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    Films — Animation 
  • From the Barbie films:
  • In The Book of Life, Joaquin's father is a decorated hero of the war who was killed by Chakal, and has a monument in the middle of San Angel.
  • In The Boxtrolls, Eggs' biological father is missing, presumed dead, after Snatcher and his men tried to take Eggs hostage. He turns out to be alive and well, still held hostage by Snatcher.
  • In The Christmas Tree, Mr. Kindle has a job that requires him to spend months away from his family. He doesn't come back until Christmas Eve.
  • As with Missing Mom, the Disney Animated Canon has more than a few examples:
    • Both Snow White's and Cinderella's fathers are dead, and the two only have their spiteful stepmothers.
    • Jumbo Jr., better known as Dumbo, is named after his father — whom we never see.
    • Bambi: The Prince of the Forest barely interacts with Bambi, only showing up at important moments when his son needs help. This is consistent with nature, as fawns are raised exclusively by their mothers. However, Bambi's father dropped the disappearing act and took over the parenting duties after the death of his mother, as confirmed years later in the midquel Bambi II.
    • The Aristocats: The kittens' father is never mentioned, but it really doesn't matter once O'Malley shows up.
    • The Rescuers Down Under: Cody lost his father.
    • In Beauty and the Beast, Chip has a loving mother in Mrs. Potts, but Mr. Potts is never mentioned.
    • The Lion King (1994): Mufasa is killed by Scar in the middle of the movie. He does return from the dead for some encouragement. Nala's father is also mysteriously absent and was only brought up years later in The Lion Guard.
    • Aladdin and the King of Thieves: The eponymous character discovers that his father Cassim, who left his now dead mother to search for his fortune, is now... well, the title pretty much gives it away, doesn't it?
    • Mulan: Li Shang's father was killed in a battle against the Huns. Mulan, however, still has her father.
    • Plio, Aladar's adopted mother from Dinosaur, for some reason actually does not have a husband despite already having a daughter named Suri.
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Milo not only had no parents, but he also lost his grandfather, who was like a father to him.
    • Treasure Planet: Mr. Hawkins runs out on Jim and his mother. This trope has a pretty heavy effect on Jim's character, as this is a reason why he's a delinquent. In fact, the the only pre-credits song in the movie is about Parental Abandonment.
    • Bolt's owner Penny inverts this in the Show Within a Movie (no mother in sight), but in reality only has her mother.
    • The Princess and the Frog: While Tiana's dad is alive in the beginning, he dies during the Time Skip. It's implied he died in World War I.
    • Played with in Tangled. Rapunzel grew up thinking Mother Gothel is her only parent. In reality both of her parents are alive, but she was kidnapped as an infant and raised by her kidnapper.
    • If you think about it, Wreck-It Ralph counts as well. The only things we know for sure about Fix-It Felix, Sr. are that he existed and passed down his magic hammer to Felix Jr. Presumably he only was coded into Felix's backstory in-universe.
  • Pixar:
    • No King Ant in A Bug's Life even though the other ant "families" are implied to be nuclear. However, this is justified, as the head of a colony of ants is a lone female.
    • In the Toy Story films, Andy's father is noticeably absent, implying that Mrs. Davis is a widow or a divorcee. Shrug of God suggests that Woody belonged to him, although nothing has ever been confirmed.
    • Up: Russell's dad is alive, but more interested in his new wife/mistress Phyllis.
    • Onward: Ian and Barley's father died from an unspecified terminal disease when Barley was a toddler and when Ian wasn't even born yet. The premise of the movie is the brothers discovering that their dad left them a Magic Staff and a one-time spell to resurrect him for 24 hours so he could have a chance to see what his sons grew up to become.
  • Nod's father died prior to the events of Epic. This is mentioned several times.
  • Tip from Home never knew her father, but she doesn't care.
  • Originally suffering from Missing Mom in How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup—who found his long-lost mother, Valka—later now suffers from Disappeared Dad in the sequel, when a brainwashed Toothless kills Stoick.
  • The Iron Giant: Hogarth's father was a fighter pilot. We do see a picture of him boarding his fighter in a picture on Hogarth's desk, but if you listen to the rapid-fire barrage of questions from Agent Mansley before Hogarth snaps and tries to leave the house, you'll hear Mansley ask, "Been divorced long, Scout?" He may or may not have been killed, but he's definitely absent.
