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*** Though the latter still gets divorced when her happy marriage becomes strained after she joins NCIS.


* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': Gibbs has the dead spouse/child back story in spades. After that, it's failed marriage after failed marriage. Tony's father was a useless alcoholic who neglected him and sent him to live in boarding schools after his mother died. Ziva's sort of difficult to place. Her upbringing was rough; she grew up surrounded by violence, her father admitted to having "raised her to be a killer", and most of her immediate family had died by the time she joined the show. [=McGee=]'s father, a Naval admiral, was absent during most of his childhood and a neglectful WellDoneSonGuy when he ''wasn't'' absent. [=McGee=] also has a troubled little sister.
** Fortunately, this is balanced out by several characters who seem to have had happy, normal childhoods, including Abby and Palmer.

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* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': Gibbs has the dead spouse/child back story in spades. After that, it's failed marriage after failed marriage. Tony's father was a useless alcoholic who neglected him and sent him to live in boarding schools after his mother died. Ziva's sort of difficult to place. Her upbringing was rough; she grew up surrounded by violence, her father admitted to having "raised her to be a killer", and most of her immediate family had died by the time she joined the show. [=McGee=]'s father, a Naval admiral, was absent during most of his childhood and a neglectful WellDoneSonGuy when he ''wasn't'' absent. [=McGee=] also has a troubled little sister.
sister. And Palmer, while not an agent, also revealed that his daddy wasn't exactly Father of the Year.
** Fortunately, this is balanced out by several characters who seem to have had happy, normal childhoods, including Abby and Palmer.Bishop.


** Notably averted with Don. Charlie's being a prodigy caused a few small issues, but he was always loved and cared for. There's a reason he's still so close with his family.

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** Notably averted with Don. Charlie's being a prodigy caused a few small issues, but he was always loved and cared for. There's a reason he's still so close with his family. He does have a few failed relationships, but that's implied to be mostly by choice.

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* ''Series/{{NUMB3RS}}'' has a few:
** Megan Reeves was wealthy, but her father resented her because she was born a girl, and it's hinted (but never confirmed) that there's more to the story. Whatever did happen, it was bad enough that she didn't speak to him for over a decade.
** David Sinclair grew up in a poor neighborhood "dodging gangs just to get [his] high school diploma". His father died when he was in his early teens, and one of his best friends was killed in a random act of violence (for which another close friend was unfairly blamed).
** Colby Granger's father died in a single-car wreck when he was fifteen. There's no way to be sure, but Colby has always suspected it might have been a suicide. He also spent several years in the military.
** Recurring character Ian Edgerton also has the military background; the rest of his backstory is a complete unknown.
** Notably averted with Don. Charlie's being a prodigy caused a few small issues, but he was always loved and cared for. There's a reason he's still so close with his family.


* MissingMom and/or DisappearedDad. Bonus points if this is due to murder. Double bonus points if the murder is unsolved.

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* MissingMom and/or DisappearedDad. Bonus points if this is due to murder. Double bonus points if the murder is unsolved. Very often this missing parent was also a cop, and was murdered in the line of duty.


* A Military Career.
* Little to no personal life, often a result of the character being MarriedToTheJob.

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* A Military Career.
military career.
* Little to no personal life, often a result of resulting in the character being becoming MarriedToTheJob.


* Callen from ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' lost his family (and his first name) when he was a child and went from one foster home to another before Hetty recruited him.



** Detective Olivia Benson from believed for many years that she was a ChildByRape. Her mother was also an alcoholic, and her half-brother is an irresponsible ManChild she feels responsible for. She also struggles to have a personal life because of the nature of her job.

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** Detective Olivia Benson from believed for many years that she was a ChildByRape. Her mother was also an alcoholic, and her half-brother is an irresponsible ManChild she feels responsible for. She also struggles to have a personal life because of the nature of her job.


It�s almost a certainty that they were abused as a child, probably by an alcoholic parent. Was the other parent dead? Maybe even both parents were dead. A stint in foster care is common. How about an irresponsible or troubled younger sibling that said character spent their earlier years taking care of? Do they have a history of failed romances and a fairly dismal personal life?

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It�s It's almost a certainty that they were abused as a child, probably by an alcoholic parent. Was the other parent dead? Maybe even both parents were dead. A stint in foster care is common. How about an irresponsible or troubled younger sibling that said character spent their earlier years taking care of? Do they have a history of failed romances and a fairly dismal personal life?


