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Antagonistic Offspring

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The apple may not fall far from the tree, but it can roll straight down the hill.

Arthur Pendragon: I cannot give you the land. Only my love.
Mordred: That's the one thing of yours I don't want! The quest knights have failed. They're all dead. And YOU... are dead, too. I shall come back and take Camelot by force!

Some children just don't see eye to eye with their parents. They may argue with them, flout their authority, or pretend they don't exist. This character, however, goes that extra mile. They're not only on a different page from their mom or dad, but a different side morally as well—and since the parent in question is at least nominally heroic, there is no way this is going to end well. Mom or dad might be a force for good, but their child is not, and is willing to let them know it. They're not Self-Made Orphans, but if they get their way, they will be soon. Also closely related to Abusive Offspring, however, it's possible for antagonistic offspring to still retain some sort of heroic quality, or to merely ignore their parents; Abusive Offspring are actually directly physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive to their parent.

This trope is the inverse of the situation found in the Archnemesis Dad and Evil Matriarch tropes: one of the protagonists has a child who also happens to be pretty darn evil, and an opposing force within the story. Why this happens can vary wildly. Maybe the child is the result of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Maybe they were mentored or raised by one of their parents' enemies and just don't know any better. Maybe their parents are separated, and it's the evil one who got custody. Or maybe they were just born bad. Whatever the case, expect a lot of angsting about Where Did We Go Wrong? on the part of the heroic parent or parents.

Since most heroes in fiction are younger, this trope isn't as common as the Archnemesis Dad and Evil Matriarch tropes. Freudian psychology often justifies this through a theory known as the Oedipus Complex. See Offing the Offspring and Self-Made Orphan for what this might lead to, and taking it to extremes may result in Genocide from the Inside. Can easily overlap with Enfante Terrible and Teens Are Monsters, although it doesn't have to. If one party is unaware of the relationship, it might lead to a Luke, I Am Your Father/Luke, You Are My Father moment when the secret is outed. In fantasy works, this character stands a good chance of being a Bastard Bastard or The Evil Prince. See Evil Orphan, for when the kid isn't actually yours, Cain and Abel, for when they go gunning for their siblings instead of mom and dad, and Evil Nephew when the target is an aunt or uncle. If the offspring finds allies, you have a dark version of Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't. See also A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil for mentor relationships, and Hates Their Parent, for when the relationship isn't outright antagonistic.

A subtrope of Older Hero vs. Younger Villain.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Zeke Yeager's parents tried to use him as a tool to overthrow the government, while he was still a small child. Instead, he turned them over to the Secret Police and helped destroy their resistance group. Even as an adult, he's still incredibly resentful towards his father and considers his younger brother, Eren Yeager to be another victim of their father. Seeing his father's memories and realizing that Grisha still cared about Zeke thus comes as a rather great shock to Zeke.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass could be considered a justified example of this trope as his father abandoned him and his sister. As a result, Lelouch resolved to destroy the Holy Britannian Empire and eventually kills his dad.
  • In Death Note, Villain Protagonist Light Yagami is a mass murderer, and his father Soichiro is the police chief trying to stop him. However, Soichiro is unaware of his son's secret life, and he dies believing that his son is innocent. In the second live-action movie, Light actually wrote his father's name down in the titular Artifact of Doom in an attempt to kill him. Soichiro didn't die, but he did witness his son attempting to kill him.
  • Fairy Tail: After being excommunicated from Fairy Tail for unspecified reasons, the guild master Makarov's son, Ivan, forms his own guild called Raven Tail. They exists almost entirely to antagonize Fairy Tail.
    • Also applies to Laxus, Ivan's son and Makarov's grandson, during the Battle of Fairy Tail arc. Makarov more or less raised Laxus after Ivan's expulsion, but Laxus grows frustrated with Makarov's leadership and tries to take control of the guild by force. While Laxus also ends up expelled from the guild as punishment after he's defeated, he later does a Heel–Face Turn and returns as The Atoner.
    • It's revealed that this is the true purpose of the Etherious — to kill their creator, Zeref. Only Mard Geer and E.N.D. know this, the former because he is acting in the place of the latter as guild master of Tartaros, and the latter because he is the only demon with the power to do the deed.
  • Fruits Basket: Akito Sohma, who has a huge Freudian Excuse, tried to strangle Ren Sohma for claiming that the Zodiac members will leave Akito behind. Thankfully for Ren, Hatori pulled Akito away before she was killed.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the main villain, 'Father,' self-identified as Van Hohenheim's son back before he got godlike powers, and seems to have had a love-hate relationship with Hohenheim. For his part, Hohenheim had no idea about the hate until the Homunculus tricked the emperor into killing his entire country and funneling their souls into it, giving it the power to create a body. It shares half the souls with Hohenheim, then revels in his horror at his entire country being a Doomed Hometown and his new catchphrase. The next time they meet, they are enemies, with Hohenheim as the Big Good, and his son, mentor, Evil Counterpart, and creator as the Big Bad.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), psychopathic Jerkass and Green-Eyed Monster Envy is revealed to be the failed reincarnation of the son that wannabe Big Good Hohenheim had with the Big Bad Dante. With his Disappeared Dad as a built-in Freudian Excuse, Envy makes several attempts on the lives of his father's children, Ed and Al, before discovering that Hohenheim is, in fact, alive. This results in him tracking Hohenheim to our world, where they kill one another in The Movie.
    • Incidentally, this means that in the 2003 anime Envy turns out to be Ed's older half-brother, and in the manga it, and all the other Homunculi, turn out to be his nephews and niece.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, with its Nations as People cast, America is this to England. Unsurprisingly.
    America: At least I don't have to eat your scones anymore.
    England: [furious] Those scones were a recipe passed down from my Mumsie!
  • My Hero Academia: Chapter 290 of the manga reveals that Dabi is Toya Todoroki, the presumed dead eldest son of Endeavor, and he's not happy with the abuse he suffered at Endeavor's hands due to the pro hero's ambitions. This was foreshadowed in early chapters, given that he was interested in screwing with his youngest brother Shoto as much as he was in doing so to Endeavor.
  • Naruto has a variation. While Lady Chiyo's son and daughter-in-law were lovely people, her grandson Sasori (whom she raised after his parents' deaths) is a homicidal maniac who murdered his village's leader and turned him into a puppet. He later joins up with the Akatsuki, and helps to kidnap the village's new leader, resulting in a lethal confrontation between himself and his grandmother.
  • One Piece: Kaido's "son" Yamato wants nothing more than to be Kozuki Oden, the man who infamously scarred Kaido's chest, out of sheer admiration. While this already doesn't sit well with Kaido, their relationship is permanently broken when Yamato realizes Kaido wasn't bluffing when he said the shackles on his wrists would explode and kill him if he ever tried to take one step outside of Onigashima. Yamato was already planning to defy Kaido and help the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance during the Onigashima Raid; after Luffy destroys his shackles and they release a massive explosion as a result, Yamato swallows his tears and disowns Kaido on the spot, becoming a valuable ally through the rest of the raid.
  • In Soul Eater, Shinigami and his eldest son Asura. Subverted as Asura is technically a fragment of Shinigami's soul, but it still counts. Kid is not amused with this development.
  • Star Wars: Visions: In "Lop and Ochō", the patriarch of the Yasaburo clan realizes how evil the Galactic Empire is and encourages people to rebel. His daughter Ochō is a collaborator who eventually tries to murder her family members.
  • Tokyo Ghoul has parental issues galore, but both of the main Big Bads stand out:
    • The One-Eyed Owl and his father, Big Good Yoshimura. While he loves his child dearly and has devoted his life to protecting them, his child considers him a coward that abandoned them to a horrible life. When the two are finally reunited, Eto gleefully eats and vomits her dear daddy, then hands him over to Dr. Kanou as a "donor" for his research. More than one person calls them out on this particularly cruel action.
    • Nimura Furuta is one of many illegitimate children sired by Chairman Tsuneyoshi Washuu. This lifetime of resentment and hatred ends with him murdering his father and the rest of The Clan as part of a hostile takeover.
  • Tweeny Witches: "Lennon's True Identity" reveals that Lennon is the long-lost son of Atelia. While his mother is a dutiful leader of the witches, he hates the magical tradition she protects and attempts to kill her in the belief that she abandoned him and his father for political power.

