->'''Will Turner''': You knew my father.\\
'''Captain Jack Sparrow''': I knew him. Probably one of the few who knew him as William Turner. Everyone else called him Bootstrap or Bootstrap Bill. Good man. Good pirate. I swear, you look just like him.
-->-- ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

A StockPhrase that strikes terror in the hearts of single parents and {{Parental Substitute}}s the world 'round. (Can be {{Gender Flip}}ped, but usually is the father.)

Generally indicates that the child, who has no memories of the parent, has an [[ShroudedInMyth unrealistic view]] of DisappearedDad (or MissingMom). As such, particularly hard on the child with a villainous parent, or even a NoHeroToHisValet father. But hearing tales about, or [[AnticlimacticParent actually meeting]], the father, is almost always a shock.

However, if the child has [[MaliciousSlander heard the parent vilified]], it can lead to his learning that his parent was better than he had been told. (If not perhaps all that he had dreamed of.) This may lead to a "Your father would be SoProudOfYou." Bonus points if the child has recently done things that were very brave or noble, and, when he asks about his father the response is "[[YouRemindMeOfX You remind me of him]]"

Or, of course, both. As the page quotes show.

If the child knew the parent, but ParentalAbandonment happened after, the child will want to know about changes since then -- as when a father went to war and the child wants to know about his service.

A parent or other relative who wants him not to TurnOutLikeHisFather, [[PursuingParentalPerils especially when it's dangerous]], will [[LockedOutOfTheLoop resist as long as possible]]. Unfortunately, this usually results only in the [[ShroudedInMyth mysterious parent]] taking on the allure of ForbiddenFruit -- which may result in [[BrokenPedestal a harder than usual crash]].

In cases of ParentalAbandonment, the child is usually curious about only one parent, to [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail simplify the plot]]. Perhaps he knew one parent but not the other, but sometimes, he is just fixated on one -- [[DoubleStandard usually]] the father.

MuggleFosterParents usually try to evade this, partly because it brings up SecretLegacy, partly because they think his safety lies in being LockedOutOfTheLoop.

If Dad ran off, possibly without even knowing about the kid, Mom is particularly apt to be bitter about it. The child's idealism sets them up for a clash.

If the parent is dead, may overlap with ToAbsentFriends for the people telling the child.

DeadGuyJunior may express this about the person he was named for, even if unrelated.

Often happens if child is SomeoneToRememberHimBy.

