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Open Minded Parent

"At least Kimmy's just lost in the timestream and not staying out late with some boy."
Mr. Dr. Possible, Kim Possible

When a character spends a long time trying to think up a proper explanation/excuse/lie to tell his parents, he expects them either to be floored or to completely misunderstand. When he finally does, the parents already know about it and wonder what the big deal is. Occasionally, the person almost lied about shows up at the house with his own explanation, omitting certain truths.

Sometimes the parents actually knew a lot more than they were letting on. Or they genuinely just accept it with frightening ease, telling us they're pretty cool (if weird) people. Due to their overly receptive behavior and their innate parental philosophy to let their kids be themselves without too many rules to constrict them, they are often portrayed as Good Parents.

The alternatives are not that much better: Overprotective Dad, Education Mama, Hands-Off Parenting, or even outright Parental Abandonment. Compare Parental Obliviousness, where the secret still has to be kept- but it's strangely easy. See also Doting Parent, Milholland Relationship Moment, Reasonable Authority Figure.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Hazumu in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl worries about the reaction to his accident, then finds his parents happily chatting with an alien in their kitchen.
  • Tenchi's grandfather in Tenchi Muyo! very quickly accepted a whole flock of strangers moving into his house, although this was related to his secret identity, too. Rather the house belongs to Tenchi's father Nobuyuki, but then he probably likes the idea being surrounded by pretty woman. And of course he's really aware of everything.
  • Marmalade Boy:
    • In the anime, Miki and Yuu spend the entire series worrying about their parents' reactions to the two of them dating, only to learn that all four parents knew about it the whole time and thought it was cute.
    • In the manga, things weren't that easy since they really didn't know and Yuu's father Youji even gave him an Armor-Piercing Slap for not asking, but it ended up fine anyway. Yuu thought he was not Youji's son but Jin's (Miki's father, long story) and he felt forced to break up with Miki, as that would make them half-siblings by blood. He's really Youji's son. Youji felt vexed for this and angry that Yuu wouldn't just ask them, so he got angry for the first time in the 8-volume manga.
  • To a greater extreme, in the end of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, it's revealed that not only did her parents know Sasami was Pretty Sammy, but so did her entire school class. They just collectively decided to go along with the whole secret identity thing, because Sasami seemed to want it that way.
  • In the first episode of Keroro Gunsou, Aki Hinata encounters Keroro the moment she gets home from work, and not only accepts him into the Hinata home, but uses him as inspiration for a new manga character.
  • Akiko, the mother in Kanon, approves the presence of any haremettes in her home, much to Yuuichi's initial disbelief.
  • Ichigo's father Isshin in Bleach doesn't really seem to mind that a girl is living in his son's closet. It is later revealed that he is a former Shinigami, and all along was far more aware of his son's supernatural activities than Ichigo thought.
  • Kagome's mom, grandpa, and brother are all very accepting of Kagome's time-traveling to fight demons in the feudal era in InuYasha. They seemingly think it's better to accept and support Kagome's unavoidable destiny - Mrs. Higurashi is Genre Savvy enough to even buy presents for the rest of the group.
  • In Kyou Kara Maou Yuri is deeply worried about what will happen when he shows up at home with his entire boy harem, including fiance, from another magical world where he is king. Much to his surprise, his parents already knew he was going to be king, and are merely disappointed that he didn't tell him sooner. His (male) fiance then proudly announces their engagement, despite all Yuri's protests, only for his mother and fiance to plan a shopping trip to buy a wedding gown, much to Yuri's horror.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, when the time came for Nanoha to explain to her family that she's a mage and how she plans to officially join the Time-Space Administration Bureau, the only one who appeared even remotely shocked upon finding out that magic and different dimensions existed was Nanoha's sister, Miyuki. This might have more to do with the ferret she's been adoring as a pet turns out to be a guy. Even before that, during the first season, Nanoha has to join the TSAB for a few days to help out in their investigation, which necessitates missing school and staying onboard the Cool Ship rather than at her house. What exactly did she tell her parents she was doing during this time? Well, no one's really surenote , but whatever she told them, it was enough for them to allow their nine-year-old girl to run around with people they've never met for a few days.