  • The Land Before Time does this with nearly the entire main case: Littlefoot's father left (we find out in Longneck Migration that he's the leader of a herd; and makes a cameo in the cartoon series) Spike was abandoned before he even hatched, leaving what happened to his father to be debated among fans. Ducky's father is seen in the first film but was quietly written out at some point during the sequels. Last of all, Petrie's father is AWOL.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Kovu is explicitly adopted, but there's no mention of his siblings' father. There's no reason to assume Zira isn't their biological mother but there's no mention of who fathered Vitani and Nuka.
  • Mai's father is divorced with her mother Molly following an argument at the beginning of Next Gen and died not long after. She then neglects her own daughter creating robots and Mai has nobody to bond with.
  • Rango: Beans insists that this is what happened to her father, and that she's waiting until "the people of Andromeda Five return him safe and sound". He definitely did NOT fall drunk down a mineshaft.
  • In The Return of Hanuman, both Minku and Maruti's fathers have disappeared. How Minku's father disappeared wasn't revealed, while Maruti's dad disappeared because he was kidnapped and thrown into a volcano. Turns out that They were alive after all after Maruti brings all of the villagers out of the volcano.
  • The Secret of NIMH: The Brisby children have a mother (the heroine), but their father, Jonathan, is dead. Apparently, he died not too long before the beginning of the film.
  • In Shrek the Third, Shrek briefly mentions his father. This is the only time we ever hear any mention of Shrek's parents and we know nothing about him except that he tried to eat Shrek as a child.
  • In Strange Magic, The Bog King's father is mentioned by the mother but is implied to be dead.
  • In The Swan Princess, Derek's father died when he was very young, leaving the bulk of his raising to his mother Queen Uberta.
  • Camille's father in Thérèse Raquin. There's pretty much no mention of him.
  • The twins' father in The Thirteenth Tale. Isabelle returns home without her husband and informs the servants that he died. Of course, he also might not be the twins' father.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 15:17 to Paris: All three of the main trio are raised by their single mothers, with their fathers never showing up in the film.
  • 3 Generations: Ray has an absent father named "Craig". He left a decade ago, and has not paid child support for a long time. This becomes an issue because they legally need his consent to start Ray on testosterone in his medical transition. He sets out to meet his father, not only for this but to reconnect and then make him understand. It turns out he isn't really Ray's birth father. His brother is, due to Maggie cheating with him. Realizing that, he cut off nearly all contact with them for a decade. It's also mentioned that Dolly and Maggie both lacked a relationship with their fathers.
  • In the 1968 Western Ace High, Cacopoulos' father was murdered when he was an infant.
    Cacopoulos: And my grandfather told of it, had to get his son's body... and he had to take me, too, still teething... back to his tribe. And I cried... And I cried... And I cried...
  • Admission: Portia never got to meet her father, as her mom just had casual sex with a stranger while on a train, causing her conception. She doesn't like to hear the story, and later calls her out about this, rebuking her mother for denying Portia a chance to ever know him. Her mother apologizes for it.
  • In ...And Your Name Is Jonah, Danny temporarily walks out on the Corellis because he can't deal with Jonah's deafness. He comes back soon enough.
  • Angel Heart: Johnny Favorite to Epiphany. Plus her son has one as well, he's dead by the time of the film.
  • Angus: There's a brief reference to the title character's parents being divorced, his father is never seen, and he lives with his mother and grandfather; the latter sort of being his father figure. In the original script, his father was still present in his life, and was gay — due to the potential controversy, he was written out of the movie altogether, the divorce reference was added, and plot-relevant scenes that were supposed to have Angus and his father in them were re-shot with his grandfather there instead.
  • Will Stacks, in return for Annie sharing a secret with him, shares his own: his father worked himself to death as a subway worker when Stacks was only twelve.
  • In As Good as It Gets, the father of Spencer, Carol's son, is never mentioned or seen. It may be that, given Spencer's health problems, he ran out on them.
  • Author! Author! (1982): The film deals with the repercussions on children of serial marriage and divorce. While the main plot deals with a newly Missing Mom, it has quite a few Disappeared Dads, as well. Spike's dad is a professional baseball player and Geraldo's father lives in Spain. Neither appears in the movie, but at least Spike's dad takes him in for a time until Spike requests to move back in with his stepfather. Bonnie's and Debbie's father appears in the film, but is apparently more interested in stopping child support payments than actually having physical custody of his daughters. It's stated early in the film that prior to going to live with him, they'd never met his new wife.
