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Disappeared Dad / Western Animation

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  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Richard's father went to buy milk 42 years ago and never came back. Until the events of The Signature, anyway.
  • In American Dad!, the Smiths' neighbor Lisa Collins is a single mother. While she does mention the father of her children, and still has his old weight bench, it is not stated whether she is widowed, divorced or what. Also, Roger murdered his own father.
  • Arthur:
    • Prunella's father has never been mentioned. Prunella, Rubella, and their mother Wanda have been shown alongside an unnamed male character resembling them, but it is unknown whether or not he is part of the family.
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    • Buster's parents are divorced, and he lives with his mom. His father is more prominent in the spinoff series Postcards from Buster.
    • Marina's father is mentioned once, but never shown.
  • As Told by Ginger: Ginger's parents are divorced and her dad has been making promises to Ginger and letting her down for years. By the end of the series, he's only visited Ginger a few times, and most of those meetings weren't exactly Kodak moments.
  • Atomic Betty: Betty's maternal grandfather was this to her mother. He had been presumed dead for 30 years after a space accident. In the Christmas Episode "The NO-L 9", Betty rediscovers him living on the eponymous cluster of planets and he's finally reunited with his family.
    • Also, Sparky's Dad was never mentioned even in episodes where his mom appears.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara and Sokka started out with a Missing Mom, followed by their father Hakoda becoming a Disappeared Dad when he left to fight the Fire Nation, leaving Gran-Gran doing the raising and a full-on case of Parental Abandonment. Their father does come back, only to have Katara angrily tell him off before they definitely reconcile, and then he is gone again, captured by the Fire Nation.
      • In fact, Katara and Sokka's entire village has a case of Disappeared Dad. All the men have gone off to fight the war against the Fire Nation. All of them. Sokka is the oldest male around.
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    • Zuko's father Ozai the Fire Lord only appeared as silhouettes and partial face shots for the first two seasons. Given that he disfigured and banished his only son, he qualifies as the "missing in fulfillment of fatherly duties" sort, anyways. Fortunately, Zuko has a substitute father figure in his kind uncle Iroh
    • Aang is a full-on case of Parental Abandonment, as far as anyone knows, but he had some substitute father figures: Monk Gyatso and Avatar Roku.
    • Toph is an almost forced-inversion example. Her parents are present, but sheltered and narrow in their thinking. They're also so inattentive of their "tiny, helpless fragile" child that they leave the overwhelming majority of her caretaking to servants. Because of this, Toph is able to secretly become a master Earthbender under their noses. And upon finding out, instead of being impressed, Mr. Bei Fong tightens the yoke of parental overprotectiveness, which results in Toph abandoning her parents and running away with Aang's group. The trope would later apply to her own daughters (see below).
  • The Legend of Korra
    • Toph's daughters, Lin and Suyin Beifong, both state that neither of them knew who their fathers were, only that they were sired by two different men.
    • Mako and Bolin's parents were both killed when they were little.
    • Asami becomes estranged from her father Hiroshi for four years following his Evil All Along reveal, and though he eventually undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and they reconcile, he suffers Redemption Equals Death soon afterward.
  • There's an episode of Batman: The Animated Series wherein the ex-con father of a little girl can turn invisible with some Applied Phlebotinum, which makes him literally a Disappeared Dad. Not only that, but his ex-wife tells him:
  • And then there's Batman Beyond, where Terry McGuinness's father dies before the Third Act of the pilot movie. Then the finale to Justice League Unlimited reveals Bruce Wayne as Terry and his brother Matthew's biological father, due to some genetic tinkering by Amanda Waller.
  • Bill Green from Big City Greens has never mentioned his father, nor has his mother, Alice. One episode dealing with the family history shows that Alice was born a Green, possibly suggesting she was a single mother.
  • The dingo family's father in Blinky Bill is virtually nonexistent.
  • In Season 3 of Bro Town, it was discovered that Sione has a missing dad named Ralph Tapili.
  • ChalkZone
    • Penny's dad is nowhere to be seen, and is never mentioned once.
    • We only ever see the mother of Rudy Tabootie's two-year-old cousin Sophie, Rudy's Aunt Tillie. Absolutely no mention is made of Sophie's father.
