Sliding Scale of Parent-Shaming in Fiction

This is the scale which tries to encapsulate how abusive and not-so-abusive parents's behaviors towards their children are judged by writers. As some authors like to remind you that a single bad day makes you evil and some others think that teenagers from 13 and up should be left to fend for themselves, this can create serious Values Dissonance.

The usual examples of said dissonance usually consist of this: mothers tend to be portrayed more sympathetically than fathers (unless they have a career), the protagonist will usually have an excuse or be forgiven for the neglect that befalls upon her/his children, a dad or an mom have much lower chances to be seen as a villain, and the dad who left the mom and the child fending for themselves to die a hero in the war becomes much more beloved than the mother who tried to prevent the child from staying up too late for years, and neglectful parents who let their children do whatever they want with no ill consequences are usually more popular with a young fandom than a rightly Overprotective Dad.

An high level of parent-shaming is usually a warning sign for The Woobie, and a high number of these parents is usually a warning sign for a Crapsack World.

Note that it can include older siblings and caretakers behaving as parents would.


    open/close all folders 

    Off the scale: That was a bad day  
Even the protagonist can indulge in this and remain sympathetic. The author will tell you these are forgivable mistakes, often with no knowledge of the bad consequences on the child, and understandably so: a better alternative could be imagined, but this one isn't this bad. It is really no big deal and will have no consequences even though the Bratty Teenage Daughter will complain about this for long.

No examples, please, as it is too subjective!

    Type I: That was bad parenting 
The protagonist can indulge in this and remain sympathetic, but expect either a redemption, or a small temporary decrease in popularity. It is mostly well-intentioned extremism, but can also be indifferent neglect of something they think not so important for the child.

See mild and comedy examples of Overprotective Dad, Knight Templar Parent, Knight Templar Big Brother, and Hands-Off Parenting as they are usually treated. The Disney Trope Codifier is the Sultan in Aladdin.

Anime and Manga
  • Soul Eater contrasts Maka's Lovable Sex Maniac Bumbling Dad (who cheated on her mother a lot but sincerely cares about Maka) with Medusa's type IV.
  • In Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-, Shino's uncle and Parental Substitute after her mother's disappearance, Kousuke, tries to sell the mahjong set they and Shino's Missing Mom played with, noticing Shino's depression and thinking that having it around as a reminder of her mother will only make her depression worse (but since one tile is missing, the pawn shop owner says he doesn't think the set will sell). Shino is quite upset to learn about this, since she had hoped to enter a mahjong tournament in order to get her mother to come find her. However, when Kousuke sees Shino entering a tournament and enjoying herself, he comes up to her afterward and apologizes, saying that he was too busy with his job and the search for her mother to pay attention to her. He tells her that he will support what she wants to do from now on, gets the set back from the shop, and they start playing together again.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Hana's mother, Yuri, after learning that her daughter is doing tankery due to no longer being satisfied with the family flower arranging, something Yuri disapproves of, passes out. Upon coming to, Yuri tries to find out if something is bothering Hana, tries to convince her that her flower arranging is good, and after Hana reiterates her desire to do tankery, tells her never to come home again. Hana, however, remains convinced that her mother will come around, and Yuri does, after seeing that Hana's flower arranging has improved and taking on its own style as a result of doing tankery.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion had Misato Katsuragi being Shinji and Asuka's guardian and seemed to do a "better" job than their parents. Better in a sense that she constantly remind them of their duties at school and work but when it comes to their emotional and psychological needs, she can't do much about it as she had her own personal issues.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Colonel Sergei Smirnov had a strained relationship with his son, Andrei and at the start of Season 2, he's surprised that he joined the A-Laws though he's treated coldly by him. It's revealed that Andrei resented his father for not telling him the reason behind his mother's death and believed that he got her killed. It gets worse later on when Andrei killed his own father on the assumption that he's helping the Federation rebels. However, Sergei's father-daughter relationship with Soma Peries / Marie Parfacy is way better and when Soma's personality as Marie returns, he tells Allelujah to keep her out of battle and is grateful when Marie told him that the Soma Peries personality still see him as a father. This was used later on when Soma/Marie told Andrei that the colonel still cared for him and can't bring himself to tell the truth about his mother's death, much to Andrei's grief and regret.
  • Kotetsu T. Kaburagi of Tiger & Bunny is a single father who is constantly working on his dream job as a superhero, causing not to spend time with his daughter, who lives with her uncle and grandmother and doesn't about him being a superhero. This becomes a problem later on where Kotetsu's powers started to dwindle and has trouble trying to explain to her and his partner, Barnaby, about it.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Rey's father is rarely at home and usually busy building the epoymous Gundam. Though the first episode showed that he, at some point, cared about him with his picture on his desk. And then, he end up dead. The mother chose to stay on Earth and is heavily implied to have been having an affair. However, Amuro still cares about her by the time he returns to Earth and his hometown. The relationship fell apart when Amuro killed a Zeon soldier in front of her and he outright said that he has to fight to protect which his mother doesn't accept.