Not to be confused with [[AllPsychologyIsFreudian Tell Me About Your Mother]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Gon of ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' was always asking his adoptive mother, Mito about his father, who [[DisappearedDad left him]] with Mito to follow his dreams, which he saw as more important than Gon. Gon ends up following in his father's footsteps and tries to become a Hunter for the purpose of finding out just why it is worth abandoning your only son over. Defied when it comes to his mother. He stops playing a recording left behind by his father when it seems like it will reveal his mother's identity. As far as he's concerned, Mito is his mother.
* Hare pulls this in ''[[Anime/HareGuu Hare+Guu]]'' with his mother, Weda. He asks her about his father. [[spoiler:She tells him pretty blankly that it's Dr. Clive, the doctor who's just come to work in the village. Since Dr. Clive is a ChivalrousPervert without the chivalry, Hare is ''not'' pleased.]]
* Negi Springfield, titular character of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' sort of counts. He thought his father the [[RedBaron Thousand Master]] really was a man of a thousand powerful spells, when really he only knew five or six and had to look through a cheat sheet of complex incantations (of course his romantisizing son was rightfully disturbed). Despite all that, Nagi ''was'' a talented hand-to-hand fighter and his sheer power could more than accommodate for his lack of spells; for the spells he ''could'' do, they were often over-powered (including basics) or his natural ability made complicated magic a cinch for him. [[WorldsStrongestMan There's a reason they called him an invincible hero]].
** Also, Negi's recently started asking old allies of his dad's to "Tell me about my ''mother''."
** Later someone does tell him about his mother [[spoiler: and calls her the "Queen of Calamity" who destroyed her own country]]. According to chapter 257, [[spoiler:she was framed for being the mastermind behind the OmnicidalManiac terrorists, tried, and officially ''executed'']]... eight years before Negi's birth. As such, just about ''everybody'' thinks that [[spoiler: Nagi busted her out, and nobody cares because they're pretty damn sure she didn't actually do it]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Shinji asks Kaji to tell him about his father Gendo. Even though Shinji sees his father on a near-daily basis, he knows nothing about him, and, indeed, regularly declares that he hates his father.
** He also asked Gendo about his mother.
* Subverted in ''OnePiece''. IdiotHero Luffy doesn't initially ask about his father. When his grandfather does supply information on the man's identity and motivations, Luffy's response is "Huh? My dad? What do you mean, my dad...? Wait, I have a dad?" He then turns to his crewmate Nico Robin to ask about him because everybody else is too busy freaking out about his father's identity [[spoiler:being the most wanted and feared revolutionary in the world]].
* ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'': [[TheHero Jordy]] constantly asks [[ParentalSubstitute Asbeth]] about his mother. One of his first lines in the series consists of him asking: "What my mother was like?". Inverting the trope, he is not seen asking about his father, but his surrogate grandfather decides de motu propio to tell him that [[spoiler:he is son of the late King of Arst.]]
* Averted in ''{{Naruto}}'', which is especially glaring [[FridgeLogic when you would think]] that a boy who has grown up orphaned and isolated his whole life would ask anybody and everyone he could about his parents if a chance presented itself. Worse yet is that [[AdultsAreUseless the adults who know]] who Naruto's parents are ''never'' sit him down and tell him about them either.
** Sad to say, the chance never did present itself. Naruto spent the entirety of his childhood trying to survive, though how bad it really was is debated between fans from 'everyone trying to kill him' to 'everyone hates him.' It was pretty much established that Naruto was ''supposed'' to be told everything when [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday he officially turned 16]], else he would be too weak. [[spoiler: Too weak to handle Minato Namikaze aka the Yondaime's enemies, that is. Naruto ''is'' his son, after all.]]
** Considering how Naruto was a kid, it's probably for the best they didn't tell him. It would have gone straight to his head.
** He finally does ask a ''little'' when he meets [[spoiler: his mother Kushina]] while on a JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind. Not nearly as much as he ''should'' have, but he had other, more pressing concerns at the time.
** Explained in the anime during a flashback in ''Shippuden'' episode 257: Naruto apparently asked Hiruzen about his parents many times, but Hiruzen refused to tell him anything. Eventually, he must have decided that it wasn't worth asking.
* Renton was shocked and anxious when he found out at episode 38 that Eureka knew his father Adrock Thurston all along in ''Anime/EurekaSeven'', and urged Eureka to tell him about his dad. This sudden outburst made Eureka confused and uncomfortable, so she ran away. Eventually, she did come back to Renton and shared her experience with Adrock after learning from Stoner that Renton is eager to learn about his dad very much.
* Subverted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''. [[spoiler: Right before Relena's adoptive father kicks the bucket, he manages to briefly tell that she's adopted and that her dead parents were the monarchs of the Sank Kingdom, but dies before giving her the details. She later cuts off her adoptive mother when she's gonna tell her how she came into the care of the Darlians, begging her in tears to not stop being her mom.]]
* In the [[AlternateUniverse Alternate]] BadFuture in ''Manga/DragonBallZ'', Trunks asks Gohan and his mother Bulma about his father, Vegeta. As Trunks is a fairly nice kid growing up in a hellish nightmare world, both of them try to spare his feelings by giving him a rather whitewashed version of the the man who, at one point, was trying to kill everyone on Earth -- Gohan just refers to him as "intense" (which was [[BloodKnight true enough]]) and Bulma tries to play him off as a sort of JerkWithAHeartOfGold, although she does say he's probably in hell. Since he travels back in time, Trunks does eventually get to meet his father, and is rather horrified by Vegeta's callousness (although that doesn't stop him from [[WellDoneSonGuy wanting his dad's approval anyway]]), thinking he'd been lied to. After Vegeta does eventually have a PapaWolf moment with his son, Trunks happily reports back to his mother that she'd been right all along, while Bulma thinks to herself she hadn't really expected Vegeta to go that far.
* In ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', Koushirou asks his parents this when [[spoiler:they tell him that he's adopted, although he already knew about it.]] Apparently, [[YouRemindMeOfX his dad was a genius too.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' [[spoiler: the main character Tomoya's IllGirl wife Nagisa dies giving birth to his daughter Ushio and he ends up leaving her to be raised by her grandparents, who make a point of not telling Ushio about her mother. When he decides to take care of Ushio again, one of the first things he does is tell her about her dead mother. This leads to a heart breaking scene where Tomoya breaks down in tears part way through talking about Nagisa crying over her death for the first time in years.]]