  • Throughout the Marie de' Medici Cycle, Peter Paul Rubens politely chronicled Louis's coup d'etat against his mother and the cycle's "protagonist" Marie, Marie's escape and subsequent rallying against him, the treaties that ended this conflict, and Marie and Louis's eventual reconciliation.

    Comic Books 
  • Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel: Adam Brashear's older son Kevin was lost in the Neutral Zone in a battle with a supervillain. Adam's younger son Max resented his father for not saving his brother. Max eventually became a super villain and fell in with terrorist organization, all in a bid to bring his brother back. This brought father and son into conflict. Fortunately, they eventually reconciled.
  • Cable:
    • Stryfe is an odd example, being a clone of Cyclops' son, Cable, who was captured and raised by a future version of Apocalypse to be his son and heir. Ultimately rebelling, Stryfe seeks to slay both Cable and Cyclops and Apocalypse, whom he regards respectively as his biological and spiritual parents. He has repeatedly clashed with all of them in pursuit of his insane agenda.
    • Continuing this trend, Stryfe later captured Cable's son by Aliya Summers, Tyler Dayspring, In fact it's heavily implied i.e. all but said, that Tyler is in fact Stryfe's son due to the time when he pretended to be his Cable (nobody realized the two were physically identical for years because Stryfe was never seen unmasked by anybody else until they both came to the 20th century) and tricked Aliya into having sex with him and raised him to hate his father. As one of Stryfe's soldiers, Tyler attempted to murder Cable's friend, Dawnsilk, and was shot by his father for his efforts. Tyler's hatred for Cable turned personal after this, and he travelled back to the past, adopting the identities of "Mister Tolliver" and "Genesis". He forced his father's team, Six-Pack, into conflict with Stryfe, leading them to disband, attempted to infiltrate and subvert X-Force, which Cable was leading, and again confronted his father when the latter was possessed by Stryfe, an altercation which led to Stryfe's "death" and left Cable very traumatised. Tyler later declared himself Apocalypse's heir and was killed by Wolverine; his ghost meets with Cable during a near-death experience and the two seem to have reconciled.
    • Then there's Cyclops' brother, Vulcan who tries to kill their father, Corsair right after meeting him.
  • Daken is Wolverine's son, and an Ax-Crazy Manipulative Bastard and Depraved Bisexual to boot, thanks in no small part to Parental Abandonment and being raised by the murderous Cyber. He desperately wants to kill his father, though despite what he might think, he's not quite good enough to pull it off yet. Averted by his "sister", X-23, who, despite her issues, views Wolverine as a father figure and gets along with him fine.
  • Obsidian, the son of Green Lantern Alan Scott and supervillainess Thorn, seems to have inherited his mother's disposition towards mental instability. Initially a superhero, Obsidian suffered a mental breakdown and turned to evil under the influence of Ian Karkull, from whom his powers were derived. During this time, he attacked his father's team, the Justice Society of America, blaming Scott for abandoning him to be raised in an abusive foster home; he was defeated, fittingly enough, when his alcoholic foster father sacrificed himself to save Scott. He later allied with Eclipso and The Dark Lord Mordru in an attempt to plunge the entire world into darkness; Scott confronted his deranged son during this battle, defeated him, and was ultimately able to cure him of his madness.
  • Teen Titans: Rose Wilson is this to her father Deathstroke. Justified, considering he used a Psycho Serum to make her Brainwashed and Crazy, screwing up her and her life even after she was freed from his control.
  • Tom Strong's son Albrecht Strong, who his evil Nazi villainess Ingrid Weiss conceived (after what may well have been a rape) and raised without his consent. Their main antagonistic relationship is shown in a Flash Forward to 2050; as a would-be world-conqueror and a Nazi to boot, Albrecht repeatedly clashes with his Science Hero father.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk had issues with his son, Skaar, who came to Earth and waited around for Bruce Banner to return to being the Hulk so he could kill him. He eventually mellowed and got along with his father. His other son, Hiro-Kala, hates Bruce and the Hulk, and tried to wipe out Earth in his rage, using brainwashed slaves to do his dirty work; it takes Bruce and Skaar to take him down.
  • David Haller, aka Legion, is the son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier and Holocaust survivor Gabrielle Haller. He's also a deeply disturbed young man with vast psionic powers and multiple personality disorder, including an alt that is modelled on a crazed terrorist who tried to kidnap him as a child. Institutionalised as a child, David eventually broke out, clashing frequently with both the X-Men and the New Mutants, both of whom were led by Xavier. David eventually integrated his personalities and tried to redeem himself, but this only created worse problems, as his attempted assassination of Magneto in the past resulted in Xavier's death and the creation of the Age of Apocalypse timeline. David was briefly killed by Bishop following this. He's since turned up alive, trying to find peace in a Tibetan monastery, which he accidentally destroyed when he learned of his father's death.
    • Xavier's ex, Moira McTaggart, has had her own problems with her son, Kevin, alias Proteus. Conceived when Moira's estranged husband Joe raped her, Kevin was born with Reality Warper and Demonic Possession abilities, and severe emotional problems, and was imprisoned by his mother. Kevin broke out when his cell was damaged, and went on a rampage, during which he killed several people (including his father), tried to kill his mother and the X-Men, and was seemingly killed by Colossus. Since then, he has infrequently returned to attack the X-Men and Moira, who he blames for his problems. The Ultimate version of Proteus, by the way, is a Composite Character of Proteus and Legion, being Xavier and Moira's son.
  • The Ultimates: Captain America's Archenemy The Red Skull, is his son by Gail Richards. Growing up on a military base following his father's apparent death, the Skull hid his resentment of Cap until he was 17; when he finally attempted escape, killed upwards of two hundred people on the base, and, in a final act of rebellion against his father, mutilated his own face by skinning it. He would go on to become a hired assassin, undertaking numerous missions for terror groups like AIM—including assassinating JFK—before coming up against the resurrected Captain America after being hired to steal the Cosmic Cube. The battle between father and son left numerous people dead, and ultimately ended in the Skull's death, after he was hospitilised by Cap and then killed by the mother of one of his victims.