  • Bad Moms: Carla's a single mother, and her son's father is not mentioned. As she's fairly promiscuous, he might have been the result of a tryst, or the guy is otherwise uninvolved.
  • A Bad Moms Christmas: Kiki's dad died she was a child.
  • Bad Samaritan: Sean lives with his mother, brother and stepfather in the US. Where his father is isn't mentioned (perhaps back in Ireland?).
  • Bedtime Stories: Bobbi and Patrick's dad has left the family (why or where to isn't explained). At one point Bobbi plaintively asks if he'll ever come back, at which Skeeter says he doesn't know, but that their mom will always be there for them both (along with him).
  • Beyond the Lights: Noni's father left the then-teenage Macy while she was pregnant with her, quite possibly before the line even appeared on the stick (per Macy, he "didn't give a shit" about her).
  • In Big Eyes, while he is mentioned, Jane's father and Margaret's 1st husband never appears except for in a wedding photo.
  • Bird Box: We never learn what the situation is with the father of Malorie's baby. All she says is it's just her when asked. By the reluctance she shows at having a baby, it's probable the pregnancy wasn't planned. Near the beginning it's mentioned that she lived with a man named Ryan, who was probably the father. It's also probable Olympia's husband is dead, as he's absent in the film due to being a member of the US Air Force who's been called up.
  • Black Swan: Nina's father is never seen. He's only mentioned indirectly; when discussing Thomas' possible romantic pursuit of Nina, Erica states "I don't want you to make the same mistake I did". He was/is most likely working in ballet, quite possibly even in a position similar to Thomas'.
  • Bless the Child: Jenna freely admits she has no idea who Cody's father is, due to sleeping around while she was a drug addict.
  • In Bogus Albert is orphaned when his mom dies and sent off to her adopted sister's. His dad's dead, since she's mentioned to be a widow, so the sister is his next of kin.
  • The Book of Eli: Solara tells Eli that Carnegie isn't her father, leaving her real one unknown and unmentioned. There's a fan theory on who is, however [1]
  • The Boondock Saints had a father who was in prison for the last twenty-five to thirty years because he was a deadly mafia assassin known as Il Duce. He gets sprung from prison by Yakavetta to take on the job of killing Rocco, who Yakavetta believes is behind the killings that the two protagonists are doing, and he ends up fighting both of his sons and Rocco in an explosive shootout. It is only when Yakavetta guns down Rocco himself and Il Duce walks in on the brothers delivering the family prayer to him that he realizes exactly who the two men are and finishes the prayer himself, thus revealing to them that he is their father. He then joins in their campaign.
  • Byzantium: Eleanor was born to a sex slave, and thus naturally her father is unknown, though he might be Ruthven (if so in fact she's better off with him being absent).
  • The Cable Guy: Chip was raised by a neglectful mother alone (well, mostly by the TV), and his father never appears in the flashbacks we see. Given what we've seen, his mother was pretty promiscuous, and possibly isn't aware of who it even was.
  • Captain Marvel (2019): Monica Rambeau's father is never mentioned or pictured. Although Maria Rambeau and Carol Danvers are only explicitly shown as HeterosexualLifePartners, since they were in the Air Force together prior to Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the film establishes Maria is Carol's next of kin, as she was given Carol's personal effects after her alleged death, this could also be interpreted as an instance of hide your lesbians, with Monica possibly conceived by sperm donation.
  • Carrie (2013): It's unclear what became of Carrie's father, but he is clearly gone by the time of the film (perhaps dead or leaving long ago).
  • Changeling: Walter's father apparently abandoned the family due to not likely the responsibility. In real life, his father was in jail when Walter was kidnapped facing an armed robbery charge, and speculated it might have been committed by some criminal rivals.
  • In Changing Lanes, one of Doyle's primary motivations in the film is to avoid becoming a Disappeared Dad to his kids by convincing his ex-wife not to move from New York to Portland. When Gavin's selfish actions jeopardize this, Doyle gets upset.
  • Children of Men: Kee, a prostitute, unsurprisingly has no idea who the father of her baby is. However this plays on the Christian allegory, since she also jokes that she's a virgin (i.e. her baby is akin to Jesus).