  • In Digimon Savers, Daimon Sayuri was perfectly all right with her son bringing home a small dinosaur Digimon, calling him "Agu-chan" and scolding Masaru for fussing when he took the last of the fried eggs. She comes across as kind, but rather simple minded, until she reveals that she knew about DATS and Digimon all along, as that was why Masaru's Disappeared Dad Suguru... well, disappeared. She had accepted long ago that Masaru would follow in his father's footsteps, and so was utterly unsurprised.
  • In Digimon Tamers:
    • Ruki's grandmother was not the least bit surprised about Renamon, apparently she just assumed that she had picked up a kitsune fox spirit protector.
    • Takato's parents are quite okay with Guilmon's presence. Mrs. Matsuda is more apprehensive, but not reaching the other extreme.
  • Shizuku's parents in Whisper of the Heart are surprisingly open minded about their daughter choosing to spend examination time writing her first novel instead of studying — especially when you consider that she refused to tell them what she was up to.
  • Mrs. Ketchum has no problem with allowing her son Ash, age 10 (we think), to travel the Pokémon world - with or without any traveling companions and amass a small personal army of creatures who protect him; it's a custom that borders on Rite of Passage, after all. Plus, his friends sometimes crash at his place for arbitrary lengths of time as well; again, she's cool with this, and dotes on them almost as though they were her own children.
    • In the second movie, she's slightly annoyed with him being right in the middle of the end of the world. But she loosens up later.
    • Ash does, eventually, have a loyal companion who can throw thunderbolts at will.
  • Pokémon Special. Gold's mom asks where her son is, but turns around and says "Oh well, he'll be back when he wants to." before getting an answer.
  • When Miyako, Kanon's mother in Umi Monogatari, finds out that a mystical talking turtle and two girls from the sea claiming to be her daughter's friends are going to be staying at her house, she's perfectly fine with it.
  • Shinichi's parents in Detective Conan don't seem to mind that he's staying as a child so he can be with his girl friend more.
    • Not exactly in the beginning, where Yusaku and Yukiko played a Batman Gambit to try force Shinichi/Conan come with them to the USA, so he'd get his condition cured and then testify against the Black Organization. He had to talk with them quite a bit to convince them otherwise.
  • Sosuke's mother in Ponyo is awfully quick, if flabbergasted, to accept the reality of Ponyo as a transforming goldfish girl, not to mention when the nursing home she works at is covered by the sea protected by a magic bubble and she has a heart to heart chat with the Queen of the Sea who wants her to adopt Ponyo if she chooses to become human.
  • Kyu's mother in Tantei Gakuen Q. When Kyu is back home one day, she tells him a "cutie" (his childhood friend Kaoru) has come to meet him, and wonders if she is Kyu's girlfriend. She then leaves the home to buy groceries to leave Kyu and Kaoru alone. Later, when she sees Kyu and Kaoru holding hands (for an entirely different reason), she apologises for disturbing them.
    • It's later hinted that Mrs. Renjou is actually in a similar, but more down to Earth situation as Sayuri Daimon. She married Satoru Renjou fully knowing that he was a policeman who lived constantly in danger, took it in stride even when Satoru had to almost completely disappear from her and little Kyuu's lives to protect them, and ever since his tragic death she's sensed that Kyuu will want to follow in his footsteps. Hence why she offered little resistence when Kyuu said he wanted to go to the DDS, and supperted him and his friends as much as she could. She even lets Ryu live with them for awhile.
  • Keima's mother Mari accepts Elsie relatively quickly in The World God Only Knows. However, she's quite pissed off at her husband as Elsie states that she's an illegitimate child of his.
  • The Fujiwara couple in Natsume Yuujinchou are fairly reasonable when their foster son Natsume often shows up disheveled and in situations that he cannot fully explain to them. They are unaware of his spiritual abilities but are supportive and understanding regardless. One noteworthy example was Shigeru coming across a room that Natsume wrecked due to an exorcism spell to get rid of an evil spirit haunting the house. Since he had seen something like this before in the past, he knew Natsume didn't purposely destroy the room.

