Peter: They're responsible for this...The act of exacting revenge upon the descendants of the one who originally did the wrong. Why someone would target the descendants rather than the one who originally did the wrong tends to vary, but it's usually due to the original offender not being alive enough to go after and make suffer. Or that the descendant benefitted (or still benefits) from his ancestors' crimes; the money grandfather stole allowed the father to go to law school, which allowed son to grow up in comfortable circumstances; therefore, son deserves to be punished for grandfather's theft. This is especially true of villains who are immortal or undead, or many a Sealed Evil in a Can, whose hatreds can take years if not decades or centuries to fester and grow. More often than not, this form of revenge is pursued by villains rather than heroes, since targeting someone other than the person who actually committed the wrong, and who may not have anything to do with it aside from being descended from the person who did is a good way to wind up on the wrong side of the Rule of Empathy. Frequently a Bewildering Punishment for the victim, though this trope is more likely than most to have the villain explain the offense to the victim. The villain may justify it on the grounds that the children profited by the original crime, particularly when they own something that belonged to the villain. Repeated instances of this occurring between two families in a tit-for-tat fashion may lead to a full-blown blood feud between them. Compare and contrast with Revenge by Proxy, where the target is the child or other associates in preference to the character who actually wronged them, even though that character is available, in order to make that character suffer more. The trope name comes from the ancient saying, "The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children."
Adam: Parents sin, children suffer.
Adam: Parents sin, children suffer.
— Heroes, "Truth and Consequences"
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball:
- In the eighth Dragon Ball Z movie, Paragus and Broly lured Vegeta into an elaborate ruse in order to take revenge on him for his father's actions towards them. Fearful of Broly's power, he ordered the Saiyan child to be executed, then tried to kill Paragus for the crime of pleading for his son's life.
- And a more notable case in Dragon Ball GT, where Baby, last of the Tuffles, a race who were exterminated by the Saiyans, seeks retribution against Goku and Vegeta as well as the inhabitants of their new home, Earth.
- The reason that Spopovich beats the utter hell out of Hercule Satan's daughter Videl is because Hercule easily beat him in a tournament. He almost kills her, which would've been extremely detrimental to his job in the tournament, but he's too concerned with his Revenge by Proxy to care; he's only stopped from doing so by his partner Yamu, who reminds him of what they're there for and orders him to just ring-out Videl and be done with it.
- In the Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn movie, Frieza declared he would get satisfaction against Goku, the man who previously defeated him, by killing his son Gohan. Fortunately, Frieza forgot to level grind and Gohan defeats him with ease. Horribly Played Straight in Dragon Ball Super, while Frieza not only Took a Level in Badass, but came THIS close to killing Gohan, by not just torturing him horriblynote , but also outright mistaking him for Goku in spite. It only took Piccolo's Heroic Sacrifice to save him from a certain death.
- Aleister (Amelda in the original Japanese) from Yu-Gi-Oh!, with the subversion that he actually has a point. He hates Kaiba Corp because he believes Gozaburo Kaiba responsible for the death of his family (though it was actually Dartz, Aleister's boss) and objects to Seto and Mokuba Kaiba living comfortably off of blood stained riches. Although the Kaiba brothers weren't responsible for the wars that Gozaburo financed (and there were genuine ones), they're certainly willing to benefit from them.
- Semi-used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. Duke Devlin/Ryuuji Otogi's father lost a Shadow Game to Solomon/Sugurokou Moto, so he makes Duke/Ryuuji battle Yugi.
- Also played with in the anime, where Rebecca Hawkins wants to battle Yugi because her grandfather lost a game to Yugi's. In a twist however, the whole thing is a misunderstanding on Rebecca's part. Rather than playing for the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card like she thought, they were actually playing for who would get the last of their water after they were trapped in a tomb together. The Blue-Eyes White Dragon card was a gift. Not only that, but even though Solomon was in a position to win, he actually threw the game because Rebecca's grandfather needed the water more.
- Yami Bakura sought revenge on Pharaoh Atem because he believed Atem's father (in reality, it was his father's brother Akunadin) was responsible for the slaughter of his village.
- Yusei Fudo of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has definitely borne his share of suffering and guilt because of his father designing/discovering Momentum, which was responsible for Zero Reverse and all sorts of problems thereafter.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Evangeline A. K. McDowell was spurned, has the bulk of her power sealed, and ended up trapped within a Japanese Elevator School by Nagi Springfield some fifteen years ago. When ten year old Negi Springfield showed up to teach in the class she was attending... she was not happy. Justified by the fact that she also wants Negi for his blood, as it mitigates his dad's curse.
- Although she lightens up a bit when learns that Nagi is actually still alive. She even agrees to be Negi's magic trainer. And is now transferring her other feelings towards the father to the son.
- Also, the supported theory that the Megalomesembrian Senate were responsible for launching the attack on Negi's village solely to kill Negi, because he is the son of their old foe Arika Entheofushia and Nagi Springfield.
- Subverted in Naruto: Chiyo attacks Kakashi because she confuses him for the White Fang, but stops attacking when she realizes he is the White Fang's son.
- Ironically, she wanted to kill the White Fang because he killed her own son; killing Kakashi might be seen as the perfect karmic retribution. Fortunately, Chiyo realizes the sins of the father are not the sins of the son. Or perhaps she figured there'd be no point as Sakumo had been dead for years by that time.
- It's speculated in Fanon that one of the main reasons Naruto's heritage was kept a secret was because of all the enemies his father had, who would target him as a substitute (primarily Iwa). This was eventually confirmed to be true, though which enemies were never elaborated on.
- The main reason why some of the shinobi lands are war-torned blood-soaked hellholes? Kaguya Ootsutsuki stealing and partaking of the fruit from the Chakra Tree, thus becoming a god-like figure before going mad with power. Her sons, The Sage of Six Paths along with his brother were left trying to clean up her mess (but were sabotaged via a manifestation of her will and her "third child:", Black Zetsu.
- Ranma ˝:
- Thge title character Ranma Saotome usually has to deal with the problems his dad created in the past. Of course, this isn't because his father is dead, he's just a big coward.
- Sōun Tendō also causes this sort of trouble — not only did he and Genma seal up Happōsai and leave him for dead (only to have him come back later to annoy the younger generation,) but he also promised one of his daughters in exchange for a meal at a French restaurant.
- Happōsai's own past sins often come back to haunt the Nerima Wrecking Crew. Pantyhose Tarō and Hinako Ninomiya are but two examples... But that just makes a change from his ongoing present sins haunting them.
- This is sort of what happens in Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Mizuho lives in the room that his late grandfather arranged for him, when in fact, the very same room belonged to his Missing Mom during her school days and it is also the very room where his mom's devoted kohai died of exhaustion while waiting for her to return. Things ain't that grim, however, as it turns out that said kohai survived as a (rather cheerful) ghost and it is Mizuho's task to make amends to her for his mom's untimely leave 22 years ago.
- This seems to be a very big theme in the One Piece world. Unsurprisingly, one of the Central Themes of the series is that heredity doesn't matter and family is who you choose.
- Ace is the son of Pirate King Gold Roger and was hunted by the World Government even before he was born in an attempt to rid the world of the bloodline. One of his captain's men, Squardo, even turns on Whitebeard after this reveal as his crew was previously wiped out by the man. Whitebeard calms Squardo down and states that it's hardly Ace's fault that his father had committed these deeds. This was a major source of Ace's angst as a child, leading him to question his existence for most of his life; in his dying moments, he outright admits to Luffy that all he ever wanted to know was whether or not he deserved to be born, just because he had the blood of a Pirate King, a "demon", in his veins.
- Luffy suffers from this as well, due to being the son of Revolutionary Dragon. Though only Admiral Akainu seems to care. When the knowledge becomes public, Garp shrugs it off, saying Luffy's notoriety has gotten to the point it doesn't matter who he's related to. Luffy himself is so indifferent to it that he seems almost completely unaware of it at times, offhandedly mentioning it to one of his father's comrades back when it was still a secret, almost as an afterthought.
- Luffy also gets it in the Dressrosa arc from Don Chinjao. In this case, it was Luffy's grandfather who wronged him by injuring Chinjao in such a way that he could no longer reach a treasure he coveted. Chinjao considers what happened so unforgivable that he's perfectly willing to take it out on Luffy once he realizes who Luffy is. This is completely undone when Luffy injures Chinjao in such a way that restores his ability to reach his treasure. Chinjao was so grateful that he pledged Undying Loyalty to Luffy.
- Also during the Dressrosa arc, the female gladiator Rebecca suffers from this due to being the granddaughter of the previous, hated Dressrosa king who Doflamingo deposed. When she entered the arena, the audience jeered and booed her. This also gets undone later, when Doflamingo's Engineered Heroics and Frame-Up of King Riku were revealed, restoring Riku and his family's reputation.
- In spite of never partaking in the atrocities and decadence of the World Nobles, the Donquixote Family was persecuted in the town they resided in just because they had the blood of the Celestial Dragons. Since they gave up their rights as World Nobles, they were hunted down by the locals, with the matriarch eventually dying of illness. Eventually the men of the family were caught by a mob and tortured at the stake. Then, when the eldest son Doflamingo murdered his father and attempted to return to Mariejois, he was rebuffed for being the son of "traitors" and hunted down by the other World Nobles.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam, Char plots the deaths of the Zabi family — including youngest son Garma, his best friend from military academy — because he's convinced their father, Sovereign Degwin, murdered his father. It starts out as Revenge by Proxy, with Char killing the Zabis to make Degwin suffer, but he continues on after Degwin's death (at the hands of eldest son, Gihren), pushing him into this territory.
