You're Not My Father
aka: You Are Not My Father
Ain't nothing to talk about. I been waiting for this a long time, my whole life, and ain't no one gonna stop me now. Come tomorrow, I'm outta here. Uncle Phil:
Oh, I don't think so. Will:
Who cares what you think? YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER!
The closing line to any fight or disagreement between a teenager and either his father/mother or (more commonly) his important replacement parental figure
(in the right genre, between the hero and his mentor
). This is either a loophole for someone who really is in the wrong and wants a reason to end the argument without defending himself, or a way for a Good-aligned (or standards-bearing
) offspring to inform his Evil-aligned father [figure] that he has crossed the line
and is no longer worthy of respect, admiration, or obedience.
A stipulation is that the mentor has been more of a parent than the referenced father ever was. Or maybe an older brother with a Promotion to Parent
A twist that turns up the tension is "You're not his
Compare/contrast with I Have No Son
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- Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan was once told this by a person he was trying to interview.
How is that any of your business? You're not my dad. I do what I have to do. I was told to hide, I hid. I get scared, I deal with getting scared my own fucking way. Clear?
You're not my dad, right? Spider:
- The Room.
- The last conversation Peter and his uncle Ben share in the movie:
Uncle Ben: Now I don't mean to lecture you, and I know I'm not your father...
Peter: Then stop pretending to be!
- "You ain't my pa."
- Inverted in The Godfather:
Sonny: That's easy for you to say; he's not your father.
Tom: I was as much a son to him as you or Mike.
- Said by Kristy in the The Baby-Sitters Club movie, when her stepfather berates her for coming home late — from a secret visit with her biological Disappeared Dad, but he didn't know that. Made all the more heart-breaking by the fact that there are several points in the books where Watson plainly calls Kristy his daughter, even giving her an antique family heirloom in the Little Sister Spinoff, and her biological dad stood her up in the end, anyway.
- A little jarring though; this is never resolved in the movie (with Kristy apologizing to Watson for what she said), outside of her narration explaining to the audience she felt bad.
- A variation occurs in Terminator 2: Judgment Day with John Connor and his foster parents.
Todd: John, do as your mother tells you.
John: She's not my mother, Todd.
- Played in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as a brief point of contention for Indy and Mutt, as they'd only recently met. Having been raised to believe his father was a British war hero, Mutt doesn't accept the news at first.
- Said by Jerri in the Strangers with Candy movie to Stew the meat-man, who promptly responds, "You're not my daughter!"
- Inverted in Star Trek, where Spock meets future Spock, who says "I'm not our father."
- At the end of Ninja Assassin, Raizo confronts his old mentor Lord Ozunu, who wants Raizo to "beg [his] father for forgiveness". Raizo shoots back "you are not my father", prompting a shadow-blending ass-kicking from Ozunu.
- For reference, Ozunu had Raizo and dozens of others kidnapped as children and put through Training from Hell to become ninjas. As far as Ozunu was concerned, they were all his children.
- A gag in Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie:
You know what my kids would say... Tom Servo:
"You're not my real father!"
- In the second live-action film of George of the Jungle, Junior says this to Lyle Van De Groot after his mother was hypnotized to thinking he was her husband. Twice. And kicking him in the shins both times. Well, in the second time, Lyle had shin guards, in which Junior then proceeded to stomp on Lyle's foot.
- Superhero Movie parodies the above Spider-Man scene.
Rick Ryker: You're not my father.
Uncle Albert: But I love you like your father did. I looked after you like your father did. I even had sex with your mother like your father did!
- Anna uses this on Isabel in Stepmom, and Isabel's response is "THANK GOD FOR THAT!"
- An indirect version—since only one of the characters is aware of the relation—takes place when Loki shoots Laufey with Gungnir while making it clear who he considers to be his true parent:
Loki: And your death came by the son of Odin.
- In Thor: The Dark World, Loki furiously yells a variation of this when he and Frigga discuss Odin. Somewhat justified, as Loki had been disowned and would've been executed if it weren't for his mother's influence.
Frigga: Your father—
Loki: HE'S NOT MY FATHER!
Frigga: And am I not your mother?