  • Marvel Comics really likes this trope: there's also Hyperstorm, the possible-future son of Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers, who travelled to the present to destroy the Fantastic Four, an act that might very well have prevented his own birth. At one point in the MC-2 verse he even went after his father, Franklin, ignoring the potential grandfather paradox.
  • In the The Black Mirror arc of Detective Comics, Batman had to deal with the psychopathic James Gordon Jr, the Commissioner's son.
  • Omni of DC's Relative Heroes doesn't even realize he is fighting his parents until he learns that he's not actually human at all and is a member of the Power Copying shapeshifting race the ES who are currently trying to invade earth. He decides to stick with humanity and his new family to fight them.
  • Spider-Man: Some comics portray the relationship between the original Venom (a delusional Type V Anti-Hero who only targets Spider-Man) and his symbiote's offspring, Carnage (an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer and indiscriminate mass-murderer) this way, complete with Carnage referring to Venom as dad. His appearance was one of the few things that was all but guaranteed to force an Enemy Mine between archenemies Venom and Spider-Man.
  • Ultron, a homicidal robot created by Hank Pym of The Avengers refers to Pym as his father. It has also tried to kill him, The Avengers, and most of humanity at one point or another, and is rightly considered by Pym to be his Archenemy. Ironically, Ultron's attempts at creating its own offspring have also met with failure and Heel Face Turns, making Ultron both an Antagonistic Offspring to Pym, and an Archnemesis Dad towards The Vision and Victor Mancha.
    • One of Ultron's incarnations averted this and wanted to have a good relationship with his "father" Hank. Sadly, this Ultron sacrificed himself to save Hank.
  • Korinna and Jupiter Ducklair of PK2, the sequel of Paperinik New Adventures, have a deep hatred for their father because they feel robbed them of their destiny to become rulers of the planet Corona.
  • In the L.E.G.I.O.N. comics, Vril Dox/Brainiac 2's son, Lyrl Dox/Brainiac 3, plotted against him, eventually seizing control of LEGION and turning his father into an outlaw. Vril eventually deposed his son, and took back his police force, but they would remain enemies for years.
  • In the Archie Comics Mega Man (Archie Comics) series, this is the relationship between Dr. Light and Break Man/Proto Man/Blues. Blues has some serious daddy issues, combined with a childish assumption that Light built Rock (Mega Man) and Roll as his replacements (rather than his siblings, as Light intended), leaving him very vulnerable to manipulation by Dr. Wily. Eventually, he becomes more an Anti-Hero antagonist, one who refuses to go to Dr. Light and work things out.
  • Richie Rich: Reginald van Dough (the father) is a Benevolent Boss almost to the level of Richard Rich (the father). His son Reggie, on the other hand, loves playing pranks and causing as much mischief as possible, especially toward Richie and his friends. More often than not, Reggie gets a spanking for his troubles (and not always by his father).
  • I-Ching, the blind martial artist and supernatural expert who was first introduced in Wonder Woman (1942) and has mentored several superheroes, has a daughter who became an evil sorceress.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Beowulf (2007): The dragon that Beowulf faces at the end is actually his bastard son by Grendel's mother.
  • Fire and Ice (1983): Word of God says Nekron is Darkwolf's son.
  • Kung Fu Panda: The Big Bad is Tai Lung (a snow leopard), the adopted son of Master Shifu (a red panda).
  • Turning Red: Downplayed. Mei is not initially antagonistic toward Ming but she is by the climax. After the climax however, they return to friendly terms.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Just as bad as she was in the book, Rhoda/Rachel Penmark is this in both film versions of The Bad Seed. In The Bad Seed (1956) and The Bad Seed (1985)
  • In Blood Diamond, Solomon's son Dia is brainwashed into joining the local militia. Solomon pulls him back from the brink.
  • Excalibur takes the "Mordred is Arthur's bastard" version of the story and runs with it, playing Mordred as a half-crazed Bastard Bastard who wants his father's throne, sword, and power, but rejects his love, ultimately leading to a very messy Mutual Kill.
  • Flavia the Heretic: After destroying the convent, Flavia leads the Muslims to sack her father's castle and kill him.
  • In both Gremlins movies the titular monsters, or at least the first batch of them, are technically Gizmo's progeny, budded off when he gets wet. Who then decide to eat something after midnight and transform.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: Loki initially loves his father and is in fact desperate for his approval. Unfortunately, when he finds out he was adopted from an enemy race and his frantic attempts to gain Odin's recognition apparently fail, he becomes convinced that Odin never loved him and only raised him to have a political pawn. This prompts him to view Odin as an enemy and in Thor: The Dark World, he tries to manipulate events to lead to Odin's death and eventually overpowers him and usurps the throne. Other than trying to push her away, though, he never seems to have anything against his mother.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Before Thor or Loki were born, Odin had a daughter named Hela, who was instrumental to his crusade to conquer the Nine Realms. Unfortunately, he decided one day to abandon his conquest and rule by benevolency. Hela turned against her father, prompting Odin to banish her and eventually lock her up in an extradimensional prison that can only be unsealed with his own death.
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron: Ultron's Arch-Enemy is his own creator, Tony Stark.
  • In Molly's Game, Molly and her father have an antagonist relationship, shown in both current-day scenes as well as flashbacks to her youth.
  • In the original The Omen (1976), as well as its 2006 remake, the protagonist is a father who comes to realize that his son is the Antichrist.
  • In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren a.k.a. Ben Solo serves the First Order, partially to rebel against his parents, Han Solo and Leia Organa, whom he sees as poor role models, especially the former. This reaches the peak when Kylo kills Han.
  • In Terminator Genisys, John Connor suffers Unwilling Roboticisation by the hands of SkyNet, making him an enemy to his parents Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese once time travel puts them all at the same time.
  • TRON: Legacy: from a certain point of view, Clu 2.0 is just as much Kevin Flynn's son as Sam is. A combination of jealousy, poorly-worded directives, and just plain malice turned him into who we see in the present-day.
  • Shingen Yashida to his far more benign father Ichiro in The Wolverine. Which is promptly subverted later on, as desperation to avoid death made his father cease to be benign.