- It should be noted that, outside of Garma, the only Zabi Char directly killed was Kycilia, which he did more to end the Zabis' reign of terror as opposed to avenge his father. Dozle was killed by Amuro at the Battle of Solomon, Degwin was killed by Gihren's "accidental" firing of the Solar Ray, and Gihren himself was killed by Kycilia in the middle of A Bao A Qu. In that sense, Char only invoked the trope with Garma (which ironically was enough to torment Degwin, who loved Garma the most, to his grave), whereas the rest were casualties of war (Dozle) or just had it coming over their own sins (Gihren, Degwin, and Kycilia).
- Also played with in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Rain's father was one of the conspirators involved in the Government Conspiracy brewed by Ulube Ishikawa inside his Gambit Roulette, which more or less directly involved the destruction of the Kasshu family. This shames his daughter so much that, after learning of such things, she decides to leave her boyfriend and partner Domon Kasshu over it... and it makes the poor girl the perfect core unit for the Devil Gundam, which comes in possession of Ulube.
- This is Rau Le Creuset's justification for nearly destroying humanity in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, as well as the source of his hatred toward Kira and Mu. To summarize, Rau hates Mu because he (Rau) is a faulty clone of his father (whose reason for creating Rau was to create a successor in his own literal image), he hates Kira because his father was the geneticist in charge of the project (which he used to fuel the Ultimate Coordinator program) and he hates everybody else because he feels humanity condoned his creation through the rampant genetic engineering of the Cosmic Era.
- Played with and mixed with Cloning Blues in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Rey Za Burrel goes along with Durandal's Destiny plan because he believes that he needs to atone for Rau Le Creuset's Omnicidal Maniac plans in the previous series. He thinks Rau's crimes are his crimes because both of them are clones of the same man. When Kira finally meets him, he manages to convince Rey that Rau's sins were his own and that Rey can make his own choices. Rey ultimately shoots Durandal to save Kira when he realizes that he doesn't really agree with the Destiny Plan after taking some time to actually think about it as a person rather than as Rau 2.0.
- Inuyasha: Miroku bears an all-consuming wind tunnel on his hand that will eventually devour him and anyone around him and has been passed down from his father and his father. Like everything else, it's the work of Naraku.
- Sailor Moon's Black Moon Clan. They're both versions of this trope. They're descendants of criminals Neo-Queen Serenity banished to Nemesis rather then killing, as she does not kill humans (or human aliens) if she can avoid it. They originally wanted to move to Earth peacefully but are manipulated by Wiseman to blame Serenity and seek revenge on her and all of earth.
- A truly atrocious example in Rave Master. Lucia, who is all of six years old, is thrown in a maximum security prison as a precaution since his father was... er... not a very well liked person.
- Getter Robo Armageddon: Genki Saotome, the child of a Mad Scientist that practically destroyed the world, was almost killed by others in a fallout shelter. Thankfully, Genki's guardian, Benkei, saved them by convincing the others he was Genki's father.
- The source of much of the bile and bitterness between Daisuke and Clair in Heat Guy J. Clair's father killed Daisuke's father under orders from Daisuke's evil uncle.
- Master of Martial Hearts takes this concept, and covers it with badly written villains. The villains' objective is to exact revenge on Aya because her father held the first incarnation of the tournament and had their mothers Mind Raped and sold into slavery when they lost, and because her mother won said tournament and doomed the mothers to said fate.
- In Mawaru-Penguindrum, the Takakura parents turn out to be members of a terrorist organization that bombed the Tokyo Subway 16 years before the action took place. One of the victims was a little girl named Momoka Oginome... the childhood girlfriend of Shoma and Kanba's teacher, Keiju Tabuki, and the older sister of Shoma's friend/prospect Love Interest Ringo. Shoma actually spells out the trope while revealing to Ringo what he knows about said tragic incident as well as referring to his sister Himari's almost-definitive death that follows as "a curse befalling on the family... as punishment"; he then goes further via cutting off all contacts with Ringo, since he's so wrecked with guilt and self-hate that he simply can't believe that Ringo refuses to hate him and his family for Momoka's demise. It takes Ringo quite the effort to even try convincing him otherwise and let her hang out with him and Himari.
- Invoked again when Tabuki himself snaps, kidnaps Himari and tries to stage a cruel Hostage Situation as revenge for what happened to Momoka.
- In Hell Girl, Ai Enma tries to Mind Rape Tsugumi Shibata and make her send her father Hajime to Hell because he is either a descendant or the reincarnation of the cousin that betrayed her.
- Fullmetal Alchemist's plot boils down to Edward and Alphonse cleaning up a mess that their father Van Hohenheim created. They have to stop an evil man who looks just like their father. As it turns out, the man, "Father", was born of Hohenheim's blood, and used his progenitor as an Unwitting Pawn in his gambit to become immortal, consuming Hohenheim's home country of Xerxes in the process; now, he intends to go one step further with the Elric brothers' home country of Amestris, a country he designed from scratch for this very purpose, creating an alchemic circle granting him enough power to overtake "God" or the being beyond the Gate. Fortunately, Hohenheim is working to make amends for his mistakes, and joins his sons in their counterattack late in the game.
- In the 2003 anime version, things are much different. They have to stop the machinations of Dante, a spurned lover of Hohenheim of Light's. The two were lovers a long time ago, but when one of the two fell deathly ill, the other successfully transferred the soul from the dying body to another living human's. Seeing the potential of this action, both proceeded to body-snatch and effectively live forever, but as the side effects of these actions — their bodies rejecting the souls and visibly rotting, mainly — started to kick in earlier and earlier, Hohenheim eventually relented and settled with Trisha, while Dante manipulated the entire government to enable this scheme even further. This Hohenheim is also repentant, but isn't quite as effective — he makes an attempt to confront Dante over her plot, but is promptly banished beyond the gate, and spends the rest of his life on our Earth, unable to have an effect on Dante's plans any longer.
- In Highschool of the Dead, Shido rigs Rei's grades because his father was being investigated by her father for political corruption. This one is a bit twisty, since Shido also hated his father, but still carried out his order.
- Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life: in the past, Arceus gave a part of his powers (the MacGuffin Title) to a human, Damon, in hopes that Damon would use it to help Damon's homeland back into prosperity. Some time later, Arceus returns to reclaim the Jewel of Life, only for Damon to seemingly betray him. In the present, when Arceus returns to exact revenge, Damon's descendant Sheena believes it's her job to return the jewel to right Damon's wrongs.
- In one arc of Omamori Himari, Shizuku tries to murder the last known descendent of the demon-hunter clan that had genocided her race over a century before. Said descendant was from a branch line that had renounced demon-hunting long before her birth, and happened to be totally ignorant of her ancestor's crimes. Shizuku is eventually talked down before she can actually do it.
- Asumi from Twin Spica gets bullied and ostracized because her father was on the development team for the Lion, which ended up crashing in a major city and causing lots of casualties which wasn't even his fault, as he was pulled off the team right before major budget cuts to the project. One of her teachers with a grudge against him even tries to get her to quit Tokyo Space School because of it.
- In Soul Eater, Black Star and Tsubaki try to help a village against Masamune, but the villagers hate Black Star and refuse to trust him. It turns out that Black Star's family had massacred the village in the past. Black Star declares he doesn't care what his (now deceased) family did and helps save the village anyways. He and Tsubaki leave, with the villagers still hating him.
- Space Pirate Mito: The Galactic Patrol charges Ordinary High-School Student Aoi with Mito's crimes, which leads to a Dating Catwoman relationship with the agent sent to spy on him when she realizes he didn't know his mother is an alien, let alone a space pirate.
- The title character of High School Ninja Girl, Otonashi-san starts the story on a quest revenge for her ancestor. Fortunately, she drops the whole thing after a (non-fatal) shuriken to her target's back.
- The protagonists of Yatterman Night live in the outskirts of the Yatter Kingdom thanks to the thievery of their ancestors, the Doronbo Gang. They've been effectively barred from entering, even when they're in dire need of help.
- Actually a plot point in Judge. Everyone playing the Judge game except Hiro and Hikari are the sons and daughters of those involved in the trial regarding the death of Atsuya, Hiro's brother and Hikari's boyfriend. The defendant, a drunk driver, bribed the judge and jury to get a reduced sentence. Only Rina and her mother survive for this reason - her mother refused to take the bribe.
- In "Boku no Hero Academia", Todoroki has to deal sometimes what means to be the son of the number 2 hero, Endeavor.
- Attack on Titan: The persecution of the Eldian people is justified based on this, with Marleyan propaganda stating their ancestors were an Evil Empire that committed over a thousand years of atrocities before being defeated. The mainland Eldians have been raised to resent their kin living in seclusion on Paradis, who supposedly escaped their "just punishment" by abandoning their kin and hiding within the Walls. A young Grisha Yeager decried this oppression, pointing out the unfairness of punishing subsequent generations for the crimes of people long dead. In comparison, most Eldian children are raised to believe it is their duty to atone for their ancestors' crimes by sacrificing their lives as soldiers and Warriors for Marley's war machine.
- The backstory of the Batman foe Bane uses the 'hereditary prison' variant. The child of a foreigner who aided a failed revolution in a South American country, the as-yet unborn Bane was sentenced to life in prison for his father's crimes. He was born and raised in the unescapable prison. Bane would get the chance to meet his father, who was revealed to be King Snake, and finally pay him back years down the line.