  • Chocolat: Anouk's father is only mentioned in the context of the scandal of Vianne being a single woman with a daughter in the '50s (they don't know who he is-apparently Vianne was rather promiscuous).
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Roy Neary leaving his family without them knowing as he leaves earth, onboard in the mothership.
  • Cinderella (2015): Anastasia and Drusella's father had died offscreen before they're even shown.
  • Contracted: Sam's overbearing mother is a big part of the film. Her dad isn't mentioned or seen though.
  • The Craft: Legacy: Lily says she's never once met her father, nor even knows his name. Upon learning she's adopted, we see that section of the adoption certificate is left blank.
  • In David's Mother, Philip moves to California because he can't handle David's autism.
  • In Deewaar, Anand leaves his family behind in the beginning of the movie, and is absent until he turns up dead later in the movie.
  • In Dominick and Eugene, the twins' father went away after the accident that caused Nicky's Childhood Brain Damage. This is because it wasn't really an accident at all, but was caused by their father violently beating him.
  • In Don Juan DeMarco, both the 'real' and 'imaginary' accounts of the title character's life agree that his father was killed well before he was old enough to cope with such a loss. His doctor gradually takes over that role in his life.
  • Eloises Lover: Àsia's dad died in a car accident when she was a child.
  • Elysium: The father of Frey's daughter Matilda goes unmentioned and unseen.
  • Endless: Chris's dad abandoned him and his mom when he was a kid. Later it turns out he had a second family and didn't even leave the state. His dad later visits Chris's grave, and so may regret it.
  • In The Escape (1997) the main character Clayton (Patrick Dempsey) is an escaped prisoner wrongly convicted of murder for killing two men in self-defense. He hides out with Sarah (Brigitte Bako), revealing in a touching conversation that his father was a trumpet player who abandoned him and only showed up once, playing a song for him. It's implied this lack of a good role model likely contributed to his downward spiral into prison.
  • Everly: We never find out what became of Evelyn's daughter Maisey's father. He isn't even mentioned.
  • Face/Off: Adam is Castor's son by his girlfriend Sasha. Until the exchange Sasha has with Archer (who at that point is impersonating Castor), she hadn't told him or anyone else who his father was, so Castor wasn't ever involved since he didn't know (Sasha was afraid his rivals might target Adam if they knew).
  • Fantastic Four (2015):
    • As a child, Reed Richards is shown living with his mom and step-father, but no mention is made of what happened to his biological father.
    • Similarly Ben Grimm only seems to have a mother and an abusive older brother, with no father figure in sight. However, there is a photo of a father figure in military uniform next to the Grimm family's menorah, hinting that Ben's dad died while serving. Which could inform why Ben goes along with Elder's/Allen's offer of military service.
  • Fast Color: Ruth admits to Lila that because of her drug-addicted youth she's got no clue who Lila's father is. Ellis also appears to have been semi-absent from Ruth's life.
  • In Fielder's Choice, Zach's father has been "out of the picture" for so long that his current whereabouts are unknown. Zach even has the same name as his mother and uncle. When his mother dies, his uncle is the only person around to raise him.
  • In Finding Neverland, Mr. Llewelyn Davies died before the film began, leaving his four sons in the care of their mother. They haven't all recovered from the loss yet.
  • First Girl I Loved: We never see or hear anything of Anne's father. She lives only with her mom.
  • In Forrest Gump, Forrest's father is never seen, and is only mentioned twice when Forrest is a child. His absence is hand-waved immediately.
    Mr. Hancock: Is there a Mr. Gump, Mrs. Gump?
    Mrs. Gump: He's on vacation.
  • In Freaky Friday (2003), Anna's father died a few years before the movie's events occurred.
  • Friends with Benefits: Jamie has no idea who her father is — mostly because her mother is pretty fuzzy on the details too.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Joe Brody becomes one in the emotionally absent but physically present sense after the Janjira disaster. He then becomes one in the literal sense right after he and his son Ford have finally reconciled upon the latter realizing Joe wasn't an obsessed nut.
  • Grand Canyon: Otis's father is neither seen nor mentioned in the film.
  • Justified in Heroes for Sale. Tom can't be with his son because he was in jail and is being persecuted by anti-communist forces.
  • Holidays:
    • In Valentine's Day Maxine's father killed himself before the film's events.
    • The girl in Easter asks her mom if her dad will ever come back. It's not said where he went.