    Comicbooks 
  • Blue Beetle: Bianca and Alberto Reyes, so much.
    Bianca: Homework done?
    Jamie: Yes ma'am.
    Alberto: Go. Be careful. And, let's say, when it's a natural disaster, not school hours, you can just go.
    Bianca: But if you're going to be late, call.
    Jamie: Thanks, dad.
    Bianca: And no monster fighting unless they start it.
  • Most characters in ElfQuest, because the elves have Eternal Sexual Freedom. A nice example is when main character Cutter realizes that his virgin daughter Ember (aged 16-ish) is sexually frustrated, and asks his best friend Skywise to take care of it. (Skywise refuses, but mostly because he knows he's not really Ember's type.)
  • Sort of, for Spider-Man. Aunt May is on her deathbed and reveals that she knew of and approved of Peter being Spider-Man for some time now. Then she dies. Of course, this later turns out to be a big Mind-Screw (she was... an actress?). When Aunt May does find out for real, she has a difficult time accepting this; once she does, though, she is Spider-Man's biggest fan. Having Mary-Jane to talk with helps. And of course, Peter isn't a kid anymore. Thanks to One More Day, the poor woman's back in the dark.
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Aunt May has a much harder time dealing with Peter being Spider-Man. This was more because that was dropped on her at the same time she was informed that Gwen Stacy and her brother-in-law (Pete's father) turned out to be clones, the latter being an aged clone of Peter whom later died.
  • The character Lacuna from the Peter Milligan run on X-Force comes from non-mutant parents who love that she's a mutant and support whatever decisions she makes in life. This annoys her because she only wants to disappoint them like all children do. She finally achieves her goal by becoming a talk show host.
  • Played with in Young Avengers. Billy wanted to tell his parents that he was a superhero, but when the time comes, they reveal that they had already guessed that Billy was gay. They then welcome his boyfriend, there for support, to the family and offer breakfast. They don't learn about the superheroing until some time afterwards.

    Film 
  • The live action Ben 10 movie characterized Ben's parents this way to a creepy degree. To the point where Ben has to insist on referring to them as "Mom" and "Dad" rather than by their first names, which is what they want Ben to do.
  • Olive's parents in Easy A... almost to the point of being creepy. They're also Good Parents.
  • The Curiosity Of Chance: Chance's father is perfectly fine with the fact that his son is gay. Made surprising by the fact that his dad is in the Army and it's the 80s.