  • In Bad Mermaids: On the Rocks, the human Susan Silkensocks plans to capture mermaids and dig up mermaid buildings to create a tourist attraction. Her first exhibit is going to be Arabella Cod, queen of Hidden Lagoon, whom she is holding prisoner in a tank. When Susan's daughter Paris finds out, she drags Arabella's tank to the beach to free her. Susan travels under the sea in search of more mermaids to imprison, and Paris follows her to foil her plans.
  • In The Bad Seed, Creepy Child, Stepford Smiler, and Enfant Terrible Rhoda Penmark is this to her otherwise normal mother, Christine. Discovering that her own mother was a Serial Killer, Christine eventually realises that it's been passed on to Rhoda, and does her best to stop her sociopathic daughter before the situation gets completely out of control.
  • The Black Company:
    • One of the villains of the later novels is the Daughter of Night. Raised by the cult of the Stranglers, a death cult worshipping Kina, she's also the child of Croaker and Lady.
    • There are two children of the Taken called Mischievous Rain in the interquel Port of Shadows. Mischievous Rain claims that they're Croaker's children, even though Croaker has no memory of them having ever been intimate. It's unclear whether this is Mischievous Rain being, well, mischievous (or crazy, she's also that) or a side effect of the time she spent in the Lady's Tower isn't clear. Regardless, the kids are supremely weird, very creepy, probably magical, and often make life for Croaker and the Company more interesting. Sometimes it's by helping, and sometimes by hindering. Croaker doesn't think either of them want to harm him...but they're strange enough that he can never quite dismiss the possibility.
  • In Death Wish, the fourth book in the Cal Leandros series, Promise Nottinger's daughter, Cherish, is one of these, deliberately manipulating her mother, as well as Niko and Cal, for her own selfish ends, while continuing to prey on humans and sleep with her mom's ex, Seamus. She is ultimately disowned by Promise and killed by Niko, after an incident where she convinced him that his brother, Cal, was dead, in order to send him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against one of her enemies.
  • The Chronoliths: Adam Mills is the son of secondary protagonist Ashlee Mills, and is therefore protagonist Scott Warden's stepson. He's also a pure psychopath with no conscience, delusions of grandeur, and an unshakeable faith in Kuin, a mysterious conqueror who will supposedly Take Over the World at some point in the future (it is hinted that Adam believes himself to be Kuin). Born with his brain chemistry out of whack, Adam has no problem torturing his mother for information, having his stepsister gangraped for the hell of it, and attempting to murder his stepfather, all in the name of his crazed religious agenda.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, Mordred is this to Roland.
  • In The Quest for Saint Camber, Prince Nigel Haldane's eldest son, Conall, is this, going so far as attacking his father with magic and allowing everyone to think Nigel simply had a stroke.
  • Domina: Lilith, the First Monster and adoptive mother to most of the city, describes Malcanthet the Succubus Queen as her "foulest daughter." Malcanthet, in turn, hates her mother, and had her raped and tortured at one point. Malcanthet has noticeably modified herself to look quite a bit like Lilith, however, and she cries in Lilith's arms when she's defeated. Malcanthet then sets them both on fire, killing herself but leaving Lilith alive.
  • Two of The Famous Five books have elderly ladies who are terrified of their grown-up sons: Five on a Hike Together, and Five go to Billycock Hill.
  • In Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton's The Halfblood Chronicles, the dragon Mya is this to her mother Alara. Alara is one of the kindest dragons in the setting, adopting the half-human, half-elf baby Lashana and eventually helping with Lashana's rebellion against the elven lords. Mya is lazy, vain, and a bully who views all non-dragons (and many other dragons) as nothing more than playthings.
  • In Harry Potter, Death Eater Barty Crouch Jr. is this for his father, Ministry Official (and dark wizard hater) Barty Crouch Sr.
  • I Am Mordred: Mordred to King Arthur, despite resisting it every step of the way.
  • In Conquest Born focuses extensively on the Machiavellian warrior culture of Braxi, which was apparently designed to create antagonism between parents and their grown children to keep everybody on their toes. Of the several examples in the book, the most dramatic is a disgruntled son who teaches himself discipline for the sake of a decades-long plot to murder his father. By the end, (and in the end the plot against the Asshole Victim father goes very well) the son has become a chip-off-the-old-block Manipulative Bastard.
  • The Mermaid Chronicles: Blaze is the son of the dragon king Gal and the evil sea witch Aquaria. In Fight for Freedom, he fights against his mother in battle to protect the humans, merfolk, and selachii. He kills her by incinerating her with his fire.
  • In Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, the tyrannical merman king Adaro turns out to be the son of Queen Medusa of the Atlantic. He tried to assassinate her when he was fifteen. Medusa discovered his plot and had him thrown in prison, but a year later, he convinced her that he was remorseful, and she released him. Unbeknownst to her, he raised a following of thousands, and a few years after his release, they all crossed the Northwest Passage into the Pacific, where Adaro founded the kingdom of Utopia, waged war against the humans of Eriana Kwai, and began to work towards world domination, with his final goal being the conquest of the Atlantic.
  • In Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels, Jade learns that her mother Michaela is the daughter of Dame Council, the tyrannical mer-dictator the heroes want to overthrow.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: Draken-Korin, Lord of the Tigers, is this to his father, Ashen-Shugar, Ruler of the Eagles' Reaches. While all Valheru are amoral ubermenschen who think nothing of killing anything that might be a threat, burning worlds down, enslaving races, or committing incest (Draken-Korin's mother is Ashen-Shugar's daughter), the two of them are different. Ashen-Shugar, through his connection to the mortal, Tomas, eventually develops a conscience, while Draken-Korin masterminds the Valheru plan to declare war on the gods, causing the deaths of billions across the cosmos. In the end it is Ashen-Shugar who seals the rest of the Valheru away, and Draken-Korin who tries to lead their escape from this interdimensional prison, ultimately crossing swords with his reincarnated father.
  • Seeker Bears: Nanuluk the pizzly bear is this to his saintly parents, nearly killing his father and trying to murder his mother (both allies of the heroes).
