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How Dad Met Mom

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A story within the story detailing how a character's parents met.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
pidget_spinner on May 21st 2018 at 11:07:35 PM
Last Edited By:
pidget_spinner on May 29th 2018 at 5:09:22 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

"This is the story of how your father met your mother. Now including Marty."
Simply put, an episode/chapter/scene/whatever detailing how a character's parents met, almost always in the form of the child or children being told the story by one of the parents. This trope usually comes into play when at least one of the parents is an important character, and thus worthy of giving an explanation on how they ended up having a child with the other character. The story is almost always told by one or both parents, but on occasion can be told by a third party, especially if the child is now an orphan. It's also all but guaranteed to be told to the audience through flashbacks.

Often comes in the form of a Whole Episode Flashback. See Everyone Meets Everyone and How We Got Here. May result from Tell Me About My Father.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Naruto, when he meets the last of his mother (Kushina Uzumaki)'s conscience inside his body, Naruto tells her that her red hair is beautiful, and she goes to tell him how she and his father ended up together.

     Films - Live-Action 
  • Definitely, Maybe: When Will Hayes' daughter, Maya, learns about sex education, she asks her father if how he met her mother. He tells her under the condition the he changes the names of the people in the story. The whole story is told through flashbacks.

     Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Hannah Montana features Miley and Jackson going back in time and having to force their parents to meet up like they're meant to do. This is All Just a Dream brought on by their dad attempting to tell the story and being ignored, causing them both to go listen and appreciate the slower moments on the road.
  • Taken to an unusual extent in How I Met Your Mother. The framing device is that the show is one giant flashback of Ted in 2030 telling his future kids the events that led up to him meeting their mother. He doesn't actually meet the titular mother until the series finale.

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Bill Cosby has a stand-up routine about how his father would never give him any money but would instead tell him a story about how he made whatever it was Bill wanted to buy when he was a boy, and all of these stories ended the same way: "...and that's how I met your mother!"

     Video Games 
  • Episode 3 of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm opens with James Amber, Rachel's father, telling the story of how he met her mother. Specifically her biological mother Sera; he goes on to explain how their relationship soured because of her drug addiction and why he doesn't want Rachel to meet her.

     Western Animation 
  • Somewhat downplayed in Adventure Time. Marceline has a flashback to herself as a child, with her mother telling her the story of how she met her demon father, but we only hear the last few words of the story.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, a large portion of "The Choices" is spent with Nicole recalling how she met Richard when they were children, but she doesn't actually tell her children the story.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Perfect Pear" not only tells the story of how the Apple parents met, but who they were, as told by several characters who knew their parents and played a role in their love story.
  • On The Simpsons episode "The Way We Was", Homer tells the kids the story of how he and Marge met in high school.
  • In Steven Universe, the episode "Story for Steven" is a Whole Episode Flashback of Steven's father, Greg, telling him how he first met Rose Quartz when he was twenty-two.

Feedback: 20 replies

May 22nd 2018 at 1:05:41 AM

Bill Cosby has a stand-up routine about how his father would never give him any money but would instead tell him a story about how he made whatever it was Bill wanted to buy when he was a boy, and all of these stories ended the same way: "...and that's how I met your mother!"

May 22nd 2018 at 3:23:59 AM

  • In Naruto, when he meets the last of his mother (Kushina Uzumaki)'s conscience inside his body (long story), after Naruto tells her that her red hair is beautiful, she goes to tell him how she and his father ended up together; he also called her hair beautiful (when others either mock her or fear her for it).

May 22nd 2018 at 3:56:29 AM

I'm honestly surprise this wasn't a trope before consider the use.

May 22nd 2018 at 7:38:03 AM

I suggest How Your Parents Met or How They Met Story, because it is also possible for a story to be told by both parents, and by a third-party.

May 22nd 2018 at 10:47:04 AM

  • One episode of Hannah Montana features Miley and Jackson going back in time and having to force their parents to meet up like they're meant to do. This is All Just A Dream brought on by their dad attempting to tell the story and being ignored, causing them both to go listen and appreciate the slower moments on the road.

  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The episode Perfect Pear not only tells the story of how the Apple parents met, but who they were, as told by several characters who knew their parents and played a role in their love story.

May 22nd 2018 at 11:46:47 AM

Laconic needs changing so the teller doesn't have to be a parent.

May 22nd 2018 at 1:16:58 PM

On The Simpsons episode "The Way We Was", Homer tells the kids the story of how he and Marge met in high school.

May 22nd 2018 at 2:25:53 PM

Mmm? No change in Laconic? Why?

May 22nd 2018 at 2:54:58 PM

You have any suggestions on how to phrase it?

May 22nd 2018 at 3:27:22 PM

Someone tells a child where they came from, specifically how their parents met. Usually told from the perspective of one of the parents.

May 22nd 2018 at 3:43:31 PM

  • Episode 3 of Life Is Strange Before The Storm opens with James Amber, Rachel's father, telling the story of how he met her mother. Specifically her biological mother Sera; he goes on to explain how their relationship soured because of her drug addiction and why he doesn't want Rachel to meet her.

May 22nd 2018 at 8:39:08 PM

On HIMYM, the date is actually 2030.

May 22nd 2018 at 10:01:09 PM

The current name is too long, doesn't meet the "concise" part of Clear Concise Witty. How Your Parents Met is much shorter and clear enough, I believe (and hopefully not too much like a spoken line).

May 23rd 2018 at 3:20:50 AM

And the current name doesn't look like it's named after How I Met Your Mother...

May 23rd 2018 at 7:31:09 AM

Even if it did, simply resembling an existing work doesn't TNS make; it's only an issue if it relies on knowlege of the namer, not a reason to exclude a perfectly good name that resembles a Trope Namer.

I personally don't have a problem with the current name. My baseline for "too long" is about 20+ characters, (since I find WesternAnimation/ to be the only annoying namespace to type outnote ), it's easy to understand, and it's very easy to remember.

May 23rd 2018 at 10:32:35 PM

I'll apply the quotes with wikiword

May 24th 2018 at 5:15:21 AM

  • Definitely Maybe: When Will Hayes' daughter, Maya, learns about sex education, she asks her father if how he met her mother. He tells her under the condition the he changes their names.

May 26th 2018 at 8:05:13 PM

If the name is an issue, Parents' First Meeting or just How The Parents Met might work as alternative.

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