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Gadget's father Geegaw is dead.
    "He's not coming back. I lost him over a year ago."
    • Though not explicitly, as her adventurer father could have just as easily been "lost" on an expedition.
  • On Codename: Kids Next Door, we're never told what happened to Numbuh Two's father Hogarth P. Gilligan Sr.
  • The Crumpets: Cassandra McBrisk lives with her mother, and her unknown father is absent. In one episode, Ms. McBrisk hints that she split from him for an unknown reason that left their relationship irredeemable.
  • It's eventually revealed in Doug that Roger's parents are divorced and his dad lives out of town.
  • The identity of Huey, Dewey, and Louie's father in DuckTales (2017) has yet to be revealed, he doesn't seem to be in the picture as when their mother Della went missing in space he wasn't present, and Donald is granted custody of the trio after they hatched, and thus far the trio have never asked about him.
  • Eckhart: There's no sign of Eckhart and Mavis' dad, and their family seems to consist solely of Eckhart, Mavis, their mom and their grandfather.
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Cosmo's dad shows up in a home movie, but now Mama Cosma is noticeably single. Crocker also has a single mother, even when he's ten. It was shown that Cosmo turned his father into a fly, with possibly no way to reverse it.
  • Fangbone! makes no mention of Bill's dad at any point in the series, and his family seems to consist solely of Bill and his mom.
  • Fire and Ice: There's no sign Nekron or Raleil's son's fathers remain around. However, in the former case there's some speculation that he's Darkwolf.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
    • Mac and Terrence's father is a Disappeared Dad, though Word of God tells us he's dead.
    • Frankie, however, is a total Parental Abandonment case, as Madame Foster is her grandmother and we see no signs of her parents. Given her age, she just might have moved out of her parents' house, but she has also appeared in old copies of the annual house photo, giving the impression that Madame Foster raised her.
    • Goo on the other hand, is an aversion. Her parents are alive, just mostly offscreen.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon episode "Elliot Messed Up" features an appearance by Patty Putty's mother, but no mention is made of her father.
  • At the start of Home Movies, Brenden's (divorced) dad is an example of this trope, but he then reappears and awkwardly attempts to connect with his son, until he has a kid with his new wife Linda and disappears again completely.
  • Gravity Falls: Soos Ramirez hasn't seen his father since his fourth birthday, and whenever he expected a visit from him, he had blow off last minute and send him a post card. It was by the time he turned twelve that Soos realizes his dad was never coming back, resulting in him hating his birthday every year on.
  • In Hurricanes, the main female character is a teenage girl who inherited a soccer team from her deceased Dad.
  • Professor Membrane from Invader Zim: Though he technically is the one raising his kids, he's at the lab so much that many episodes have him communicating with his family through a floating screen (which many fans suspect uses recordings rather than live messages). Their Missing Mom makes this practically a full case of Parental Abandonment.
  • Jana of the Jungle concerns Jana's search for her father, who was lost when their boat struck a rock in the river and capsized.
  • Jem starts with the death of the Benton sisters' father. It's later revealed that he knew he was Secretly Dying and kept a diary.
  • Johnny Bravo is a Momma's Boy, but there's no mention of what happened to his father.
  • Jonny Quest. In the original 1960s series, Hadji is an orphan whose parents are never mentioned. Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures provides a backstory where Hadji's father was a sickly man and died young. His uncle and cousin force his mother to flee and attempt to have Hadji assassinated. His would-be assassin took pity on the kid instead and later handed him over to Dr. Quest to be given a new life in America.
  • On KaBlam!, Henry's mom has been seen in four episodes and one of the Nickelodeon Magazine comics, but his dad has never been seen nor mentioned.
  • In The Long Long Holiday, the Morteau children's father died sometime before the start of the story.
  • The Loud House: Bobby and Ronnie Anne's father is mentioned in one episode, but other than that, he isn't shown for a very long time, with the two instead being raised by their mother. The Casagrandes reveals that Mr. and Mrs. Santiago are divorced.
  • Skwisgaar Skwigelf of Metalocalypse has no idea who his father is and likely never will, due to his mother, a faded former beauty queen, being... just a TAD promiscuous.
