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I Have No Son / Live-Action TV

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  • Hilariously parodied in 3rd Rock from the Sun in the episode "World's Greatest Dick" when Dick screamed this about Tommy for flubbing a quiz question. Tommy is not, in fact, Dick's son, but the Earthlings don't know that.
  • 7th Heaven: Variant used in a Narm way. When the entire family reveals to matriarch Annie that they won't be home for Thanksgiving, she announces, "You are not my family"—her minor-aged children included, no less.
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  • Baby Daddy: Played somewhat straight and then averted in one episode. Tucker's father visits, thinking that his son would be a lawyer just like he is. Tucker, with help from Ben, lies to him that he is. But when his father learns that Tucker had been lying to him about that career and planning to work in TV instead, his father is so angry at him for not following in his footsteps that he threatens to disown him. Tucker tries to take his father to see him in action at the career of his choosing, but when it doesn't go over well, it takes a heartfelt talk with him from Tucker, again with Ben's help, to make him see the error of his ways, that he needs to be himself. By the end of the talk (and the end of the episode), father and son reconcile and the father apologizes for being so closed-minded.
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  • Banshee: Kai Proctor is a ruthless crime lord who comes from a pacifist Amish community. The community has disowned him and when Kai tries to talk to his father, Proctor Sr. refuses to even acknowledge that his son is there.
  • Better Call Saul: Jimmy maintains a strained relationship with his brother Chuck after learning that Chuck was secretly blocking his legal career, but once Chuck makes a highly manipulative attempt to get Jimmy disbarred, Jimmy ruins Chuck's reputation and bluntly says that they're not brothers anymore. Zig-zagged when Jimmy tries to make amends but has Chuck throw it back in his face.
  • Big Sky: Jerrie was disowned and thrown out by her parents for telling them she was a trans girl.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Jesse Pinkman's parents effectively disown him after he gets into drugs.
    • Inverted near the end when Walt Jr. pretty much disowns Walter after finding out he's a drug lord and believing that he killed Hank. He even legally changed his first name to "Flynn" to get rid of any sort of association to his father.
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  • Britain's Got the Pop Factor: In Peter Kay's The X Factor and Pop Idol spoof, the mother of the transgender Geraldine McQueen gives us this wonderful line: "she is no son of mine!"
  • The Cape: Orwell turns out to be Fleming's daughter. She's disowned him as her father for his evil deeds. He retorts (in her hallucination at least) that they'll always share genes, no matter what.
  • CSI: NY: Inverted near the end of "Yahrzeit," where the killer's Orthodox Jewish son disowns his father after it is revealed the father was a Hitler Youth member and only pretended to be a holocaust survivor in order to not be caught for his crimes.
  • The Daily Show:
    • Parodied with the "Jew-o-meter". The lowest score is "I have no son!", the highest is "My son, the doctor."
    • Another episode had an Even Stevphen segment deteriorating, as they so often did, into a highly emotional revelation about one of the Stevphens' personal lives. The question is whether Elián González should be sent back to Cuba to live with his father, and they start out agreeing that he shouldn't, which obviously won't do as the basis for a shouting match. While Stephen's argument is the typical anti-communist one, it soon becomes clear that Steve's "reasoning" is based on his fraught relationship with his own father. Stephen immediately engages him in therapeutic role-playing to "work through these feelings," until Steve breaks down in his arms sobbing, "I love you, Daddy!"
    Stephen: Shhh. [strokes Steve's hair] Hush, little baby, don't say a word... Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
    Steve: He should go back with his daddy! Elian should be with his daddy!
    Stephen: What?
    Steve: Elian should be with his daddy!
    Stephen: [pushes him away] I raise some kind of commie pinko?
    Steve: But... Papa!
    Stephen: You're weak! [slaps him] Like your mother! Why don't I get you a bra and some panties, and you can dance around, you fairy?
    Steve: Not again! [begins to rock back and forth]
    Jon: Guys...
    Stephen: Not now, Jon, I'm making a breakthrough here! [turns back to Steve] "Ohhh, my daddy doesn't love me! Ohhh, boo-hoo-hoo!" Well, MY SON IS DEAD! [turns brightly to camera] I'm Stephen Colbert... [pause where Steve would normally say, "I'm Steve Carell"; this time it's filled only with wordless keening] ...and this has been Even Stevphen!