* In ''Manga/NatsumesBookOfFriends'' Natsume tries to ask one of his relatives about his grandmother Reiko after learning that she had strong spiritual energy like himself and could see spirits and youkai, unfortunately the kindest thing most people have to say about her is that she was weird and he is well aware that Reiko was as much an outcast as himself due to her abilities.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Jesse Custer of ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' by chance meets an old Marine Corps buddy of his late father, who had been shot dead in front of Jesse when he was a young child. This meeting serves for two non-consecutive breaks from the main storyline as the army friend tells Jesse about their time in Vietnam. John Custer is revealed as a tough but fundamentally decent and loyal man, much like his son.
* When [[Creator/DCComics DC]]'s Damage discovered he was the son of the [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica Justice Society's]] Atom, two members of the Society, with him, talked about finding the others, and every surviving member came with Damage to his parents' grave.
** Further, in the same universe, when Kate Spencer (Manhunter) wanted to learn more about her past, she visited her grandmother, Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady), who proceeds to tell the tale of her supposed grandfather and real grandfather.
* ''{{Deadpool}}'''s daughter Ellie is curious about her mom. She first wonders why she was adopted, and Wade says he'll have thought of a better way to explain when she's older. She asks if he knew her mom and he says he didn't really know her. He sadly says he wanted to, but didn't get the chance. Ellie asks if her mother died, prompting Wade to turn away from her sadly.
** Happens again with his second daughter Warda, whom he had with Shiklah. Warda loved her mother very much, but doesn't think much of Wade. However, Warda is confused on the details of her parents' relationship and where her mother is after their final war against one another. Wade has hidden her away, and Warda holds him captive trying to get info on what he did with her. At the arc's end, Warda finally calms down and seeing things weren't the way she thought. Wade plans to go visit with Ellie and catch up, but tells Warda he'll be back so they can talk more about Shiklah.
* When Skaar, the son of the [[Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk Incredible Hulk]], first met the Hulk's [[TrueCompanions Warbound]], he asked them this same question. [[spoiler:Subverted in that he later clarified he meant "Tell me how I can kill him."]]
* In an interesting inversion, {{ComicBook/Daken}}, the son of {{Wolverine}}, asks his father about his mother. Due to the fact they're in a mental plane of existence, Logan decides to show him rather than just tell him. It's a sweet moment until Daken can't touch her and demands more, which Logan can't give.
* In an issue of ''[[Comicbook/XMen Uncanny X-Men]]'', ComicBook/{{Cable}} invokes this trope by name when he asks Comicbook/{{Cyclops}} (his father) to tell him about his mother, Madelyne Pryor (presumably the woman she was before she became [[OmnicidalManiac The Goblin Queen]]). This scene is given an odd dissonance, given that thanks to time travel Cable is old enough to be Cyclops' father.
* ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'' has an entire plot arc based around this trope where their SixthRanger Victor Mancha attempts to find out the identity of his super villian father at first it appears to be [[spoiler:Doctor Doom]] but then it turns out to be [[spoiler:Ultron]] yes, that's right [[spoiler: [[RuleOfCool Technically he is an android made from Ultrons programming and his human mother's DNA.]] ]]
* ''In The Shadows of their Fathers'', an arc of the ''[[{{Franchise/Star Wars Expanded Universe}} Star Wars Rebellion]]'' comic, Luke Skywalker gets his first inkling that his dad wasn't as heroic as he'd been thinking ever since finding out that Anakin had been a Jedi. It happened in the most dramatic way possible, of course, when he went to help out the people of Jabiim, who Anakin had left to die back in the Clone Wars. They found out who he was, they wanted to kill him, cooler heads prevailed and he was taunted and beaten up until a more sympathetic Jabiim started protecting him. Just the ''idea'' that Anakin was actually terrible practically breaks Luke, who pleads "[[http://images.plurk.com/86f3f3cf9a763ef796975a1465e95115.jpg Did my father really behead Jabiimi children?]]" before absolutely throwing himself into the cause of helping them however he can, [[IAmNotMyFather trying to make it up to them]]. At the end of the series this attitude gets a soft reset, with Leia assuring Luke that his father had still been good and helped so many people even if he'd failed the Jabiimi, and Luke swears that if anything this just made him love Anakin more.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': After kissing for first time Shinji and Asuka open up and argue that nobody ever talked to them about their deceased mothers, not matter how many times they asked.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': In chapter 4 Shinji mentions Asuka that he has asked his father about [[MissingMom his mother]], but Gendo does not talk about her.
* In ''[[http://percyjacksonfanfiction.wikia.com/wiki/Whispers_in_the_Dark Whispers in the Dark]]'', Taylor was told all her life that her father drowned when she was a baby and that's why she doesn't remember him. But when [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou she actually meets him]], she's pretty pissed to find out that he's [[spoiler:the one and only [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Luke Castellan]], who betrayed the gods to join Kronos]].
* In the My Little Pony Fanfic ''FanFic/TheSonOfTheEmperor'' Charles doesn't really know much about his father [[spoiler: Napoleon]], so when he meets someone who does he quickly starts asking about him.
* In the ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' novel, Papa Smurf tells Empath about his mother in the revelation that [[spoiler:Empath is Papa Smurf's only biological son]].
* Ultimately defied in ''Fanfic/BetterOffNotKnowing'': Yes, viewpoint character Hakini ''asked'' about "the people who'd brought her into the world" [[spoiler:(heavily implied to be [[ArcVillain Zaheer]] [[UnholyMatrimony and]] [[TheBrute P'Li]])]] ''once'', but it turns out that [[LockedOutOfTheLoop said information was deliberately withheld]] from her [[HappilyAdopted adoptive]] [[GoodParents parents]].
* ''Fanfic/BrokenBow'': Apollo's children become very interested in Armani Dove after learning he was raised by the Sun god himself. Armani feels pretty wretched about his desire to escape his uncle's guardianship when he realizes those kids would give ''anything'' to spend one single day with their dad.