- The first arc of Volume 3 used this. A group of Majesdanians come looking for Karolina, hoping to prosecute her for her parents' role in starting a war between their species and the Skrulls that devastated both. The fact that Karolina had no control over any of that, and even went through with an Arranged Marriage to try and bring peace, doesn't stop them — their species is almost extinct, and they need someone to blame.
- In Volume 1, Alex invokes this trope when threatening to kill Karolina, due to her and Molly's parents planning on betraying the others at the ceremony the team interrupted.
- Professor Power once quoted the Trope Namer directly while explaining why he had such a mad-on for X-Factor, which at the time was composed of the original X-Men; it was far more about his feud with Xavier than it was with them.
- General Zod is very clear that his thirst for revenge against Jor-El for thwarting and imprisoning him and his followers extends to his son as well: "You will bow down before me, Jor-El! Both you and one day, your heirs!"
- In The Trial of Superman saga, Superman is put on trial by an alien tribunal because one of his ancestors inadvertently caused the virtual extinction of the Kryptonian race by making them biologically bound to Krypton and thus unable to leave the planet.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe examples:
- A Carl Barks story featured a man named Foola Zoola, who wanted revenge against Scrooge McDuck. Unable to reach the old miser, Foola Zoola decided to settle for Donald under the belief a wrongdoer's sins can be atoned by his next of kin.
- In the fourteenth chapter of The Amazing Adventures of Fantomius-Gentleman Thief Howard Drake, descendant of Francis Drake, frames the Count of Bad Luck for kidnapping and theft and tries to frame lord Quackett as an accomplice because lord Quackett's ancestor Richard Quackett, the Mad Duke of Duckburg, made a fool of Francis Drake with the help of the count's ancestor.
- While many of her fellow Teen Titans assure her otherwise, Raven has often had this problem herself. Though when your father is a demon lord, it's not so surprising if you think about that every now and then.
- In Uplifted, Nazi Protagonist Joachim Hoch, an ardent SS man since he was eighteen and apparently a supporter when he was younger, had his mentor and father figure Gerald Langer cover up his father's Communist ties, as well as his mother's Socialism and anti-Nazi stance. It is all unraveled in Uplifted: Intervention when he is shot in the face by his dead brother's ex-fiancee — a runaway Jewish woman. Under hard questioning by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Langer admits the ties of his family. The result is not pretty. By Uplifted: Revolution, Joachim has spent two months in the care of the ever hospitable Gestapo.
- In Mass Effect Human Revolution, as Garrus and Jensen get integrated into Hein's unit, the former gets into a heated argument with Edward Grey over the events at Shanxi. They were stopped by Hein, who pointed out that, unlike himselfnote , neither of them were actually present for the events and should put it past them.
- In one Harry Potter story, when Snape and McGonagall admit that their treatment of Harry (hating him and punishing him harshly for an alleged prank on Neville respectively) stem from James Potter's actions as a teenager, Harry turns it around on them by suggesting all the children of Death Eaters be imprisoned or killed since they'd most obviously be just like their parents and responsible for their actions as well.
- Fanfic stories where Sirius Black has children usually feature people giving these children a hard time for the crimes Sirius is wrongfully imprisoned for.
- In Vengeance Of The Star the assassins targeting Twilight kill Spike right in front of her just to make her suffer before killing her... only for her to transform into Midnight Sparkle and in retaliation kill the assassins families and force them all to watch.
- A driving story element in Of Sheep and Battle Chicken is the efforts of some characters trying to live up to or move past the deeds/misdeeds of their parents. Garrus' conflict with his father is presented much more heavily than in canon, and Liara is forced to become a citizen of the Systems Alliance because the Asari government wants her to pay for her mother's crimes.
- Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand: In the spin-offs set prior to the fall of Radiant Garden, it's established that the Insurgos believe that bloodlines carry certain traits; Ansem's parents were tyrants who saw everyone outside royalty as beneath them, and thus, they're obsessed with bringing down Ansem's rule because they believe that his parents' cruelty is In the Blood. In Radiant, showing that she's Not So Different from the Insurgos, Ansem's mother, Hanako, reveals she has the same beliefs, outright telling Ansem and Rimi that Kaname should be imprisoned simply for being the son of one of the Insurgos despite the fact that Kaname saved them from his father.
- Sonic X: Dark Chaos: As revealed in chapter 22, Tsali has been after Cosmo because her father Lucas made him into what he is now. Tails points out that Cosmo is not guilty of her father's crimes, but Tsali responds that she carries her father's blood, and that's enough for him.
- Pony POV Series: Nyarlathotrot, God of Tragedy and Horror, has a murderous grudge against Applejack. It is revealed that this is because many thousands of years ago, Applejack's ancestor Saint Sweetheart and her family managed to find the cure to a plague he had engineered to wipe out ponykind.
- Black Sky 's spin-off, Parenting is not a Varia Quality, Mainomai's bloodline is revealed to be under a Vengeance Curse casted by Hephaestus for being the issue of the god's wife Aphrodite's affair with Ares. Mainomai's partner Tyr is incensed by the unfairness of taking it out on the innocent descendent rather than the adulteress herself and manages to break the Curse.
- Yet Again: In this story, Naruto's status as the son of the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, causes just as many — if not more — problems than his status as the Kyuubi Jinchuriki. Thanks to Butterfly of Doom, a bunch of Iwa nin (including Han, the Gobi Jinchuriki) learn of his existence and break out of prison to kill him. They attack him and his friends (many of whom are young, prominent clan heirs) while they are returning from a months-long mission. The resulting clusterfuck culminates in Naruto outing both while fighting Han. While all the protagonists survive in more-or-less one piece, the incident pushes Konoha and Iwa into a cold war that perpetuates throughout the Time Skip. In the sequel, it's revealed that in one possible timeline, tensions finally blew up and caused the Fourth Great Shinobi War.
Films — Animation
- One really nasty example of a one-man vendetta is Rasputin in Anastasia who obsesses over murdering the title character, despite her having done nothing to earn his ire. Unlike other cases he wasn't even victimised and there was no justification for his hatred. He took his anger at her father the Czar for offending him and denying him power, to an extent where he wanted to end his bloodline and annihilate the Romanov dynasty. Disproportionate Retribution at its finest.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Fog, vengeful ghosts of lepers from 100 years earlier do this to the present day descendants of their murderers.
- In Flowers in the Attic, the children of their newly widowed and bankrupt mother are subject to this by their hateful grandmother.
- In House on Haunted Hill (1999), the vengeful ghosts arranged the guest list for the party specifically to include the descendants of five members of Vannacutt's staff who didn't die in the long-ago fire so they could kill the descendants of the staff who tortured them decades ago. It's subverted when the last survivor in the house reveals that he's adopted, so is therefore spared this by the ghosts, although why someone who was adopted by a descendent is any less eligible to become a proxy-victim than someone who's genetically related raises still more issues about the injustice of this trope.
- In Freaky Friday (2003), Anna's teacher subjects her to unfair treatment — simply because when the teacher was younger, Anna's mother turned down a date with him.
- In Hook, the eponymous villain tries to get revenge against Peter Pan by corrupting his children into recognizing him as their father. In the climax, in order to goad Peter Pan into fighting him, Hook threatens to hound Peter's children and their children's children for eternity.
- In Into the Woods, the Baker's problems all stem from his father stealing the Witch's beans. It's implied that if the Baker had gone through with abandoning his son, he would have set the stage for his son to have to go through similar circumstances.
- In Maleficent, this is why the title character curses Princess Aurora; King Stefan had betrayed her and cut off her wings in order to claim the throne.
- In Nicholas and Alexandra, the ending is art imitating real life from the last Tsarist family's bloody death in 1918.
- In "Sharpe's Peril", Sharpe discovers that Barabbas is actually the son of the man that killed Sharpe's wife. Sharpe then tries to kill him for the sins of his father, but he is stopped by Harper. Later, Sharpe asks Barabbas for his forgiveness, which is given, and at the end Barabbas saves Sharpe's life.
- The controversial 2016 movie Hillarys America contains quite a few accusations towards the Democratic Party (as in, the modern one) supporting slavery, hate groups, and Jim Crow laws, among other things, due to the stated political affiliations of historic figures who did.
- Alluded to in Thirteen Days - one of the several things that dog President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert as they try to navigate the Cuban Missile Crisis is the fact that their father, Joseph P. Kennedy, was a major advocate of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler on the eve of World War II. Several officials (both military and civilian) push for a stronger response, despite the risk that it could start a nuclear war.
Dean Atcheson: Let us hope appeasement doesn't run in families. I fear weakness does.
- Descendants takes this to an egregious level with the children of the Disney Villains banished to an island without magic, technology, or decent food because of the actions of their parents. Before Ben became of age, and even afterwards, the population of Auradon mistreat them and never give them a chance for anything, treating them as Always Chaotic Evil while viewing themselves as Always Lawful Good.
- The title character of The Count of Monte Cristo plans to kill his enemy Fernand's son Albert as part of his revenge, Invoking the trope by name. The Vampire Count Of Monte Cristo goes into this a little more than the main novel. Apparently, even a vampire can be sicked by collateral damage.
- Harry Potter
- Severus Snape belittles and treats titular character through the books, namely because Harry resembles (and tends to act) like his father, James. James and Severus despised one another throughout their school years. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that he has just as important a role to play in Voldemort's downfall as does Harry and plays that role when needed, even when killing Dumbledore. It's also inverted: The only reason Snape helped ensure Harry's survival was because he was also the child of Lily Evans, the girl he loved.
