Papa Wolf / Real Life

  • Truth in Television. Normally, adrenal glands and the brain's limiters make it so that you only use around 20% of your muscles and maintain a thought of self-preservation. Putting a loved one, child, or sufficiently close friend of somebody in danger is the fastest way to see the brain release said limits and let adrenaline kick in. All thoughts of self-preservation (and just about everything else that makes shy, meek people shy and meek) are overridden, and it is quite likely that several dozen of your bones will be broken (if you are lucky) before they let up. People who manage to enter Tranquil Fury instead of all-out anger are even more dangerous.
  • Probably your own father, your older brother or yourself if you are a man and you have your own children or younger siblings. Even more so if you are highly intelligent: the human male protective instincts towards his offspring is directly related to his IQ. Many people are also lucky enough to have grandfathers, uncles and/or older cousins who can fit this trope.
  • Wolves mate for life, and a male wolf will fight even to the death to protect his mate and offspring (in the last case, often in a tag team with Mama Wolf). He is also involved with raising the pups, taking charge of the youngsters, and teaching them how to hunt. (Hence, trope title.) Swans also mate for life - they might look serene and peaceful and cute, but just try to touch a cygnet when Papa Swan is nearby. I dare you. (...Did we mention that the wingbeats of a mute swan can break a human arm?) As an aside, all the mammal examples are the exception, as in contrast to most birds, most Real Life mammalian males, bears and monkeys in particular, are more likely to kill and eat their offspring than anything else (polar bear males even make it a lifestyle), usually causing their mates to go Mama Bear on them.
    • Don't dare mess with the bonxies either, they'll swoop down and smash your skull with their beak. Without even stopping. Probably a good thing they ony live on isolated Scottish islands.
    • Male lions are protective of their own cubs. Other males' cubs, however, are fair game. (Though this is the case with almost every animal, and lionesses will also kill foreign cubs if given the chance, despite being very good mothers to their own.)
    • Male gorillas are normally very gentle creatures. Mess with their babies and you won't have very long to live.
      • In fact, several male non-human primate species that take on an equal or greater role in parental care are this, such as gibbons and tamarins.
    • Mockingbirds will attack anything that they consider as a threat to their chicks.
    • Same-sex couples do occur in swans and other monogamous birds, which sometimes get to raise kids. Now try getting anywhere near a cygnet with two Papa Swans. Fun fact: cygnets raised by male/male pairs have a noticeably higher survival rate than those raised by male/female or female/female pairs.
    • In all ratites, large flightless birds like the ostrich, the male either has the sole task of incubating the eggs and raising the chicks, no input whatsoever from the mother, or he hatches and raises them in alongside the mother, which is done with the family after laying the eggs. So the male, now with a bunch of eggs and later chicks to raise alone, gets monstrously fierce. All ratites, from emus to rheas and even the small tinamous, attack anyone and anything daring to get close to the eggs/chicks, but the cassowary is the one that genuinely earns the price, for it has been able to horribly maim and even kill people just to protect its young with toes on each foot that are essentially a STILETTO.
    • There's a very good reason Papa Goats have big horns.
    • Sheep may normally be the poster children for docile creatures, but unless you're their shepherd, don't enter a pasture after lambing season. Even walking past outside the enclosure will rate you a Death Glare.
    • True of piranhas, believe it or not. Piranha eggs are guarded by their father, who'll take bites out of anything that threatens them until they hatch.
    • Birds of prey. ANY. Just dare to approach an eagle's nest while the young are still there and see who's on the welcome committee.
    • Real life ganders aren't far removed from the one in Charlotte's Web. The goslings are cute, fuzzy little things, but you must resist the urge to pet them if you don't want both the goose and the gander to tear you apart.
    • And you'd never guess that some arachnids are this. Opiliones, a.k.a. the daddy longlegs, take on the sole duty of egg protection. They're LITERALLY a daddy longlegs!!
    • Australian magpies are known to be aggressive during breeding season, and the males will attack any potential intruders.
    • Any male bird that helps take care of chicks after mating. While the mother bird sits on eggs, the father often stands guard nearby, ready to pounce on anything that comes close enough.
  • A conspiracy nut had been pestering Buzz Aldrin and other Apollo personnel, and he put up with that good-naturedly. But when said nut made an unfriendly move toward Aldrin's granddaughter, the 72-year-old astronaut threw one punch and knocked the guy out. (Well, seriously, even if there was any chance at all that the moon landing was a hoax, there was a reason Aldrin made Colonel in the United States Air Force, and that guy should have realized it.)
  • Dr. Liviu Librescu, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor, scientist and academic professor. During the Virginia Tech massacre, Librescu personally kept the door shut to prevent gunman Seung-hui Cho from entering the classroom while his students escaped out the windows. He was shot through the door five times before finally succumbing to a shot to the head. Of course, he had a history, since surviving the Holocaust takes a Determinator in itself. He was also frequently noted to have treated his students like his own children, making his Heroic Sacrifice and Papa Wolf reactions all the more heartbreaking. Unarmed and faced with a cold-blooded killer, Librescu did the only thing he could to protect his students and used himself to barricade the door.