  • In The Shahnameh, Sohrab engages his father Rostam in a Duel to the Death, each unaware of the other's identity.
  • In the Star Wars Legends, Jacen Solo/Darth Cadeus becomes this to his mom and dad, Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo, following his turn to the darkside. He also manages to hit A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil with his uncle Luke, and Cain and Abel with his sister Jaina, which is the relationship that gets the most focus. Isn't he just a little overachiever?
  • Shannon from Underdogs turns out to be the daughter of evil dictator and Eco-Terrorist Nicholas Grant. She ran away from her luxurious quarters in New London to join La Résistance.
  • Waggit Trilogy: In the first book, Waggit's leader Tazar has an infant son and daughter, taking the son (named Olang) into his team after his sister dies. Come the third and final book, and they're on opposite sides: Olang sides with the pack determined to take over the park, and Tazar wants nothing more to do with him.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Breezepelt in Power of Three and Omen of the Stars. He's the son of Crowfeather, but he allies himself with the ghosts of the villains in an attempt to overthrow the society of the characters.
    • Yellowfang's son Brokenstar is one of the first villains to be shown in the entire series. In fact, he was so evil that Yellowfang had to kill him to save ThunderClan.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 12 Monkeys, it's eventually revealed at the end of Season 2 that the Witness is Athan, Cole and Riley's child from an aborted timeline. The entire series up to that point has been a paradox-fueled game of Gambit Roulette in order to ensure a Stable Time Loop which ends with them being in the right time and place to conceive him. Subverted when Athan not only turns out to be The Woobie, but isn't actually the Witness.
  • Angel: courtesy of a kidnapping by murderous vampire hunter Holtz and a subsequent stay in the hellish dimension of Quor-Toth, Angel's son Connor goes from baby to emotionally-stunted, angry eighteen year old in the space of a few weeks, and carries a correspondingly huge grudge against his father, whom he blames for his situation and Holtz's murder (actually a frame job/suicide). He tries to kill Angel several times, even going so far as to trap the vampire in a steel box and sink him to the bottom of the ocean. He eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn, but it's not until he's had his memories wiped (at Angel's request) that he is able to let go of his anger and find something approaching a normal life.
    • Later in the series, Connor's memories are restored to give him back the levels of Badass he needs to defeat the demon he was destined to slay. This time around he is emotionally mature enough to appreciate what Angel did for him and goes on to be a powerful ally.
  • The Season 2 storyline of Being Human (US) features Aiden forced to confront a vampire "son" he exiled almost a century ago. Aiden hopes to find a way to reconcile and help his son return to vampire society, but his hallucination of his own sire (whom Aiden killed in the season 1 finale) warns him about this trope. He even predicts that the son will always kill the father in such a conflict because, while a son might grow to hate his father, the father will always love the son he chose and created and never be able to choose to destroy him.
  • Cobra Kai: Robby Keene has long resented his father Johnny Lawrence all because Johnny couldn’t be a good father to him. As soon as Johnny begins training and forming a fatherly bond with Miguel Diaz, Robby goes to take karate lessons with Daniel LaRusso to spite his father. While the resentment mellows out a bit during season 2, it returns in full force in season 3 as Johnny continues to constantly prioritize Miguel over Robby, eventually leading Robby to join Cobra Kai and side with John Kreese.
  • Desperate Housewives: Andrew Van de Kamp starts as this towards his mother. It is revealed that he has somewhat of a Freudian Excuse in the second season, as one flashback shows Bree calling his much younger self a criminal and forcing him to memorize a Bree-serving apology after he swipes a lawn ornament from Mary Alice's yard out of curiosity. Also, when he comes out as gay, Bree tries to send him to conversion camp and tells him he won't get into heaven. So perhaps it's more a case of Evil Versus Evil.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): Claudia has held a grudge against her vampire father Lestat ever since his cold-hearted manner of dealing with the Charlie incident. Her abhorrence grows exponentially after Lestat mangles Louis until his body is broken, bloodied and bruised, and she becomes belligerent towards her maker from that moment onwards. After Lestat coerces Claudia to go back home when she tries to flee from his Gilded Cage by stowing away on a train, it's the last straw for her, and she's determined to liberate herself and Louis by murdering Lestat.
  • Played for laughs in Jackass, where Bam's dad Phil is often a victim of his son's pranks, which include having pies smashed into his face, riding his mower over a hidden hole in the yard and getting stuck, or simply having the crap beaten out of him while he's busy doing something else. Being the Nice Guy that he is, Phil takes it all in stride.
  • Morgana on Merlin after she found out Uther had lied to her for years about Gorlois being her father when in fact Uther himself was her father. After that, she wanted him dead, no matter what.
  • On Smallville, Lionel Luthor's relationship with his son, Lex, began as one between an abusive Archnemesis Dad and a tortured "Well Done, Son" Guy. Following Lionel's Heel–Face Turn in Season 4 (and Lex's own Face–Heel Turn shortly afterwards), the nature of the relationship changed to this, with Lex as the Big Bad, and Lionel as the Reformed, but Rejected parent (and Mentor to The Hero) who tried to throw a monkey wrench into his son's Evil Plans. It ultimately gets Lionel killed in Season 7, as Lex finally crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Brenda Mensah to the father who abandoned her, Fred Ade-Williams in Tinsel.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Father & Son Game", Darius Stephens becomes embroiled in a major legal battle with his son Michael after his consciousness is transferred into a Cyborg body. Michael's lawyer Larry argues that Darius is dead and that ownership of his company should therefore fall to Michael. Darius' lawyer Dave tells him that they are in uncharted legal territory as there has never before been the case of this nature since Darius is the first person to undergo the procedure. Darius' new body begins to malfunction and he dies, meaning that Michael has won without going to court. However, it turns out that Darius copied his memories onto a micro disc and now exists as a computer program. With the help of his wife Anita, he intends to restart the legal battle with Michael.