- Fenrir Greyback bit Remus Lupin in retaliation for Lupin's father offending him. Expanded material in Pottermore reveals that the offense was the elder Lupin saying during a trial of Greyback that werewolves were "soulless, evil, deserving nothing but death." In his defense, Lupin's father was frustrated because Greyback managed to convince the trial committee he wasn't a werewolf despite the overwhelming evidence and they refused to hold him in custody during the full moon to make sure.
- Inheritance Cycle: Murtagh from Eragon is imprisoned by the Varden due to the crimes his father did. It's also because he grew up under the eye of their ultimate enemy Galbatorix.
- The two (separately) "cursed" families are cursed for either not upholding their end of a bargain or due to some black deed against the one placing the curse. It's not just them; "You and your children and your children's children..."
- A particularly ironic variation happens in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities where Dr. Manette was unjustly imprisoned by two twins after he flubbed to the police about them raping a peasant girl and killing her brother. He is unfortunately imprisoned in the brutal Bastille, which eats away at his sanity. He writes a journal describing how he got there, but due to amnesia, forgets all about it once freed. Later in the book, Charles Darnay, his son-in-law, is up for trial in the crazy revolutionary France. When Dr. Manette asked who testified against him, it turns out Darnay... is the son of one of the twins that imprisoned him, and they know all about it thanks to the recovery of Dr. Manette's journal. Ultimately, at the end of the journal, he condemns all the posterity of the twins that imprisoned him, saying "I, Alexandre Manette ... denounce to the times when all these things shall be answered for. I denounce them to Heaven and to earth." As thus, he ultimately wound up testifying against his son-in-law because of this trope. Also, Madame Defarge was the sister of the peasant girl who was raped, and wanted to kill everybody in the twins' family for revenge, even Charles Darnay's young daughter.
- The Book of Lord Shang advises that, if one charged with maintaining the law is to break the law, then he should receive the death penalty, and his children and grandchildren also be punished. Which would come back to bite Shang in a big way when he and his family received this very punishment, which was among the reforms that Shang himself made to Qin law, after he was convicted of treason against King Huiwen of Qin. Family execution in general was known as the "Nine Exterminations," referring to the nine groups the offender's relations were categorized into (parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings and siblings-in-law, uncles, and the criminal himself) and in Ancient China, it was reserved for rebellion and treason, the worst capital offenses of the period.
- In Melinda Metz's Fingerprints, one villain's mother was murdered. The villain wants revenge, and, because the murderer has since died of unrelated causes, decides to kill her daughter instead.
- In The Death Gate Cycle, the Sartan Alfred flatly states that he refuses to accept responsibility for the crimes his ancestors committed against the Patryns, saying that he has a hard enough time dealing with the consequences of his own sins.
- In The Children of Húrin, Morgoth exacts his revenge on Húrin for defying him by cursing his children and forcing him to watch as he slowly destroys their lives.
- Invoked by the villain in Aunt Dimity Goes West: an immigrant Polish miner sells his claim to a mine for five thousand dollars, and the wealthy buyer makes $200 million from the mine. Not only does the miner himself sabotage the mine, his great-grandson sets a bomb in the same mine, under the cabin built on the site by the still-wealthy descendants.
- In Stephanie Burgis' A Tangle of Magicks, Lady Fotherington attributes Kat's behavior — on which she puts the most malicious interpretation — as stemming from her mother's wrongdoing. (She had lost out in a Love Triangle of her, Kat's mother, and Kat's father.)
- In A Song of Ice and Fire,
- Sansa Stark is held prisoner in King's Landing because her father tried to take the throne from King Joffrey. In reality, Joffrey is not the true heir to the throne and Lord Stark went about the wrong way trying to correct the situation. She's also physically abused whenever her brother wins a battle against Joffrey's men.
- After Robert's Rebellion, the Targaryen children are killed/hunted because Rhaegar kidnapped Robert's betrothed, Lyanna Stark, and Aerys murdered Rickard and Brandon Stark, as well as to eliminate the threat they posed to Robert's legitimacy as king. Viseys, the oldest, was only eight years old when this all started.
- Theon Greyjoy was taken from his home and spent most of his life as a hostage because of his father's failed rebellion against the Iron Throne.
- Tyrion at one point muses on how he and the people of his generation are puppets dancing to the strings of their ancestors, and that in time his generation will be the puppeteers manipulating their descendants from beyond the grave.
- Happens in the Legends of Dune prequels. After Abulurd Harkonnen is accused of treason following the Battle of Corrin, he is exiled to Lankiveil. It takes a very long time for the Harkonnens to return to prominence once again, as everyone remembers the shame, even though Abulurd's descendants had nothing to do with it. By the same token, Abulurd's descendants vow revenge on the descendants of Vorian Atreides, which is how their feud started.
- Additionally, the official excuse for the enslavement of the Buddhislamics is "your ancestors chose to flee instead of helping us fight the machines". The real reason is the fear of any sort of machine, requiring the use of manual labor. However, no one wants to pay fair wages to workers, so slaves are used instead.
- In the Silver John story "The Desrick on Yandro", John witnesses a flock of Fearsome Critters dealing out vengeance to the grandson of Joris Yandro, who abandoned a backwoods witch named Polly Wiltse.
- In The Tomb, Kusum Bahktri seeks revenge on the descendants of the British colonial officer who'd raided a secret Indian temple to steal its gemstones, murdering Kusum's ancestors in the process. While the first member of the Westphalen lineage that Kusum eliminates was an Asshole Victim, the others he targets are a pair of harmless old ladies who have no clue where their family's wealth came from, and a seven-year-old girl who's never benefited from the fortune at all.
- This is justified in Pact, where many supernatural creatures are unable to distinguish between members of a family line, which results in the debts and the deeds of a family member being passed down through the ages. If the family is both very evil and very good at surviving long enough to procreate, as in the case of the Thorburns, then the responsibility for entire lifetimes of evil can fall upon the next heir. Blake Thorburn finds himself in this position in the start of the story.
- In Ru Emerson's Spell Bound, Ilse is still dissatisfied when she has cursed and killed those most responsible for her mother's death. She then goes on to their children, who had no part in it.
- Potential villain (ultimately Anti-Villain) Kal Zakath spends the early part of The Malloreon trying to destroy every scion of mad king Rak Urga, after his vengeance against that man was stolen in the climax of the previous series. He gives it up when he is given proof that all of Urga's offspring are dead, and his heir is actually the son of another man.
- In the Avatar Series of novels in the Forgotten Realms setting, Kelemvor is the descendent of a man who was cursed for being selfish and refusing to offer a minor charity. The original curse triggered any time the man accepted payment for anything, and caused him to turn into a massive were-panther and stay in that form until he killed at least one person. As a result, he died destitute and penniless. But the curse transferred to his children, and since children are born without greed, the curse inverted itself—for all of his descendents, the curse triggers any time the victim does anything charitable or gives away anything for free, forcing the rest of his line to become selfish mercenaries to avoid the effects of the curse.
- In Jeramey Kraatz's /The Cloak Society novelFall of Heroes, Lux explains to the youngsters that Cloak's original attack on them had been because of their dead founder who had once belonged to Cloak himself.
- H.P. Lovecraft.
- In The Dresden Files Harry Dresden is a young but strong wizard. Besides his own run in with breaking the Laws of Magic (killing his evil mentor in self-defense), Harry has frequently dealt with people who knew his mother Margarete LeFay Dresden. She was considered a radical by the older generation of the Council for her pushing the Council to take a more active and morally good stance in helping the world by showing just how much harm she could do by technically not breaking any laws. When Harry talks with the Captain Luccio of the Wardens, Luccio offhandedly calls Margarete a "bitch." A half-demon scion calls her a piece of work. The Lord Raith, King of the White Court of vampires, truly loathes her and seeks to kill Harry and Harry's half-blood sibling Thomas (Raith's own son) because on her death, Margarete cursed Lord Raith to never feed on people's emotions and the curse will only vanish if all her blood descendants are dead.
- Journey to Chaos: Meza and his Elven Preservation Society (i.e. the Human Haters) hold the current generation of humans responsible for the Conversion War. They held the last generation responsible and they will hold the future generation responsible. That's what happens when you go to war with a Society of Immortals.
- The Yelnats family in Louis Sachar's Holes is subject to a hereditary Gypsy Curse after Elya Yelnats failed to hold up his end of a bargain with a Romani woman. The protagonist Stanley Yelnats inadvertently lifts the curse by saving the woman's descendant.
- The Equalizer features this in a fourth and final season episode called this only with "The" as its first word, in which a mobster's small son was kidnapped by the widow of the mobster's accidental crossfire murder victims-the widow's husband and small son-from eight years earlier.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation explores this in an episode actually named "Sins of the Father." Here, Worf's late father, Mogh, is accused of treason, but only to cover up the fact Duras' powerful clan was responsible to avoid civil war. The Klingon High Council figured that, since the only relation they knew of to that Klingon is Worf, a Federation citizen, then he would be safe from any punishment this judgment would bring. Unfortunately, they didn't know that Worf has a brother, Kurn, and that both would care about their family so much that they would risk everything to travel to the Klingon homeworld to challenge the judgment.
- Played with in the case of Duras. Worf clearly wants revenge on Duras, for Duras' father framing Worf's father for treason. He does not directly challenge him, as with Duras dead, Worf would never have the proof to regain his honor. Then Duras kills Worf's mate (and Alexander's mother) K'ehleyr...and Worf promptly shoves a bat'leth through his chest in single-combat.