    Literature 
  • The Young Wizards series, Nita's parents seem to be awfully accepting of the fact that she's made herself a personal enemy of the Lone Power by becoming a foot soldier for the Cosmic Forces of Good. But then this might just be resignation in the face of the fact that there's absolutely nothing they can do to stop her: grounding your daughter is pretty futile when she can both walk through walls and teleport.
    • Apparently, Kit's father took it amazingly well. "My son's a brujo....cool."
    • Don't think that it was easy though. At the time they decided to come out to their parents (during Deep Wizardry), Nita had volunteered to take part in an undersea ritual with the whale wizards without fully understanding that the role she had taken required her to sacrifice herself to complete it. Telling your parents you're probably going to die in the course of your work never goes over well. However both the terms of the ritual and the Wizard's Oath entail that she can't go back on her commitment without serious consequences - at best, the surrender of her wizardry and a boost for the Lone Power, at worst, if the ritual fails, the destruction of the Atlantic seaboard. She makes it out alive because someone was able to Take a Third Option. By the same token, it's dishonorable at best to use wizardry to get out of something like being grounded, and Tom and Carl, the local Seniors, cooperate with parents in on The Masquerade and aren't above restricting the powers of a misbehaving wizard if they absolutely have to. (Nita's sister Dariane gets grounded from interplanetary travel in A Wizard's Holliday— worse than it sounds, since she has close friends in parts of the universe too far away to observe using conventional astronomy.)
  • In Shadow of the Hegemon, Peter is flabbergasted when his parents tell him how proud they are of his secret double life as a famous columnist. They then gently chide him for not realizing that his genius is genetic especially given the intellects of his own siblings.
  • The Pale King: Chris's mother defends her son's actions while dealing with her own issues with regards to feminism and individuality.
  • Peter Grant's parents in Rivers of London are very accepting of the fact he's gone from junior copper to apprentice wizard copper. At one point he reflects that in his Mum's culture being a "witch smeller" is probably more respectable than being a policeman.
  • The Dresden Files: Michael Carpenter. Upon seeing his Black Sheep daughter with all her piercings, tattoos and multicoloured hair, his first instinct is to hug her. Afterwards, he reacts;
    Michael: Harry, am I just too old?
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain, Claire's mom, being a former villain herself, fully supports the trio's activities, just as long as they don't get in over their heads.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The recurring character Doug in MTV's sketch comedy The State had a father who was a producer for a record company, and who was impossibly cool — to the point where Doug's friends preferred to hang out with him than with Doug.
    Dad: Doug, are these your cigarettes?
    Doug: Yeah, and what if they are? You gonna send me out to Grandma's house so that she can teach me pinochle and make me bland?
    Dad: No. Can I bum one?
  • Richard Castle is one of these towards his daughter Alexis. Amusingly, Alexis is in any case actually far more mature and grounded than her father ever was, and perhaps even over-responsible (on more than one occasion, he actually tries to push her into doing something crazy and irresponsible, believing she's spending the best years of her life wound a little to tight.)
    Castle: When I was your age I... wait. I can't tell that story. It's wildly inappropriate. Which, oddly enough, is my point. Don't you want wildly inappropriate stories that you can't tell your children?
  • On Gossip Girl Lily is this with Chuck. She's a lot less open minded when it comes to Eric and Serena though.
  • Smallville's Johnathon and Martha Kent sometimes lean to the overprotective side, but mostly they are perfectly fine with their son racing around saving lives and fighting mutants. They also tend to be the ones who help him get a handle on his new powers.
  • Joyce Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer tries her absolute hardest to be one after finding out Buffy is The Slayer. She gets there in the end, but it takes her a full season! She attempted to tag along on Buffy's patrols and even brought snacks!
  • Kurt from Glee spends the beginning of season one working up the nerve to tell his single father Burt he's gay. It turns out Burt had known for years ("When you were six you wanted a pair of sensible shoes for Christmas"). Since then, the two have had a heartwarmingly close relationship, with Burt being fiercely protective of Kurt's right to be Camp Gay.
  • The Catherine Tate Show has a recurring sketch where a young man is afraid of telling his parents and grandmother about his homosexuality, who end up being very open-minded to the point that it becomes very embarrassing, such as when he gets a chocolate candy in the shape of a penis and money to rent a prostitute as Christmas gifts.
  • In Arrow, Quentin Lance's reaction to finding out that one of his daughters is a trained assassin is worry and concern for her safety. Then he finds out the same daughter is bisexual and his only thought is that he's glad she managed to find some measure of happiness in five years of pain and death.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin's parents in Calvin and Hobbes turn out to be an example of this when he wrecks the car and runs away. Apparently when the kid takes a saw to the coffee table you're allowed to blow your top, but when he puts himself in genuine danger you have bigger things to worry about.
    • After a visiting relative leaves some cigarettes where Calvin can find them, Mom tells him that if he's going to smoke, he should do it outside. She expects, rightly, that he'll hate the experience and never try it again.

