as a literal "I am your father" moment, both when Peter and Nathan learned their father, Arthur, was still alive and when Sylar got to meet him for the first time.
      • Funnily enough, there is no new Petrelli. They lied to Sylar. He killed Arthur for it, and he's working on Angela to get the location of his real parents.
    • Also as of season 3, Claire is revealed to also be related to Level 5 escapee Flint, who is brother to Meredith, Claire's biological mother. Though it's as yet unknown to Claire, it will most likely comprise a bit of a surprise at least.
      • Seriously, is there anyone on that show who isn't related?
      • I've heard rumors about Ando.
  • Strongly hinted in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "End Game."
    • And confirmed in "Frame".
  • In Remington Steele, Steele finds out in the last episode that Daniel Chalmers, his mentor and fellow con-man, is actually his long-lost father.
  • Subverted in an episode of Las Vegas where Mike finds evidence that the Montecito's new owner, AJ Cooper, is Piper's father. Piper confronts Cooper and he vehemently denies it. It turns out that Cooper knew her father from when they served in the Marines together and promised that he would keep an eye on her.
  • Also subverted in Life On Mars, where DCI Morgan takes Sam to a graveyard. He shows Sam two graves which have the name Williams on them, telling him that these are his parents, he is not Sam Tyler, but Sam Williams, working for him undercover. Sam shrugs this off and is about to leave when he spots three graves behind him, one of which says 'Here lies Sam Tyler', the other two with his parents names, Vic and Ruth Tyler. He's a little upset by this..
  • In US version of Life On Mars, the trope is inverted: in the finale, Sam Tyler confronts his father, and tells him that he is his son.
  • In the series Night Court it is revealed after several seasons that Harry's mentally unbalanced step-father "Buddy" is actually his biological father.
  • Parodied by the Melty Man (an Anthropomorphic Personification of male impotence, complete with black glove and Darth Vader voice) in Coupling.
    Patrick: You killed my erection!
    Melty Man: No Patrick, I am your erection!
  • Mocked in the third series of Doctor Who when dealing with The Master, Martha asks if he is the Doctor's long-lost brother. To which the Doctor responds, "you've been watching too much television."
    • Though, it was originally going to be played straight, and when the Doctor was going to let the Master die, the dialogue was originally going to reveal them to actually be brothers! This line was cut before filming, though, leaving the canonicity of it heavily debated. The Master is still killed off though, due to his refusal to regenerate and live out the rest of eternity as the Doctor's prisoner after being shot by his wife.
    • Played straight in A Good Man Goes to War, where River Song is revealed to be Melody Pond, Amy and Rory's daughter.
    • Also played straight in "The Doctor Dances", when Nancy reveals that Jamie, the first of the gas mask zombies, was not her little brother as she had said earlier, but her son.
  • Masterfully inverted, gender-swapped, and played without melodrama in The 10th Kingdom, when via the magic mirror Virginia and her father learn that the Evil Queen is her missing mother Christine. Not only is this trope combined with that of the Mysterious Parent (though here there is no revelation about the child), but despite the constant references throughout the miniseries, the scene of The Reveal genuinely took this editor by surprise when he first saw it — and it did for every other person he's ever shown the film to. It's that subtle, but so obvious on a second viewing... rather like The Sixth Sense. What makes it particularly unique is that, rather than the villain making the revelation, it comes from a third party (in this case a magical object), and it is the hero who must then convince their erstwhile parent of the truth, rather than the reverse. The tragedy ensues when Virginia breaks through to her real mother after the poison comb has loosed her from the Swamp Witch's spell, she remembers who she is and declares her love...and dies in her daughter's arms.
  • Parodied on The Daily Show. Stephen Colbert is asked to report on the cancellation of daytime drama Another World. He goes off on a wild melodramatic tangent, reveals that Colbert is not his real name and accuses Jon Stewart of abandoning his "bastard elevator baby". Subverted within the parody because when Stephen finally calls him "Daddy", Jon spoils it by pointing out that they're the same age.
  • Caleb and Sheriff Buck of American Gothic. Unique in that it is revealed in the pilot of the series, and that while Caleb reacts in disgust and anger at the notion, he never has a Heroic BSOD or otherwise freaks out over the revelation. In fact the more time passes, the less issue he seems to take with it, even welcoming and embracing the relationship by the end of the series. This could be due to being orphaned and having no one else to turn to except an increasingly unstable doctor and a Cool Big Sis cool cousin who is also being drawn into Buck's orbit, but all things considered, probably not.
  • Subverted in Veronica Mars. Paternity tests confirm that Keith Mars is Veronica's father.
    • And then played straight with Logan's adopted sister in an interesting way that somehow managed to avoid the usual cliché of the trope.
    • Also played straight at the end of the second season episode "Green-Eyed Monster" with Wallace and Nathan.
  • Done in very a surprising "How the hell did I not see that coming?" way on Dexter when The Ice Truck Killer is revealed to be Dexter's brother.
  • This happens on Green Wing, where Guy discovers that Joanna is his mother, making him and Martin brothers. Unfortunately, he only finds this out after they have sex, leading to a complete meltdown on Guy's part.
  • In Sharpe's Justice, the rabble-rouser Matt Truman is Sharpe's half-brother.
  • In Jonathan Creek, an actress attempts to covertly help the son that she secretly gave up for adoption many years ago by having him cast in the movie she is currently starring in, only to learn that he has developed a bit of an obsession with her, unaware that she is his mother. He's embittered when she rejects him in this sense, understandably a bit Squicked out; unfortunately, she confesses this to her ex-husband who, holding his own grudge, manipulate the son into murdering her.
  • Averted in Without a Trace: Agent Malone is captured and tortured by a conwoman who thinks he's an enemy out to get her and her partner who is, naturally, her son. I can't recall all the facts, but in the end the conwoman dies and asks Malone not to tell her son the truth (it probably would've been squicky for him anyway).
  • Parodied innummerable times on Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
  • All My Children loves this trope. Examples: Daisy Cortlandt and Myra Murdock (Nina's "dead" mother and long-lost grandmother), Palmer Cortlandt (Ross Chandler's long-lost father), and Jackson Montgomery (Greenlee Smythe's real father). In the most recent example, the show waved a magic Retcon to make Erica Kane's aborted child appear as Josh Madden, supposedly the son of evil Dr. Madden.
  • Taken to absurdity in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, when they parody Australian soaps:
    Fry: The truth is, mate, I was confused and slightly bewildered. I'd just discovered that Durnick isn't my real father.
    Laurie: He isn't? Then who is?
    Fry: I am.
    Laurie: Then that must mean that you must be—
    Fry: Exactly. Devlin's half-sister's wife's doctor's cousin's niece.
    Laurie: Well then, who the hell am I?
  • Parodied on Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. Krod confronts Chancellor Dungalor, who stalls for time by revealing that he's Krod's brother. Well, his brother-in-law, as Dungalor was married to Krod's sister. Ex-brother-in-law, actually, as they're not even married anymore.
  • Played straight in Reaper with The Devil revealed to be Sam's father at the end on season one.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Mighty Boosh, "Journey to the Centre of the Punk": Howlin' Jimmy Jefferson, the Spirit of Jazz, claims to be Howard's father, then uncle, then second cousin twice-removed on his sister's side, in an attempt to keep Howard from killing him. Only the last one works.
    Jimmy Jefferson: You can't kill me, boy!
    Howard: Why!?
    Jimmy Jefferson: Because I'm your father!
    Howard: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
    Jimmy Jefferson: Yeeeaaah! Let it out! Let it out, boy! Release the pain! Daddy's here, come to daddy! Daddy's come for ya, boy!
    Howard: -OOOOOOOOOO Hang on, my dad's a geography teacher in Leeds.
    Jimmy Jefferson: ...I meant, uh, I'm your uncle!
    Howard: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-
    Jimmy Jefferson: All those hours spent weeping by the window, bring uncle back for me!
    Howard: -OOOOOO...What, uncle Terry? Who works at Stansted?
    (Later)
    Jimmy Jefferson: Oh, I meant, um, your 2nd cousin twice removed on your sister's side!
    Howard: Oh right, yeah. NOOOOOOOOOOOO-
    Jimmy Jefferson: That's right, we's family!
  • Played straight in Jekyll, with an extra twist at the end of the final episode.
  • On Arrested Development, Oscar is really Buster's father, GOB is Steve Holt's father, and Lindsay is adopted.
  • Played straight in Glee. It turns out that Shelby Corcoran is Rachel's biological mother.
  • In the Only Fools and Horses 1987 Christmas special "The Frog's Legacy", Del and Albert hinted that Freddie the Frog, a gentleman safecracker had an affair with Del and Rodney's mum Joannie before Rodney was born. This rumor was confirmed to be true in the 2003 Christmas special "Sleepless in Peckham", when Rodney looks at an old photograph of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing and finds that Freddie bears an uncanny resemblance to him.
    • The Prequel trilogy Rock And Chips tells the story of Joannie's affair with Freddie in the early 1960's.
  • In season 3 of Chuck, where Casey yells "I'm your father!" when Alex starts to run away after he has "kidnapped" her.
  • The very last words said on Kyle XY by Big Bad Cassidy to Kyle: "I'm your brother."
  • One infamous Eastenders moment (2001) is Zoe Slater telling her "sister" Kat: "You can't tell me what to do, you ain't my mother," and getting in response, "YES I AM!"
  • In 3x05 of Merlin, it is revealed that Morgana is actually Uther's biological daughter, making her Arthur's half-sister. One wouldn't be surprised because this follows the Arthurian legends, but since Morgana was first introduced as the King's Ward and the daughter of Goloris, one wouldn't be given the impression of anything otherwise.
  • In a 3rd Rock from the Sun two-parter, the Big Giant Head reveals that he is Dick's father. Tommy later likens this to Luke Skywalker finding out about Darth Vader, but Dick brushes him off, saying this is real life.
  • In the first episode of what is considered possibly the worst TV series made, My Mother The Car, his mother has to admit to David Crabtree that while she's a car, she really is his mother, come back as a 1928 Porter. So, he's sitting in the car and she talks to him. At one point, (3:34 in the video referenced in this example), she says, "David, I am your mother."
  • Lawman: In "The Joker", outlaw Barney Tremain claims to be Johnny McKay's real father. It is left unresolved whether he was telling the truth or not.
  • Bones has this in one episode, where Bones discovers that the priest who has been helping them on a case is actually her long-lost father, who is also the murderer they are hunting for.
  • In Chinese Paladin, Drunken Master Mo Yixi suspects from the beginning that he is Ah Nu's long-gone father, but due to a Family Relationship Switcheroo on the mother's part, has to investigate further before he's sure.
  • Beautifully done in season 3 of The Dead Zone when Sarah finally tells JJ that Johnny is his biological father. JJ doesn't want to believe it and runs up to his room; Sarah and Walt follow. Johnny slowly, sadly heads to the door...and JJ reappears.
    Walt: John, JJ has a question to ask you.
    JJ: What am I supposed to call you?
    Johnny: (fighting tears and kneeling down to hug JJ) Johnny. You just call me Johnny.
  • In the White Collar episode "Vested Interest", a DNA test reveals that mysterious informant Sam is actually Neal's Disappeared Dad.
  • Teased in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where it's been greatly hinted at (but never actually proved) that Frank is actually Charlie's father.
  • Infamously used on 24 where the other mastermind of Day 5 that was working with Charles Logan later turned out to be Jack Bauer's brother.
  • Used in Friends where Monica has a crush on the replacement eye doctor. Only problem? He happens to be the son of her old flame Richard Burke.
  • At the end of Bangkok Hilton, Kat finds out that Bill Worthington, the man who helped her escape from the titular prison, is her father Hal Stanton. The audience, incidentally, has known this from the first episode.
  • In season 3 of Haven it is revealed that the Colorado Kid was James, the son of Sarah, the woman Audrey was 54 years ago. 27 years ago he came to Haven to seek his biological mother and found out that she has not aged and thought of herself as Lucy Ripley. In the season 3 finale it is revealed that his biological father was actually Nathan, who had a fling with Sarah when he traveled back in time to the 1950s. It is also revealed that the Bolt Gun Killer, a skin changing serial killer, is actually Arla, James's wife from 27 years ago and thus Audrey's and Nathan's daughter-in-law.
  • The spy Richard Castle knows as Jackson Hunt tells him this in response to Castle asking him why he's so fixated on rescuing Alexis (because she's his granddaughter).
  • In Once Upon a Time, it's revealed that Henry's biological father is Neal Cassidy, aka Baelfire, Rumpelstiltskin's long-lost son in the second season. Later on, in the third season, it's revealed that Rumpel's father is Peter Pan, making him Henry's great-grandfather.
  • In Revenge Emily Thorne learns that the assassin- Gordon Murphy- responsible for the murder of her father ended up marrying her mother, Kara Clarke, making him her stepfather. It still doesn't stop either of them from attempting to execute the other.
    • Stevie Grayson, the ex-wife of Conrad Grayson and rival of Victoria Grayson, drops the bombshell in Season 3 that she is the biological mother of Jack Porter, Emily's childhood flame.