- Subverted in a later episode, when Klingon Chancellor Gowron offers Worf the opportunity to execute Duras' son when the House of Duras' treachery comes to light and Worf's family honor is finally restored. Worf declines, pointing out that unlike his grandfather, father, and aunts, he has committed no crime.
- It is also mentioned in a couple episodes that the dishonor for certain crimes in Klingon culture is passed down for a certain number of generations. Worf actually lies about the heritage of the children of Klingon POWs that he discovered because allowing oneself to be captured shames the family for three generations, meaning that said children, and any future children they might have, would be tainted in Klingon society for their parent's perceived sins.
- Lost: Ben intends to kill Penny Widmore because her father's hired psycho killed Ben's daughter Alex.
- Merlin also had an episode named "Sins of the Father", where Uther's Back Story and Arthur's birth comes to light. It ain't pretty.
- In Sharpe's Peril, Sharpe happens to run into the bastard son of his late nemesis Hakeswill, currently under arrest for a theft he didn't commit. Sharpe beats the poor guy up until Harper stops him, but in the end Hakeswill Jr. saves the day and Sharpe and Harper's lives.
- CSI: One episode had the killer of the week hunting down and executing the grandsons of the men responsible for her grandparents' deaths.
- The Centauri start Babylon 5 as the targets of this from the Narn. Later they start doing their own sins.
- It doesn't help that the Centauri won't admit to having occupied Narn, claiming that they were helping to uplift the Narn savages and got attacked for their trouble.
- G'Kar has this mindset about Emperor Turhan of the Centauri Republic in "The Coming of Shadows." The Emperor's family, but not Emperor Turhan himself, was involved with mass slaughters of Narns during the Centauri occupation, stealing territories, and other atrocities. Emperor Turhan, however, has gone out of his way to appease the Narn by returning the territories and making what amends he can. Despite these actions, G'Kar cannot see the difference between the man and the family he came from and fully intended to kill the Emperor when he came to the station.
- An episode shows a trial where a human accuses a Vree of his/her grandfather abducting the human's grandfather. Of course, the Vree have never abducted anyone. The likely candidates would have been the Streib. The Vree just happen to look like your typical Greys and fly around in flying saucers. Some material indicates that they have indeed visited Earth in the 20th century on a routine survey mission. They find the fact that this had a big impact on human culture hilarious.
- An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had a whole plot centered around this. A teenage girl is found dead and about two or three months pregnant. At first, the detectives suspect her music teacher...but then it turns out he never touched her, only let her and her boyfriend use his apartment to have sex. It's then revealed that the baby has 62% of its DNA from the mother, meaning that the father is related to her. It turns out that her boyfriend, who fathered the baby, is her half brother since her mom's boyfriend (and her biological father) is her boyfriend's father, married to another woman. He is not happy to find out about this.
- Happens in the Tales from the Crypt episode "Suprise Party", with a side of Laser-Guided Karma. A man murders his father so he can inherit a house, which hosts party goers who are eventually revealed to be the vengeful spirits of people his father had burned to death several decades ago. They'd been wanting to return the favor, but since the father is dead, they settle for getting revenge on the son instead. They even reenacted the night of their murder, just to confirm that he deserved to die for his father's crime. The son acted exactly like his father.
- Hilariously averted in an episode of El Chapulín Colorado where the hero got involved in the Romeo and Juliet story. Romeo asked Juliet's father if there was anyway the two families could reconcile. The reply: "I can forget your grandfather killed mine. I can forget your great-grandfather killed mine. I can even forget your great-great-grandfather killed mine." What Juliet's father would never forget is that the two families root for different sport teams.
- In 2 Broke Girls Caroline is hated by many people because her father ran a Ponzi Scheme that cost thousands of people their life savings. While Caroline did not know about the fraud, her lavish lifestyle was funded by the stolen money.
- Jonathan Kent instantly dislikes Lex Luthor solely because he is the son of Lionel Luthor, a man he detests.
- In the episode "Hourglass," this is Harry Bollston's whole M.O. After originally being sent to prison for murdering the son of a teacher who recommended someone else for a prestigious scholarship, he gets out and starts plotting to kill the children of the jurors from his trial, including Jonathan.
- An episode of the original Battlestar Galactica involves a prison populated by descendants of the original criminals. None of them have proper names and are instead called "<insert crime here> <number of generation>" (e.g. Thief 10). And yes that includes things that aren't even considered criminal in our society (e.g. adultery). A running gag is the prisoners wondering what sort of crime starbucking is.
- In Haven, nearly everybody in Haven, Maine hates Duke Crocker because of his deceased father Simon. Simon (and before him, his father Roy) had the power to erase a Trouble by killing one person who had it, so he went on a killing spree of Troubled people, trying to wipe them out. Duke was completely ignorant of the Crocker ability and doesn't learn that he has inherited it or of his father's deeds until the episode "Sins of the Fathers". In season 4, Duke's brother Wade comes into town and many people also associate him with Simon while he is completely ignorant of what Simon has done. Unfortunately, Wade eventually becomes just like Simon and Duke is forced to kill him to defend Jennifer.
- In The Adventures of Superboy episode "The Haunting of Andy McAlister", the ghosts of some wild west outlaws attempt to get revenge on Clark Kent's friend Andy because his ancestor was the sheriff who previously defeated them.
- An episode of Forever involves an old man who seemingly dies of cancer. He turns out to be the deposed king of a fictional East European country called Urkesh. Henry later finds out that the man had an illegitimate daughter who was working as a waitress. In the end, it turns out that the old man was killed by radiation poisoning by an employee at the Urkesh consulate, who recognized him and wanted to pay him back for being tortured back in Urkesh during the days of the monarchy. He also poisons the king's widow, but Henry manages to pump her stomach in time. The killer then goes after the girl, even though the main target of his revenge is dead, and the girl didn't even know about her heritage until a few days before. During the struggle, he hears a baby crying and realizes that there is another descendant for him to kill. Luckily, he's killed before he succeeds.
- Wells from The 100 is the son of Chancellor Jaha, leader of the dystopian Ark society who imposes a All Crimes Are Equal policy that got many people executed for their crimes (that can go from murder, to whistleblowing, to having more than one child). As a result, most of the 100 (juvenile criminals who couldn't be executed until their majority) hate Wells, as they've all been imprisoned by Jaha's police force or have seen their loved ones "floated" on his orders. A young girl who was traumatized by her parents' deaths ends up murdering him.
- An episode of Bones reveals that one of the reasons why Booth has made service to his country and pursuit of justice his life's missions is because he is descended from John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin, a relation he hides from everyone and is ashamed of. In his mind, he hopes to wash away the mark of treason from his family.
- Homicide: Life on the Street had an episode in which the homicide investigators find that an ordinary, middle-class, family man was murdered just because his ancestor (a woman, in this case) was a notorious pre-Civil War(!) bounty hunter & lyncher of slaves who were trying to escape from the South.
- Game of Thrones:
- The Karstarks and the Umbers betrayed the Starks. After the ones responsible have been killed, in "Dragonstone", Sansa and the others want their children to be punished as well. Jon Snow defies this and says he will not punish someone for someone else's crimes.
- In "Eastwatch", Tormund nearly attacks Jorah Mormont when he finds out Jorah's father is Jeor, who had killed many of Tormund's people. Jon Snow defuses the situation.
- To date in Arrow Oliver's son, William, has been kidnapped twice by villain's looking to punish his father for interfering with their criminal activity, interference which sometimes included harming or killing people important to the villain.
- Million Yen Women: Shin is shown getting harassed via his fax machine because of murders his father committed and it's generally played as unfairness towards him. Later, the fact that his father is a murderer benefits Shin in the form of boosting the sales of his book because of No Such Thing As Bad Publicity, which the sender of the faxes is shown to not like this at all.
Myths & Religion
- The Christian doctrine of original sin. Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve. Arguably depicts God as the arch practitioner of this concept. Among the Christian denominations, the views of the Fall go from the doctrine of actual sin and Total Depravation to the mere corruption of the human nature.
- In The Bible, the penalty of breaking #2 of the Ten Commandments (worshiping an idol or a false god), is that God will descend his punishment unto you, and your descendants up until the fourth generation. However on the flip side, glorifying him in a manner God finds acceptable, means blessings for a thousand generations. This was later overturned in the book of Jeremiah, since it was no longer having the intended effect (people thought only descendents would be punished).
- In stereo with Jeremiah, Ezekiel also got an oracle from God condemning Israelites for saying "The fathers eat sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge," and stating that God is going to put a stop to that nonsense and make individuals take responsibility for all of their own infractions.
- God did prohibit the execution of the wrong generation for the sins of a member of one generation, decreeing that each is to die only for their own sins. King Amaziah of Judah lays down this law when dealing with the two men that murdered his father (who had in his later years morally degenerated, but still).
- Once, Noah... overindulged a little on the wine made from the first grapes produced after the Deluge. He got naked...and passed out. His son, Ham, noticed and decided to point and laugh before informing his brothers (who covered him up averting their eyes all the while). When he woke up and found out, Noah blessed his two other sons...and cursed Ham's grandson, saying that those descended from him would be destined to serve those of Ham's brothers.
- And we have David's son in 2 Samuel, conceived by Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, and pulling a Murder the Hypotenuse in the bargain. God opts to make the newborn infant waste away over 7 days to teach David a lesson. In His mercy, though, He then allowed them to have a legitimate son–Solomon, who would eventually succeed David on the throne.
- A common ancient Greek moral concept, as exhibited in several myths. Tantalus was a vile murderer and cannibal, but his cursed descendants included innocent people forced to suffer for their ancestors' crimes.