    • This is the theme of Father's Day, with Carol getting a package from her father, revealing that he's still alive and following the instructions he left on a tape to meet up with him again.
  • How It Ends: It's mentioned that Will's father left when he was a kid. Since then they only see each other once every couple years or so (and he has another family in Idaho).
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen's father died in a mining accident.
  • Sarah Packard from The Hustler, whose father left her when she was seven. Her only contact with him are the monthly checks he sends her.
  • Cobb from Inception is one himself, though not by choice.
  • Independence Day: Jasmine's son Dylan's father is not Steve Hiller, but Jasmine hopes he wants the job (he does). We're not informed specifically what the deal is with Dylan, but given Jazz is a stripper, the potential exists that he ran out on her.
  • If Star Wars isn't a straight example, George Lucas did a big one later in Indiana Jones (as noted in the page quote).
  • It's done again in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Indiana himself is Mutt's Disappeared Dad. In fact, Mutt has two. The guy he thought was his dad is dead.
  • Jack And Diane: Only Jack and Diane's mothers appear or are mentioned. This doesn't mean either one's dad is gone, but it's rather conspicuous.
  • Jennifer's Body: Neither Needy or Jennifer's appear. In the first case, it's pretty clear he isn't around (although why isn't said), but Jennifer's simply may be offscreen, as we don't see much of her house. Only their mothers appear in any case (Jennifer's only briefly).
  • Jimmie (2008): Kathy and Michael separated two years ago. Since then, Michael has visited their institutionalized son Jimmie a total of five times.
  • Jupiter Ascending: Max Jones is murdered before the birth of his daughter Jupiter. No mention is made of the Abrasax siblings' father (or fathers?) though.
  • In The Karate Kid, there is little or no mention of Daniel LaRusso's dad (the title character) other than that his death prompted Daniel and his mother to move in the beginning of the first movie. In the 2010 remake, Dre's father is also indicated to have died before the story starts.
  • Alex from The Kid Who Would Be King never knew his father. He left him and his mother long ago, and Alex was told by his mother that his father was fighting demons. Alex thinks this means literal demons and that his father was some kind of hero, but it turns out his demon was alcoholism, and he never really cared for Alex.
  • The King of Marvin Gardens: After Jessica's dad walked out on her and her stepmom Sally, she spent the rest of her childhood tagging along with Sally, who worked as a prostitute, eventually becoming one herself.
  • Kong: Skull Island: Marlow was shot down prior to his son's birth, so they never got to meet before being rescued 28 years later.
  • Listen to Your Heart: Ariana's father died of meningitis when she was very young. His loss was very difficult, as not only were they quite close, it accompanied her becoming deaf from the same disease he had, and also being left with her very controlling mother (who gave her little support as a deaf child).
  • In The Little Shop of Horrors (the original 1960 dark comedy), Seymour lives with his hypochondriac mother, who explains to Audrey at dinner that Seymour's father ran out on her. In the musical adaptation, he has no parents at all.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight: Samantha Caine doesn't at first know who her daughter Caitlin's father is given her amnesia. Later she remembers that it's sociopathic terrorist Timothy. She had been with him as a means of getting close, as he was her target for assassination. Unsurprisingly, learning of his paternity doesn't improve him one bit: he leaves Caitlin to die without a qualm.
  • Looper: No mention is made of Cid's father, or where he might be. It's possible that Cid's mother, Sara, doesn't know who or where he is herself.
  • Losing Isaiah: Khaila admits she has no idea who Isaiah's biological father was, since she'd been a prostitute who slept with men to get money for drugs.
  • Lost and Delirious: Mary's dad is around, but they're emotionally estranged after her mother's death. He had apparently remarried soon after, with Mary disliking her stepmother (likely due to how fast this happened) and being sent off to a boarding school by him. When he later doesn't show up for a father-daughter dance at the school, it clearly hurts Mary.
  • In Love Actually, Sam's mom dies of cancer just before the start of the film; he's now living with his stepfather, Liam Neeson, who laments that "this stepfather thing suddenly matters much more than it did before". No mention of where his biological father fits into the picture.
  • Love, Rosie: Greg ran away after learning Rosie was pregnant, and they weren't in contact for five years until she had contacted him after failing to make a relationship with Alex. Then he gets to know their daughter and they get married, but the marriage falls apart when he cheats.