* ''Franchise/StarWars Episode IV: Film/ANewHope'' does this, but what's told is FromACertainPointOfView. It's also implied that Luke has asked his [[MuggleFosterParents aunt and uncle]] about [[DisappearedDad Anakin]], but that they [[LockedOutOfTheLoop refuse]] [[SecretLegacy to]] [[DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou discuss]] [[LukeIAmYourFather him]].
** Also, though it took two and a half films, Luke develops some curiosity about his mother as well, and asks Leia to tell him about her. Which was turned into a retcon when the prequels came out -- DeathByChildbirth took their mother, so the only mother Leia knew was her adoptive mother, Queen Breha Organa. However, Leia was well aware that she was adopted, [[HappilyAdopted she just didn't care]], so the leading fan theory is that Leia's "memories" of Padme were actually Force visions that she didn't have the knowledge to recognize as such.
* ''Film/TheRecruit''
--->'''James Clayton''': ''Tell me about my father.''
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'': Will Turner realizes that Captain Jack Sparrow knew his father, and asks -- getting a real shock when he learns that Bootstrap Bill was a pirate. Though when Will was prisoner in the ''Black Pearl'', the tales told there about how he realized how treacherous they had been wins Will over.
* In ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'', Supes gets the lowdown on Dad from the Fortress of Solitude, via an interactive recording.
* In the new ''Film/StarTrek'' movie, young Kirk doesn't ask about his dad, but Captain Pike tells him anyway.
** But he does ask [[spoiler:Spock Prime]] about [[spoiler:if he knew his dad in Spock Prime's world.]]
* At one point in ''Film/ToKillAMockingbird'', Scout asks Jem about her mother as they're falling asleep.
* In the Lindsay Lohan remake of ''Film/TheParentTrap'', Hallie (posing as Annie) asks her mother to tell her about "the F-word" - [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant "You know,]] my father."
* In ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'', Kovu learns about his adoptive father, Scar, from Simba. Turns out Scar wasn't quite the unsung hero mom told him he had to avenge, but a psychopathic killer.
* Played with in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'' -- Marty, in 1985-A, asks the alternate version of his mother to tell him about the alternate version of his father.
* ''Film/BigFish'' is heavy on this
* ''Film/TopGun'' does this when Viper tells Maverick about his father's last mission after Maverick's confidence is shaken by Goose's death, and how his father saved Viper's life at the cost of his own.
* Defied in ''Film/PansLabyrinth'': when the about-to-be-executed villain urges his much-abused wife to tell their newborn son about how he'd died well, she bluntly informs him that the boy ''won't even know his name''.