  • On Mike the Knight, Mike's father the king was one, always said to be off questing somewhere. Then, however, he appeared in two specials, a Christmas Special another called Journey to Dragon Mountain. In the same special, Mike's dragon companion, Squirt, discovers both his disappeared dad and his Missing Mom, and has a baby sister hatch as well from an Egg MacGuffin.
  • In Minoriteam, Fasto never knew his father because his mother said she didn't know who he was. As an adult, he discovered his dad was an alien from the planet Blackton and his mom had lied to him the entire time. "Wait, so you pretended you didn't know who my father was? Damn, that's like the opposite of every other kid in the ghetto."
  • One of the major running questions in OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes is who K.O.'s dad is. K.O. has never met him (he was implied to have died when K.O. was either not born yet or very young), and was raised by Carol as a single mom. While K.O. is very close with his "mommy", it's nevertheless made clear that he longs for a father figure in his life too, and he gradually finds one in Mr. Gar as the series continues. It's eventually revealed in Season 3 that Laserblast, who was dating Carol at the time of his apparent death, is indeed K.O.'s father; however, the twist is that Laserblast is actually still alive and is living under the identity of the villainous Professor Venomous, who actually knew about his relationship with K.O. since shortly after his debut in "We're Captured".
  • In Ollie's Pack, Ollie and his sister Pyper only live with their mom. It is revealed in the episode "Sorry to Father You" that Mr. Allen was the previous Chosen One before Ollie and that he had passed away.
  • In Over the Garden Wall, Wirt mentions that his mother remarried to his stepfather, but the whereabouts of his biological father are never seen or mentioned. Of course, Wirt's mother and stepfather are Invisible Parents throughout the series anyway.
  • In Peace on Earth the father of the two squirrel children is nowhere to be seen.
  • In Pepper Ann the title character's parents divorced years before the beginning of the series, her father is often mentioned but never shown until the Christmas episode. He does appear in a few episodes after that, though.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, no mention is ever made of Phineas and Candace's biological father, though their stepfather cheerfully takes up the role. (He is briefly mentioned in Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars, and Phineas is just about to say what happened to him when the Death Star explodes. Although whatever he said wouldn't have been canon anyway.)
    • Dr. Doofenshmirtz is a subversion: his ex-wife has primary custody of his teenaged daughter Vanessa, but he still manages to balance his villainous plans to conquer the Tri-State Area with his fatherly weekends. If anything, his fault is being a bit too clingy, embarrassing his daughter to no end. (Doofenshmirtz himself had present but horribly Abusive Parents.)
    • For that matter nothing is said about either Baljeet's father or the father of Stacy and Ginger Hirano. Isabella's father is only seen in a few brief cameos.
  • Pound Puppies (1980s) villain Katrina Stoneheart has a daughter named Brattina, but the identity of Brattina's father remains unknown.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The Powerpuff Girls' foe Princess has a father who's present, but he mainly is a walking bankroll who isn't there for her in any way that doesn't involve throwing money at her.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, Sean says he has a dad in the episode "Night of a Bazillion Stars", but he has never been seen. Sydney and Mindy also have dads, but they aren't seen, but Sean's case is particularly odd because his mom is always shown.
  • An interesting case on ReBoot — Dot and Enzo Matrix's father was responsible for the explosion that nullified Mainframe's twin city, turning everyone there into nulls, mindless energy-draining slugs, as well as splitting the virus that his gateway drew to the system into recurring antagonists Megabyte and Hexadecimal (Hex later begins to think of herself as Dot's sister because of this). The null that was Wellman Matrix was taken by Megabyte to be a pet, referred to as 'Nibbles.' (Or, on one occasion, 'Father.')
  • Rick Sanchez on Rick and Morty was this to his daughter Beth, being gone for a big portion of her life. She says that she used to draw him into family pictures with crayon. He eventually comes back and she is willing to do anything to keep him in her life, putting up with his antics and even allowing her children to go with him on potentially dangerous adventures and be a fugitive.
  • Rocket Power
    • Sam Dullard's father was the now-you-see-him-now-you-don't variety, just barely. We know that his father is an executive with no time for the family, and that's why there was a divorce. When he shows up in Ocean Shores, he is physically there, but so busy with work, he's still absent. The episode does have a happy ending, where he decides to spend the day with Sam, and he throws his ringing cell phone behind the seat of the car.