Films — Animated
  • Ariel in The Little Mermaid II, to Melody, but only by hiding her a part of her heritage in order to protect her. The dramatic music playing on the background when Melody breaks in tears because of Ariel's reprimand makes clear that the writer considered this was serious business. Perhaps her only mistake was not to trust her for the case.
  • The Sultan to Jasmine in Aladdin. He didn't force her into an arranged marriage, but strongly encouraged her, because he genuinely thought it would be the best for her. She dreamed of freedom and recognition to such a point that she puts herself in danger in order to have a taste of it. She also sets doves free while dreamily looking at them flying to a far away place, which is not a good omen to begin with...

Films — Live-Action
  • Lord Thomas Bertram in the Mansfield Park adaptations. He is portrayed as a cold, but well-meaning father figure to Fanny. Much more efficient and generous than her Affably Selfish father and mother.
  • This is how Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are portrayed in the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice. Mrs. Bennet is neurotic and self-focused, but both practical and well-meaning. Mr. Bennet is overly snarky and not implicated enough in his two youngest daughters' lives, but also kind and well-meaning (it is stated in the many analysis and in the DVD commentary). The book was much more pejorative in its treatment of their education.
  • Hank Pym from Ant-Man had a strained relationship with his daughter, Hope, and lied to her about her mother's death. As a result, Hope sides with Darren Cross to take over his company until she found out that Cross is not a nice man so she went back to her father. However, Hank refuses to let Hope take the Ant-Man mantle and have the ex-con, Scott Lang, do it which further strains the relationship. Later on, Hank told his daughter that his wife is The Wasp who helped him during his superhero days and made a Heroic Sacrifice in one of their mission which made him retire and blame himself to it. After this revelation, the two reconciled and in The Stinger, Hank decided to let Hope inherit The Wasp mantle by presenting her the new suit.
  • The portrayal of Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel is very controversial to fans of Superman. While his wife helped Clark control and channel his powers, Jonathan doesn't want him to use them out of fear of being exposed to the public despite that Clark wants to use them for good intentions. It doesn't help that after the bus accident where Clark saved his classmates by using his Super Strength, he asked, "What I'm supposed to do?! Just let them die?!" to which Jonathan answered, "Maybe". Then, there's the flashback where Clark calls him out that he's not his father and it gets worse when he was about to save his adopted dad when the tornado is coming near until Jonathan tells him not to which resulted to his death and Clark's grief.

  • Various instances in the works of Jane Austen:
    • Mrs Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility. She is one of the best mothers in Jane Austen's books, but she never realizes that Elinor, her eldest daughter who isn't as passionate as her and her younger daughter, can suffer as deeply as them, and acts much more constructively as the author quickly notes before explicitly writing that the favorite is Marianne, not Elinor. It reinforces Elinor's isolation in a painful situation out of which she pulls herself alone.
    • In Persuasion, Lady Russel encourages the young and innocent Anne to dump her fiancé. Despite her good intentions and true generosity, she is proven wrong when she imagines the marriage wouldn't have worked only because of class pride and a quick first impression of the gentleman. This despite the fact that she has been around Sir Walter Eliott for years, and knows that aristocracy isn't the guarantee for a good personality. She even recognizes it innerly.
    • Emma: Mr Woodhouse let his daughter become the mistress of the house and convinced her that he couldn't bear her marriage if she left home. Being clever, cunning, and having no future perspectives for herself, she fully focuses on a hilarious matchmaking business. Need we say it goes as awry as it can in a Jane Austen novel ?.