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', the protagonists find the corpse of a man who was raped repeatedly shortly before his death. His death is likely due to the fact that the kidnappers cut his tongue out. One protagonist asks "What did they intend to tell their daughters?", referring to the trope-name question. The answer "Your father? I raped him and cut his tongue out so he couldn't tell anyone" doesn't sound like something anyone would want to say to her daughter. Except maybe she's trying to make her [[DaddysLittleVillain mommy's little villain.]]
* ''Literature/DragonQueen'': Gender flipped.
* In Creator/JohnRingo and Creator/DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/PrinceRoger March Upcountry]]'', Prince Roger is considered a jerk, a fop, and a possible traitor by the other characters, mostly because he takes after his father who shares all the same qualities. The catch -- he has never met his father and no one has ever told him why. The real reason for his being like this is that he has been sidelined all his life on the grounds that he MIGHT be like his father. Everyone simply assumes he knows his father's history, but no one has ever checked to make sure. Because of this suspicion, he ends up trapped on a DeathWorld. So when he finds out, the result is an entirely justified temper tantrum.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''First & Only'', in many flashbacks, Gaunt is trying to learn how his father died, which is classified. [[spoiler:He is finally told by a Chaos-tainted witch.]]
** In ''Only In Death'', Dalin Criid, who vaguely remembers Kolea from Vervunhive, asks him about his parents. Kolea assures him that his parents would have been glad that he and his sister were taken under the wing of the two Ghosts who act as their parents, and proud of how he turned out, and that they were died. (He's lying. In fact, he is their father, but he learned that they had lived only after the two Ghosts had raised them for some time. Thinking their lives had been disrupted enough, he did not tell even their adoptive parents the truth.)
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Harry asked the Dursleys about his parents growing up, but they never told him anything except "They died in a car crash and don't ask questions." After learning the truth, he never directly asked but got good reports from his teachers and elders. The only dissenting voice was his [[SadistTeacher cruel bullying]] teacher Snape who he had little reason to believe. Then, in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'', Harry experienced one of Snape's memories and saw for himself that James Potter was kind of a jerk when he was fifteen. This led to him directly questioning Sirius and Lupin, who assured him that James [[FormerTeenRebel deflated his head]] once he grew up.
** Harry's mother, Lily, was established as the reason he survived Voldemort early on, but isn't always mentioned alongside James. It's slowly revealed that Harry has at least as much in common with her as with James, and that's without getting into [[spoiler: Snape's motivation.]]
* ''Literature/TheOdyssey'': When Odysseus went to war, he left a wife and newborn son at home. Twenty years later, the war is ten years over, but Odysseus has still not returned. His son Telemachus, now just barely an adult, goes on a road (and sea) trip to find out where the heck he's gone off to. As he interviews Ulysses' old war buddies (in books III and IV) he tries hard to keep it strictly business -- when did you last see Odysseus, and which way was he going? -- but the TellMeAboutMyFather vibe is unmistakable, making this one OlderThanFeudalism.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's Literature/{{Eisenhorn}} novel ''Hereticus'', after the death of the man who killed her father, Medea realizes that her desire for {{Revenge}} was really displaced desire to have known her father, and asks Eisenhorn to tell her about her father.
* Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
** In ''Literature/TheVorGame'', Emperor Gregor worriedly asks Miles if any of the more horrific stories about his AxeCrazy father are true. All Miles can offer is the faint reassurance that not all of the stories are accurate.
** Later, in ''Literature/ACivilCampaign'', it falls on Gregor to tell Nikki Vorsoisson the truth about his father. Although the goal is to counteract some MaliciousSlander about Tien Vorsoisson's suspicious death Gregor also tells him some unpleasant facts about his father straight, perhaps so he will not be blindsided later.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', Harry specifically notes that his father told him so much about his mother that he never felt the need for this. Of course, it turns out that his father didn't know the whole story.
* In ''Literature/AmericanGods'', we briefly witness this being a point of contention between young Shadow and his mother (who didn't know/remember the father), which Shadow witnesses again [[spoiler:while he is walking on the way to his judgment in the afterlife]]. A few pages later, we see why mother didn't divulge.
* Subverted in Creator/JohnVarley's ''Literature/SteelBeach'' as Hildy's mother flatly refuses to even identify her father, let alone tell her anything about him. The resulting animosity causes periodic breaks in their relationship, But that doesn't prevent Hildy from resolving to similarly conceal the father's identity from her own child Mario.
* Creator/RobinMcKinley:
** In ''Literature/TheHeroAndTheCrown'', Aerin asks her nursemaid about her dead, [[PeopleOfHairColor foreign]] mother very early in the book. Even though by this time she's heard just about everything the woman ever knew about the queen, every so often she comes out with another word or so, and besides, Aerin likes to hear it again. Of course, it's important later, and comes up a lot in various contexts, since taking after her outlander mother is one of the defining facts of the main character's life.
** Similarly, Beauty in ''Literature/RoseDaughter'' tries to find out, with the help of one of her maids, what scent her mother wore, as it's the strongest memory she has of her. The maid is able to find out that the scent was of [[SomethingAboutARose roses]], and this and Beauty's mother's origins are inevitably plot-relevant.
* Literature/{{Percy Jackson|and the Olympians}} often wondered about his father (before finding out that his father was Posideon) and despite his mother Sally often repeating carefully selected details about him, he never got tired of hearing them.
* In Creator/KenFollet's ''Literature/ThePillarsOfTheEarth'' the character Jack asked about the demise of his father Jack Shareburg.
* Pretty thoroughly {{averted|Trope}} in ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern''. Lord Jaxom's mother died in childbirth, and his father died in a duel minutes later. Jaxom grows up knowing that his father was a cruel, power-mad tyrant.
* [[Literature/TheInheritanceCycle Eragon]] to Oromis
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Daenaerys Targaryen believed that the stories of her father being an insane tyrant were lies spread by the Usurper Robert and his supporters. When she asks Barristan Selmy to tell her more about Aerys, she is not happy when she realizes that her father really was a monster.