  • Dates: Kate's family don't talk to her because she's lesbian. Erica expresses her fear of her family disowning her if she came out as well.
  • A Different World: Happens to Dwayne Wayne. After his last minute wedding to Whitley, his mother never speaks to him again, even hanging up whenever he calls her, due to her strong dislike for her new daughter-in-law.
  • Firefly: It's never confirmed directly in the show, but a flashback shows Simon's father warning him that if he gets himself in trouble with the law over this ridiculous notion of his about his sister being in trouble at the prestigious Blue Sun Academy, he's on his own. It seems likely that he made good on this threat, not that he could have bailed Simon out if he'd wanted to after breaking River out of there. Canon is as yet silent upon how the events of Serenity will affect father-son relations.
  • The Flash (2014): Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper's parents disowned him after he came out of the closet. In "Flash Back", the timeline is altered so that Hartley and his parents are on good terms again.
  • Inverted in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with the episode "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse." When Will's Disappeared Dad Lou comes back into his life and hopes to bond with his son, Uncle Phil makes it extremely clear that he has no respect for or trust in him. Lou promises to take Will on a cross-country trip with him, and Phil violently protests, telling Will that Lou hasn't even bothered to call in years and is just stringing him along. Will shouts "Who cares what you think? YOU'RE NOT MY FATHER!" and storms out...which makes it all the more painful when Phil is proven right after Lou abandons Will again.
  • Fresno: Subverted Trope at the end. When Charlotte disowns her son, she says this, but then amends it because she has another son.
  • Fringe: Inverted Trope, where Peter Bishop tells his father Walter, "I am not your son." Subverted Trope because Peter is from an Alternate Universe, and "Walternate" is his father.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Samwell Tarly was forced to join the Night's Watch by a father who felt this way.
    • Balon Greyjoy writes Theon off the family tree the day he he taken by the Starks and acts as if this was Theon's fault rather than his own. In "Mhysa", he disowns Theon again when he receives his cock in the mail, thus making Theon unable to produce any heirs. He's even willing to simply let Theon rot in Ramsay's dungeon for all he cares.
    • Tywin disowns both his sons. Jaime in "Two Swords" when he refuses to leave the Kingsguard and become eligible to inherit Casterly Rock and Tyrion with his dying breath after Tyrion mortally wounds him, for which Tyrion shoots him again.
    • You can see the sibling version of this trope happen in Daenerys' eyes the moment Viserys threatens her unborn child.
  • Glee:
    • After Finn (awkwardly) announces to Quinn's parents that she's pregnant, her father disowns her. The line is never said, but it's obvious what happened.
    • Happens again in season three when Mike's dad finds out he wants to be a dancer instead of going to medical school.
    • Santana's grandmother pulls an I Have No Granddaughter when Santana comes out as a lesbian.
  • Good Times: In the conclusion of a two parter where JJ gets shot by a local delinquent, James waits outside the courtroom to beat the hell out of the guy...but after seeing the guy's mother angrily disown him, slap him in the face and outright tell him she hates him, he can't bring himself to do it.
  • Head of the Class: One episode had Arvid Engen's father come to teach the class. He's a genius but, even though he makes an effort, he's a lousy teacher. Arvid tells him this, and concludes with, "But I still am your son." To which his father stands up and says, "Son? I have no son!" Arvid is taken aback, and then his father laughs and says, "Sorry, I Always Wanted to Say That."
  • Highlander: The Series: Duncan MacLeod got this, after dying his first death and becoming immortal, but only from his father (the clan chieftain). His mother felt differently:
    Duncan MacLeod: He banished me. I have no right, I have no clan. I'm not even your son...
    Mary MacLeod: No! It matters not who bore you, you are my son!
  • House: The father of a Chinese girl with a mysterious brain aneurysm claims to have no daughter when told of her condition, while the mother just looks confused; Wilson assumes that the father has just disowned her, but House deduces that the girl's biological parents literally attempted to murder her so they could try having a son without being penalized by China's one child law.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Parodied where Robin's father utters this line with full pathos after he sees Robin kissing a boy. It would be a perfectly straight example if not for the fact that Robin is a girl, and her dad literally has no son. He just spent most of her childhood trying to pretend that wasn't the case.