  • Tom Wanyandie, a 78 year old Cree Indian wilderness guide who fought off a literal Mama Bear attacking his son while screaming every profanity of his native language.
  • Bruce Lee was known for taking challenges from aspiring martial artists. During the making of Enter the Dragon, a Too Dumb to Live challenger snuck into their home and scared his two children, Brandon and Shannon. An enraged Lee put the idiot in the hospital with one kick.
  • Vance Flosenzier, who fought off a motherfucking shark when it was attacking his nephew. Not only did Flosenzier immobilize the shark and free his nephew, he then dragged it to shore so that park rangers could shoot it.
  • Sun Quan, leader of the southern kingdom Wu during China's three kingdoms period. When Cao Pi declared himself emperor of the powerful northern kingdom of Wei, Sun Quan agreed to act as his vassal. But when Cao Pi requested that he send his son Sun Deng to the north as a hostage (and therefore a guarantee of loyalty), Sun Quan cut off relations with Wei, declared himself emperor of Wu, and basically told Cao Pi to bring it on.
    • Quite sadly, Sun Quan eventually did outlive Sun Deng, who died of an illness. Based on some of his irrational and self-destructive decisions in the following years, it appears Sun Quan came noticeably unglued as a result.
  • One story about Genghis Khan claims he killed a man personally who made only a casual insult towards one of his daughters. (He said she looked like a frog, which in Mongolia at the time was the equivalent of telling a person he had loud clothes.)
  • Supposedly professional wrestler Kensuke Sasaki actually adopted Katsuhiko Nakajima, who debuted in the business in his teens, to act as this both in physical presence and through the Kensuke Office organization, which is essentially a "brand name" for their family (Kensuke Sasaki and his wife, female legend Akira Hokuto also have two biological sons) and affiliated wrestlers.
  • Paparazzi don't bother Johnny Depp's family at home. Why? Because he's told them in no uncertain terms that if he catches any of them sneaking around his home taking pictures of his kids, he'll bite their nose off.
    • He once swung at a paparazzo with a piece of wood for trying to take pictures of partner Vanessa Paradis while she was pregnant with their daughter.
    • Alec Baldwin once punched out a paparazzo for taking a picture of his infant daughter Ireland. Too bad he didn't stay that way...
    • Doubtlessly this is the reason there are very few pictures of Simon Pegg's family.
  • A man finds his daughter being choked by her ex. The father shoots the man in the groin.
  • This Papa Wolf in Florida stormed onto a school bus to confront his daughter's bullies. Read more about it here.
  • Jody Plauchet was abducted and raped by his karate instructor. Jody's father Gary planned for 10 days to kill his son's rapist and did so as he was being walked through an airport terminal. Despite a clear cut case of 1st degree murder Gary Plauchet only plead guilty to manslaughter and served 5 years probation.
    • Of course, the legal system made it impossible for the judge to give Gary what he really deserved, which was a medal for community service, a ticker-tape parade, and the keys to the city.
  • There are some quite gruesome stories about what the Russian government does when a Russian diplomat is kidnapped. Things like mailing them a photo of each of the hostage takers-inside a crosshairs. Or reciprocally kidnapping an associate of the original kidnappers and then sending a package to the hostage takers containing-a finger. The Russian government is not the most benevolent of governments, but when it comes to situations like this You do not want to mess with Mother Russia.
  • May 31, 2011, a bank robbery took place in Sarasota, Florida. As soon as the incident began, US Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples placed himself between the robber and his young sons, then advised them to hide under some chairs and moved other chairs to cover them. Eventually the robber pointed his gun at one of the sons and said that if anyone tried anything, he'd shoot the kid. After the man left, Peoples followed him and used his own van to block the escape vehicle, then disabled the robber with hand-to-hand combat. In an interview with news sources, Peoples said "You don't threaten people's children."
  • This Ohio man who, after hearing his three year old son's screams upon falling into a well more than 40 feet deep, scaled the well's walls down to the bottom to ensure that nothing bad would happen to his little boy before the fire department arrived.
  • Zorro the Doberman won't let other dogs touch the baby he's protecting! As mentioned in Mama Bear, animals raised around young children from a few weeks to around a year old often develop incredibly strong attachments to them.
  • Male deinonychosaurs were the ones that brooded the nests.
  • An Ethiopian girl is kidnapped and beaten by some guys who wanted to rape her and then force her to marry one of them. Three lions mistake the girl's cries for a lion cub's cry for help. They chase the kidnappers away and guard the girl for half a day. This allows guards and policemen to protect the victim and chase after the criminals.
  • A man from Turkey saw his four-year-old son fall from a fifth story balcony and immediately jumped after him. Pushing against the balcony to gain momentum, the man grabbed his son mid-fall, wrapped his arms around him and then turned his own body over so that he would hit the ground instead of his son. The child was left completely unharmed while the father suffered from a broken shoulder and ribs.
  • A Kenyan orphanage caretaker named Omari sees the place he works in raided by thugs. He takes a beating and a machete to the face to protect the kids. He lives to tell.