Loki:...No. You are not.
- Elaine Isaak's Eunuch's Heir — used by Wolfram, the title character, against his (unbeknownst to him) actual, biological father.
- Both used straight and inverted in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Joshua (Jesus) uses the line straight when arguing with Joseph; then Joseph, at a later point, points out "I'm not your father".
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius tells Molly that Harry is "not her son." Her response? "He's as good as." Later, he does become her son... in-law.
- To make this variant more interesting, Harry feels touched by this... but then goes against Mrs. Weasley's wishes anyway.
- In the Maeve Binchy novel Evening Class, a character has just learned that her oldest sister is in fact her mother. Several days later, her "father" (actually grandfather) asks her to run an errand for him. When she refuses, still upset at the revelation and deception, he sternly tells her "no child of mine is going to speak to me like that". She responds by coldly declaring, "I'm NOT a child of yours.", thus revealing that she knows the secret. After a Beat in which this sinks in, he tells her essentially HAS been a father to her these past 16 years and even if not, he's still her grandfather and deserving of respect.
- In The Baby-Sitters Club, Kristy drops this one on Watson in The Movie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
- In the Sweet Valley Saga book The Wakefields Of Sweet Valley, Ted Wakefield gets fed up with his Aunt Sarah's suggestions on what to do with his life (college, etc) and finally snaps at her "You're not my mother!". He later apologizes, seeing as how she HAS been a mother to him all his life, as his parents (her brother and sister-in-law) were killed in a train crash when he was a baby. However, as the reader knows, Sarah IS his mother—the entire story was a fabrication to prevent him or anyone else knowing that he was illegitimate.
- Inverted in The Thorn Birds, as Paddy and Frank argue, Paddy tells Frank, "You're no better than the bastard who fathered you!", thus revealing what Frank has always suspected, that Paddy is not his father.
- In To Sir With Love, Braithwaite's students try to annoy him by constantly using obscenities when they speak. After one girl complains, "I can't do this sum, sir, it's too bleeding hard", he angrily asks her if she uses such words when speaking to her father. Her response? "You're not my bleeding father."
- In Amber Brown is On the Move, the title character shouts this after her new stepfather, Max, gets on her case about not packing the stuff in her room for their upcoming move to their new house. She's upset at herself, as she normally likes Max reasonably well, and it causes her to realize that she needs some help from her friends
- After Bear and Lena elope in the Collegium Chronicles, Bear's father Healer Tyrall tries to kidnap Bear to force an end to the marriage. After he gets arrested for charging up to the Royal Palace (and home of the Healer's Collegium) with armed mercenaries, Bear publicly declares that he is no relation to Healer Tyrall. It's implied that this will have actual legal force.
- In Jane Eyre, after Jane's aunt unfairly punished Jane and locked her in a room that Jane was terrified of, the 10-year-old Jane vowed to never call her "Aunt" again. Since the aunt was Jane's legal guardian, this counts.
- In The Sandman and the War of Dreams, Book 4 of The Guardians of Childhood , Emily Jane shouts this to Typhan when he tells her "Daughter! Stop!" after she starts using her powers for harm. Pitch, the Big Bad of the series, is actually her father, but he's become like a surrogate father to her, so it stings badly.
- A variation occurs in the Septimus Heap series. Jenna tells this to Milo Banda after he makes a disastrous attempt at bonding with her and some of her brothers, and she runs off in a huff. The variation is that Milo Banda is her father... her biological father, but he's not the one who raised her. She's making the point that, while Milo may have brought her into the world, Silas Heap is her real father.
- Ana is The Glimpse after he rescues her from an Asylum.
Live Action TV
- The lines are spoken word-for-word on Heroes on several occasions when Claire Bennett tries to assert her independence from Noah, aka HRG guy. Naturally, her not-dad, despite his communication shortcomings, is usually right.
- To be fair, dealing with her real father and grandmother soon prompted her to declare "I have a family!" and jump out a tenth story window to escape from them.
- It happened in a bigger way with Sylar. Angela went "Sylar, you're my son — oh no sorry false alarm." It was kind of pathetic.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
- This happens in the landmark episode when Will's loser father shows up and invites his son to take a road trip. Will jumps at the opportunity, despite his uncle's warnings that his father can't be trusted.