  • Knots Landing: In "Rise and Fall", after finding Joshua preparing to throw Cathy off a roof, Lilimae tells him not to call her "Momma," that she is ashamed of him for the way that he destroys people and that she has no son. A shocked Joshua then backs off the roof and plunges to his death.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Subverted Trope, when a man initially suspected of being an infamous serial killer testifies to Goren and Eames that his father is actually the one guilty. In fact, the son's life has been made hell, growing up in fear that he's a sadist like Dad. When his father declares, "You're no son of mine!" as he is being dragged away in handcuffs, Eames comments, "That's the nicest thing he could have said to him."
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the murderer turns out to be a young woman raised by her grandmother. When the girl attempts suicide after being caught, her grandmother (who had been shown to be very strict and not especially loving) visits her in the hospital, where the following scene ensues.
    Emma: Grammy. You came?
    Grandmother: Of course.
    Emma: I know I screwed up. (reaches for her) I just — I wanted —
    Grandmother: You will take your hand off me.
    Emma: What? But Gram —
    Grandmother: You are not my grandchild.
  • The League of Gentlemen:
  • Living Single: Synclaire breaks a hallowed family tradition by agreeing to marry Overton without first getting her grandmother's blessing. She ends up receiving a pillow from her mother that congratulates her on one side and says "I have no daughter." on the other.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Several. One example is the Season 8 episode "Gambini the Great," wherein at the beginning of the episode, an aging circus daredevil and owner of a traveling sideshow has been told by his sons that they do not wish to continue the act when it passes on to their generation. Gambini – who is recovering from third-degree burns he suffered when he was unable to finish a "burning box escape" stunt – does not take the news well, telling both of them to get out and never come back, even shouting to them "I have no son!" (in a tone meant to shake both to their very core).
  • Making It: In the premiere episode, Jeffrey recounts how his parents completely cut off all contact when he came out of the closet and sent him a funeral wreath to tell him that he was dead to them.
  • Married... with Children: When Kelly started working as a waitress, Peggy was disappointed that she'd get a job instead of keeping the Wanker family's tradition of the women freeloading on men and said that she had no daughter. If she had one, she wouldn't work.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Spoofed this by having an playwright express disapproval of his son for pursuing his dream of becoming a coal miner.
  • Murder, She Wrote touches on this in "Murder, Plain and Simple". Ethan's father resents him after he speaks against being Amish and eventually sends him to jail when he suspects him for killing Jacob. Even when Ethan screams for his father, he just walks away without looking back.
  • My So-Called Life: Rickie comes out to his uncle, his adoptive parent. Said uncle immediately kicks him out of the house. Onto the street. At Christmastime. Then his uncle moves away without him. Bear in mind that this is a 15-year-old kid we're talking about; this is Kick the Dog at its worst.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 parodies this rather often. To hear Joel (or Mike) and the bots describe it, parents will disown their children in response to incredibly minor offenses.
    • When the educational short film "A Date With Your Family" stresses the importance of waiting for Mother to start eating before you begin yourself, Mike quips, "Father feigns eating, draws Junior out, then disowns him!" And by the end of the meal, all three have been disowned over a dinner conversation faux pas.
    • In the driver safety short "Last Clear Chance", they make the dad say "I have no son," when said son gets caught driving before his license comes in the mail.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Heart's Desire", Josiah Miller is ashamed of his sons Jake and Ben because they are outlaws. They sent him quite a bit of (stolen) money over the years but he didn't spend any of it. He only allows them to stay at his house when they return home to Heart's Desire after ten years because he knows that's what their late mother would have wanted.
  • The Plot Against America: Her family disowns Evelyn for aiding the Lindbergh administration at the end of the series.
  • Pose:
    • Damon's father disowns him for being gay (and for wanting to study dance). His mother twists the knife, further condemning Damon for bringing gay pornography into the house.
    • It's not made explicit with the other characters but considering the sheer number of LGBT kids who are disowned because of it, it's likely many of the other characters were as well. Blanca returns home for her mother's funeral and her entire family disowns her. Somewhat subverted when Blanca's sister, who had earlier gone along with refusing to allow Blanca to have their mother's cookbook, relents and delivers it to her.