  • Heather Dale's "Mordred's Lullabye" focuses around Evil Matriarch Morgana Le Fay's attempts at turning her son, Mordred, into one of these. She reminds him that his father (her brother!) is a thief and a traitor who has taken what is rightfully theirs, and that he, Mordred, is to die gaining them their revenge.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In some versions of the Arthurian Legend mythos, the treacherous Mordred is Arthur's son as well as his nephew. This never ends well. In fact, that final battle is one of the older parts of the Arthur legend. Before his and Merlin's stories fused, long before Gwenhwyfar and round tables and lake ladies and Arthur even having any particular knights, there's a record of that battle. That said, the earliest record of this battle only records that both were killed in it, not even making it clear if Arthur and Mordred were fighting against each other or both were on the same side against their common enemy, the Saxons.
  • In Greek Mythology, Zeus worries that his and Metis' son will overthrow him, as he overthrew his father Kronos (who overthrew his own father Ouranos) before him. Fortunately for Zeus, they had a daughter (Athena) instead.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, King David's son, Absalom, murdered his half-brother Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all of King David's sons. This was rather understandable, as Amnon had had raped Absalom's full sister, Tamar. David eventually forgave Absalom...but all was not well. Absalom built up support in Jerusalem, promising justice for all, and showing a humility that his father never did. With all of Israel and Judah behind him, he revolted against David and seized the city, driving David beyond the Jordan River. He ruled for years as regent, eventually declared himself king, and was slain by his father's Number Two, Joab, in the Battle of Ephraim Wood. David, despite everything Absalom had done to him, wept for his death afterward. A lovely combination of this trope, The Evil Prince, and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
    • Would God that I could die for thee, o Absalom!
  • Russian Mythology and Tales include the tale of Sokolnik, a bastard son of Ilya Muromets (the badass among badasses), who turned to a life of crime and eventually tried Calling the Old Man Out, with less than pretty results.
  • Zig-Zagged in the Germanic poem The Hildebrandslied. Hildebrand and Hadubrand fight each other and Hildebrand is Hadubrand's father. But Hadubrand is angered when Hildebrand tries to reveal that he is, in fact, Hildebrand, because he thinks that Hildebrand is long-dead and that the man claiming to be his father is an "old Hun." Hadubrand apparently never learns about the relation.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Dorian Roldan, who quite often serves as the Greater-Scope Villain of AAA, is this to his father and company founder Joaquin. That said, Dorian's treachery is rarely direct, with Joaquin usually having to deal with something Dorian just happened to set in motion without his father in mind.
  • Also downplayed with Lady Apache and her daughter Mari in AAA, despite the fact Lady usually works tecnica and Mari ruda due to Mari's sister Fabi usually being able to convince Mari to join them on the tecnica side when potential conflict arises.
  • Carlito Caribbean Cool launched a hostile takeover of his father's company after taking on a full time roll again after being let go by WWE.
  • Sin-D really was not treated kindly by her daughter, Amanda Ruffen. Not in Womens Xtreme Championship Wrestling anyway, where Amanda started out with an illegal stranglehold when matched against her mother, and things only went downhill for Sin-D from there.
  • Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon played this once after they were "bought" WCW and ECW respectively to destroy their father's company WWE during the invasion storyline.
  • Dominik Mysterio would turn on his father Rey Mysterio at Clash of the Castle (2022) and would consistently attack him while begging his father to strike him in retaliation. Even after Rey switched brands Dom would still show up to family gatherings in an attempt to antagonize his father. This reached a fever pitch during WrestleMania season in 2023, especially after Rey was declared the headlining inductee for that year's Hall of Fame. Despite all the abuse hurled his way, Rey absolutely refused to harm his son, and it took Dominik disrespecting his own mother, Rey's wife Angie, for Rey to finally hit his Rage Breaking Point.