  • A very dark example (crossing with Knight Templar Parent) is Vitaly Kaloyev. He was a grieving father whose wife (Svetlana) and children (Konstantin and Diana) died in an horrible plane crash in Switzerland, apparently caused by a "negligent" travel operator who was absolved by the law system. (See below for details) The mentally broken Kaloyev reacted via... searching for said operator with help of a private detective, and stabbing the one he blamed for everything to death two years later.
  • Stuart Chaifetz is worried because his autistic child behaves oddly in school. He puts a recorder in the kids's clothes and finds out he's horribly bullied and abused by the staff. He's now on a crusade to protect all kids in such a terrible situation.
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino is said to have given a SEVERE verbal/written lashing to some racist assholes who tried to shame the lady who played Loran in Turn A Gundam, Romi Park, due to her Korean ancestry.
  • This instance of a father beating the alleged molester of his daughter to death.
  • A Chicago father held off the would-be kidnapper of his two-year-old daughter. Here.
  • Israeli politician and current Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman once clobbered a kid who was bullying his son, and threatened to do it again if he did it again. He wound up apologising and paying compensation.
  • The "Push my kids and I will stab you" guy from Black Friday 2012 certainly fits among the darker examples of this trope.
  • Sarah Silverman's father. Standing up to a misogynistic rabbi definitely nets him 50 awesomeness points in this category.
  • Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon's Den. After people threatened to hurt his daughter if he didn't pay them £35,000, Bannatyne offered to pay £25,000 for information on the culprits, and another £25,000 to anyone who broke their arms. He's since changed this to £30,000 for the info, and nothing for violence. Read the article here.
  • In an episode of The Osbournes, Ozzy Osbourne makes perfectly clear how protective he is of his children. Sharon Osbourne, his wife, is, naturally, a female example.
    Ozzy: And don't let anyone try to mess with you, or... *picks up giant stone pestle* Or they'll get this up their arse!
  • Nearly literal here, with a dog instead of a wolf. A babysitter was abusing his owners' son, and the parents found out because whenever she came around he'd be aggressive towards her and defend the baby.
  • A man named Brian Metzger defends his kindergarten-age daughter from an alleged bully by filing a restraining order against him.
  • There was a news story in India detailing two puppies that fell into a well. For 48 hours, they were accompanied and allegedly protected by, of all things, a king cobra. While there is some debate as to whether or not the cobra had amiable intentions, he did manage to save the puppies' lives by keeping them away from a deep, muddy part of the well that would have drowned them if they entered.
  • When Curt Schilling of the Red Sox posted on Twitter that his daughter would be playing softball at her new college, two obnoxious young jerkasses tweeted an anonymous series of highly-abusive sexualized insults and threats about his little girl. Schilling tracked down their real identities and publicized them in a scathing counterattack against cyber-bullying. Within days, one of the culprits was suspended from his college and fraternity, and the other was fired for his disgraceful online behavior.
  • There are numerous criticisms that can be levelled at the head management of Fox News, particularly its owner Roger Ailes, and many of them would probably be accurate. But the one thing everybody agrees on is that unless they screw up in a particularly egregious manner, Ailes will back his talent and staff to the hilt. The Fox News "family" as a whole tends to stick together like glue, most notably in recent years being the instance when 2016 Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump made a disgustingly sexist remark about Megyn Kelly and the rest of FNC and its sister channels practically got out the torches and pitchforks in her defense. (As Shep Smith pointed out, Kelly didn't actually need their help — but apparently she appreciated it all the same.) Trump in question later threatened to boycott a subsequent FNC debate, the network's response was the formal press release variant of "Okay!" — this despite the fact that the potential boycotter was also the party front-runner, who could possibly cost them thousands of viewers (and thus advertising dollars) by not showing up.
  • While Assyria was fighting the Elamites, the Elamites went to Babylon and captured its ruler Ashur-nadin-shumi, taking him back to Elam and (probably) killing him, along with liberating Babylon and putting a new king on the throne. Unfortunately for them Ashur-nadin-shumi's father was Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who attacked Elam so violently that apparently the Elamite army soiled their chariots, and the Elamite king abandoned his kingdom and hid in the mountains, before trying his hand at Babylon-liberating again. Sennacherib's response to that was to crush Babylon, sack the city and even kidnap its god. Do not mess with an Assyrian king's children.
  • A heartbroken father took revenge on a venomous cobra and killed it by whipping it on the ground after discovering the snake had bitten his son to death.
  • Louis C.K.'s revenge plot against the kid who he saw bully his daughter one time is as follows:
    1. Have sex with the kid's mom and then not call her afterwards.
    2. Turn himself gay.
    3. Have sex with the kid's dad and make it so good that the dad also turns gay.
    4. Get the dad to abandon the family and run away with him.
    5. After several months of being in a relationship with the dad, who has now fully embraced being gay, go to a pray-the-gay-away place to turn himself straight again.
    6. Break up with the dad and call him a faggot just to make him feel bad inside.
  • This video is a compilation of different fathers going into protective mode when their child/children are in danger.
  • This dog makes his displeasure clear when the nearby cat tries to swipe at the squirrel on his head. The cat wisely backs off.