  • Revolution: In episode 11, Jason Neville went against his father's orders, and as a result, Tom Neville considers his son dead to him. However, episode 13 reveals it to be a Subverted Trope, because Tom Neville was trying to keep his son and his family safe from Monroe's wrath.
  • Rome: Atia to Octavia in the second season: "I have no son."
  • Roland Schitt on Schitt's Creek is estranged from his son Mutt in the early seasons of the show. Roland disapproves of Mutt living in a barn and showing no interest in following in his father's footsteps as mayor. Eventually, they reconcile and Mutt returns to town to welcome his little brother to the world.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The episode "In Purgatory's Shadow" sees Enabran Tain use the phrase "You're not my son!" on Garak when Garak insists they have a genuine father/son moment before it's too late since Tain is on his deathbed. Tain eventually agrees, but - even though he's dying - Garak had to fight him tooth-and-nail to obtain the reconciliation he wanted.
    • Later in the two-parter, in "By Inferno's Light", Dukat and the Dominion put into place a plan that, if successful, would have obliterated DS9. When Sisko points out to Dukat that his daughter Ziyal, who had refused to leave the station, would be among the casualties, Dukat replies that in refusing to leave, "Ziyal made her choice. As far as I'm concerned, she is no longer my daughter." He does go back on this later, and is devastated when Ziyal is killed.
    • Discussed in "Sons and Daughters": when Worf's son Alexander was last seen, he was being sent away to live with his adoptive human parents on his home colony. Now, however, an older Alexander has enlisted in the Klingon military, against Worf's desires. Alexander calls Worf out on his essentially getting rid of him because he didn't want to be a warrior as a child. In the end, however, the two make amends and Alexander is welcomed into Martok's family along with Worf.
  • Played for laughs in an episode of Still Standing. Bill, who's normally a Lazy Bum when it comes to housework, turns out to be a great chef after watching some cooking shows; his son Brian discovers this and expects some kind of payment in exchange for keeping the secret from Judy. When Bill refuses and says that Brian should do so out of respect, Brian immediately blurts out "Dad can cook" when his mother walks through the door. Bill then announces that "Lauren [the family's teenage daughter] is now my first-born son." This comes back later when Bill snatches a portion of food from Brian's plate and gives it to Lauren: "There you go, son!"
  • Supergirl (2015): Maggie's parents kicked her out over her being a lesbian.
  • Trotsky: Trotsky's father at last disowns him over disagreeing with his politics.
  • True Blood: 15-year-old Sam Merlotte's shapeshifting powers manifest, to his adoptive family's horror. Shortly thereafter, he comes home one day to find that the entire family has moved away without him, leaving the house completely empty except for Sam's bedroom, which was left untouched.
  • The Tudors:
    "How dare you look at me? I am your Lord and Master; not your brother! You are both banished from court. You will relinquish your London houses. You will remove yourself from my sight. [...] And Margaret! I have yet to decide whatever to make your bed-mate a head shorter."
    • Of course, he forgives them later. (In real life, it was his sister Mary who pulled this stunt, not Margaret.)
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In the episode "And When The Sky was Opened", Harrington, shortly before he is erased from history, calls his parents, only for them to tell him they don't have a son. In this case, though, it's not because they're disappointed or angry at him—it's because some kind of supernatural force (which is never explained in the episode) is literally removing Harrington and his colleagues from reality, so his parents legitimately can't remember having a child.
  • The War at Home: When Kenny comes out to his parents, he is kicked out the house and had to move in with the Golds. When Dave attempts to convince Kenny's father to allow Kenny to come home, Kenny's father says something along the lines of this.
  • The White Queen: After Anne Neville marries Richard of Gloucester and informs her mother of their union by letter, Countess Warwick sends back a curse in response.
    Anne: (upset) My mother cursed me and disowned me!
  • V: The Final Battle:
    • Happens to the traitor Daniel. One of the few cases where the claim is made and the audience accepts it without even blinking.
    • Eleanor, one of the most prominent collaborators, declares her son Mike Donovan as no longer being part of her family (despite keeping his own son safe from the Visitors all the same) because he's a resistance leader.
  • Vida: Inverted. Lyn disowns her dad over how he acted due to Emma telling him she's queer.


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