Live-Action TV
  • Robby Ray is this, sometimes, in Hannah Montana. He likes to criticize his son Jackson as a Running Gag. Except, when you see all Jackson goes through, it isn't even funny, and numerous times it isn't completely supposed to be. This was finally acknowledged in an episode where Miley accused her grandmother of favoring Jackson over her. Grandma's answer? "Of course, I do. If I didn't, who would?". Robbie Ray recognizes that the situation is bad, tells Jackson that he is proud of him. Unfortunately Miley unwittingly steals the spotlight and by next episode everything snaps back. He lets Jackson be abused by his chief, and refuses to ask a smaller discount for the abuse episodes to decrease in intensity, but can't bear it when he is subjected to a day of it himself. Now remember that most of Robby Ray's time is used to make his popstar daughter have a successful career.
  • Alison Dubois and Joe, from Medium, were this at worst during the first couple of seasons. They are very conservative and quite strict, but they mean well and (unless Alison is possessed or they are possessed) treat their daughters in a coherent, constructive and loving way. However, they also force them to apply themselves to quite high and sometimes contradictory standards. This leads to many The Reason You Suck Speeches from one of them to the other. Their daughter Bridget later feels neglected in comparison of the two other much more glaringly perfect sisters. Ultimately, they all regress into a not-abusive-at-all state, after some type III episodes when the visions badly shake one of them, or in very dramatic Alternate Universes where they understandably lose control.
    • Since Arielle, the eldest daughter, behaves as a caretaker and is influenced by their behavior, she is also a part of the equation. She behaves mostly as they ask but treats Bridget much more harshly than they do, and finds her free-minded, less socially conformist behavior annoying. Bridget ends up lashing out at her, viciously telling her why she won't miss her when she goes to college. Arielle is very affected, and it takes a ghost intervention to set things right.
  • Once Upon a Time has Regina, who tried to avoid this trope after indulging in it in the first season. This serves to contrast her with her mother, The-Woman-Whose-Name-Makes-The-Fandom-Tremble, Cora.

Web Original
  • The Doomy Adventures Of Irken Doominess showcasts Deef and Alyssa's parents. They are type 2s bordering type 3 because they neglect their children, Deef and Alyssa don't seem all that affected but Deef often comments that his mom "Isn't really a good mom".

    Type II: That made you a bad parent 
This is short for "That made you a bad parent but since Status Quo Is God, we may forgive you in twenty minutes, or provoke your Karmic Death".

This is a big deal, at least for the writer.

The character can remain officially sympathetic, but he has got to pull a Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You, or a My God, What Have I Done?. At this point, they are deemed redeemable, things may improve and everything may be fine, but the bad memories will never fade. If they aren't redeemed, expect the parent to cross to the level 4, the child to forgive them while acknowledging implicitly all this damage or the parent and the child to be estranged.

See (usually) examples of Overprotective Dad, Knight Templar Parent, Knight Templar Big Brother and Hands-Off Parenting. May still cause Designated Villain complaints, even among people whose views do not get much farther from the author's. The Disney Trope Codifier is Chiew Powathan from Pocahontas.

Anime and Manga
  • While Saki's parents have never been shown engaging in such behavior on-screen, she reveals that in the past, if she lost a mahjong game, her parents would take away her New Year's money, and if she won, her parents would get mad at her. The experience caused her to hate mahjong, but it's also implied that there may be more to her parents' separation than these arguments.
    • Nodoka's father is relatively strict and emotionally distant from her; one morning, the only thing he says to her before she goes to school is that she shouldn't play mahjong as much. He also wants her to give up on playing mahjong and go to a preparatory school, deriding mahjong as a game of chance, and believing that friends will be of no use to her in a "hick town" like the one where she lives. She implies that he's often away from home at night, and only seems to think about him when reflecting on the deal she made with him- she can stay in her current school if she wins the mahjong tournament.

Films — Animated
  • In Disney's Pocahontas, the chief Powathan proves quite forceful in pushing Pocahontas into marriage with Kocoum. He also refuses to listen to her pleas and tells her "You cannot imagine how much I am ashamed of you" while he knows his approval and her people were so important for her that she considered letting go of the possibility of freedom for them. He eventually betters and had apparently always been kinder up to this period, but during this moment, he clearly crosses (albeit briefly) in this. It was not approved by some highly-regarded members of Native American communities, as it goes against a Native American principle to always listen to one's children. However, he redeems himself for this and becomes non-abusive when he listens to her in the end of the movie, which an American Indian spokesman described as the moment in which the movie redeemed itself by showing someone practicing an American Indian culture accurately by way of this character, on this point.