Will: I've been waiting for this for a long time, my whole life, and nobody's gonna stop me now. Come tomorrow, I'm outta here.
Uncle Phil: Oh, I don't think so.
Will: Who cares what you think!? YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER!
- A more subtle version occurs at the end of the episode when his father abandons him again.
Lou: "It was great seeing you son."
Will: "Yeah, you too, Lou."
- Sister Sister:
- Seventh Heaven, in the episode when Eric is trying to protect Robbie from his recently resurfaced deadbeat father, Ed:
- Perhaps not quite average for the trope since the boy in question is a baby, not a teenager... But the line came up, unavoidably, in a very tense scene in the LOST episode "Fire & Water". Charlie, insistent on baptizing Claire's baby son regardless of Claire's wishes, runs afoul of Locke:
Charlie: Who the hell are you, John? Aaron's not your responsibility. ...You're not his father. You're not his family.
Locke: Neither are you, Charlie.
- A really bizarre example occurs in the UK science fiction comedy Hyperdrive. Technical Officer Jeffers is reminiscing about being raised by a computer simulation of his father, created when his father knew he was dying. Then, when Jeffers was fifteen, they got into an argument, and Jeffers said "You're not my real dad! You're just a piece of code!" and deleted the program. He tried to restore it the next day, but couldn't.
- The British Soap EastEnders had this sort of conversation, subverted because:
You can't tell me what to do, you ain't my mother! Kat Slater: (Zoe's "sister") Yes I am!
- Six Feet Under - Claire uses this line plenty on older brother Nate.
- In Nip/Tuck, Matt says this to Christian right after the latter bails him out of jail. the twist is that Christian really is Matt's father and had only found this out in the same episode. Unusually for this trope, Matt's pronouncement is actually quite accurate- Christian isn't much of a father figure to him at all.
- A slightly depressing example occurs in the last episode of season one. Sam and Dean have managed to rescue their father and Dean is worrying about having wasted a bullet (it only has a few left and they need all the bullets they can get). Unknown to them, John has been possessed by the Big Bad ever since they found him. But when John comes out and tells Dean how proud of him he is, Dean realizes the truth and says exactly this.
- Played straight in a Season Five episode; a depressed Dean tells this to Bobby, who is trying to keep him from letting Michael take over his body. The same episode had Adam say this about John, who is his birth father, but didn't raise him.
- Season seven has a flashback of Bobby talking on the phone to John, who tells he is not Dean's father after Bobby decides to take him to the park instead of to practice shooting (Dean was just a kid at the time).
- There's an episode of CSI: Miami in which Horatio meets a teenage boy. Horatio keeps calling him 'son', until the boy snaps back at him 'You're Not My Father'... little does he know that Horatio had earlier run a paternity test...
- Angel: Angel's son Connor, raised by Angel's sworn enemy in a hell dimension, gets off at least one of these Eastwood style. He later identifies Angelus as his real father (who he wants to kill).
- On Mystery Science Theater 3000: Pod People, after singing "Clown in the Sky", Joel tells the bots that he loves them. Crow's reply is "You're not my real father!"
- In a House episode, the titular character reveals that he figured out that his father (John House) was not really his biological father when he was twelve, and told this to him, causing John to not speak a single word to his son for two months.
- Freddie on iCarly uses this when Lewbert, their building's doorman enters a relationship with Freddie's mother.
- Used in Fringe after Peter finds out that Walter stole him as a child from the alternate universe.
- Delivered in a stunningly awesome way from Clark to Lionel in Smallville, just before the former cuts ties with the latter completely.
- Andrea in The Walking Dead, when arguing with surrogate father figure Dale: "I'm not your little girl, I'm not your wife, and I'm sure as hell not your problem."
- Morgana does this indirectly on Merlin, telling someone that she comes in the name of Gorlois because Gorlois made her who she was, not her real father, Uther.
- On Charmed, Paige delivered this line to her adopted parents during an argument on the day before they died, and spent years feeling guilty about it.
