[[quoteright:300:[[ComicBook/{{Cable}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8_cable_18.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: [[Film/{{Aliens}} Get away from her, you]] '''[[Film/{{Aliens}} son of a BITCH!]]]]'''

->''"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.'''"''
-->-- '''[[Creator/LiamNeeson Bryan Mills]]''', ''Film/{{Taken}}''

Paternal instinct can transform a BumblingDad into an ActionDad. If someone [[BerserkButton 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 ARealManIsAKiller). Expect his children to have a newfound respect for their father and for them to brag that MyDadCanBeatUpYourDad. If their relationship was previously strained expect it to improve.

Often Papa Wolf incidents serve as a way to reveal that a NonActionGuy is really a RetiredBadass or a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass. In contrast to an OverprotectiveDad (who sometimes ''thinks'' he's this), a Papa Wolf is always portrayed heroically because the latter is defending their kids from genuine threats instead of imagined ones.

A TeamDad 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 [[{{Protectorate}} protecting them]] rather than [[{{Mentors}} 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 [[SpearCounterpart Spear Counterpart]] to MamaBear. When MamaBear and Papa Wolf ''[[BattleCouple team up]]'', no force on earth can stop them.

Subtrope of BewareTheNiceOnes. See also AFatherToHisMen. Combining this with DisproportionateRetribution can lead to a KnightTemplarParent. If the guy is a teacher instead, he's a BadassTeacher. If the guy doing this is a sibling/cousin, you get BigBrotherInstinct. Inversely, see ParentsInDistress for the kids rescuing the dad. Evil characters can use this too; after all, EvenEvilHasLovedOnes. A subtrope of the Papa Wolf is the BadassAndChildDuo, 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 "MamaBear" so all {{Distaff Counterpart}}s should be placed there.
* PapaWolf/AnimatedFilm
* PapaWolf/AnimeAndManga
* PapaWolf/ComicBooks
* PapaWolf/FanFic
* PapaWolf/{{Film}}
* PapaWolf/{{Literature}}
* PapaWolf/LiveActionTV
* PapaWolf/{{Music}}
* PapaWolf/{{Mythology}}
* PapaWolf/NewspaperComics
* PapaWolf/{{Pinball}}
* PapaWolf/ProfessionalWrestling
* PapaWolf/TabletopGames
* PapaWolf/{{Theatre}}
* PapaWolf/VideoGames
* PapaWolf/{{Webcomics}}
* PapaWolf/WebOriginal
* PapaWolf/WebVideo
* PapaWolf/WesternAnimation
* PapaWolf/RealLife

->''[[TooDumbToLive Good]]'' ''[[TemptingFate luck.]]''
-->-- '''[[WhatAnIdiot Sex Trafficker]]''', ''Film/{{Taken}}''