  • Ashi and the Daughters of Aku from Samurai Jack were born into an all female Aku-worshiping cult, leaving no possibility of who their father is. As it turns out, their father is literally Aku, who kind of forgot about giving the cult a bit of his essence, which the High Priestess (the girls' mother) became pregnant by after drinking.
  • In Scaredy Squirrel, Nester is only seen with his mom. The whereabouts of his dad is unknown.
  • On Shelldon, the father of Shelldon's best friend, Herman, disappeared approximately a year before the events of the episode "Alien Encounter," apparently abducted by aliens. In fact, he was taken by a human fishing vessel. However, the end of the episode shows that he's very much alive and well, even though he can't be with Herman and his mother.
  • The Simpsons:
    • For having one of the most extensive casts, it becomes all the more noticeable to see the absence of Marge's dad, whose fate has only been casually mentioned. He died of lung cancer when Marge was 3 and Patty and Selma were 13.
    • In the episode "The Seven-Beer Snitch", Snowball V sneaks food from a neighbor who appears to be a single mother.
    • Seymour Skinner's father is not shown at first. It's eventually revealed he was killed in a parade float accident years ago.
  • Sofia the First: Sofia lives with her mother and step-father. The whereabouts of her biological father aren't mentioned until later on. He was lost at sea years ago.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Sadie's father hasn't even been mentioned, although we have seen her mother.
    • Sour Cream's father, Marty, doesn't care about him (or anyone else, for that matter) unless it's convenient for him, which says a lot about his personality.
  • In Street Sharks, the disappearance of the protagonists' father is one of the running mysterious. He shows up very briefly in the first episode, during which time he is turned into an unseen monster by his Mad Scientist college, but he never shows up again after that (though he is mentioned in other episodes).
  • Lance's father, Edward in Sym-Bionic Titan.
  • In Teacher's Pet, Leonard's dad never appears nor is mentioned in the series. It could be possible that his dad died or his parents divorced prior to the events of the series.
  • The Mighty B!: Bessie and Ben are only shown with their mom, Hilary.
  • In Timothy Goes to School, Yoko, Lilly, and Juanita each live with only their respective mothers.
  • A different case from most in Trollhunters, as 1) Jim's Dad been gone has nothing to do with the plot, it just gets mentioned a few times; 2) They know exactly why he left (to run off with a girlfriend); and 3) Jim has long since gotten over the fact that his dad is gone, at least for the most part, as his disdain for his birthday, the same day his father left his father, shows, though he does at one point pretend to actively care as a way to keep his life as the Trollhunter a secret from his mom.
  • Vampirina: Poppy and Edgar's dad is never seen nor mentioned.
  • In The Weekenders, Tino's father seems to be disappeared. however its later revealed that Tino's mom divorced him. He lives on the other side of the country, so he can only visit once or twice a year. He does show up in a few episodes.
  • Wheel Squad: Emilie's biological father is never mentioned. Fortunately her stepfather is happy about filling the role.
  • In Winx Club Bloom suffers from this for the first three seasons. Her birth parents are missing, but she DOES have her adoptive parents.
  • W.I.T.C.H.:
    • Will's father: In the TV series, he returns tries to make amends for being absent so long. However, in the comics Mr. Vandom had a gambling problem so huge it was ruining his family life, so Susan ended up divorcing him and moving away to protect Will. He later hired a private investigator and threatened to take custody — only for blackmailing Susan into giving him more money.
    • Caleb begins the series as an orphan, only for his dad to show up halfway through the first season — he was a prisoner — and his mom in Season 2.
  • Martha Speaks: The title character eventually finds her mother and siblings, but her father is never mentioned. Then again, since she is a dog, her mother may not have known who her father was, since dogs are less discriminate about things like that.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Katherina and the Platypus children are both raised by single mothers with a lack of father seen or mentioned. Indeed, Dr. Platypus herself also only has a mother, Nana Platypus, with a lack of father seen or mentioned.
    • Neither of O the Owl's parents are seen or mentioned. Instead, he only lives with his uncle X.


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