    Mythology 
  • The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam from Persian myths, found in The Shahnameh. Rostam's son is raised without meeting his father for years. The young Sohrab decides to become a hero and gathers up a force. Rostam is the Persian equivalent of Hercules and is meanwhile ordered to subdue the marauding enemies. In the final battle, the father and son engage each other in battle, as no one else is a match for either of them. Although Rostam notices similarities between himself and his enemy, it is not until it is too late when he discovers that he has killed his own son.
  • The Irish mythological hero Cuchulainn accidentally kills his son, thinking he is an intruder, only to find out that his son is the victim when it's too late.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Oedipus, in Oedipus the King, finding out that the woman he married is his biological mother, and that guy he killed years ago on the road was his biological father. Oh, and then he had to tell his daughters "I am your brother." Ouch. He puts out his eyes after that...

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The 2005 feud between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio included an angle where Rey's real-life son Dominick was revealed to be the (kayfabe) biological son of Guerrero.
    Guerrero: I'M YOUR PAPI!
  • WWE did a story line in 2007 where it was revealed that Vince had fathered a child out of wedlock years ago, and his illegitimate offspring was a member of the current WWE roster. In the end, the child was revealed to be Hornswoggle.
    • Originally, it was planned for Mr. Kennedy to be Vince's long-lost son.
  • In the late-1990's, after the Undertaker's brother, Kane, came to the WWF, it was revealed that Kane's biological father was Paul Bearer, the Undertaker's manager until 1995. The story was Bearer worked in the funeral home run by Taker's parents (Bearer was a licensed mortician/funeral director in real life) and the mother made a pass at him, resulting in a one-night stand ... and Kane 9 months later.

    Roleplay 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Invoked in Exalted, where the Sidereal Exalted have a power, Brother and Sister Revelation, which allows them to invent any sort of blood relationship between two characters and make it metaphysically true.

    Theater 
  • The Marriage of Figaro has an instance of this that's similar to the one from The Italian above: Marcellina is about to force Figaro to marry her in lieu of paying off a debt, when a casual comment he drops about a birthmark reveals that she's his mother. They embrace and make up, leading instantly to a classic Not What It Looks Like scenario...
    • Something similar happens in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as the Centurion was intending to marry Hero's love interest. Turns out in the ending that not only was the blind man that Pseudolus attempted to distract by having him run across the hills of Rome seven times was his father, but the Centurion and the love interest were actually siblings (they were kidnapped and separated while they were very young, and it was presumably at a time that they simply had no way of remembering due to not knowing this until after he told them). This was more than enough to allow the Centurion to allow Hero to marry the love interest.
  • Happens with the Baker and the Mysterious Man in Into the Woods.
  • Wicked has the Wizard realize that he's Elphaba's father. Elphaba herself never learns the connection — probably all for the better.
  • Urinetown milks the revelation that Penny Pennywise is Hope Cladwell's mother for all that it's worth.
  • In Moličre's The Miser (1668) Anselme, the man who Harpagon wants his daughter to marry, ends up being the father of her lover Valčre as well as Mariane, the love interest of both Harpagon and his son.
  • In the opera Lucrezia Borgia, the title character turns out to be the mother of the protagonist, the young noble Gennaro, by a previous relationship.
  • Almost in Pokémon Live!. Giovanni used to date Ash's mom, and in the first draft of the show, The Reveal would be made that Giovanni was Ash's dad.

    Radio 
  • Spoofed in Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music when, after a series-long Running Gag about Mitch's rivalry with fellow musical satirist Richard Stillgoe, the final episode features him as a special guest, and a showdown between the two performers.
    Stillgoe: Punt and Dennis never told you what happened to your father.
    Benn: You're not my father!
    Stillgoe: No, of course I'm not. Whatever gave you that idea?

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Comedian Gad Elmaleh parodied this in his stand-up show. His mother, he said, used to tell him that "your father is no Rothschild", i.e. "he's no millionaire, we can't waste money." He then says that he later met Rothschild, only to scream at him: "I know! You're not my father!"
  • There's an old joke about a boy who figures out that he can get adults to give him stuff simply by saying a sly "I know the truth..." and leaving it at that, allowing their minds to jump to "What could he know?" and pay him off without confirming what it is he "knows". Then he tries this on the milkman, who, rather than paying him off, drops down in tears of joy and exclaims "SON!" as he hugs him.