    Videogames 
  • Saisyu Kusanagi from The King of Fighters, who apparently didn't notice that Kyo went missing for at least half a year after beating Orochi, and even then didn't bother to talk to him afterwards.
    • The KOF: Kyo manga and other side materials explain that Saisyu and Shizuka (his wife and Kyo's mother) have known for several years that their son was destined for BIG battles and accepted said fact since there's no way they can avoid it. They'd rather let him fight and help him out than actively oppose to something no one can really escape from.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations Mr. Amano is surprisingly cool with the idea that his son faked his kidnapping, was in massive debt, and murdered Colin Devorae.
  • Parents of most Pokémon protagonist have no problem with their children wandering around the world, taming dangerous monsters and taking down crime syndicates. Averted with Bianca’s father, who even forbids her to start her Pokemon journey, so that she has to run away from home. Later played straight, when he is convinced otherwise.
  • Gaige from Borderlands 2 is a Teen Genius anarchist who builds anti-bullying robots with laser claws For Science!, and her dad endorses her the whole way. When her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis stole her robot design, her dad asked her "You're gonna take that bitch down right?", and when Gaige's robot accidentally gibbed said Sitcom Arch-Nemesis, her dad helped her off-world by distracting the police with a gas tank and a golf cart. The only thing he wasn't cool with is when Gaige cut her arm off and built a robotic replacement, but even then he seemed to get over it pretty fast.

    Webcomics 
  • Mrs. Grey in the The Wotch doesn't know her son spends a good chunk of his time as a girl, but is perfectly fine with his owning girl's underwear. Other parents show little reaction to their sons abruptly becoming daughters here and here.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Dunkel from El Goonish Shive are a perfect example. After Elliot is accidentally transformed into a girl he breaks into a government facility looking for a cure and accidentally clones himself in the process. When he brings the resulting Opposite-Sex Clone back home his punishment is to be allowed only one brownie after dinner, and that's only because he lied to his parents about his plans for the evening. Meanwhile the clone goes unpunished because she wasn't created until AFTER Elliot lied and therefore can't be held accountable for his actions.
  • Carrie's mother proves to be more tolerant than expected towards homosexuals in this strip of Loserz.
  • Ace's mom in Too Much Information is impossibly cool and open-minded. The fact that she doesn't have a problem with her son shacking up with a lesbian and a gay transvestite hardly even registers on this scale. This strip exemplifies it nicely - as here, Ace is frequently mortified by what his mom can get up to. (Note that there are certain things she's somewhat less open-minded about. She kicked Ace out of the house for camping the Quad in a Quake Deathmatch.)
    • One, renting a room in a huge house is not the same as shacking up with people. Two, Ace's mom is far wilder than Ace is ever going to be: Ace has no last name because his unmarried mom got knocked up and didn't want to admit who the father was. And if you think that's wild, consider: risk taker, Air Force sergeant, knows lots of languages, can't talk about what she does when she goes back into the Air Force, self-image is that of a superheroine... yep, you guessed it.
  • Charlie's mother in Khaos Komix is okay with her son dressing up in womens clothes, though she thinks they're a bit excessive.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Bob gets chased around by a deadly-looking robot lion that Molly built on a lark, he seems more annoyed than actually angry about it, and doesn't tattle on her to Jean.
  • Ye Thuza from Sandra and Woo does not have a problem with her son Cloud exploring an abandoned factories for treasure, unless he forgets to pack the rope. She named her son after an RPG Adventurer Protagonist after all.
  • The black dragon in The Order of the Stick mentions that she tried to keep an open mind here.
  • In Spinnerette Evil Spinnerette's parents seem entirely unperturbed by her becoming a supervillain, worshipping an evil goddess, or transforming herself into a half-human, half-spider drider.
  • Hasuki from Moon Over June was sufficiently annoyed at her parents over her name that she got into lesbian porn for the express purpose of getting back at them. Given that her mother is the sort of person who, during a telephone conversation in the middle of a shoot, reminds her daughter to pace herself so her jaw does not get tired; it is clear that it did not work.
  • Most of the characters in Homestuck have parents/guardians that are not only fairly accepting of whatever they're up to but seem to be actively preparing them for it. This may have something to do with the Mobius Double Reacharound nature of the timeline(s) there.

    Web Original 
  • Falcon and Tabby Cat, Wallflower's parents in the Whateley Universe. Her father Falcon tells the whole student body that they should always try to make an original contribution to the world even if they intend to do it by becoming a supervillain. Neither is at all put off by their daughter's gender bent boyfriend. It turns out there's good reasons for this, as Tabby Cat herself is a gender bent would-be supervillain.