  • Sophie wanting to determine which of three men is her father drives the plot of the film and musical Mamma Mia!. She never does learn which is the one, but in the end she's happy to have all three as her "dads" and vice-versa, and one of them, Sam, becomes her stepfather.
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: It turns out that Donna also had one. It is heavily implied this was Fernando.
  • The Manhattan Project: Prior to the film, Paul's dad left his family and is now in Saudi Arabia. Paul is understandably somewhat bitter: "I guess he didn't like being married anymore. Actually he's a brilliant architect; he's just kind of a shit in his personal life."
  • Mirror, Mirror: Snow White's father disappeared in the woods when she was a child. It turns out he was transformed into the Beast. The curse is later broken, and he's reunited with her.
  • Charlie has one in The Mighty Ducks.
  • Mouth to Mouth: Sherry's, but this is never addressed other than with the implications of a teen pregnancy, given her mother's relative closeness in age.
  • Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium has Eric, whose father's absence is never explained.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Lin wasn't able to know Ming as the Emperor killed him before she was born. They briefly meet in the final battle before his undead form crumbles back to dust.
  • Mythica: Dagen has no idea who his father was, as a sex slave's child. Marek's is never revealed, since her mother died giving birth to her with no one else knowing.
  • In Nathan's Kingdom, Nathan and Laura's father walked out on them after a fight with Nathan when Nathan was about fourteen and Laura was nine.
  • Nerve: Vee's father is never seen nor even mentioned, and it's very clear it's just her and her mom since her brother's death.
  • November Criminals: The recent death of Addison's mother overshadows much of the plot. What happened with Phoebe's father (dead? absent?) never gets a mention though.
  • Nowhere Boy: John's father has been out of his life for years, away frequently at first as a sailor in the British merchant service, then just leaving over problems with Julia. The last time John saw him he was five, and his father made John choose which parent he wanted to live with. John chose his father, but he still stayed in England with his mother. He only appears in flashbacks, never personally.
  • The Odd Way Home: James Richards sends his adult autistic son Duncan checks every month, but hasn't actually contacted him in twenty years. Turns out he's now a respected pastor with a wife and kids who don't know Duncan exists. He's dismayed when Duncan shows up, is clearly embarrassed by him, and does his best to get him to leave as quickly as possible.
  • Of Gods And Warriors: Dad doesn't need to disappear for long. King Asmund wants to be present for the birth of his first child, because he believes that it is a curse for a child to be born without its father present. However, his wife persuades him that he should really go and help fight off the raiders who are attacking. Asmund returns a few hours later to find that his wife died giving birth to a girl. These are Viking times, so a boy would have been much better, and the rest of the film follows on from this.
  • Okuribito (Departures): Daigo's father left so long ago he can't remember what he looks like. At the end of the film Daigo claims his father's body and lovingly prepares him for his coffin. Daigo finds something that shows that his father still loved him despite leaving and finally remembers his face.
  • Ondine: Alex turns out to have three kids in Scotland he abandoned with his wife there. They don't show up at his funeral, saying Maura can have him.
  • In The Parent Trap (1961), Sharon has been raised by her single mom, while her twin Susan has been raised by their dad. Once they find each other, they spend the rest of the film trying to reunite their parents.
  • In The Parent Trap (1998), Annie has been raised by her single mom, while her twin Hallie has been raised by their dad. Once they find each other, they spend the rest of the film trying to reunite their parents.
  • Common among the men of the Turner line in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The first movie relies heavily on Will's resemblance to his missing father Bootstrap, who left when Will was a child. When Bootstrap shows up in the second film, he apologizes for abandoning his family, and the two eventually reconcile. Will himself is a disappeared dad in the fifth movie, because his curse keeps him at sea for ten years before he can visit his family on land for one day.
  • In Please Stand By, Audrey says that her mother raised her and Wendy all by herself, although it's never said what happened to their father.
  • The Poker House: The family moves away from the abusive priest father and never hears from him again.
  • In The Princess Bride the story is that when Inigo was very young, his father, Domingo Montoya was commissioned by the six-fingered man Count Rugen to make a special sword. For a very long time Domingo worked on the sword, and it was his magnum opus. The six-fingered man offered a tenth of the original asking price, so Domingo refused to sell the sword. The six-fingered man killed Domingo, and young Inigo immediately took up the sword and challenged the six-fingered man to a duel. He spared Inigo's life, but gave him a pair of awesome scars on his cheeks. When we meet Inigo, he's been training for the last twenty years to best the six-fingered man, working with Vizzini to pay the bills. "There's not much money in revenge."