** Jon Snow grew up having no clue of who is his mother because his father Ned never speaks of her for unknown reasons. He later wants to ask him who she was, but too bad that Ned dies before telling him about her.
* Subverted in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': While Jenna does at a time inquire about her father, she doesn't really care about the issue any further, partially because fathers aren't considered important in the royal dynasty.
* ''Literature/UkiahOregon'' does this twice. RaisedByWolves, the only parents he knows are the women who found him in the Oregon woods and took him home. He's kidnapped and nearly killed by his father's side of the family, and learns that his long-dead father was a rebel from an alien invasion force and he's a HalfHumanHybrid. Later he meets his mother's side of the family, the Cayuse Kicking Deer family. His initial demands for information are rebuffed because he's believed to be an impostor, and no one alive knew his mother, who died centuries ago. He is eventually able to regain some memory of her.
* In Philip Pullman's ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', Lyra is initially thrilled to learn that [[spoiler:Lord Asriel]] is her father. Later events ([[spoiler:he sacrifices her best friend in order to open an interdimensional portal]]) lead her to change her tune completely, but she still clings to the inner core of motivation that made him an absolute badass in his world.
* In ''Literature/{{Zeroes}}'', Mob was raised only by her father. She tried asking him about her mother on numerous occasions, but he was never willing to talk to her about it. Scam finally uses his Voice to convince her father to tell her the truth when they believe they're all about to die.
* ''Literature/OldMansWar'' has a variant: [[spoiler: Lieutenant Jane Sagan]] is revealed to be [[DesignerBabies based off of the genes]] of the protagonist's deceased wife. When they end up working together, she makes a point to quiz him about her progenitor whenever they are in private.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Claire does this on ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' after her powers start to manifest.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' has Clark asking The Fortress AI (a recording of Dear Old Dad), Comicbook/{{Brainiac}}, Raya, and Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} about his parents, but mainly Jor-El. He also gets to interact with a simulation of his mom Lara (played by Creator/HelenSlater, who played Supergirl in the 1984 film ''Film/{{Supergirl}}'').
* Used in ''Series/CriminalMinds'', after Reid had been having nightmares about his dad being involved in the killing of a kid when Reid was little. In an inverse of the BrokenPedestal trope, Reid's father managed to prove that he's more sympathetic than previous revelations would grant.
** Played with by "100", where it becomes "Tell Your Son About His Father": [[spoiler: in her last moments, Haley pleads with Hotch to tell their son Jack about how he used to be; how he wasn't so serious, how he and Haley fell in love, how he used to make her laugh.]]
* Happens at the end of a season 5 ''Series/LasVegas'' episode when Piper Nielsen aks AJ Cooper about her dead father, who was his best friend when they were soldiers but died in a military conflict. He had promised to take care of the recently born Piper from a distance as a LastRequest to him, but circumstances led Piper to suspect Cooper was in fact her father but had simply [[ParentalAbandonment abandoned her]] for the past twenty-five years.
* Gender-inverted in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' Jon Snow grew up motherless, not even knowing her name. Ned Stark told him before parting ways that the next time they'll see each other he'll tell him about his mother. [[spoiler: As the end of Season 6 turns out Jon should have rather asked about ''his father'' indeed, as Ned isn't his biological father, but [[FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo rather his uncle]].]]
* The SeriesFinale of ''Series/{{Rome}}'' comes within a hair's breadth of being named after this trope: "De Patre Vostro" (About Your Father...).
** There's also a scene a couple of episodes earlier in which Caesarion asks Lucius Vorenus to tell him about his father. Vorenus, of course, is one of the few people who knows that Caesarion's father ''isn't'' [[UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar Caesar]]. [[spoiler: It's Titus Pullo.]] As he goes along describing Caesarion's father, [[spoiler:the description starts to shift from that of Caesar to that of Pullo. He has to hastily correct himself when Caesarion question's whether Caesar was actually a gambler and a womaniser.]]
* {{Gender Flip}}ped in several season 4 episodes of ''Series/ChinaBeach'' as Karen inquires about her mother among the group of [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar veterans]] who knew her. She also eventually meets her father in the process. He's a jerk. No wonder she wasn't looking for him.
* In ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' [[spoiler:Astronema]]/Karone asks Andros 'what were mom and dad like?', so beginning the first honest and open conversation between the reunited siblings. Andros tells her they were 'the best parents any kid could hope for'.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Richard asks his sister to tell him in "Bloodline," but unfortunately she knows nothing because their mother refused to discuss it-not even whether they have the same one. [[spoiler: His father is later revealed to be Panis Rahl]]. It's then {{inverted}} and {{gender flip}}ped in the same episode when [[spoiler: he laments he never got the chance to talk to his mother, and it ends with Zedd]] saying, "Then let me tell you about her."
* In Series/KamenRiderHibiki, the main character Asumu is a teenage boy living with a single mother. When his rival is constantly talking about surpassing his father, Asumu begins wondering what his own father is like. His mother is acting very distant about is, but gives him his father's address. Asumu indirectly gets to know his father by the testimony of other people. The episode ends with him asking his mother if its okay to like him, after which his mother encourages him to do so.
* This happens on ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' in a gender flip after Reed Garret comes to town looking for his mother, Mac's late wife Claire. At first, he backs off when he finds out she's dead. Mac doesn't push him, but his caring persuasion and wanting to do it for Claire eventually gets Reed to open up and he eventually asks Mac about her.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': This trope always is played with in some fashion every time Harmon Rabb meets Thomas Boone, the wingman of his MIA father.
* Given a slight extra spin in ''Series/TheCityHunter''. Yoon Sung asks his mother this, and she responds, very carefully, with a description of her [[PosthumousCharacter deceased husband, Mu-Yeol.]] [[spoiler: Who, it turns out, is not Yoon Sung's father.]]
* ''Series/StrangerThings 2'': Played with. Eleven asks Hopper about her birth mother in a flashback.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' is sometimes shown doing this is in childhood flashbacks. He was only six months old when his mother, Mary, died and has no memories of her. Older brother Dean was only four and has a few more memories, but because of the violent way she died, neither Dean or family patriarch John like to talk about her.