  • Jane Austen liked using this type:
    • Lord Thomas Bertram and Lady Bertram in the book Mansfield Park. They let Mrs. Norris bring Fanny down, Lady Bertram is lazy and self-involved and Lord Bertram is offensive and critical while it is not needed and tries to make her accept an Arranged Marriage. But Lord Bertram means well and treats her decently and Lady Bertram loves Fanny dearly. This is evidenced by the generally positive view of Lord Bertram and his (justified after the narrator) My God, What Have I Done? moment, and Lady Bertram's ironic but ultimately sympathetic portrayal as a sensitive but self-involved Lazy Bum. Their actions nevertheless lead to Maria and Julia turning into inconsiderate spoiled young girls, which leads to a lot of the problems in the story, but this part was unintended. The Aesop of the book seems to be partly that deep and well-thought education is an important thing, and musn't be neglected in order to avoid creating self-destructive and self-centered people.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. It is outright stated in the book that their parenting mistakes and Mr Bennet's failure at showing respect to his wife are the cause of the family's problems. It can be explained thus:
      • Mr Bennet, despite a great intelligence allied with quick wit and much Jerkass Dissonance, is a cold, critical and neglectful father who leaves all the parenting to his impulsive, mean-spirited, verbally abusive, self-involved and extremely neurotic but ultimately loving wife. He unwittingly forces the children to "choose sides", which is very blatant with all the sisters but the eldest: Elizabeth is a younger girler version of him, with more compassion and indulgence, but still a proud Deadpan Snarker and Horrible Judge of Character. Mary tries to impress him by gaining knowledge and a level-headed exterior, but ultimately ridicules herself. The two other sisters are younger versions of the mother, one of which may be hurt by her father's disdain and controls herself, while the other couldn't care less and ruins the family's reputation because she really doesn't care about the only rational parent's opinion (seeing the way he treats her, many modern readers may accept this as understandable).
      • This directly causes: Elizabeth showing interest in Wickham and imagining that Darcy is a monster while he is more a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and after the revelation becomes her future husband, being asked to marry Mr. Collins, and getting humiliated, Jane to temporarily lose her fiancé, Lydia to marry a remorseless Gold Digger who likes her, and Mary and Kitty to witness all this and react in the most screwed-up way possible.
      • All of the daughters have skewed up ideas of how people are supposed to behave in relationships, perhaps caused by a feeling of inferiority. Jane doesn't show her interest, Elizabeth is perfectly fine with the man she flirted with marrying a mildly richer woman (and even comments on how modest he is by choosing someone not-so-rich) and Lydia is no exception.
  • Helen Graham from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered this in-universe by her neighbors as she is an Overprotective Mom who won't let her son drink alcohol or do dangerous things, and even claims that she would rather see him dead than becoming what her neighbor call "a man from the world" after a stressful moment. She is actually a combination of Broken Bird and Good Is Not Nice, and tries to avoid the situation in which he would become like her own father and her husband, both alcoholics, neglectful fathers, and generally hedonistic men.
  • Doran Martell arranged several marriages to his heir and daughter, Arianne, with elderly men but the latter felt that he wants to pass her inheritance to her younger brother, Quentyn, after she had read a letter meant for Quentyn when she was young. When her uncle Oberyn died via Mutual Kill against Gregor Clegane, Doran imprisoned her cousins, the Sand Snakes, when they're planning to start a war with the Lannister in retaliation which pissed Arianne off to start a coup against her father until it was thwarted. Doran revealed that she's supposed to marry Viserys Targaryen as part of his and Oberyn's plan to avenge the deaths of Elia and her children against the Lannisters thus making her queen and passing the inheritance to Quentyn. Note  But had not Doran keep his plans too secretive from his relatives, then Myrcella Baratheon wouldn't have lost an ear and Arys Oakheart wouldn't have died. After this revelation, Arianne and the Sand Snakes became supportive to it though the latter still make quick jabs on their uncle Doran's passivity.
  • Molly Weasley is one of the Good Parents in the series and Harry's Parental Substitute. However, her "mollycoddling" (as Harry calls out) and overprotectiveness can be annoying to Harry, Hermione and the younger Weasley children in the fifth book where they're not allowed to attend meetings of the Order. Though she and the rest of the adults are doing what Dumbledore had told them to, keeping Harry in the dark regarding his connection to Voldemort resulted to Sirius' death which is something Dumbledore regretted too late.

Live-Action TV
  • Veronica Mars had Lianne Mars as a type two. She starts off as a Missing Mom, the reasons for which weren't entirely in her control (it's complicated). But later on, after she's found again, Veronica learns that her mom has never fully recovered from her alcoholism. She dumps her college fund to get her mom into rehab. Her mom not only skips out before her program is complete, but steals Veronica's 50-grand bounty before disappearing (again). However, as she was an alcoholic, the writers maintained a reasonable doubt as to whether to blame her or her sickness for her most desperate acts.
  • John Winchester of Supernatural is sympathetic once we know his history, but still falls here. He ostracizes Sam for going to Stanford when he could be hunting monsters; Dean has an obedient and authoritarian attitude towards John that John apparently prefers; he made his sons spend their childhood as traveling Hunters despite the many disadvantages of this lifestyle; and he is usually portrayed as an emotionally distant drunk. But he did it all because the Yellow-Eyed demon has plans for Sam and there was probably no course of action that had a better chance of saving Sam from these plans. (Although we can still ask, was he right to keep so much of his rationale a secret, instead of telling Sam and Dean?)