- On Revenge: rebellious teenager Declan to his older brother Jack when Jack is trying to convince Declan he has a duty to attend their father's funeral:
Just because he's dead doesn't make you my father.
- Subverted on Whos The Boss when Angela and Samantha get into an argument and Angela orders Samantha to go to her room. Samantha immediately shoots back that Angela isn't her mother. Tony intervenes, pointing out that he's her father, and he orders her to listen to Angela.
- Inverted in The Thorn Birds, as Paddy and Frank argue, Paddy tells Frank, "You're no better than the bastard who fathered you!", thus revealing what Frank has always suspected, that Paddy is not his father. Then in the midquel "The Missing Years", Meggie's Jerkass husband Luke returns to take custody of their son Dane. Meggie's mother Fee intervenes when Luke insists that he wants the chance to make up for being an absent and neglectful father, telling him "but you're not his father".
- In Suddenly Susan, the titular character gets "You're not my mother" snapped at her by one of her boyfriend's kids as she tries to bond with them.
- On an episode of Full House, D.J. says this to Joey when he won't let her go to a karate tournament.
- In "Cardassians" on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a Cardassian war orphan who was adopted by Bajorans and raised to hate Cardassians says this to his biological Cardassian father when speaking to him for the first time.
- Used as a minor joke in a sketch for The Whitest Kids U Know, where a man really excited that it is Saturday tells a woman whose car he wants to shoot with a bow that she's not his mother. She responds that she's his wife.
- A variation is used in the first season finale of Haven after it's revealed that Chief Wuornos is not Nathan's biological father.
Audrey: We need to find him, yes, but he is your father.
Nathan: That's debatable.
- In Sleepy Hollow, Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish/War calls the demon Moloch his real father, angry at his biological parents for their unwilling absence through his life, leaving him Buried Alive by his mother's coven until Moloch freed him.
- Joked with on Friends when Ross and Rachel's breakup has caused Chandler to take up smoking again because it reminds him of when his parents got divorced.
Rachel: Chandler! Are you smoking? What are you doing?
Chandler: Hey shut up, you're not my real mom!
- In a routine done by Robin Williams, the Biblical Joseph, after hearing Mary is pregnant and he'd be "the stepfather of God's kid," fears he won't be able to discipline Jesus since he'd just scream, "You're not my real dad!"
- In Super Paper Mario, when Luvbi finds out that she's really one of the Pure Hearts, she argues with Grambi. At one point, she says: "Wait... Why do I explain myself to thee?! Thou art not my real father!"
- In The House of the Dead III, Daniel says this verbatim as he delivers a final shot to his dad, the Final Boss of the game. See the page quote for more details.
- Late in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Jennifer chews out her foster father General Carter, who only adopted her to use her for his plans. In the anime, she actually says "you're no father to me!"
- In Dragon Age II, most of the resentment Carver feels towards their elder sibling is because they were left as sole breadwinner and head of the household after their father's death, three years prior to the game. The Legacy DLC implies Carver found it extra hard to deal with, due to Hawke greatly taking after their father in personality.
- In Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy this is said more gently by Layton himself, after learning that Bronev, the Big Bad is his father. Layton considers the parents who raised him, but mentions being open to connecting with Bronev as colleagues, and possibly friends.
- Played very tragically in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, where Ange's refusal to consider Eva as a mother, added to the latter's sadness and lingering hatred towards Ange's parents, made their relationship go to hell during the 12 years after the Rokkenjima incident. It doesn't help that Eva refused to tell the truth and was widely considered the culprit by gossips and tabloids.
- "Would you quit calling him that?!! He's not your daddy! Neither of us has a daddy!" "Don't say that!" Slap!
- Gunnerkrigg Court. Renard tries to lecture Annie about stealing homework answers from her friend Kat. Annie tries to brush Renard off by pointing out that he's not her father. Renard replies that he would have been a better father than her real dad was, and things just go downhill from there.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, November says this to the witch — who is seriously delusionally and believes her to be Gretel.
- Said by Jeshua in Shortpacked!, to Galasso, the nutjob who brought him back to life to be an attention grabbing gimick for his toystore. Given who the real dad is, its significantly more of a threat than usual.