* "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by the Temptations literally IS this trope.

* The character Sophie, in ''Theatre/MammaMia'', doesn't ask her mother about her father, but finds her mother's diary describing three possible fathers, leading to the entire plotline.
* This is the reason for Marmont's presence in Edmond Rostand's ''L'Aiglon'': as his first appearance implies, the titular Eaglet only kept him around because he wanted to hear about [[UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte his father]].
-->'''The Duke''': Now I've learnt whatever you could teach me, // Whatever memories of him you had, // And that, in spite of you, was splendid in you, // I cast you off: a useless sponge!

* Used in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'''s "Heaven's Feel" scenario after Shirou learns [[spoiler:that his foster father fought as a Master in the fourth Grail War. While Saber is reluctant to talk about him, Kotomine is only too pleased to]].
** Played with: Shirou knew plenty about Kiritsugu in the first place, it was just [[spoiler: the bit about being a Master in the last Grail War]] that he wanted more info on.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft: The Burning Crusade'', we have Arator the Redeemer, the son of Alleria Windrunner and Turalyon. As an infant, Arator was separated from his parents after they left him on Azeroth to go fight a war on Draenor. Unfortunately, Alleria and Turalyon got trapped on the planet when the Dark Portal blew up. Twenty years later, the Dark Portal has reopened, and Arator has come to Outland (formerly known as Draenor) hoping to reunite with his parents (or more specifically, his father). As Arator never knew his father, he asks several of the veteran members of Alliance Expedition about Turalyon, including Turalyon's second, Danath Trollbane, for information and leads on Turalyon's current location. Several people then gave their opinion on how great a guy Turalyon was, but sadly, he has been MIA for 15 years. Arator is convinced Turalyon is alive, because he has the same vision of his father every time he sleeps, and vows to search for him. [[PutOnABus The story seemed to end for eight years]], but then Blizzard revealed that [[ArcherArchetype Marksmanship Hunters]] would be able to track down Alleria and Turalyon, and in the same expansion Arator himself becomes a more important character.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Aion}}'''s second area, Altgard Keep, you meet an Archon that hands you an expensive pendant and his story. He had been abandoned as an infant with only this pendant and now wants to know who his parents were, although he suggests that they were mere mortals. You track the owner of the pendant down and she tells you that a)she has lost that pendant long ago and therefore the boys parents must've been thieves and b) that she and her husband have no children. She does, however, hand you the box that belongs to the pendant and tells you to give it to the Archon with best wishes in regards of finding his true parents. [[spoiler:In the box you find a letter detailing that said owner of the pendant is in fact his mother, the father being not her husband but a dead Archon that courted her and that he died because of political 'difficulties', namely her father, the High Priest of the Daeva himself and the girls family-in-law and that she barely was able to abandon him to let him live, that it broke her heart and that this scandal must never come to light.]]
* Toyed with in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu]]'', when [[spoiler: Lene the Dancer]] asks [[spoiler: Prince Lewyn]] if he knew her parents, who left her in an orphanage when she was a little girl. He doesn't tell her almost anything, but tries reassuring her that her parents will come back to her. [[spoiler: The thing is... the conversation only happens if ''Lewyn is Lene's father'', via pairing him up with Lene's MissingMom Sylvia in the first half of the game. And since Lewyn is all but stated to have become a SoulJar for the Dragon Forseti, ''he can't tell her''.]]
* A rare example of learning about one's ''mother'', from her ''son'' no less - Patrokles, protagonist of ''SoulCaliburV'', desired to learn about his mother, Sophitia, from his NonActionGuy father Rothion.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' when [[NebulousEvilOrganization NEO Umbrella]] just goes right ahead and fills Jake Muller in about his father [[OmnicidalManiac Albert Wesker]], telling him quite a bit more than he ever wanted to hear.
* In ''VideoGame/ArcTheLadTwilightOfTheSpirits'', the main human character, Kharg, has asked repeatedly about his father, Windalf, to his mother, Nafia. The reason she doesn't tell him is because his father is a Drakyr, one of the many Deimos races of the game, which would make Kharg himself a human-Deimos hybrid. He only finds out after [[spoiler: her death]], albeit refusing to believe it until he [[spoiler: grows Drakyr wings in front of the people of Yewbell]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This is inverted in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', where the supervillain Tattletale threatens to tell the superhero Panacea about her father-specifically, about the horrible crimes that he committed that got him imprisoned in a maximum security facility for the rest of his natural life-in order to get away from a bank robbery gone wrong.
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' takes the Future Trunks and Vegeta example (see above) and rolls with it. Bulma ''tactfully'' describes Vegeta as an abrasive loner who had trouble making friends. In the ''History of Trunks'' special, Gohan flashes back to Vegeta punching him in the face, and just says "He had a lot to prove." Needless to say, Trunks is not prepared for a verbally abusive jerk who once tried to kill all the heroes.
-->'''Kid Trunks:''' Am I a lot like him?\\
'''Future Bulma:''' You have...his gender.