- The story of Pandora's Box is even more this. Pandora was sent to punish all humanity, forever, because the generation alive at the time accepted fire from Prometheus. The gods introduced old age, disease, and a variety of other nasty curses to humans, which their innocent descendants would have to suffer. Hesiod includes among those curses the existence of females, and rants about why women are an unmitigated curse to men. Ancient Greeks weren't sexist at all! The last of the curses was Hope, which as all that was left inside when the box was closed.
- In Norse Mythology, when Loki's mischief finally crosses the line, the gods can't just kill him because of an oath of fellowship he swore with Odin in younger and happier days. There's nothing stopping them killing his family, though, and part of his doom is that one of his sons is driven out of his mind and kills his brother, whose entrails are then used to forge the unbreakable fetters the gods use to imprison Loki.
- Possibly subverted by the Necrons of Warhammer 40,000. Their original enemies, the Old Ones, are now more-or-less absent from the galaxy, but the Necrons don't seem to go out of their way to kill the creations of the Old Ones, and indeed seem to mostly ignore the Eldar and Orks except when they happen to run into each other.
- It's not so much ignoring as equal-opportunity-slaughtering. The Imperium of Man is just a few thousand times bigger than the handful of Eldar craftworlds, and no one cares or likely even hears of it when they do it to the Orks.
- It's not like the Orks to complain about an inexhaustible source of fresh battle, and they also avert this trope for the same reason, and more so: killing Orks makes them release a lot of spores, that might otherwise come out only much later, if ever. Don't expect them to thank you, though, except with More Dakka.
- Played straight with the Eldar. By default, the soul of any Eldar who dies without their soulstone on them (or if their soulstone gets destroyed - which can happen quite easily) is automatically consumed and tortured for all eternity by Slaanesh. Why? Because their ancestors were hedonists who squicked him (her?) into existence. Although Slaanesh isn't targeting Eldar souls to punish them so much as because they taste good.
- Played straight, and self-inflicted, on the Death Korps of Krieg. Every member of this Imperial Guard regiment is brainwashed from childhood so that their ultimate goal is to fight and die for the Imperium to atone for the crimes of their ancestors, who attempted to rebel against the Imperium over five hundred years ago.
- Played painfully straight along with Revenge before Reason by the Dwarfs of Warhammer Fantasy, who hold grudges for as long as it takes to settle them, no matter if everyone related to the grudge is long dead. A great example being when an Empire noble hired a group of Dwarf masons to build a massive castle, and after all that hard work paid them. The problem? He shorted them, by how much you ask... 2 & 1/2 coins(which is hinted to be accidental). The grudge was written down in the Great Book, and decades later a massive throng of dwarfs marched down to demand retribution from the Noble's decedent, who to him just seemed like a massive army had appeared on his doorsteps demanding blood. Hilarity Ensues
- It's not so much ignoring as equal-opportunity-slaughtering. The Imperium of Man is just a few thousand times bigger than the handful of Eldar craftworlds, and no one cares or likely even hears of it when they do it to the Orks.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, players can choose a flaw for their characters that has them hunted for the misdeeds of an ancestor, either by one extremely longlived being (which are a dime a dozen in the WoD) or by a line of hunters passing down the hunt over the generations. It makes a little more sense in the WoD, as werewolves can channel their ancestors' spirits.
- Werewolf: The Forsaken has the Pure doing this to the Uratha. According to their creation myths, six of Father Wolf's children took out their aged, weakened ancestor; three of them held back, and when everything went to pot, blamed the six for it. The Forsaken's tribes have the spirits that killed Father Wolf as their totem spirits, while the Pure have those that stayed out of it for theirs, and the Pure are very interested in holding that grudge.
- In the backstory of Ruddigore, the witch cursed not only Sir Rupert Murgatroyd but all his successors as Baronet of Ruddigore for his burning her.
- The Witch from Into the Woods laid a curse on the Baker's entire family forever so that they could never bear children, just because the Baker's father stole her rampion without asking. What makes it even worse is that she had originally only wanted their child, but then laid the barrenness curse on them just because she wasn't entirely satisfied.
- Sins of a Solar Empire has two examples. The TEC, centuries before the game takes place, exiled the precursors to the Advent from their world due to them conducting strange rituals and experiments. The Advent return to seek vengeance upon the TEC. Meanwhile, the Vasari, the alien faction, is running away from...something, and their once strong, expansive empire is now being chased by something that they themselves unleashed.
- Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time vows to exterminate the descendants of Link, Zelda and the Six Sages after getting sealed into the Evil Realm in the climax of the game. In fact, his entire existence is due to this. In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Demise's last act before being sealed in the Master Sword forever was to curse Link and Zelda's reincarnations to always face an incarnation of his hatred: Ganondorf.
- Final Fantasy X. The main antagonist of the story is literally a gigantic Sin of the Father conglomerate monstrosity.
- First, Sin was originally created after Zanarkand lost a War against Bevelle. The ensuing destruction brought by Sin caused Machina to be all but abolished, and caused the Descendants of everyone else to forever live in terror of Sin. This then starts the primary ruling order by the Yevon Clergy, which is basically around desperately trying to atone for their Sins of Machina so they don't all get obliterated by Giga-Gravitones ever again. This lasts for a total of 1000 Years, more or less.
- Even worse, Sin couldn't care less about the peoples' attempts to atone. Sin's only purpose is to protect Dream Zanarkand's Fayth cluster and its summoner Yu Yevon (what's left of him). The frequent attacks on Spira's population centers are meant to stunt Spira's growth as a civilization to prevent anyone from endangering the Fayth cluster.
- Final Fantasy XIV. This is the ultimate reason the Dragonsong War continued for 1000 years. Ishgard originally started the war, by ambushing and murdering a dragon for her eyes (which held strong magic powers). Nidhogg, the brother of the murdered dragon, flew into a fit of rage and retaliated along with his brood. Nidhogg continued the war up to the present day (when the Warrior of Light was able to negotiate a truce with the more peaceful/less war happy dragons) and justified it by saying that despite the fact that 1000 years had passed (and the original perpetrators of the crime being long dead), they still will not forget what happened and it may as well have happened yesterday. Nidhogg and his brood also claim that man are forgetful creatures that are doomed to make the same mistakes as their ancestors. It isn't until Nidhogg is defeated for good that the war finally comes to an end and a truce is made.
- There's a quest in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion where you must prove that the father of two characters you helped in a previous quest was a thief and recover what he stole. Here's the quest on the UESP Wiki.
- In Baldur's Gate II, Firkraag torments you partially to take revenge upon your foster father, Gorion, who injured him in a battle many years previously: Gorion died in the beginning of the first game, so he's had to settle for the second best thing. He himself admits that it wouldn't really bring him any closure or anything, but he can do it and thus he did.
- Call of Duty 4 plays with the concept and lampshades it: the Big Bad's only son is also The Dragon, so The Squad goes after him, hoping to lure his father out. They succeed... in a way.
Gaz: The sins of our fathers...
Griggs: Heh. Ain't it a bitch?
- Dragon Quest VIII. Rhapthorne, through his various proxies, hunts down the descendants of the seven sages who sealed him in the sceptre, many of whom are quite surprised and know literally nothing about him. Admittedly this was also pragmatic, since he had to kill them all to release his full power.
- Devil May Cry:
- In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Beowulf lost one of his eyes in battle with Sparda at some time in the past. When Dante arrives, Beowulf recognizes him as Sparda's son by his scent and goes on a rampage. Dante takes out his other eye, and Beowulf vows revenge on him as well. Unfortunately for Beowulf, he doesn't know Sparda had two sons, and he gets killed by Vergil.
- The anime series gives us a demon who was once Sparda's apprentice and whom Sparda abandoned before or after his Heel–Face Turn. Naturally, he wants revenge on Dante since Sparda is long dead at that time.
- The Taiidan Empire also uses this trope to wipe out the Kushan Homeworld. They broke a 4000 year old treaty forbidding the development of hyperspace engines...a treaty said descendants knew nothing about. This act so disgusted their citizens that it started a rebellions.
- Inverted in the Myst III: Exile. Saavedro attempts to visit the sins of the sons upon the father, after Atrus' children nearly destroyed his home "Narayan" and then cruely imprisoned him for 10 years alone on another Age. Saavedro reasons that with all the Lesson Ages he wrote, Atrus should have taught his sons better... and now intends to put Atrus through his own class.
- Then inverted again in "Revelation", when Atrus acknowledges his past failings with his sons, in time for his youngest daughter Yeesha, to be kidnapped by her elder brothers. They want revenge for being imprisoned by their father, for over 20 years in seperate Prison Ages, barely habitable, and completely alone.
- Her other brother Achenar, however, actually reformed, and was trying to protect her from Sirrus, who if anything, has gone even more crazy during his incarceration.
- In the first Gabriel Knight game, appropriately subtitled...Sins of the Fathers, the main antagonist wants to exact revenge on Gabriel because he comes from a family of "shadow hunters", that is, hunters of the supernatural, and one of his relatives had angered the local undead voodoo priestess.
- In Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, the Isle of Despair is a prison colony that no one ever escapes from. Men and women are sent there, and the women who don't flee to the Women's Camp become property in the men's camp. As do their female children.
- The Gravemind in Halo is not particularly happy about the Forerunners defeating its Flood 100,000 years ago. Humans are the heirs to the Forerunners, therefore....
"Child of my enemy, why have you come? I offer no forgiveness. The father's sins pass to his son."