- In Homestuck, trolls don't have parents, since they're formed from an "incestuous slurry", and raised by a guardian animal called a Lusus. However, the Sufferer of the Post-Scratch troll ancestors was raised by a female troll called the Dolorosa. During a conversation between their Pre-Scratch counterparts, Kankri and Porrim, Kankri, who knows about both his other self and Earth reproduction, snaps "You are not my 'human mother'", much to Porrim's confusion.
- Ben 10: Ben tells Grandpa Max, "You're not my dad!" when Grandpa scolds him for using the Omnitrix to sneak somewhere and play a video game.
- While Calling the Old Man Out, Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender tells Firelord Ozai this.
- Batman declares this once in the animated series. Being Batman (and, y'know, knowing that his parents died years ago), he's right. The hallucination of his father that's been haunting him ever since Scarecrow gassed him disappears and doesn't return.
- In Teen Titans, Slade manages to Blackmail Robin into being his apprentice:
Slade: I may even become like a father to you.
- Also said by Raven to her biological father, the demon Trigon.
- Said by Artha Penn to Mortis in "The Return of Drakkus, part 1. The kicker is that Mortis really is his father, Conner Penn.
- Sari pulled this on her father in Transformers Animated after finding out that she was actually a robot, despite the combined efforts of Sumdac and the Autobots to reconcile them.
- Of course, it turns out he actually is her father, with the other "parent" being the Allspark. However, she really accepts him as her father when he stands up to the Headmaster to protect her.
- Played for laughs during the first season finale of Transformers Prime. After one of the kid sidekicks is badly injured, Jack's mother decides none of them belong with the Autobots.
Miko: You're not my mother.
Bulkhead: Miko -
Miko: Neither are you!
- Presley says this to Ja'Kal in the Father's Day Special of Mummies Alive! when he offers to take the boy fishing in place of his real dad (who was in Memphis at the time.)
- The end of the X-Men: TAS episode, 'Beauty and the Beast involving Graydon Creed.
- In Drawn Together, Clara invokes this in an argument with her stepmother. Her stepmother then reminds her that her mother's dead, and after realizing that she went too far in bringing this up, the two reconcile and Clara's stepmother gives her advice on how to break her Octopussoir curse.
- Robot Chicken has their skit "Jedi Master George W./Jedi In Chief" more or less parodies this trope during a parody of the I Am Your Father scene in Star Wars, with George Bush as Vader and his daugher Jenna replacing Luke:
- Occasionally comes to a head in TaleSpin with the character Kit, a 12-year-old prodigy orphan the main character took under his wing after he'd been formerly apprenticed to one of the series' main villains. The laid-back Baloo and his somewhat professional-yet-motherly boss Rebecca often act as surrogate parents to Kit, who alternates between a child's need for adult guidance and his own fiercely independent streak, which usually works quite well unless Kit feels he is being disregarded because of his age. In the episode "Stormy Weather," the villain of the week quite ably leverages this insecurity against Baloo and Rebecca's protectiveness of Kit in order to convince the child the adults are "holding him back" from his true potential, leading Kit to eventually break things off with them on the grounds that "you can't tell me what to do! You're not my dad!"
- The Season One closeout for Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated had Freddy learn that the man he'd called Dad for years was actually some guy who pretty much stole him from his real parents; he was NOT ecstatic.
- It gets worse when he finds out his real father is no better.
- In Sym-Bionic Titan, Lance says this line to the King of Galaluna, who isn't a Parental Substitute, but was a friend of Lance's father.
- After defeating him, Elyon says a variation of this to her evil older brother Phobos in W.I.T.C.H., having learned that he was planning to drain her of her powers all along.
Elyon: Goodbye, Phobos. You were never my brother.
- In Family Guy, Jesus says this to Joseph during a fight, and tries to move in with his real father, God.
- A serial killer was apparently able to kill about six women operating by this trope. Said women were drug addicts, prostitutes, women that their families just didn't care about anymore.
- Also invoked less seriously (or at least, seriously for a moment, then forgotten about) by much younger children when they're angry with their parents.