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga Pataki's parents don't pay much attention on her because they're too busy doting her older sister, Olga, who is eventually stressed out by her parents' attention. The mom, Miriam, is possibly alcoholic and sometimes forgetful which made Helga looked down on her while the dad, Bob, is busy with his business and tries to groom Helga into becoming like Olga, much to Helga's dismay. Their lack of attention on her is pretty much responsible for making her into a bullying Tsundere. However, they do care about her and tried to make up for their mistakes once Helga calls them out.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Turner of Fairly OddParents are portrayed as very neglectful that they leave their son, Timmy, to an Obviously Evil babysitter. Though there are few cases where they loved and cared for Timmy, they're basically Man Children.

    Type III: That made you a bad person 
The parent can still be well-intentioned misguided, though in most cases, he is either a huge Jerkass, or a lunatic. Yet he may have canonical redeeming qualities, enough vulnerability, or enough limits to save himself from being pure evil. This character can be sympathetic, but expect in most cases a condemnation from the writer and a Karmic Death.

See the most misguided examples of Knight Templar Parent, Knight Templar Big Brother, and Parental Abandonment.

The Disney Trope Codifier is Mother Gothel from Tangled.

May cause canonical Cry for the Devil.

Anime and Manga
  • Shiho Nishizumi from Girls und Panzer, mainly to her younger daughter Miho. She belittles Miho's approach to tankery, calling her "foolish" to ask whether Maho needed to fire on a tank from the opposing team that was trying to save one from her team even when she was winning, and berates Miho from later saving a tank from her team, even though her team lost, seemingly as a result of that decision. She even goes so far as to plan to cast Miho out of the family due to not liking her approach to tankery, although, in the end, she has a moment in which she can be interpreted as accepting Miho's way of tankery. It's somewhat telling that Maho, Shiho's eldest daughter and heiress, as well as the person who seems spared from most of her mistreatment, only decides to live up to being heiress so that Miho will not have to.
  • Fujinami Ryuunosuke is a girl was raised by a man who demanded a male heir. So he decided to arbitrarily raise his daughter as a boy despite her fervent wishes otherwise, and proceeds to foil every attempt she makes to have a normal life.

Fan Fiction

Films — Animated
  • Lady Tremaine from the 1955 Disney cinematic version of Cinderella is certainly evil, but she cares for her eldest daughter (whom she abuses like the younger) and wants the best social position for both. It is acknowledged surprisingly easily for such an evil character (even though she never marks her concern, just acts on it).
  • In Coraline, the Other Mother is abusive and locks up children's souls in a secret place, but she seems to love them.
  • Mother Gothel in Tangled is not unambiguously evil or abusive, but even if she loves Rapunzel, she wants to be eternally young more than anything and manipulates Rapunzel, maintaining in her a slight inferiority complex and paranoia. She is in type IV just like her fairy tale counterpart. Despite her obvious good sides and Pet the Dog moments, she shows how far she is ready to go quite quickly ...

  • Rodmilla de Gent from Ever After is certainly evil, but she cares for her eldest daughter and wants the best social position possible for her, while not abusing her other daughter in a different way than when she insults her... There are hints that she was abused by her mother and misses her husband.

  • The Wicked Stepmother from Cinderella is very evil to Cinderella, and undoubtedly has a completely negative effect on her life. However, she wants the best for her daughters, who are described as ugly but, for one of them, not irredeemable and sometimes considerate to the heroine.
  • The enchantress from Rapunzel is very hostile with the young girl's undeserving lover, who is her Prince Charming, and locks away her daughter. Other than that, she is a loving and good mother, and a very responsible person for the two thirds of the fairy tale. Then, she abandons her in the desert and inflicts a painful revenge on her lover.
  • The magician queen mother of the first version of Snow White reported by the Brothers Grimm could be this, as she sincerely desired a child.