  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Seven Sisters, the eldest daughters of the higher demoness Jahi Gallu, are very much antagonistic towards their mother. Each of them represents a different sin from her youth and actually use nicknames based on those sins such as Lust etc. They've ended up working for archdemon Vaetris, Jahi's Evil Former Friend, because they believe Jahi has gone soft and cares too much for the other races. The sisters' personalities range all the way from Ax-Crazy to Manipulative Bastard to Noble Demon with Wrath being the craziest and Sloth being the most sympathetic of the bunch.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dahak the dragon god of treachery and evil is this towards his father, dragon creator god Apsu the Waybringer in Pathfinder. Running on hatred, Dahak hopes to destroy everything his father has built and targets his creations for the sheer pleasure of ruining them.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Horus, the favored son of the God-Emperor of Mankind, was also the second to fall to Chaos. Half his brothers fell too, whether through manipulation or already being antagonistic, the result being the utter clusterfrak that is the Horus Heresy.

    Video Games 
  • BattleTech (2018): Alexander Madeira is one of Kamea's staunchest supporters, and very well aware of the fact that if the Restoration succeeds, his parents will be among the first against the wall. This doesn't bother him in the slightest; as far as he's concerned, his parents made their bed when they chose to side with the Directorate, and if they become forced to lie in it, that's no skin off his nose.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate: Alucard is at odds with his father Dracula and a considerable portion of the game saw him trying to kill the vampire lord both as a human and later as a vampire. By the time of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 however, his hatred has significantly toned down to avert this trope.
  • Dark Souls III: It's heavily implied that the Nameless King is Gwyn's firstborn, who was erased from the annals of history for siding with the dragons when Gwyn waged war against them.
  • Dawn of Crafting: The Big Bad and leader of the H. erectus tribe that attacks your village, Itaku, is the son of your mentor, Alf, and seeks to kill him due to blaming him for the death of his Erectus mother and Alf's wife, Margira, although it was invading members from other villagers responsible for killing her. When Itaku's attack is stopped and you spare Itaku, his father shows that he still cares much about Itaku and tries to hug him, but Itaku pushes him away. Itaku then leaves with his grudge unsatisfied, and his father heartbroken.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin II one of the members of the Big Bad Ensemble is actually a child of one of the playable characters, Fane.
  • Elohim Eternal: The Babel Code: According to Cainite scripture, AHIX created El and Asherah, and then created the Cainites with the intention that they would all be a big happy family. Unfortunately, El and Asherah coveted AHIX's power and killed him, and then created the Idinites to wipe out the Cainites.
  • Fallout 4 sets you out on a quest to find your infant son, only to find out he was thawed out of cryo 60 years ago and now runs The Institute, a faction of amoral scientists. You can choose to avert the trope by joining the Institute though.
  • Fate Series: When the Series Mascot is King Arthur herself, it only follows that Mordred (the former Trope Namer) fulfills this role.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has this be inevitable should you recruit students from the other houses/kingdoms to eventually fight their homelands, but it's most apparent with Felix and Annette of the Blue Lions on the Black Eagles route, where they have unique dialogue should they face off with their fathers Rodrigue and Gilbert. While Felix and his father didn't have the best relationship even before this, Rodrigue doesn't take Felix's betrayal of Dimitri well at all and declares his intent to kill his remaining son. Annette and her father, by contrast, are much more somber and saddened by the different paths they've taken, but they both understand this is just how things are and neither will back down from their beliefs.
  • God of War:
    • The climax of God Of War 2 has Athena reveal to Kratos that Zeus is his father. This does very little to deter him from his vengeance. Of course, given the source material, it would probably be stranger if Kratos didn't try to off his father.
    • In God of War (PS4), Baldur hates his mother with a burning passion for making him immortal and robbing him of his senses. When he meets her again at the end of the game, he immediately prioritizes killing her over Kratos.
  • Mass Effect:
  • Metal Gear:
    • Liquid Snake/Eli from Metal Gear Solid has wanted to kill his "father" Big Boss since he was a kid, since he blames Big Boss for his "inferior" genes (or at least what he was led to believe were). He holds a grudge against his brother Solid Snake for being the clone with (what he thought were) Big Boss's "superior" genes, as well as being the one who killed Big Boss before he could.
    • In addition, Big Boss was an Archnemesis Dad to Solid Snake, who he sent on a suicide mission in the original Metal Gear where he had expected and planned for his Body Double, Venom Snake, to kill him, and fought to the death in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
  • Sirrus and Achenar in Myst, to Atrus. They're ultimately enemies to everyone, including each other.
  • StarCraft II has this inverted with the sociopathic Arcturus Mengsk and his heir apparent Valerian. Come Heart of the Swarm, he's openly abandoned the Dominion, and Arcturus is apparently content to kill his son alongside Kerrigan in order to see her dead.
  • Tekken 5: Heihachi's father Jinpachi comes into play, showing himself to be an upstanding and kindhearted individual, unlike his son. Unfortunately, Heihachi challenged him for control of the Mishima Zaibatsu, imprisoned him under Hon-Maru, and left him there for over forty years (and forgot about it), leading to Jinpachi dying and subsequently being revived by a demon that now controls his body. Heihachi's own progeny, biological and adopted, all hate his guts for very good reasons. Heihachi's grandson Jin Kazama also hates him, to the point that he uses his mother's surname instead of the Mishima name and un-learned the fighting style Heihachi taught him in favor of traditional Karate. Jin is on equally bad terms with his father Kazuya as well.
  • w0rd 0N 7h3 S7R337: You can help Salty, the Cowboy, and Earl break into and rob your dad's office.
  • Garrosh Hellscream becomes this through the plot of World of Warcraft. Son of Grom Hellscream, who grabbed the Villain Ball and doomed the entire Orc race to be bound to demons, but later made up for it, Garrosh had one hell of a nasty legacy to live up to. A decent general and one hell of a warrior, Garrosh went further and further down into Anti-Villain territory through the expansions as he got more and more responsibility he couldn't handle, and tried to make up for his father, his surrogate father's and his own mistakes the only way he knew; by the axe.
    Garrosh: All I did... I did for the HORDE!
    Thrall: You failed the Horde!
    • The Legion expansion fleshed out a few character backstories, giving us Velen and his son, High General Rakeesh of the Burning Legion. In this case, neither parent nor child knew that they were at odds during their clash as Rakeesh was kidnapped, renamed, and raised by Kil'jaeden when he was young, while Velen was led to believe that his son had been killed.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, the game's main rival prosecutor, serves Queen Ga'ran of the Kingdom of Khura'in, putting him into conflict with his father Dhurke, who heads the Defiant Dragons revolutionary movement. In the second part of the game's last trial, Nahyuta prosecutes Dhurke for killing Inga, the justice minister and Ga'ran's husband, as well as Amara, the previous queen, which will ensure Dhurke's execution if he's convicted. It turns out that Nahyuta is actually feigning loyalty to the Ga'ran regime, since he's being blackmailed, and is actually still loyal to the Defiant Dragons, making this a subversion.


