Papa Wolf

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"If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it: I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

Paternal instinct can transform a Bumbling Dad into an Action Dad. If someone threatens his kids they will soon wish they'd never come within a mile of them. This is because fathers are expected to take care of their family and this naturally extends to keeping them safe. Such occasions serve as a way for a father to prove his worthiness. (See A Real Man Is a Killer). Expect his children to have a newfound respect for their father and for them to brag that My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad. If their relationship was previously strained expect it to improve.

Often Papa Wolf incidents serve as a way to reveal that a Non-Action Guy is really a Retired Badass or a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. In contrast to an Overprotective Dad (who sometimes thinks he's this; there is no overlap between them), a Papa Wolf is always portrayed heroically because the latter is defending their kids from genuine threats instead of imagined ones.

A Team Dad may display a streak of this, but the Papa is more likely to be related to his children by blood or through formal adoption, and the children tend to be younger, which may be part of why the Papa Wolf is more oriented toward protecting them rather than training them to defend themselves. However even completely grown children can summon this response in the face of crisis because they are still his children no matter how old or strong they get.

This is the Spear Counterpart to Mama Bear. When Mama Bear and Papa Wolf team up, no force on earth can stop them.

Subtrope of Beware the Nice Ones. See also A Father to His Men and Family Man. Combining this with Disproportionate Retribution can lead to a Knight Templar Parent. If the guy is a teacher instead, he's a Badass Teacher. If the guy doing this is a sibling/cousin, you get Big Brother Instinct. Inversely, see Parents in Distress for the kids rescuing the dad. Evil characters can use this too; after all, Even Evil Has Loved Ones. A subtrope of the Papa Wolf is the Badass and Child Duo, where an adult male badass takes it upon himself to protect an orphaned, unrelated young child.

Remember when adding examples that this is a male only trope. The female equivalent is "Mama Bear" so all Distaff Counterparts should be placed there. When Mama Bear and Papa Wolf team up, it's a Battle Couple and all pairs should be placed there. Parents in Distress is the inversion, when Papa needs to be bailed out by the kids.


Examples subpages:

Examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • You don't want to mess with Dick Tracy's kids. You really don't.
  • Popeye is fiercely protective of his adopted son, Swee'pea, but having been raised, by Popeye, Swee'pea can easily hold his own in a fight despite only being an infant.

    Pinballs 
  • Occurs in WHO dunnit with Butler, who is secretly Victoria's father Walter. When he overhears her husband threaten her (because he caught her plotting to kill him), he sabotages the brakes of the car and causes him to die in an auto accident.

    Web Animation 
  • Pop from Happy Tree Friends is usually really bad at being a father despite his good intentions, and actually gets his son killed more often than not. However, the few times he actually notices Cub is in danger, he will stop at nothing to save him. Feats achieved in this state include going over a waterfall in And The Kitchen Sink and successfully fending off a rabid dog in Doggone It.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor is very happy with the news that he has biological children. When he finds out what happened to them, though, Warp storms abound over perpetrators' heads.
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Mad gets like this when his best friend, The Cheat, is physically abused.
  • RWBY:
    • More "Uncle Wolf", but do not fuck with [[ Ruby Rose or Yang Xiao Long]] unless you're comfortable taking on their uncle Qrow. As some unfortunate Beowolves found out one night, the man is death.
    • Possibly Deconstructed by their actual father, Taiyang. Some of Ruby and Yang's offhand comments suggest he's extremely protective of them, and that this protectiveness stems from the fact that the man lost both of his wives. He really doesn't want to lose his daughters too. Poor guy.


Alternative Title(s): Papa Bear, Papa Wolves

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PapaWolf