  • The daughter Sir Walter Eliott from Persuasion loves the most is the one who looks and acts like him. He puts down and neglects the daughter who looks like his dead wife, never brings her emotional stability, and also participates in postponing her wedding to seven years later (it is a long story). He doubles as a Hypocrite as, while extremely proud of his rank and looks, he is ready to marry a woman without wealth and looks while he would never let his daughters consider this lack of highly-valued qualities for society suitable for a husband.
  • Catelyn Stark is different the other parents in Westerosi society (see below). She clearly loves her children and is willing to do anything to protect and save them which leads to very damaging consequences. But she despised Jon Snow for being her husband's bastard son. When Bran was in a coma, she didn't hide her disgust on Jon and told him that "it should have been you". In fact, she's just glad when he was recruited to the Nigth's Watch but displeased when Robb planned to legitimize him to inherit Winterfell in case he dies.
    • Her sister, Lysa Tully, loved her only son, Robin, and is overprotective of him given that she suffered several miscarriage and was able to have him despite his poor health. Her overprotectiveness caused her to poison her own husband when she found out from Littlefinger that he planned to send Robin away. However, poisoning her husband is part of Littlefinger's plan to sow discord between the Starks and the Lannisters which resulted to the War of the Five Kings.
  • In Harry Potter, Vernon Dursley hates Harry for what he is and treats him like dung. When the Hogwarts invitation arrived for Harry, Vernon did all his might to prevent him from touching it until Hagrid intervenes, It gets worse in the second book where he locks up all of Harry's wizarding stuff and after Harry received a warning from the Ministry of Magic due to Dobby's meddling, Vernon locks him up in his room with full intent to keep him from returning to Hogwarts. He gets civil to his nephew later on with one rule which is not mentioning about magic to anyone. Then in the fifth book, he attempted to kick Harry out of the house upon learning that Voldemort is back to kill him until Dumbeldore's Howler came to remind him. Though he is one of the most despised characters in the series, the only thing that prevents him from going to Type IV is his love for his son, Dudley.

Live-Action TV
  • In Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of A Song Of Ice And Fire, several of the Type IV parents received Adaptational Heroism which made them a little sympathetic. One example would be Cersei Lannister, who doesn't care of Joffrey's behavior in the books. In the show, she's actually aware of the horrible things that Joffrey did which makes her a tragic character. Her Kick the Dog moments from the book (such as ordering the deaths of Robert's bastards and attempting to have Tyrion killed during the Battle of Blackwater) were given to Joffrey. After Joffrey died of poison, Cersei became concerned of Myrcella and Tommen's safety.
    • On the other hand, Stannis Baratheon got an Adaptational Villainy but he loved his daughter, Shireen, and did everything he can to cure her greyscale. And when that fails, he refuses to send her to the Doom of Valrynia. But in times of desperation when the Boltons got the best of him, Stannis had no choice but allowed Melisandre to burn Shireen alive to appease the Lord of Light, resulting half of his forces to abandon him and to his defeat by the Boltons.

Visual Novel
  • Umineko: When They Cry: Eva Ushiromiya loved her son but she's very picky on whoever's in relationship with him. And that's Shannon, who's the family's "furniture". In Episode 6, George reveals that he's going to marry Shannon no matter what and it pissed his mother off which made her turned into Eva-Beatrice in order to beat him into submission with magic. There's also Episode 4 where Eva survived the Rokkenjima massacre and adopted her niece, Ange, who she mistreated her out of grief for losing George and Hideyoshi along with refusing her to tell the truth about the massacre. However, depending on which truth you believe, it turns out Eva's part is deliberate because Ange's parents (particularly Kyrie) are said to be the culprits of the massacre and Eva is trying to protect her from the Awful Truth though this is due to Bernkastel's manipulation to make Ange hate her aunt.

Web Comics
  • Jason's father in Something*Positive was a Type III. He was a psychiatrist who performed experiments on his children and literally tested how much they loved him. As in with multiple choice tests. The fandom had no qualms about Jason putting him down with a single punch the first time he appeared in the comic.
  • Quain'tana in Drowtales probably falls here, since while she is a horribly abusive parent whose many misdeeds include letting one of her daughters be abused by her soldiers and implied ordering her to be raped to to try and conceive an heir after she became infertile, and later resorting to taking said daughter's child to raise as her own she's not pure evil, and her early life as a street rat with no parents of her own is implied to be the reason she has no idea how to raise her own children. Given that the setting also has Grey and Grey Morality she's still also one of the more heroic characters whose goals, mainly tearing down the caste system and uplifting the common people, are noble and sympathetic.

Web Video
  • The Nostalgia Critic's parents only stay in Type III because he can remember a few good moments and still love them despite portraying them as monsters when he was little.

Western Animation

    Type IV: That made you a monster 

These are the lowest of the low among fictional parents, the worst cases of Evil Matriarchs and Archnemesis Dads. These people are often described as so irresponsible or self-centered that their good sides do not even succeed in making them canonical Anti Villains. Many of them are either pure Jerkasses or worse, treating their children or the children in their care horribly.

Writing about Anti Villains, this is often where Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds parents end up.