Itís almost a certainty that they were abused as a child, probably by an alcoholic parent. Was the other parent dead? Maybe even both parents were dead. A stint in foster care is common. How about an irresponsible or troubled younger sibling that said character spent their earlier years taking care of? Do they have a history of failed romances and a fairly dismal personal life?

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Itís It�s almost a certainty that they were abused as a child, probably by an alcoholic parent. Was the other parent dead? Maybe even both parents were dead. A stint in foster care is common. How about an irresponsible or troubled younger sibling that said character spent their earlier years taking care of? Do they have a history of failed romances and a fairly dismal personal life?



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** Her partner, Elliot Stabler, had AbusiveParents including a mentally ill mother. He also has a troubled marriage and strained relationships with his children.

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** Her partner, Elliot Stabler, had AbusiveParents including a mentally ill mother. He also has a troubled marriage and strained relationships with his children. The fact that he was a Marine also plays into a lot of stories.



** Fin Tutuola has a strained relationship with his son Ken, partially because Fin's undercover assignments took him away from the family for long periods of time when Ken was growing up, and partially because of his own initial struggles to accept Ken's homosexuality.

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** Fin Tutuola has a strained relationship with his son Ken, partially because Fin's undercover assignments took him away from the family for long periods of time when Ken was growing up, and partially because of his own initial struggles to accept Ken's homosexuality. He was in the military as well.



** Amanda Rollins has an irresponsible (and [[spoiler:eventually outright backstabbing]]) younger sister for whom she feels responsible, a father who ran up gambling debts and eventually abandoned the family, and a mother who subsequently dated abusive men. She was also sexually assaulted by an authority figure at her precinct in Atlanta, hence her transfer to Manhattan SVU.

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** Amanda Rollins has an irresponsible (and [[spoiler:eventually outright backstabbing]]) younger sister for whom she feels responsible, a father who ran up gambling debts and eventually abandoned the family, and a mother who subsequently dated abusive men.men (and was herself emotionally abusive to her two daughters). She was also sexually assaulted by an authority figure at her precinct in Atlanta, hence her transfer to Manhattan SVU.


->'''Wade''': Daddy left before I was conceived.

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->'''Wade''': Daddy left before I was conceived.''conceived''.


-->--''Film/{{Deadpool}}''

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-->--''Film/{{Deadpool}}''
-->-- ''Film/{{Deadpool}}''

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->'''Wade''': Rough childhood?
->'''Vanessa''': Rougher than yours. Daddy left before I was born.
->'''Wade''': Daddy left before I was conceived.
-->--''Film/{{Deadpool}}''


* On ''Series/{{Bones}}'', Brennan, Booth, and Sweets show this trope. All three of them have a history of abuse, Brennan and Sweets both spent time in foster care, and Brennan and Booth both have a dead parent and a string of failed romances. Brennan's mother's murder [[spoiler:was unsolved until she solved it on the show.]]

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* On ''Series/{{Bones}}'', Brennan, Booth, and Sweets show this trope. All three of them have a history of abuse, Brennan and Sweets both spent time in foster care, and Brennan and Booth both have a dead parent and a string of failed romances. Brennan's mother's murder [[spoiler:was unsolved until she solved it on the show.end of the first season.]]


This trope is used almost exclusively in straight dramas, where characters tend to have [[DarkAndTroubledPast dark and troubled pasts]], as opposed to dramadies or comedies, though certain elements of the backstory, such as a dead parent, are not uncommon in dramadies. It is also seems to occur more often in lead characters, though it is not unheard of for a supporting character to follow the pattern. Additionally, the trope doesn't apply exclusively to law enforcement agents and is equally as common when a main character is a consultant for a law enforcement agency.

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This trope is used almost exclusively in straight dramas, where characters tend to have [[DarkAndTroubledPast dark and troubled pasts]], a DarkAndTroubledPast, as opposed to dramadies or comedies, though certain elements of the backstory, such as a dead parent, are not uncommon in dramadies. It is also seems to occur more often in lead characters, though it is not unheard of for a supporting character to follow the pattern. Additionally, the trope doesn't apply exclusively to law enforcement agents and is equally as common when a main character is a consultant for a law enforcement agency.

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