    Western Animation 
  • Played for Laughs in Drawn Together, in an episode where Xandir is working up the nerve to tell his parents he's gay. Trouble is, it's so obvious, the other characters initally mock him for being in a Transparent Closet. They then enact what it would be like if Xandir's parents hated the idea, going so far as to adopt personas of Abusive Parents, even when Xandir's not there. When Xandir finally tells his actual parents he's gay, his parents mimic the first response given by his housemates.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : Katara and Sokka have no living mother and their father is off at war, so it is their grandmother Kanna who calmly wishes the 14 and 15 year old kids well when they head off on a planet-spanning quest to aid the long-missing Avatar in mastering his powers and help bring down the Evil Overlord. What people forget is that the Avatar world is still basically medieval: 14 and 15 year-olds are young adults, not children. Further, when their father learns of it, he congratulates them on choosing to travel with Aang instead of him. In fact, encourages it. Seeing as they've already made a huge difference to the shape of the world and should be as well protected as they would be at home considering they're hanging out with a twelve-year-old Physical God.
  • Jane's mom in Daria is open-minded to a potentially unhealthy degree. Examples of this behaviour include letting her youngest son live in a tent in the back yard for over a month, never punishing her children for ANY infraction, and remaining in her kiln room for weeks on end. However, repeated exposure to all her children and husband at once does fray on her nerves a bit.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Ferb's father and all four grandparents have participated in their creations at some point or another, none of them even once questioning the massive, overdone creations they manage to put together. Their mom, on the other hand...
    • Ferb's father is a special case. He thinks that the (step)mother gave them permission to do the things they do (which is true, only that she doesn't understand what they meant.)
  • Kim Possible's parents are completely supportive of their daughter's supervillain-fighting activities and don't bat an eyelid over her flying halfway around the world to stop Dr. Drakken's latest scheme and risk life and limb in the process, so long as she's doing well on the home front. Dating boys, though, her father isn't so happy with.
    • This also extends to Kim's younger twin brothers, Jim and Tim. Their parents are apparently completely okay with them blowing up the garage with their experiments (though it's somewhat justified in that Mr. Possible, their father, did just that when he was their age.)
  • Same deal with Danny Phantom during the times where his Secret Identity has been revealed to his folks (before the Reset Button, that is). They're always shocked at first, but they happily and unquestionably accept that their son is both a hero and half ghost, despite their prejudice towards them. In the Grand Finale, Jack goes as far as claiming Danny should be his sidekick.
    • Sam's parents however inverts this as they can't imagine anything their daughter does is for her own good.
  • Transformers Animated: Professor Isaac Sumdac doesn't seem to mind his daughter having adventures with giant alien robots. Then again, he knows she's half-Cybertronian herself.
  • After an incident with Scarecrow, Barbara Gordon in Batman: The Animated Series decides to come clean with her father, Commisioner Gordon, about being Batgirl. Before she can tell him, however, he interrupts her and explains that while he can't approve of what she does he's still proud of her in a way that heavily suggests he knows she is Batgirl.
  • The parents of Brainchild in The Tick take this to an absurd degree, viewing their son's plan to crash the Moon into the Earth as "a phase he'll get over"... Hopefully within, say, the next five minutes or so.
  • While Hank is certainly not this on King of the Hill, an episode called "The Peggy Horror Picture Show" introduced a drag queen named Caroline who becomes friends with Peggy. Caroline's mother is nothing but supportive of Caroline. In fact, her second line of dialog in the show was "Don't apologize for yourself not now or ever!" Although Caroline was just apologizing for being late.
    • At one point, Caroline has to tell her mother to stop being supportive (ie, shut up and listen to Caroline's complaints.)
  • Superman's adoptive parents, the Kents, are this in Justice League Unlimited. Their response when J'onn comes to visit and announces he's a Martian? "Well, we're no strangers to aliens here. Come in."
  • Deconstructed with the parents of Goo from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. We never see them, but given they let Goo pick her own name when she was a baby and don't even try to discourage her constant and problem-causing friend creation, they seem to be too open-minded.


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