    Video Games 
  • Super Mario Sunshine: Bowser Jr. claims early on that Princess Peach is his mother. This is inverted after you defeat Bowser, when he tells Bowser Jr. that Peach is, rather, not his mother, and further subverted when Jr. in turn reveals that he knew she wasn't his mother.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Justice For All, "Ini Miney" admits to being her sister, Mimi Miney. Ini was the one who died in a car crash, and Mimi grabbed the opportunity to surgically reconstruct her face to look like Ini.
  • After the first Art of Fighting, Yuri Sakazaki revealed to her brother Ryo and his friend Robert Garcia that, the game's final boss, Mr. Karate, was Takauma Sakazaki, Ryo and Yuri's father. Good thing too, Ryo was about to kill him for thinking he was the Big Bad. That honor belonged to Geese Howard who blackmailed Takuma by arranging for Yuri's kidnapping, so he could work for him.
  • Throughout the adventure game Bad Mojo, there are hints that Eddie, the landlord of main character Roger Samms, is actually Roger's estranged father. In the game's best ending, if you manage to save both Roger and Eddie from the gas explosion that takes out Eddie's bar at the end of the game, this turns out to be the case.
  • We find out near the end of Tales of Symphonia that Kratos is Lloyd's father. It's hinted at.
    • And in the sequel, Marta is the daughter of Brute, leader of the Vanguard, an organization that's out to KILL her
  • In Tales of Eternia, it's more of a "Luke, I am your mother": Meredy's mother, Shizel.
    • Does this count? The characters in question both knew. Only the other characters and the audience didn't.
  • In Tales of Destiny, Leon reveals that he's Rutee's brother and that Hugo's both of their father.
  • Tales of the Abyss has this happen to Natalia - her real father is Largo the Black Lion, one of the God-Generals.
    • And ironically, in this case, the character named Luke technically has no father. He's a clone.
  • In Chrono Cross, it's revealed (in a huge chunk of exposition that arrives immediately before the unexpected final boss) that Lynx, the cat-man who was the recurring villain for the first part of the game, and who you (kinda, sorta, it's complicated) killed two dungeons ago, was actually Serge's father Wazuki all brainwashed and polymorphed. Also, Kid turns out to be Schala's daughter-clone-time duplicate, which adds an extra layer of weirdness to the final boss since Schala's one half of it. And if his backstory hadn't been dropped, masked magician Guile would have been revealed as Magus, Schala's brother and therefore Kid's... something.
  • Exaggerated in LEGO Star Wars 2 when Darth Vader, Played for Laughs, pulls out a family photo of Padme and Anakin getting married.
  • Parodied twice in Kingdom of Loathing: the Big Bad tells the player she is your mother (quoting, almost word for word, the rest of the exchange from The Empire Strikes Back, right to the Big "NO!")... then insults you for believing her. After you beat her, the Council that sent you to defeat her says "Say, did you know she was your mother?... nah, just kidding" as part of their congratulations message.
    • More than twice, actually. When you kill enough soldiers for both sides in the war in the Mysterious Island quest, you get a choice adventure that lets you choose which boss of which side you get to fight, and the message you get has this. It's even lampshaded that it's been done to death!
  • In the first Fantasy Zone, the commander of the invading forces turns out to be Opa-Opa's father.
  • The Final Fantasy series uses this often:
    • Also, in Final Fantasy II, the Dark Knight in charge of much of Palamecia's military operations turns out to be Leon, the adoptive brother of Firion and Maria.
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Big Bad Golbez turns out to be Cecil's Brainwashed brother, who is being controlled by The Man Behind the Man from the moon.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, it's implied that Shadow is the father of Relm. What's particularly amazing is that it's actually fairly subtle.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, it is revealed near the end of the game that Professor Hojo is the father of Sephiroth and injected him with Jenova Cells while he was still in the womb, though Sephiroth never discovers this. One could only wonder what his reaction would be, considering his low opinion of the man. Likewise, Cloud is led to believe he is a Sephiroth clone implanted with somebody else's memories. While this proves to be false, he instead discovers that he was injected with Jenova cells as an adult in a failed cloning attempt, making Cloud and Sephiroth some weird gene-splicing version of brothers.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, this trope is taken to an extreme, when discovered that ALL the PC's except Rinoa and Edea grew together at the same orphanage. The only reason why Edea is excluded was because she ran said orphanage. On top of that, numerous hints are dropped later on that the other star of the game, Laguna, is Squall's father.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, The Dragon Kuja is a "brother" of sorts of the main character Zidane — they were both artificially created by the same man.
    • Fairly early in Final Fantasy X, Auron reveals to Tidus that Sin is really his father, Jecht, without any explanation for how the human Jecht became a giant Space Whale beyond "you know it to be true." The explanations don't come until much, much later. Why he expects him to believe this...
  • Inverted in Jak 3: Wastelander, where a fatally wounded Damas makes a final request for Jak to find his missing son. Jak realizes that Damas' son is his younger self, whom he sent back into the past in the previous game.
  • Metal Gear Solid did it quite embarrassingly straight — at least to start with. After that it ran with it, taking it to its logical, truly disturbing conclusion.
    • Big Boss is Snake's father — Clone.
    • Liquid is Snake's brother — Twin.
    • Solidus is not only Snake's brother, he's also Raiden's "father" — Foster.
    • While not part of the reveal, The Boss is Big Boss's "mother".
    • Gene, Big Bad of Portable Ops, is Big Boss's "Brother", raised as a successor to The Boss
    • Ocelot is the son of The Boss and The Sorrow (confirmed by the Database)
      • Actually was hinted at in-game, call up EVA sometime before you fight the Pain, she talks about how Ocelot's the son of some legendary soldier who was birthed in the middle of a battlefield.
    • Colonel Campbell is Meryl's father.
    • Grey Fox is also the "brother"/father figure of Naomi. He killed her parents and raised her. One could also say he's a further continuation of the twisted familial relationships. He's practically Gene's "Son". And after Gene's death, he becomes Big Boss's protege to boot!
    • Major Zero started Les Infantes Terible to replace Big Boss. Para-medic did the actual cloning, and EVA are Solid and Liquid's surrogate mother.
      • Solidus isn't part of the same batch as Solid and Liquid, so presumably they don't have the same surrogate mother.
      • Wooh, that's a lot to sum up. Hideo Kojima and his crew sure like having everyone related with only a very few characters blood related.
      • You know things were getting out of control when Kojima confirmed that The End's pet parrot was the grandparent to Emma Emmerich's pet parrot.
  • In the infamous ending of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, LeChuck is revealed to be Guybrush's brother. Fans are divided over whether this ending is to be considered canonical, or a dream sequence.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem Akaneia:
      • At one point in Fire Emblem Gaiden, Alm has to fight a warlord who refuses to attack him. When you kill the warlord, he says with his dying breath "Alm, I am your father!" Alm is a little upset by this.
    • Fire Emblem Jugdral:
      • Julia is Seliph's half-sister.
    • Fire Emblem Elibe:
      • Nergal is the father of Ninian and Nils, Nino turns out to be Canas's niece, Dart is Rebecca's long-lost brother Dan, and Raven is actually Priscilla's brother Raymond.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
      • Joshua is Ismaire's son.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius:
      • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, we learn that Micaiah is the sister of Empress Sanaki and Soren is the son of Almedha and Ashnard. Yes, the Big Bad of the first game.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • Validar is The Avatar's father. (Incidentally, Validar's name in the Japanese version is Fauder.)
  • In Super Robot Wars Alpha and Super Robot Wars Original Generation Levi Tolah, one of the invading aliens is actually Aya Kobayashi's Brainwashed and Crazy sister, Mai Kobayashi.
    • Since that wasn't crazy enough, in Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2 it's revealed that neither are related because their "father" Dr. Kenzo Kobayashi brainwashed them into thinking they were his daughters when they were unrelated; their real past and identity are never revealed.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy pulls this out of nowhere with the final boss, "The Guy" that you want to kill for his title being a huge version of the player character. Just to make sure you got it he says, "Yes, I did have sex with your mother." before the final phase of the battle.
    "Check your inventory screen, Kid. You know it to be true."
  • No More Heroes tell the story of Travis Touchdown who became the best assassin in the US by a fictive association and that one of the responsible is in fact the wife of his brother that he didn't knew the existence before and that the number one assasin is in fact his half-sister who want to take a revenge on his father because he ran away from her mother.
    • It's actually much more complicated than that. The character that's supposedly number one, Dark Star, claims to be Travis's father, but his half-sister Jeane shows up, kills Dark Star, and reminds him that his father is dead. After all, she's the one that killed him and Travis's mother. On top of this, Henry is not just his brother, but his long-lost twin, and a clip after the credits shows Henry's wife and Travis's main love interest, Sylvia, looking at a painting of the two battling with a young girl who she calls Jeane. Yep, just like Travis's half-sister. And his cat.
  • The Darkshine Knight from Seiken Densetsu 3 has a backstory that is way too similar to Darth Vader's to be a coincidence. He was once a heroic knight who fought against the Dragon Emperor, only to lose and be converted into his Dragon. Oh, and he's Duran's father.
  • God of War: Zeus is revealed to be Kratos' father in a bonus cutscene in the first game and at the end of the second game.
  • Viewtiful Joe does this quite blatantly when Captain Blue reveals himself to be Silvia's father, to the point of downright quoting Darth Vader. The entire game is one big homage to movies, so it fits.
    • They did it again in the sequel where the Big Bad was Jet Black, Joe's father and yet again the DS game double trouble where the Big Bad was Joe's mother.
  • Implied by Portal 2, which confirms that Chell is the possibly adopted daughter of an Aperture Science employee, maybe even Caroline, the CEO's secretary/lover who was Turned Into Gla DOS. A Bilingual Bonus supports this, with the lyrics of the turrets song translating to something along the lines of "Goodbye, my sweet child. Stay away from science."
  • In Mother 3, the Masked Man turns out to be Lucas' twin brother, Claus, who had been kidnapped and brainwashed by Big Bad Porky.
  • The Disgaea series. Nippon Ichi loves playing with this, and making them major plot points...
    • It happens at least three times in the first game:
      • Mid-Boss is the reincarnated form of Laharl's father. This is hinted at in game, somewhat more strongly in the anime adaption of the game (even though it lacks the "Seraph Lamington was behind everything" subplot, and confirmed by the World of Disgaea artbook.
      • The Big Sis Prinny is Laharl's mother, paying off the sin of suicide (that she did to save Laharl's life). The game does everything to tell you, short of actually telling you, and the anime preserves this plot point.
      • Jennifer was raised by General Carter. He makes a lousy father, though.
    • As if they didn't beat this trope into the ground with the first game, they brought it back in the second game to beat it under the ground.
      • Adell was given to Mom and Dad to raise by his real parents, Shura (the Masked Man) and Serion (the Masked Woman). Again, the game does everything to tell you, short of actually telling you.
      • Although the game makes clear that Rozalin, as Zenon's reincarnation, cannot be the daughter of the fake Zenon, and out right states that she was kidnapped. The game hints that Rozalin was born into the Snow Clan, and the fake Zenon's attack on them was to secure her. The second point is, once again, confirmed by the World of Disgaea artbook.
    • With the third game, they don't bother even trying to take it seriously anymore...
      • In one scene, Laharl claims to be Mao's father. It doesn't work, mostly because Flonne and Etna can't decide who would be his mother.
      • And in Rasbperyl mode, Master Big Star and Salvatore claim to be the Vato Brothers' parents, while two Prinnies claim to be the parents of Gold Knuckle. All of this, needless to say, is both impossible and absolutely ridiculous.
  • Wild ARMs 4 repeatedly drops the fact that main character Jude has no father, then has the party meet a mysterious vagrant with the same hair colour as Jude, only a little darker. Jude immediately feels strangely connected to this unknown man. Slightly subverted when it is hinted that this is not Jude's real father (he died), but rather a collection of nanomachines that mimicked him.
  • At the end of Baldur's Gate (the first), we learn that the man who killed Gorion is Charname's brother.
    • More literal example is the fact that the voice in your head belongs to Bhaal, God of Murder and your daddy. You'll have a LOT more of these revelations as the series goes on.
    • For one more example, Imoen is one of the Bhaalspawn, and thus your half-sister.
  • In Jay's Journey, Jay's father is Max, the team ditz, who was rendered as such when a magical spell misfired. Jay is less than pleased.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Hama is revealed to be Ivan's sister.
    • In the same game, one could also say that the Doom Dragon being a fusion of Felix and Jenna's parents and Isaac's father could count for this trope as well.
    • And in Dark Dawn, it's heavily, heavily, "Camelot-does-not-do-subtlety" heavily implied that Alex is Amiti's father. And then just in case it wasn't heavily implied enough they take a few bricks and beat it into you, without ever actually saying it. By the very endgame, even Amiti himself is starting to catch on.
  • Parodied in Grabbed by the Ghoulies, in which Baron Von Ghoul tells Cooper he can join him, and they can rule the mansion as father and son. After Cooper's reply, the Baron realizes he's gave the wrong speech.
  • Near the end of Infinite Undiscovery Iskan Du Bal reveals to Capell that Sigmund is his father. This was heavily implied by Svala explaining that after the newly born Capell was exiled from Casandra for being born an Unblessed, Sigmund, then-King of Casandra, had his Lunaglyph removed, thus reverting back to an infant.
  • Semi spoofed in The Legend of Dragoon. Two of the characters are related (it's not hard to guess which two by Disc 2. It's even lampshaded by the older party "There may be a secret connection between us!". Apparently seems to be a spoof in honor of the Final Fantasy VIII father/son thing.
    • Then it goes on to have an actual example. Emperor Diaz is Dart's father and Rose's former lover, Zieg. Then it's subverted — it's actually Melbu Frahma in Zieg's body.
  • In F.E.A.R., the Point Man is Alma's first son.