    Web Original 
  • Riley from Less is Morgue hates their parents, and makes references to killing and/or eating them a frankly unsettling amount.
    Riley: I’ve got two hundred dollars in my Paypal, and unless we make a patreon, or someone offers me a book deal for my fantasy novel, we’re doomed. I’ll have to eat my parents to survive.
    Evelyn: Sometimes, I just feel like you're looking for an excuse to do that.

    Western Animation 
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: The title character's entire paternal lineage alternates between superhero and supervillain, with every son taking the opposite path of his father. Meanwhile, Manny himself can't decide whether he wants to be a hero like his father or a villain like his grandfather.
  • Played for Laughs by Family Guy's Stewie Griffin, a sociopathic Child Prodigy and Sissy Villain who antagonises both his mother and father with varying results.
  • On Gargoyles, Thailog, a clone, has this relationship to his "father" Goliath, and to a lesser extent his other creators, Xanatos and Dr. Sevarius. While he considers Goliath "weak," he rejects the latter two for trying to control him, but he certainly inherits their propensities for manipulation and evil.
  • The Legend of Korra
    • The Earth Queen, Hou-Ting, daughter of Earth King Kuei from the predecessor series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Her dad was initially ineffective, being deceived by Evil Chancellor Long Feng who kept himself the power behind the throne, but he didn't have an evil bone in his body and did a great deal of good afterward. Junior, on the other hand? She is bad to the bone. She undid all the good things her father had done for Ba Sing Se, reducing it into a mess and overtaxing her people just so she could live a luxurious lifestyle. Plus, she hates animals while her father loved them, bounty hunters having hinted that she had probably eaten Bosco. And she had been capturing Airbenders to make them into her army to capture Republic City... at least, until Zaheer kills her by airbending the oxygen out of her lungs. Fans all agree that it's the most Nightmare Fuel death in either series... and that she deserved it 100%.
    • Baatar Jr. grows into one for his mother, Suyin, assisting Kuvira in taking over the Earth Kingdom and him declaring that he's all but eager to take Zaofu by force.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series features an adaptation of the Carnage storyline. When Dormammu returns The Symbiote to Venom, a part of it attaches to his cellmate, Kletus Cassady (who in this adaptation is a Mad Bomber rather than a Serial Killer), creating Carnage. The two of them briefly work together as Dormammu's Co-Dragons, referring to one another as "offspring" and "dad". Following Carnage's attack on Venom's crush, however, and the latter's subsequent capture by Spider-Man, Venom undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and ultimately sacrifices himself to destroy Carnage and end Dormammu's Evil Plan.
  • The '90s X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon featured an adaptation of the Proteus arc, albeit one with a more positive ending: Kevin is ultimately calmed down and reconciles with his mother and father.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Season 4 Episode 4, "The Sins of the Son", featured Charles Xavier's son, David, whose resentment towards his father for his perceived abandonment of him has created two alternate personas: Ian and Lucas. Lucas, who hates Xavier, orchestrates David's apparent kidnapping as a way to lure Xavier to him; during their confrontation, Ian and David are accidentally erased, leaving the telepathic and telekinetic Lucas free to do as he pleases...exactly as he planned it.
    • Wolverine's Opposite-Sex Clone, X-23, behaved like this during her first appearance, targeting Wolverine for the role he played in her creation and subsequent misery. It's very much portrayed as an angry daughter attacking her father; unlike the incident with David, it has a happier resolution, with X-23 ultimately pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
    • The series also featured an Eviler than Thou variation: the Scarlet Witch, who was institutionalised by her father, Antivillainous Noble Demon Magneto, due to her mental instability and Reality Warper powers. Broken out by rival Big Bad Mystique, the Scarlet Witch spends the rest of the show trying to hunt down her father, who ultimately has Mastermind brainwash her into remembering a happier childhood.

Alternative Title(s): Poisonous Progeny, Arthur And Mordred