  • In Psycho, Norman's dead father plays a pivotal role in his absence. Mrs. Bates' unhealthy behavior begins after her husband's death. Norman might have had a shot at a normal childhood if he had lived. Sadly, though, this didn't happen.
    Norman: A son is a poor substitute for a lover.
  • The Purge: Anarchy: Cali lives with her mother and grandfather, but her father is never seen or spoken of in the film.
  • Rags: Though his mother's disappearance is justified by the fact that she died years earlier, Charlie's biological father is never mentioned.
  • Reign of Fire: Quinn's dad is apparently not with his mom, and he's also unwilling to pay for Quinn's education, explaining why she's upset that he's lost a scholarship. It appears he does not care much about Quinn.
  • Rhymes for Young Ghouls: Aila's father Joseph. He's been in jail, though he returns early on in the film.
  • In Riot on Sunset Strip, Lorimer hasn't seen his daughter Andy since he divorced her mother four years ago. He doesn't even know where she lives now - the court forwards his child support checks.
  • Rise: Blood Hunter: Sadie's mother and sister are shown, though her father is not (he isn't mentioned either).
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: Lord Locksley was one to Will, explaining his resentment of Robin. In the Re-Cut, Mortianna is shown to be the Sheriff's birth mother. Though his birth father is not revealed, he's possibly implied to be Satan.
  • Rocketman (2019): Elton's father was physically there but absent emotionally from him as a child. Cold and distant, he showed no interest in him, before leaving entirely when Elton's mother had an affair. Later when Elton tries to reconnect with him, he's only marginally better, and he's very hurt at seeing his father lavish far more affection on his half-brothers than he'd ever received.
  • Room in Rome: Assuming it's true, Alba tells Natasha that her Spanish mother ran away for home after her birth, because she'd faced essentially living as a captive of her Arab father. From what is said, Alba's never met him.
  • Saving Face: Wil's dad died when she was very young. Her mother raised her alone afterward, and clearly found it hard, though Wil turned out okay.
  • Self/Less: Damien was something of this to his daughter when she was little growing up, and became worse in later years. He regrets this, and in the end somewhat makes up for it, giving her a letter stating how much she meant to him.
  • The Shaggy Dog (2006) features Dave as the psychologically absent father.
  • Shelter: Cody's biological father is mentioned, but never seen. It is implied that he simply left Jeanne when she had Cody.
  • Shut In: Stephen's father, who was killed in the same car accident that paralyzed Stephen.
  • In Silent Hill, Alessa's father left her mother Dahlia.
  • Smoke Signals: Arnold abandoned Victor as a child, and it's the focus of the film.
  • Son of the Mask: Tim is a Disappeared Dad in the fatherly duty sense of the trope. He's present and Going Through the Motions of being a father to his newborn baby, but he wasn't prepared for the kid, and finds the kid an obstacle to his career path. Since the kid's magical, he torments his father for his inattention, and finds another father figure in Loki, creator of The Mask, forcing Tim to fight for his child's affection, and learning An Aesop about being an attentive and responsible father. Just in time for baby number two to be on the way!...
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles: The children's father is audible over a phone conversation and seen on a photo. His absence is explained to Jared by his exasperated older sister. But the one time he does show up it's the ogre Mulgarath in disguise as him.
  • In Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Ricardo Sr. is Married to the Job and spends almost all his time upstate. Even after Ricky runs away, he doesn't come home for days.
  • Stargirl: Leo's father died when he was young, and Stargirl's just isn't mentioned at all, though he's not involved since she has a single mother.
  • In the rebooted Star Trek (2009) film, the point of divergence includes, among other things, the death of Lt. George Kirk, James T. Kirk's father, on the day the younger Kirk is born. As a result, the fatherless James grows up to be rebellious, self-destructive, cocky, and a bit more of a Jerkass, rather than being something of a humorless swot at the Academy and then later developing into just being a bit impetuous and unconventional.
  • Kirk's son, David Marcus was like this until the events of Star Trek II came about. David despises his dad for abandoning the family (Kirk, for his part, was only doing what Carol wanted("I did what you asked. I stayed away."), but Kirk patches things up with him in the end. Then David gets killed in the next film. Oh well.