For the Disney Trope Codifier, see the Evil Queen from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Anime and Manga
  • Genma Saotome from Ranma is a type IV. He raised Ranma to only respect martial arts prowess and have no concept of how to deal with girls. But it was his infamous training methods, especially the Cat-Fist, which make him a complete monster of a parent.
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa's behaviour towards Chrona, whom she barely treated as anything but a test subject) is this.
  • In Speed Grapher, Shinzen underfeeds, slaps, belittles, and pretty much pimps Kagura to Suitengu, as revenge because Kagura's father ran out on them when she was pregnant.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's parents fulfill Type IV as they cross the Moral Event Horizon by selling their son's organs to the frigging Yakuza. Their abusiveness was originally Played for Laughs.
  • In the TV series of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Precia Testarossa whips Fate when she fails to do well enough on her quest for Jewel Seeds, and when it's revealed that Fate was actually a clone of Precia's dead daughter Alicia, whom Precia wants to revive with Fate's efforts, Precia denounces Fate as worthless and laughs off Fate's telling her that even if she doesn't consider Fate her daughter, Fate will consider Precia her mother.
  • Kill la Kill's Ragyou Kiryuin is hardly acknowledged as another human being, primarily due to her horrible and downright creepy treatment of her daughter Satsuki, and because she's a Life Fiber hybrid who chose to embrace the evil alien side.
  • Infamously, Shou Tucker, the Sewing-Life Alchemist. Both his wife and daughter are turned into mere fodder for his alchemical experiments.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • After his wife's death, Gendo became obsessed in getting her back and was so afraid of his four-years-old son Shinji that he sent Shinji away. Ten years later he summoned his son... to pilot a giant robot and fight alien monsters. In the End of Evangelion Gendo admits he avoided his son because he was afraid of Shinji and feared that he would screw him if he raised him.
    • Gendo at least had a (bad) excuse, but Asuka's father is even worse. When his wife got crazy he cheated... where his three-year-old daughter could hear them. Did he care? Not at all. When Asuka was four she found her mother's corpse hanging from the ceiling. Did he care? Not at all. He married his mistress and abandoned his daughter.
  • Code Geass. Emperor Charles di Britannia is a Social Darwinist who didn't answer his son's question about his wife's death and sent him and Nunnally to Japan which he invaded later on, causing Lelouch to start his rebellion against the Britannian Empire. However, it's revealed that Charles sent his children there in order to protect them from his older and immortal brother, V.V., who is Marianne's killer, though she escaped death thanks to her Geass which allowed her to reside in Anya's body. And his invasion of Japan was to secure the entrance to the Sword of Akasha where he and Marianne can make a world without lies. But this goes down to Type IV because Lelouch isn't pleased about this, particularly that they don't care that their actions resulted in a bloody and needless war and that they abandoned their children because of this selfish act.

Animated Films
  • Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is this to Quasimodo, whom he terrifies and manipulates. He accidentally murdered his mother and tried to murder him at the beginning of the movie, took him home because he feared damnation, and he is ready to murder him in the end of the movie.
  • Snow White's stepmother from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs qualifies, as she makes the heroine of the movie work as a servant and feels jealousy for her and acts cruelly on it since a considerable amount of time even before hurting her directly physically.

  • Terry Pratchett's The Truth has an example of a Type IV parent in William de Worde's father. Snobbish, distant, cruel, and outright racist, he turns out to be the main villain when it is discovered that he engineered and led the plot to frame Lord Vetinari for embezzlement and attempted murder.
  • In Agnes Grey, the pupils's parents are this trope. Not because they abuse them, but because, for most of them, unlike Agnes's supportive, loving and heroic parents with whom they contrast, they couldn't care less about what their children do. This is one of Agnes's biggest issues, as she must deal with Spoiled Brat or manipulative people at the best and Enfant Terrible at worst, while having all the duties of a parent and almost none of the rights and honours of the function.
  • In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, expect that most parents from noble families considered their children as political pawns to expand their power and prestige. One example is Tywin Lannister who is more focused in making his house more powerful and fearful in all of Westeros (such as forcing his children into political marriages which they don't like) and hates his dwarf son Tyrion for the death of his wife at childbirth and shaming the Lannister name due to his whoremongering and drunken antics. But the worst thing that Tywin ever did to Tyrion is to have his men gang-raped his wife, Tysha and forced him to participate too. He also forced his other son Jaime too by making him lie to Tyrion that Tysha is a whore. Though he's disappointed how his three children turned out, Tywin doesn't ever blame himself for it.
    • Cersei can be a horrible parent too given how she lets Joffrey do whatever he wants (such as abusing Sansa Stark, ordering the deaths of those who defied him and having their heads displayed on the castle walls etc.) and is very disappointed that Tommen isn't like him when he tried to stand up for himself.
    • Randyll Tarly is worse than Tywin that he's willing to let his son, Samwell, die because he's very disappointed for the way he turned out to be.