* In ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' Dan asks Abel about his mother as he knew her before he was born. Dan continues to be displeased with everything he finds out.
** Given he was a former heroic adventurer and his mother used to teach classes on torture (and had a fight with the creator of the SAIA academy because she wanted to use infants as 'demonstration models') displeased is an understatement.
* In ''Webcomic/GoldCoinComics'' when Lance talks about his parents' past.
* Charon [=McKay=] in ''Webcomic/ShadowGirls'' is very uncomfortable when her daughter Rebecka finally gets around to asking because she doesn't know and that can only serve to remind Becca of her reputation as the bastard daughter of the town slut.
* Isheil of ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}'' loved to hear the story of how her mother became a fish.
* ''Webcomic/TheDreamlandChronicles'': [[http://www.thedreamlandchronicles.com/the-dreamland-chronicles/chapter-06/page-392/ Nastajia learns her parents visited the mermaid king on their quest.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Endstone}}'', [[http://endstone.net/comic/issue-1-page-19-2/ People accuse Cole of being like her father. She doesn't understand why]].
* Gastro in ''Webcomic/{{Gastrophobia}}''. Usually, his mother evades the question by telling him a story about Zeus descending from Olympus in the form of a handsome animal, but eventually admits that she herself doesn't know. [[spoiler: Turns out she really does know, and it's Lord Nightsorrow.]]
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', Mr. Donlan [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=1022 regales the fascinated Antimony with such stories while they wait.]]
* Sparrow in ''Webcomic/ButImACatPerson'', although in her case it's more an incident of Tell Me About My [[AllLesbiansWantKids Sperm Donor]].
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Durkon's mother didn't want to talk about his father. He resorted to an HonoraryUncle, who may have shaded the truth considerably.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'': One episode featured a doctor who lost his license and only got to practice because his gangster brother set him up as "the Crime Doctor". At the end of the episode, Bruce bails him out, and the doctor is instantly suspicious about what he wants in return -- until Bruce says this trope's name (the doctor had been good friends with Dr. Thomas Wayne in medical school).
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. [[spoiler: Shayera]] sits down beside Batman and asks him to "Tell me about my [[spoiler: son.]]" (TimeTravel was involved and it let to [[spoiler: Shayera and John learning that they'll eventually be the parents of Rex aka Warhawk, a member of a future Justice Leagu]].)
* Zuko's father Ozai is a major character in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and there is only little his son could - or would like to - ask about him. Instead, [[spoiler:after the war is won and Ex-Fire Lord Ozai is imprisoned, Zuko comes to his cell and demands one thing. "Where. Is. My. ''Mother''?"]]
* GenderFlipped on ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse,'' where [[KidHero Steven]] often talks to his father and [[ParentalSubstitute Maternal Substitutes]] about his MissingMom, [[PosthumousCharacter Rose Quartz]], who [[OnlyMostlyDead gave up her physical form]] [[DeathByChildbirth when he was born]]. A later episode has Greg tell Steven the story of how he and his mother met, or more specifically the version where he didn't leave out [[RememberTheNewGuy his crappy former manager]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS7E13ThePerfectPear The Perfect Pear]]", the Apple siblings, having grown curious about the origin of the feud between the Apple and Pear clans and having learned from that that their parents (who have throughout both this episode and the show in general been very heavily implied to be deceased) were [[StarCrossedLovers a Pear and an Apple]], try to track down ponies who knew them -- a genealogist cousin of theirs, their father's and mother's respective best friends, and the town major who officiated their wedding -- to get their story and learn what kind of people their parents were.
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales2017'': Another GenderFlipped version. Dewey wants anyone who has the knowledge to tell him about his missing/dead mother.