  • Rival Schools: United by Fate reveals that The Hero Batsu is the son of (literal) Big Bad Raizo. In a surprising twist, Batsu also learns that his classmate Kyosuke and the real Big Bad Hyo are twin brothers and Batsu's cousins (their father Mugen is the older brother of Raizo).
  • The Principal in Battle High 2 is revealed to have changed his name to Frederick Regisworth, from Bryan Regis Harrisworth II. Considering that a character in both Battle High games is named Bryan Regis Harrisworth III, the outcome should be a no-brainer.
  • Parodied in Giants: Citizen Kabuto in Delphi's arc.
  • Borderline example in Shadow the Hedgehog: The titular character was created from the blood of the Big Bad.
  • In Overlord II, the mysterious woman who foresees your inevitable downfall and secretly observes your progress is later revealed to be Rose, the previous Mistress and your mother. This is hinted at first with Gnarl noting how familiar she looks and revealed with this exchange:
    Gnarl: Look, it's our old friend.
    Rose: Oh, do shut up, Gnarl.
    Gnarl: What! How did you know— hang on, I recognize that voice now! Rose! Former Mistress Rose! Or Mrs. Marius now, I should say. Don't trust her. She's a devious, manipulative, abandoner... Oh and she's your mother!
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney takes this trope Up to Eleven when it's revealed to the audience (but not to the protagonist) that Trucy is his half-sister, the guy who got killed in the first case was her father, and their mother is Lamiroir, the blind, amnisiac foreign singer from the third case. Whew....
    • Oh, the third game was pretty good at this too: Evil serial killer Dahlia Hawthorne was coincidentally the cousin of Mia Fey, the lawyer who got her a death sentence, as well as the daughter of the culprit of 2-2. Dahlia Hawthorne is thus also the cousin of Maya Fey and the older sister of Pearl Fey. And so is Dahlia twin sister, Iris. The victim of the last case eventually turns out to have been Maya's long lost mother, who is also Pearl's (and Dahlia's and Iris's) aunt, Mystic Misty Fey, the master of Kurain. So there's no part of the Fey family that's not messed up.
    • The madness that occurred in the 4th game sunk ship over ship over GODDAMN ship, and it is unlikely they will ever be salvaged.
  • Indestructo2Tank's Adventure Mode. After Dirk Danger defeats General Betton, Betton tells Dirk that he's Dirk's father.
  • In the Troperiffic fantasy game parody Darkened Skye, when Skye finally meets her long-lost mother, she finds her to be extremely bitter towards Skye's father and distrustful of men in general. The reason for this attitude is revealed in the game's penultimate battle, where Skye's father is revealed to be The Dragon to the Big Bad. With 3 heads to boot.
  • In Baten Kaitos, you find out at one point that Giacomo is Georg's son. However, since you find out even later that Kalas is an Artificial Human and therefore has no biological parents, this doesn't mean what you think it means.
  • A popular Team Fortress 2 theory is the idea that the Spy is the Scout's father. In "Meet the Spy," the BLU Spy reveals that the RED Spy has been sleeping with the BLU Scout's mother. A drawing of the Scout's mother is engraved on the barrel of the Spy's unlockable handgun, the Ambassador. And one achievement for the Spy, "Who's Your Daddy," involves headshotting three Scouts with the Ambassador, the gun on which his mother is engraved.
    • Another popular idea is assuming the Pyro is female and the Scout's mother, explaining why the Pyro and Spy are archenemies (she hates him for whatever reason) and is in the thick of battle to watch over her son. A related theory is that the unseen Announcer is the Scout's mother, or that the Pyro and Announcer are somehow the same person.
      • We contacted the Pyro about this, and we recieved this response: "Mwafah hah har rarara."
      • This gets even more confusing given that the BLU Scout depicted in "Meet the Spy" is the RED Spy in disguise!
  • In Luminous Arc 2, Master Mattias is Roland's father. He asked Steven to looked after his young son many years ago before going on his Necessary Evil path. Partly played with in that Master Mattias didn't even know until Steven told him.
  • In Xenogears, it's revealed that Grahf is actually Fei's father Khan, as well as Wiseman, a mysterious masked man who has shown up to give Fei advice on several occasions. To further complicate matters, the true essence of Grahf is actually a previous incarnation of Fei, named Lacan, who learned to transfer his mind from one body to another, essentially becoming immortal.
    • Party character and android, Emeralda was created by another previous incarnation of Fei, a scientist named Kim. Essentially making Fei Emeralda's father.
    • Even better; Fei's mother turns out to be Miang, due to her being The Virus.
  • Parodied in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. After you beat the game, Lord Vorselon will show up and claim "Rachet, I was... your father's accountant!"
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger: Jin is Ragna's brother, not just some phycho using Japanese Sibling Terminology. Nu, and therefore Noel are clones of their Missing Little Sister, Saya.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow we find out Arikado is really Alucard, which means Alucard is protecting his fathers reincarnated soul.
  • Double Switch: Lyle the Handyman is Eddie's father, and Elizabeth, the apartment manager, is Eddie's mother. All three of them know this, but the player and the other characters did not know about that.
  • In Bayonetta, Father Balder reveals that he is the titular character's father towards the end of the game.
  • In Secret of Mana, the hero character's mother is the Mana Tree and his father is the ghost you meet at the beginning of the game who tells you to take the Mana Sword.
  • In Dawn of Mana, it's eventually revealed that Keldric, the protagonist, and Stroud, the antagonist, are brothers.
  • Inverted in the main campaign of Battle for Wesnoth: The Reveal is that prince Konrad isn't actually related to the King at all.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 Shandra learns her father is actually Ammon Jerro. Eventually you will have both PC's in your party (but not at the same time) and figure out their relationship.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You find out early that Martin is the last of the Septims and must ascend the throne to save the world. To Martin its all quite a shock and you must do a little work to convince him.
  • In Odin Sphere, the oracle dragon Hindel tells Oswald the Shadow Knight (who is about to slay him) that his father was a man named Edgar. Oswald dismisses this claiming that he doesn't care to know the name of the man who abandoned him as a baby. Hindel tells him not to forget it anyway. To get the True Ending, Oswald must be the one who fights the undead Darkova Gallon the former king of Titania. When Oswald strikes the killing blow, Gallon reacts with disbelief since a prophecy stated that he would only be slain by one of Titanian royal blood. Gallon then asks Oswald his father's name. Oswald recalls Hindel's last words and tells Gallon that his father was named Edgar. Gallon then reveals that Edgar was his eldest son whom he had assassinated out of fear that he was his prophecized killer. As Gallon dies for good, Oswald muses on this new information and realizes that his parents didn't abandon him but sent him away to the Fairy Kingdom for his own safety. While Titania slowly sinks into the sea, Oswald takes one last look at the homeland he never knew.
  • In Mass Effect 3 Matriarch Aethyta reveals that she's the genetic father of Liara, which was hinted in the Shadow Broker DLC of the previous game. If told about this, Liara states that she figured it out a while ago since she's now the Shadow Broker.
  • Dead or Alive: The intro video of Dead or Alive Xtreme features Ayame revealing to Ayane that Ayane is her Child by Rape.