- Halo: Silentium includes a straight example involving the Gravemind itself. The Precursors, beings so advanced that you might as well call them gods, created all sentient species millions of years ago, including Forerunners. However, they deemed Forerunners "unworthy" for unexplained reasons. The Forerunners, believing that the Precursors were planning to wipe them out (it's left ambiguous whether they actually were or not), waged a war against their creators and managed to wipe them first out... mostly. The remnant decided that if their creations wanted to cause them pain, the creators might as well return the favor: their new purpose is to cause endless pain and suffering for their creations for all eternity. The first step: allow their twisted descendants, the Flood, to wipe out the descendants of those that carried out their destruction, countless generations down the line.
- In Mass Effect, Ashley's military family is looked down upon by the higher-ups because her grandfather surrendered to the turians in the First Contact War, despite the fact that he had no other options besides letting his troops starve. (The surrender marked the first and only time human territory was surrendered to aliens, since first contact was only 26 years before the events of the game and humans have since mostly gotten along with aliens.) If she dies in the first game, she's hailed as a hero, removing the stigma. If she survives, then in Mass Effect 3, she's been promoted to Lieutenant Commander and second human Spectre, defying the stigma by being just that kick-ass.
- And the quarians in general, who suffer from racism and are repeatedly treated worse than dirt by the Citadel Government for the whole Geth Uprising that occurred 300 years earlier. Possibly justified; Asari can live over a thousand years, so many of them probably remember the Geth uprising firsthand.
- Tali references this trope after getting drunk, in response to Miranda killing her father. She had discovered her own father had gotten himself and everyone else on a research vessel killed trying to reprogram the geth, endangering the entire Migrant Fleet in the process, leading her to ask "When do we get to stop reacting to our parents and start living for ourselves?" when asked if she sees a bit of herself in Miranda's confict with her father.
- The player character of Mass Effect: Andromeda and his/her sibling are in a very similar situation to Ashley. Both Ryder twins had promising careers in the Alliance military until their father was caught engaging in illegal AI research and dishonorably discharged. Both twins were then quietly drummed out, and found that any mention of their last name led to doors shutting in their faces. At least one of the reasons they agreed to follow their father to the Andromeda galaxy was because pretty much every other path the family had for a real future had been shut off.
- In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, Nathaniel Howe is attempting to atone for his father Arl Rendon Howe's sins. A disturbingly high amount of players opt to have him killed in retaliation for his father's crimes despite the fact that Nathaniel hasn't seen his father since he was a child. Back in Origins, the Warden can promise to exterminate Arl Howe's family for his crimes on confronting him near the end of the game, which Howe brushes off at the time.
- Also comes into play in the "Nature Of The Beast" quest: The werewolves' ancestors were human barbarians who were responsible for raping and killing Zathrian's children, so he set upon them a werewolf curse that continued down upon their descendants. One of the ways to convince Zathrian to break the curse is to show him how his actions are hurting victims innocent of the original crime.
- Casteless dwarves are known as "criminals and the children of criminals" - in dwarven society, people can be stripped of their social rank and barred from all legitimate occupations for committing crimes, and their descendants will be likewise cast out of society. It goes way over the time in terms of punishment when you realize that casteless dwarves have literally no way to join or re-join a caste. The only way for a casteless family to change this is if a casteless has a child with a dwarf with a caste and the child is the same gender as the parent with a caste. Dwarven children inherit the caste of the parent with the same gender (a son will inherit his father's caste while a daughter will inherit her mother's). The casteless parent is still casteless, but his or her child and their future children will not.
- In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the player is sent to a Republic prison planet that is experiencing riots and uprisings among the prison population. One of the rebelling groups is composed of descendants of prisoners. They are very angry that they are imprisoned on the planet even though they are not guilty of any crimes themselves.
- Bounty Hunter companion Torian Cadera wants to kill his father because his father tried to overthrow the current Mandalore due to him revering Canderous Ordo and believing that the Mandalorians should support the Republic, thus earning him the stigma of being a traitor's son. Granted, by most standards his father is a hero, but since he challenged the current Mandalore the rest of his family paid the price.
- In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the black dragon Wrathion makes it clear that he will not be held accountable for the crimes of Deathwing and the black dragonflight.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, if you pit Freeza against Adult Gohan, you get this as their unique opening quote.
Freeza: The sins of the father shall be passed down to the son. I will make you pay tenfold for what he did to me!
- Fire Emblem
- In Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken: "The man who did this to me is dead. I'd like his son's death as compensation."
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Chrom's older sister Emmeryn is the victim of quite a bit of stigma as a result of her father waging an overzealous war against the Grimleal situated in Plegia that resulted in numerous deaths on both sides, said war only ending when her father died. While most of said stigma is at the hands of the Ax-Crazy Gangrel who is more interested in stoking this to gain support from Plegia's citizenry, Chrom reveals to the Avatar that she was also a victim of this from the Ylisseans as well, with some going so far as to throw rocks at her, all of this when she wasn't even ten years old.
- In RefleX, the Raiwat invade Earth in order to get back at the Yuda clan, who fled the Raiwat homeworld centuries ago for Earth, leaving the Raiwat at the mercy of the deadly ZODIAC units.
- The (incredibly amazing) main theme for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's trailer is named Sins of the Father. However the lyrics imply an inversion of this trope. It's not.
Our salvation lies in the Father’s sins.
Beyond the truth,
Let me suffer now.
- The plot of the DLC of Bloodborne is the result of this. The scholars of Byrgenwerth invaded a Fishing Hamlet in search of the corpse of the Great One Kos (some say Kosm) washed up on its beach, and committed horrible atrocities on the corpse and the villagers For Science!. In their anger, the villagers pleaded for Kos to curse the scholars, and Kos obliged by cursing them and their metaphorical descendants the Hunters with bloodlust which would eventually drive them mad. This results in the Hunter's Nightmare swallowing up Hunters consumed entirely by their bloodlust, and Simon the Harrowed pleads with the player character to put an end to it because the Hunters cannot bear the weight of Byrgenwerth's sins forever.
"Curse the fiends, their children too... And their children, forever true... Call to the bloodlust whereever they be..."
- Ace Attorney:
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Manfred von Karma. Whoo boy. Gregory Edgeworth made him receive a penalty in court, the tiniest blot on his perfect record, and von Karma murdered him while he was trapped in an elevator. He then adopted Edgeworth's ten year old son Miles and raised him to be a ruthless prosecutor who cared only for finding defendants guilty, letting Miles believe that he was the one who'd accidentally shot Gregory Edgeworth. A few days before the statute of limitations ran out von Karma framed him for a related murder, waited until Miles was cleared, and then reaccused him of his own father's murder. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling defense attorneys.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice: The concept of the sins of the father being passed down to his children is said to be deeply ingrained in Khura'inese culture. Being related to a criminal is enough to completely destroy someone's reputation. This is how Queen Ga'ran bends both the previous queen Amara and her son Nahyuta to her will, by threatening to reveal Princess Rayfa's true parentage as the youngest daughter of Amara and the reviled rebel leader Dhurke. Nahyuta himself was stripped of his royal status after Dhurke was falsely accused of Amara's (fake) assassination, and struggled desperately to become a prosecutor with the stigma of having a murderer for a father hanging over him; thus, neither he or his mother are willing to risk Rayfa's life being ruined.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry, this concept is attacked, possibly as an act of social commentary and cultural criticism by the author. The reason why Satako and Satoshi Houjou are shunned and rejected are due to things their parents did. This trope becomes a major plot point in Meakashi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen.
- In Long Live the Queen, if you discover Lucille's plot, Elodie can choose to murder her and her husband - or EVERYONE in the family, banish everyone, or feed Charlotte to a kraken. The dialogue in the latter choice makes it clear she thinks she was in on the plot. Properly Paranoid has a role in this as well, since this is a very cut-throat setting with nobles and royals plotting against each other, so Elodie might just try to prevent any future retribution. Alternatively, she might have become just that evil.
- There's a big ceremony in the offing in Lumia's Kingdom and Lumia needs a dress. So some brain genius goes and hires the best seamstress in all the land to make it for her. Unfortunately, this was an incredibly stupid idea because the best seamstress around is a psychotic cannibal who has a blood grudge against Lumia's mother and any descendants thereof (oh shit) because Lumia's mother is the only person to have ever survived a fight with her. As long as she doesn't know who Lumia is, she's safe. So naturally, no one bothers to take the time to explain why she shouldn't bring up her parentage, and Lumia accidentally lets the cat outta the bag.
- The Fourth: Skärva's great-grandfather committed a crime so terrible the Gods of Idenau punished him, his associates and their descendants for it. The entire Skärva family line suffers from a Hereditary Curse because of this.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: the children living in the protection of a spell bought by her suffering are fair game.
- Ilias has to deal with the possibility of this in Shadowhunter Peril. He is the bastard child of Oblivion (a Physical God Hero Killer who killed Kyle's father and Puriel's friend, as well as torturing and severely wounding other characters before finally being killed), and Anahita, Nicholas's mother and Bezaliel's lover. Basically when Ilias arrives nearly everyone hates him on sight, and it doesn't help he looks exactly like his father. Then it turns out that Oblivion is Not Quite Dead after all, and wants to kill Ilias too. So he's basically alone because everyone he knows either hates his guts because of his father's crimes, or wants him dead. But most of them have both feelings.
- Jackie Chan Adventures:
- One of the one-shot villains in a troll named Spring-Heeled Jack, who was imprisoned by a wizard, and after being accidentally released, sets out to EAT the wizard's family!