  • Star Trek: Insurrection: Anij tells Gallatin his mother still speaks of him when trying to sway his convictions, and the pair later have a touching reunion. His father, however, doesn't appear and isn't mentioned.
  • Star Wars:
    • Luke's allegedly-dead father is mentioned a fair bit in the first movie, and in the second one... Well, you know. This trope is kind of pivotal to the original trilogy.
    • Anakin doesn't have a father, unless you believe the implication that Palpatine's former master, Darth Plagueis, created him by use of the Force.
  • Superman Returns: Superman himself is one to his son, though he didn't even know about him before returning to Earth. However, he then knowingly leaves at the end of the film. Cracked speculated his son became a supervillain enemy of his in the future due to this (the boy is shown to have his powers).
  • Sweetwater: Sarah's mother appears in the film, but her father remains unseen and unmentioned. Most likely, as her mother was a prostitute, he's just one more customer and probably unknown.
  • Tales of an Ancient Empire: Oda was this to all of his many children, since even when he'd been aware of them he showed absolutely no paternal interest. Indeed, at most he spares his daughter Kara, who he'd almost killed due to being half vampire. He gives her to a palace to raise. Alana also seems to have one, as her father is not mentioned.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: We know why the dad is absent: Kyle was John's father and didn't survive the first movie. We also know Sarah tried the substitute dad treatment. It never took. You'd think after, like, 6 or 7 times...
  • Thelma: Anja's father lives abroad and isn't in contact with her. She says they've only spoken ten times or so. This seems to be a pattern with him from what she says, and he has lots of kids though she doesn't think that he likes children. Because of this, she can't imagine having a close relationship with her father like Thelma does.
  • In Thirteen Women, Bobby's father is never mentioned. The implication is that he is dead and that Laura is a widow, as Jo discusses the possibility of her remarrying.
  • Tomb Raider (2018): Lara Croft lost her father, Richard, when she was just a girl, and he's presumed dead. Later he turns out to be alive though.
  • In Trading Mom, the father of the kids left the family. As the kids are annoyed with their mom at the beginning, one of them remarks that their father left because he was also annoyed by their mom.
  • Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy, having been trapped in the digital world for twenty years.
  • The Truth About Jane: Taylor's parents were divorced when she was little and she's lived with her mom ever since. Her dad seems to be out of the picture.
  • Virtuosity: Madison appears to be a single mother, whether divorced or simply never married is unknown, as her daughter's father is not mentioned or shown in the film.
  • Vox Lux: Albertine's father clearly isn't very involved with her life (unsurprisingly, as her conception was due to a single encounter, plus him being messed up).
  • Wasp (2003): Zoe is a single mother with four kids, and no sign of the father (or probably fathers).
  • We Are the Night: Lena lives with her mother, with no appearance or mention of her father.
  • What Happened to Monday: Terrence notes that the father of his daughter Karen's children is unknown, and it remains that way throughout the story, with Terrence instead acting as a father figure to them all.
  • Where Hands Touch: Leyna's father apparently went home to Africa long before. It's unclear if he ever even knew about her. We never learn what happened with Koen's father either (but he may have been born out of wedlock like Leyna too).
  • Willow: Bavmorda orders Elora's mother killed offscreen. We hear nothing of her father though. Sorsha's father is not mentioned either in the film, although the novelization does show him.
  • Charlie's father passed away before the story begins in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. (This does not apply to the source novel or most other adaptations. Incidentally, in the 2005 film, Violet Beauregarde's father never appears, possibly implying her parents are divorced.)
  • This is the catalyst for the plot of Winter's Bone — Ree's father has failed to show up for court, and put their house up towards his jail bond. If she doesn't find him within a few days, she and her family will be evicted.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Zeus turns out to be Diana's father. Her mother and him kept it secret from Diana (she'd been told she was made by magic), so he's never been a part of her life (nor does Zeus appear in the present).
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier mentions that he has a stepfather. In the comics, his biological father died when he was young.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Quicksilver tells Mystique that Magneto left his mother before he was born, and Ms. Maximoff remains bitter at Erik for how he had treated her. She even tries to dissuade her son from attempting to contact his father.
  • In Yentl, the title character's father's death is what prompts her to pretend to be a man so she can be educated at a yeshiva, which forbade women.
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