    Web Animation 
  • In the third Lazer Collection video, we find out that the detective hero is the son of Doctor Octagonapus.
  • In Proxicide's MK vs. SF 3, it is revealed at the very end that Akuma and Ryu are father and son.
    • This deviates from Street Fighter canon a bit — in canon, Gouki is Gouken's younger brother and Ryu's adoptive uncle.
  • The Most In The Graveyard toon on Homestar Runner reveals that Coach Z's aunt is Bubs's uncle, which makes them sixth fourth second fifth cousins thrice removed, according to Bubs.
  • Broken Saints: More like I Am Her Father''. Big Bad Lear Dunham tells the other heroes that he is Shandala's biological father in his Just Between You and Me.
  • Ultra Fast Pony uses this as a punchline. It comes out of nowhere and doesn't get followed up on until the next season.
    Twilight: Spike, I don't want you hanging around with Rarity any more.
    Spike: You're not my mom.
    Twilight: What are you talking about? Of course I am.
    Spike: Really?
    Twilight: Yes, Spike, it is true.
    For those unfamiliar with the characters, Twilight is a pony and Spike is a dragon. Later events suggest that Twilight is just delusional about the relationship, and that it's part of a very odd My Beloved Smother complex.

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied in this Penny Arcade strip.
  • Girl Genius: At the end of the first major arc, Agatha escapes from Baron Wulfenbach with the newfound knowledge that she is the daughter of famous adventurer Bill Heterodyne.
    • In the next arc, she finds out that her mother Lucrezia was almost certainly the infamous menace known as the Other... shortly before getting a copy of said progenitor's persona uploaded into her mind.
    • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, the Baron's son, may also be the son of a woman from the lost city of Skifander. This may or may not be related to reports that a princess of Skifander is in Baron Wulfenbach's domains and according to the Baron wants Gil dead. Said princess may be the Baron's daughter and thus Gil's sister (probably twins).
  • Earthsong : Willow learns that Earthsong is her eve
  • Ozy and Millie: Millie eventually learns that the dread pirate Locke is her father, even though Merlin Sickness makes him look like he's about her age.
  • A variation in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Bob first tells Molly that he considers her to be his daughter, even though they are not related.
    • Still later, Jean reveals that because Molly shares some of her DNA, Jean is her mommy, "just a little bit."
  • Revolver Ocelot tells this to Psycho Mantis at one point in The Last Days of Foxhound. Mantis, having killed his father at the age of eight, states that he isn't. Ocelot concedes the point since the only reason he said it was to rip up in Mantis' old wounds.
  • In Drowtales, Jer'Kol tells Ariel he is her father, but it turns out he is really an assassin sent to kill her!
    • Mel is really Ariel's mother and in the same line Kalki is really Mel's daughter.
  • Questionable Content references it in this strip.
  • In Looking for Group, when Richard is in the demonic court on the Plane of Suck, he is asked why he travels with Cale. He responds with a mumbled "He's my mother." This gets a "What?" reaction from everyone in the room, including Richard. Probably just a joke, though. But they said that about the rabbit, too, so...
    • Played straight in page 674 where Captain Tah'vraay reveals this to Benny to get her to break the magical block that keeps her from using healing spells.
  • Subverted in the Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures side-comic Abel's Story, in which Abel grows up believing Cid Rewanz is his father, when in fact Cid was killed and replaced with the Incubus Aniz years before Abel was born.
  • Darths & Droids: Repeatedly.
  • The Order of the Stick parodies the Empire Strikes Back scene in this strip, although it's a case of Luke, You Are My Father because Elan's father was introduced one strip before the reveal except for a flashback here, in which he wasn't named. Still, the "reveal" came as no surprise to someone with a good memory. This being Tarquin, he mentions after the reveal that he intentionally set up the whole situation so he could deliver that line. Elan is just as excited as he is and even remarks that it almost makes up for growing up without a father.
  • The Mulberry story "Mul/Kerry/Bush" included a scene where George W. Bush tried to escape Mulberry's experiment by claiming he was her father. Since Mulberry has Invisible Parents, she nearly believed him, until Taffy pointed out that her last name isn't "Bush."
  • A variation in The Whiteboard: Jinx's friend Kasi turned out to have been Howie's stepdaughter. Both of them knew, but it was certainly unexpected for the readers.
  • In GastroPhobia, Philia reveals that she is Phobia's daughter from the future.
  • In Scandinavia and the World, colonies and independent micro-nations are portrayed as the children of the countries that "own" them.
  • Being the offspring of Satan and Lilith is quite a shock to Lazarus in Underling.
  • In The Silver Eye, Enel had been denying that Velvare Bamidele was his father for years. Finally, after years of silence on the matter, Velvare admitted that he is his son after all.