- More importantly, this is part of Shendu's plan to retake Asia after being released in the Season 1 finale, by destroying THE ENTIRE CONTINENT and annihilating most if not all of the descendants of the man who sealed him centuries prior.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, there is an entire large set of episodes named this.
- To elaborate; that was the season that dealt with Mary Jane's father, Harry's father, Peter's parents, and Felicia's father. It might have even mentioned Alistair Smythe's father. Peter's parents were found out to be spies. At first, Peter thought they were Russian spies, but they turned out to be double agents working for Nick Fury. Harry was dealing with his dad being the Green Goblin, and he became the Green Goblin for a while. Felicia's father turned out to be a Classy Cat-Burglar who had the super soldier serum memorized, and taught Felicia all he knew in being a burglar after giving her the serum.
- And then there's Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) and his son, Richard. Kingpin's backstory involves him taking a prison sentence to avoid implicating his father in a robbery gone south, and taking his revenge later. Naturally, Richard ends up going to prison to save Kingpin, who's left wondering how long it will take for history to repeat.
- And to add to that, Kingpin also killed Matt Murdock's father to keep him from spilling the beans about his toxic waste smuggling operation.
- There's also Carnage, who's not on good terms with his "father" Venom, causing Venom's Heel–Face Turn.
- To elaborate; that was the season that dealt with Mary Jane's father, Harry's father, Peter's parents, and Felicia's father. It might have even mentioned Alistair Smythe's father. Peter's parents were found out to be spies. At first, Peter thought they were Russian spies, but they turned out to be double agents working for Nick Fury. Harry was dealing with his dad being the Green Goblin, and he became the Green Goblin for a while. Felicia's father turned out to be a Classy Cat-Burglar who had the super soldier serum memorized, and taught Felicia all he knew in being a burglar after giving her the serum.
- The Simpsons:
Horis Hurlbut: You are banned from this historical society! And your children! And your children's children! ... For three months.
- In "Treehouse of Horror VI", when no one bothered to help Willie as he was burning to death, he vowed to kill their children through their dreams.
- The Movie has all of Springfield try to kill Bart, Lisa, and Maggie because of Homer polluting the lake that caused the EPA to place a dome over their town.
- Static Shock: Richie Foley never had his friend visit him because his father was a racist. When Virgil's sister pointed out how often Richie visited them and that Virgil never visited him, Richie had no choice but to schedule a visit and hope his father wasn't around. He wasn't so lucky. Fortunately Virgil didn't hold it against Richie and Mr. Foley eventually changed his mind.
- The 2007 motion capture 3-D movie adaptation of Beowulf had this for the eponymous Broken Ace with his illicit affair with Grendel's mother leads to the birth of a half-demon (dragon?) golden-skinned son. When the truce between him and the female demon is broken, she sends out their son, who attacks a village in its dragon form, sparing alive a horribly burned survivor so that he would relay these exact words to the now king Beowulf: The sins of the father are visited upon the sons. It's also shown that the same thing happened with Beowulf's predecessor, who fathered Grendel, the monster who then attacked his hall, killing many of his men before Beowulf killed him.
- Even The New Batman Adventures has one episode of this.
- The motives behind Demona's hatred of humans become this. Even though (as Goliath pointed out) everyone even remotely responsible for the Wynn massacre has been dead for centuries, she continues to blame humans for it.
- Inverted, however, with the Hunters; they blame Demona (and unfortunately all her kind) for what she has personally done.
- Gravity Falls: The Lumberjack Ghost helped build the estate the Northwests live in 150 years ago when their ancestors commissioned it. After years of hard labor that cost the lives of several workers, all the common folk found themselves denied entrance into the estate and the removal of trees to build the manor lead to a mudslide that ended up killing the Lumberjack. His revenge was directed at the Northwests and their descendants, as long as they refused to let the commoners in. Since the current generation of Northwests would rather hire an exorcist rather than just let the people in it's less that he hates them for the sins of their ancestors, but more for the fact that they would rather keep repeating the sins instead of learning from them. When Pacifica goes to break the curse, and let the townsfolk in, the Lumberjack does nothing to stop her, and even encourages her actions as justice is more important than his revenge.
- The Leprechaun from Extreme Ghostbusters was imprisoned in New York by a group of magicians from Ireland, who used his gold to feed hungry immigrant children. Upon his accidental release, he went after the descendants of his captors for his gold (which they didn't have) or revenge (which he could take).
- A complicated case with Steven Universe. His mother, Rose Quartz, lead the Crystal Gems on their rebellion against Homeworld to save Earth and her comrades. However, Steven's great image of her is broken when he's learned of some the questionable things she did. To give birth to Steven, Rose gave up her form and Steven inherited her gem and since Gems' forms are essentially projections from their gem, Rose's enemies are convinced they're getting revenge on her for the rebellion but mainly for shattering Pink Diamond. Told you it was complicated.
- In the Sonic Boom episode "Unnamed Episode", it is discovered that Sticks' ancestor Jebediah Badger founded the village, but he was a greedy and corrupt oppressor. Everyone in the village shuns Sticks for it except Amy, who points out how ridiculous it is to blame someone for something their ancestors did. Sticks herself was upset because Jebediah represents everything she hates about the government. The villagers apologize after Sticks saves them from another of Eggman's schemes.
- Static Shock: Conversed in the aptly-titled "Sons of the Fathers", which reveals that Richie is deeply ashamed of his father's racism and doesn't want to be judged for it.
- Unfortunately common in the real world, as generations of Hatfields and McCoys and other families around the world who carried down feuds through generations can attest.
- The effects of wars can last for quite a long time, sometime forming part of the justification for a later war, or leading to one or both sides continuing to nurse resentment long after combat ends.
- The American Civil War had economic effects that continue to linger. The South was already at a severe economic disadvantage by most metrics when the war began, but the Total War policies that brought it to a close devastated much of the existing industry and predatory practices after the war exacerbated the effects. To this day, former Confederate states are generally behind the rest of the country in economic and health statistics, though other factors have come into play by now, and there is considerable lingering resentment in the South at their situation.
- The Slave Trade. Quite often, an apology is made which goes something along the lines of "I'm sorry that my great-grandfather enslaved your great-grandfather." Understandably so, as this is the truth, though this practice has morphed in recent years to more about civil rights treatments, which many still feel aren't completely equal. Unfortunately this has become Flame Bait because of differing opinions on whose fault everything seems to be.
- The punishment for high treason in Imperial China is referred to as the "nine exterminations" — execution of the criminal along with all of his relatives down to the ninth degree (by Chinese reckoning).
- Even 70 years after World War II ended, current German citizens still have to deal with their nation being mocked (and in some cases, hated) by other countries due to the actions of the Nazis, but fortunately it is fading out ever so slowly.
- And the French for surrendering.
- Americans will sometimes gloat that, unlike the French, neither they nor the British surrendered. Well, neither of those peoples share hundreds of miles of border with Germany. Though to be fair, they usually only say this in response to French people being rude to them, which unfortunately happens far too often. In addition, the UK was pretty badly ravaged by Germany but never surrendered.
- Perhaps worse if you're Japanese, which is why they tend to pretend the whole thing never happened.
- Sino-Japanese relations still suffer from this, especially what the Japanese did in cities like Nanking (e.g. lined up the locals to see how many heads they could chop off before tiring).
- Italian relationships with Libya, Croatia and Slovenia suffer from the war crimes of Fascist Italy against them... And the retaliation the Jugoslav partisans took on Italian civilians when the tide turned.
- After formerly occupied countries were liberated, people took to punishing children fathered by SS officers with local women for their years of suffering during the war - children of the so called "Lebensborn" programs set up in Norway, for example, became especially popular targets, since all of the people who actually were responsible for their ordeals were already dead or incarcerated. Such children tended to be ostracized and heaped with absolutely horrific abuse, and this was openly encouraged by the governments of said countries, who remain largely unapologetic to this day. Understandably, many of these unfortunate children grew up very bitter and angry, over being punished for having the audacity to be born.
- And the French for surrendering.
- In North Korea an offense that results in exile to a prison camp means not just the offender is sent off, but so is their entire family. Not only that, but any children born in a prison camp remain there for life, as do their children. 60 Minutes interviewed a defector who had been born in a labor camp, to parents imprisoned there due to his grandfather's supposed offenses, which occurred in the Korean War.
- When Norway wished to celebrate their bicentennial as a "free nation", the Norwegian government invited the Danish monarch, who gladly obliged, and the Swedish monarch, who refused to attend the celebration. Why? Because his great-great-great-great grandfather was the Swedish king-to-be who didn't quite get around to accepting the Norwegian constitution in the first place. The story shows that after six generations of Swedish kings, and a successful Scandinavian partnership, Sweden hadn't forgiven completely.
- When the Swedish king changed his mind, it was after some public pressure from forces in the Swedish society who decided that bygones - after all - were bygones.
- Corruption of blood was a concept in English law where a convicted criminal not only lost their money, property and/or hereditary titles - their descendants were prohibited by law from inheriting the same. This has since been abolished in both England and Wales.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger received some harassment when it was revealed his father had been a member of the Nazi Party. It ended when the Simon Wiesenthal Center did some research and showed there was no evidence of his father committing any atrocities.
- A medical example. Some medical conditions (addiction and STDs) can be passed on from a pregnant woman to her child.
- Almost a thousand years on, Muslim extremists continue to use the Crusades as an excuse to hate Christians and the West, far, far past the point where the identities of the majority of people actually involved have already been lost to history.