Live-Action TV
  • In Veronica Mars, Aaron Echols is this.
  • Grimm has a special example. Giving The Scrappy Abusive Parents rarely creates audience sympathy, and can cause cries of Sympathetic Sue. But Adalind Schade, who appeared like a shallow Manipulative Bastard for seventeen episodes, is an exception to this rule. What she does is mostly supervised by her mom, Catherine. She physically and emotionally abuses her and flirts with her daughter's Bastard Boyfriend while encouraging Adalind to pursue him because he's powerful and she's got evil plans to carry out. When Adalind isn't being efficient enough, Catherine throws her out, and almost shouts : "You're Defiled Forever, geddit ?". Later on, Adalind keeps audience sympathy even amongst the fans of the ship she apparently sunk.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Regina's mother abused her physically and emotionally, tried to make her a Gold Digger, and finally used the same heart spell than Regina on her fiance. There are only hints about her having a tragic backstory which are finally revealed to be a bit exxagerated (she was just poor and humiliated), so, if they aren't furtherv explored, the writers's treatment will be this. As of season 2, episode 9, she tried to rip her daughter's heart out after learning that Regina wanted her hurt. This serves to contrast Cora/Regina, since Regina does a lot of sacrifices for her son.
    • As of 2x16 Cora does love her daughter, but a spell prevented her from feeling it properly for most of her life. When she is freed and feels it she says that her daughter would have been enough, even without power.

Visual Novels
  • Dear God, Umineko: When They Cry has the some of the worst parents ever. Kinzo Ushiromiya treats his entire family as pawns in order to summon Beatrice and treats his children, who are already adults, like shit. Before that, he imprisoned his illegitimate daughter and raped her because she bore the physical appearance of his first love.

Video Games
  • Relius Clover of BlazBlue series. He pretty much sees any human beings as possible live specimens for his mad research, his family included and has no qualms into snatching their soul away to put them in an inanimate doll (so they becomes animate) and serve as his research project or weapons. The complete one is made of his wife, the incomplete one is made of his daughter, and he left it for his son Carl to finish, completely traumatizing the little boy and made him hate the man so much. And when the boy had the gall to call him out? Relius just either nonchalantly attempt to kill him (and the resident buxom doctor who calls out his 'awesome' parenting skill) or just shove him the extent of his mad research, knowing that he'd pass out (in which he'd probably move in for the kill if uninterrupted).
  • Tekken: Heihachi Mishima threw his son, Kazuya, into a ravine. Apparently, Kazuya came back alive, defeated his father and tossed him into the same ravine. Of course, Heihachi came back very pissed that he threw Kazuya into a volcano. And that's the first glimpse of the Mishima family dynamics.
    • Apparently, Kazuya doesn't win the "Father of the Year" award either since he's willing to harm his own son, Jin Kazama. Granted, the Mishima family is cursed with the Devil Gene and Kazuya is very open in accepting his heritage as it makes him stronger.
  • Mass Effect: According to Miranda Lawson, her father is a Mad Scientist who desires to create the perfect heir for his dynasty and control them. Later on, Miranda left her father and went to Cerberus while she placed her sister into a foster family to keep her safe from him. In Mass Effect 3, we finally get to meet the guy, and Henry Lawson turns out to be one of the worst human beings you have ever met where he disguised his research facility as a refugee camp and subjected the refugees to indoctrination which resulted in them turning into husks just to find a way to control the Reapers with mixed results. In contrast to other members of Cerberus who wanted the best for humanity, Henry only cares about himself and is willing to kill his own daughters.
  • Borderlands2 has Handsome Jack who turned out to be the father of Angel, who turned out to be a Siren, forcibly held captive by him as a living battery. Jack has a very twisted way of loving his daughter despite the fact that she's secretly helping the Vault Hunters to free her from his control. After you're forced to kill her, Jack gets livid that he orders a bounty on your head for killing his daughter and wants to you dead. Though Angel herself didn't really think highly of him for what he did to her and her last words were: "Dad, I have to tell you something... you're an asshole".

Western Animation
  • Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender burned his own son's face for refusing to fight him.
  • Yakone in The Legend of Korra should also be a Type 5. He forced his sons to go through harsh training, verbally abused them, made them inflict abuse on helpless animals and tried to get them to hurt each other, all so he can raise them to be Tykebombs for his revenge. And it WORKED.
  • Dr. Mar Londo in Legion Of Superheroes experimented on his unwilling son, turning him into a werewolf-like creature. He wanted to create a monster (by using a human for a template rather than an animal like his previous experiments) for the purpose of serving him as a general for his army for galactic domination. To make matters worse he thinks his son should be thanking him for this.