    Web Original 
  • In "AVGN vs NC", the Nostalgia Critic tries pulling this on the Nerd. It fails.
    NC: Wait! Wait! Would you let your brother die?
    AVGN: Brother? You're my brother?
    NC: Uh, yes! I am your brother!
    AVGN: Well then, surely you know the name of our mother.
    NC: Well of course I know the name of our mother! Eliza... be... (Nerd points Super Scope at Critic) Oh, blame a guy for trying!
  • In the Legion Of Net Heroes title Dvandom Force, .Sig Lad is revealed to have been the son of Mr. Thingy and the !Visible Woman of the Net.tastic Nine, who was dosed with an unstable form of the Super-Molder Serum, and who managed to escape the Retcon Limbo where the rest of the Nine had been sent through the Dvandom Dial.... No, seriously.
  • Parodied, once again, in College Saga. The Darth Vader Clone Diculous tries to pull this on the hero, only to have two of the party members inform him that "*We* are your parents!". Perhaps the reason the hero doesn't fall for it is that he was already revealed to be the son of Willie Wonka. The final twist is Diculous is their daughter.
  • Seen in the Whateley Universe with Carmilla (Sara Waite). Not only does her father turn out to be the very demon a bunch of occultist wannabes are trying to sacrifice her to, but the first time she faces down the infamous archvillain known as the Necromancer she finds out that he in turn is her uncle!!
  • Inverted in Battle for Milkquarious. Near the end, it is revealed that the villain is White Gold's son.
  • Sockb4by - Doug Jones, to Ronnie Cordova.
  • In Red vs Blue the trope is played with in season 1. Sarge, after being shot in the head, talks to Church as a ghost.Sarge laments that he never got to tell Grif the he was his son. The following conversation is something along the lines of:
    Church: That orange guy is your son?
    Sarge: Nope. I just wanted to screw with him one last time.
    • The Freelancer Saga (season 9-10) combines this with The Reveal — the characters involved already know of the connection, but the audience is kept completely in the dark until the very last episode.
  • Rule 72. Darth Vader is Everyones father. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • The Gungan Council has Darth Apparatus doing this to both Ryori Holloway and Delilah Nepenthe.

    Western Animation 
  • Kids Next Door: Number 1 learns in The Movie that the Big Bad Father is his uncle. Inverted in the same movie with the Delightful Children, who it's revealed aren't actually Father's children but former KND operatives whom he kidnapped and Brainwashed.
    • Also, kind of inverted in that Numbuh Zero, who we haven't seen before, is Nigel's dad, who we have.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : In "The Avatar and the Firelord," it is revealed that Avatar Roku, Aang's spiritual predecessor, was the great-grandfather of Prince Zuko on his mother's side, making Aang Zuko's great-grandfather in spirit, if not in body. Did we mention that Mark Hamill voices Zuko's father? Cue run-in-the-family memes.
  • Naturally, Sequel Series The Legend of Korra revealed towards the end of the first season that Tarrlok and the season Big Bad Amon are brothers. By that point, many Fan Fic writers had the right to exclaim, "Wait, I Was Just Joking!"
  • Such a moment happens in W.I.T.C.H. when Caleb finds out that Nerissa is his mother.
  • Winx Club has Roxy finding out that Queen of the Earth Fairies, Morgana is her mother.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): In "Teela's Quest", the titular character finds out that she's the daughter of the Sorceress. Her mommy gave her Easy Amnesia, though, since Teela was NOT supposed to find out. This would've been true in the 2002 remake, but without the amnesia, had the show continued. Oh, we would've also learned that Fisto was Teela's biological father. For some reason, a couple of episodes seemed to hint that it was Duncan a.k.a. Man-At-Arms (who happens to be Fisto's brother and Teela's adoptive father) instead.
    • Some time after the end of the original animated series, the minicomic The Search for Keldor dropped hints that Skeletor is really King Randor's long-lost brother Keldor, making him Adam/He-Man's uncle. In the 2002 remake, Skeletor was originally named Keldor, but there is no indication that he is related to Randor.
      • While never stated in the show, the writers have since revealed that Keldor was intended to be Randor's half-brother. Same father, different mothers.
  • Justice League Unlimited pulls this off twice, using Batman Beyond both times. In the episode "The Once and Future Thing", it's revealed that Warhawk, assumed to be the Legacy Character of Hawkman, is (or will be) in fact the son of Hawkgirl and Green Lantern John Stewart. "Epilogue", the Fully Absorbed Finale of Batman Beyond, reveals that Bruce Wayne was Terry McGinnis' genetic father. Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA had been overwritten with Bruce's as part of Amanda Waller's Batman Beyond project.
    • Hades also tries to do this with Wonder Woman, with a twist that he had to resort to a technicality when WW pointed out her origin story doesn't allow her to have a father (she was sculpted of clay and made flesh by the breath of her mother, Hippolyta, instead of born). Hades claimed he helped Hippolyta sculpt her.
  • Code Lyoko: It is revealed just before the Season 2 finale that Franz Hopper, creator of Lyoko, is actually Aelita's father. This also reveals that she is human, and not an A.I. as everyone originally thought.
  • Parodied in Teen Titans. In the first episode of the fourth season, Control Freak enters a Star Wars-esque TV show, kicks the Darth Vader lookalike and approached the Luke lookalike with saying, "I am Count Rol Freakow, the twelfth-level space samurai that trained Baran Rang. And... I am your father!". Followed by the typical "NOOOOOOO!!!!"
    • Also played with when Starfire and Killer Moth each try to convince Silkie/Larva M319 to choose between them. Killer Moth's attempt: "Larva M319, I am your father. Join me and we can... go on a picnic or something." Silkie already knew this.
  • Parodied in Dexter's Laboratory when Dexter's dad was making a big deal over not being allowed to get Mom's muffins.:
    Dad: Dexter, son, could you come here for a moment? I'd like to have a little word with you.
    Dexter: And just what do you want?
    Dad: (coming out of the shadows) Dexter, I...am your father.
    Dexter: (gasp) That is not possible! Oh, wait, no, you're right.
    And Also:
    Dad: Join me, Dexter. Join the muffin side!
  • Parodied in The Venture Bros.:
    Monarch: Hank, what if I told you that your mother was someone you've met before? And that your father was not your REAL father?
    Hank: What?
    Monarch: Hank! I am your real father!
    Hank: N-No, you're not...
    Monarch PSYCH! Oh man, I totally got you. You were all like, "Oh, daddy! You're my daddy!"
  • Evil Emperor Zurg pulled this during a climactic fight scene with the title character in an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Quite possibly to give a Shout-Out to Toy Story 2 (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a Show Within a Show that got turned into a show. It gets a little headscratch-ey, but the above mention is canon because of this show, which is the derivative work and... yeah, just yeah.) On the other hand, Zurg was implied to have been fooling around, as he then strikes a stunned Buzz and states "made ya look!".
  • In X-Men: Evolution (and also in the comics) Nightcrawler is lured out to a construction site with a mysterious note that promises that "everything will be explained". A hooded figure comes out of the shadows (actually, since it is early evening, there aren't many shadows to speak of, so they obviously added this in for dramatic effect) and, after making Nightcrawler squirm in confusion and anticipation for about thirty seconds, throws her hood off to reveal Mystique, Magneto's Evil Chancellor of sorts and says, "Kurt, I'm your mother." For bonus points, she does it a second time with Rogue (who was adopted, but still), though since it was in the middle of Rogue having a mental breakdown from all her absorbed personalities fighting in her head, it wasn't nearly as dramatic.
    • The original 90s cartoon also did this with Nightcrawler and Mystique, but with the added twist that Big Bad leader of the Friends of Humanity Grayden Creed, Jr. (who was already exposed in an earlier episode as being Sabertooth's son) was Mystique's son and Nightcrawler's half-brother(Just like in the comics).
      • X-Men scribe Chris Claremont originally intended Mystique to be Nightcrawler's father — she's apparently a really good shapeshifter — but Executive Meddling derailed those plans.
      • Thank God.
  • Parodied in The Fairly OddParents in a "copyright-infringing dream sequence":
    Timmy: Hey! You cut off my hand! I've only got two of those!
    Darth Vader-like: Don't worry, you get a new one. A really cool robot one!
    Timmy: How do you know all this?
    Darth Vader-like: Because, Timmy, I am your father. (removes mask to reveal himself as Cosmo)
    Cosmo: Your godfather!
    • A brilliant Continuity Nod to the quote starting the Fairy Odd Parents section here.
  • Parodied in Freakazoid!, in the episode "The Wrath of Guitierrez". During the climax of the episode, Guitierrez is knocked off a platform and hangs dangling over an abyss, and cries for Freakazoid to pull him up.
    Guitierrez: Freakazoid, help me! Would you let your father fall?
    Freakazoid: My father? You're my father?!
    Guitierrez: (glances confused at camera) O-oh yes. I am your father!
    Freakazoid: (goes to help him, stops) W-who was my mother?
    Guitierrez: Uhh... Faye Dunaway?
    Freakazoid: (crosses arms) No she's not...
    Guitierrez: Kaye Ballard?
    Freakazoid: Kaye—nooo.
    Guitierrez: Would you believe Sandy Duncan?
  • Moral Orel: The episode "Dumb" shows that Nurse Bendy is Joe's mother.
  • Happens in the Futurama DVD movie Bender's Game, the parties being Farnsworth and Igner, the stupidest of Mom's three sons.
    • And an...odd version later: Hermes was the one that approved Bender in the production line (Even though he shouldn't have been), making him, in a bizzare sense, Bender's father.
    • This
    Leela: They killed my parents (Leela is with two cloaked figures when Fry appears)
    Fry: Close (pulls down the hoods)
    Leela: They...are my parents
  • Parodied in Teamo Supremo when Skate Lad corners the CheapSkate.
    CheapSkate: You can't turn me in, Skate Lad.
    Skate Lad: Give me one good reason.
    CheapSkate: Well, um, because, uh... Skate Lad, I am your father.
    Skate Lad: Huh?! No you're not; my dad works down at the sporting goods store. I look just like him, loser!
  • The final episode of The Replacements reveals that Conrad Fleem is Todd and Riley's uncle.
  • Parodied in Phineas and Ferb, in the episode "The Chronicles of Meap". The pair mistake an alien villain (named Mitch) is the eponymous Meap's father, due to miscommunication. Later, after having discovered this, Mitch quite explicitly tells Meap "Just so we're clear on this, I am not your father!"
  • In Chaotic, the card game revealed something more of a "I am also your founder" with Kiru, the greatest Overworld hero (even got a beautiful city named after him)and the ancestor to Chaor, currently one of the Overworld's greatest enemies.
  • From South Park episode 201: Eric Cartman, Scott Tenorman's father is also YOUR father!
  • Played with in Galaxy Rangers: Wheiner attempts to blackmail Walsh by threatening to reveal that Shane is Walsh's biological son. Shane never discovers this fact.
  • Parodied in Johnny Bravo.
    Darth Vader knock-off: I did not destroy your second cousin. I am your second cousin!
    Johnny: Nooooooooooooooo!!!
  • A variation was used in the Pale Kids episode of Recess. Lawson hated the Pale Kids because of something that happened to Tiny Sedwick, a kid who had to go to the Pale Kids because he broke his foot while playing Pickle. When telling the leader upfront, the Pale Kids laughed, with Lawson reacting with confusion as to what they think is so funny about his reason, before the leader tells Lawson that he is Tiny Sedwick (or at least was).
  • Gargoyles had a unique example of this. Since the eponymous creatures in the main cast are part of an egg-laying species whose members are raised collectively by their home clans (and, thus, do not have any concept of individual parenthood), the show's creator eventually had to directly reveal which characters were the biological offspring of which, as it's never actually stated in-universe for many of them. Specifically, Hudson is Broadway's father, and Othello/Coldstone is Gabriel's father.
  • In a episode of Rugrats Angelica says to Tommy I am your cousin! Follow by Tommy's Big "NO!" reaction.
  • Said word for word, in Ultimate Spider-Man, when Spider-Man heard that Power Mans parents are working for Scorpio, Spidey's imagines Dr Doom saying this to Luke Cage.
  • A big Reveal at the conclusion of the first season of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, where we learn that Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves, two of the members of the original Mystery Incorporated, are Fred's real parents. Mayor Jones actually took Fred away from them when he was a baby.

    Real Life 
  • Recent evidence has backed claims that a Frenchman, Jean-Marie Loret, was the product of an affair between Adolf Hitler, who was a German soldier in World War I, and his mother when she was 16 in 1917.
  • The great Hawaiian king Kamehameha's biological father may well have been his rival, Kahekili.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's son with the cleaning lady. He didn't know Schwarzenegger was his dad until the press got hold of the story.
  • There are uncertain claims that O.J Simpson may be Khloe Kardashian's father.
  • According to an interview in the '90s, Lee Harvey Oswald's youngest daughter, who was an infant at the time of the JFK assassination, grew up under a new name when her mother remarried shortly afterward and didn't know Oswald was her father until she discovered a box of old letters and newspaper clippings in the attic.

Statler: Did you have a Long-Lost Father?
Waldorf: Yeah. Old Geezer's been away a long time.
Statler: Why is that?
Waldorf: He didn't want a son!
Both: Doh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!

Long Lost RelativeFamily Twists IndexLuke, I Might Be Your Father
Leeroy JenkinsTrope Names from MemesMy Parents Are Dead
Love at First SightIndex of Gothic Horror TropesMalevolent Architecture
Loser Son of Loser DadParental IssuesLuke, You Are My Father
Late Arrival SpoilerSpoilered RottenMalignant Plot Tumor
Looks Like CesareShout-Outs IndexLuke, You Are My Father
    Recap/Kill La Kill Ep 18 Into The Night    
Lineage Comes from the FatherThe Parent TropeLuke, You Are My Father
I'm Not a Hero, I'm...I Am An IndexMy Name Is Inigo Montoya
'Last Supper" StealStock ParodiesMajor General Song
Glorified Sperm DonorMen Are ToughLuke, I Might Be Your Father
Lowered Monster DifficultyNarrative DevicesLuke, You Are My Father
Gloved Fist of DoomImageSource/Star WarsMooks

alternative title(s): I Am Your Father; Familial Reveal
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