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Asian Babymama

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Don't you hate it when you discover you have a secret love child by your Dragon Lady Arch-Enemy?

"All those tragic heroines, I don't want to play them. *operatic voice* 'My man, my man did not come ba-a-a-a-ack... You went to America, you said you'd come baaaaack... And I'm still waiting for your aaaaaass... where you aaaaaaat... you're my lying mothafuckaaaaa'. I don't want to be in any musical where there's gonna be a helicopter!"

The white hero (or sometimes villain) discovers he has a hitherto unknown child with an exotic former lover. The hallmarks of an Asian Babymama are as follows:

  1. She's a peripheral or retconned love interest.
  2. She's presented as an Exotic Dragon Lady.
  3. She gives birth to a mixed-race child and keeps it secret from the father.
  4. She often has some sort of strange and twisted motive behind the conception of her child.

What separates this trope from a normal interracial relationship is that the Asian Babymama's relationship with the father of her child is rarely shown 'onscreen'; she's usually a footnote in his past.

In the martial arts genre, she exists primarily only for angst and to give birth to a Eurasian child with l33t martial arts skills. She may have some sort of twisted motive (actually depending on the society that person lives in it might be an entirely reasonable and sensible choice) for conceiving her child, such as providing an heir for a powerful male relative or to train to be the perfect killer. Basically, when you combine Exotic Dragon Lady and Secret Pregnancy, you get Asian Babymama. unfortunate implications may follow.

This trope largely has its roots in American service men bringing home wives from U.S. wars in Asia. At the time there was a stigma to the servicemen there impregnating hookers and marrying Asian women that were pretty much seen as call girls. In other cases, said service men got the women pregnant and then rotated home, leaving said women and their children to face social stigma (Defiled Forever for the mother and illegitimacy and Half-Breed Discrimination for the child), especially once Vietnam was unified. See also Abandoned War Child.

As those wars are less contemporary now and that stereotype is dying, this trope is becoming less common. Asian brides no longer have the same stigmas and stereotypes attached to them without setting a work back in that time period. As such it's becoming a Dead Horse Trope now. If you do see it invoked nowadays, it'll be the "Globetrotting hero knocks up mistress with an agenda" variety.


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  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 4 uses this trope as the origin of new protagonist Josuke Higashikata. His father is Joseph Joestar, while his mother is a Japanese woman named Tomoko that he had a one night stand with at some point in the past (which technically makes Josuke Jotaro's uncle, despite the latter being 13 years older than the former). Notable for being an extremely rare Japanese example.
  • Sentarou from Kids on the Slope is the son of an American World War II soldier who left for America after the war. He's noticeably fairer haired than his half-siblings (and his hair curls when worn long). As a child, he received a lot of racism for being mixed.

  • The DCU:
    • Batgirl (2000): Lady Shiva (Chinese) and David Cain invert this almost as far as human reproductive biology permits. Sandra Wu-San gave her daughter to David at birth and did not see her again for nearly twenty years.
    • Batman: Talia Al Ghul (Chinese/Arab) is the mother of Batman's son, Damian. Originally the two had a child together born out of love in the "Son of the Demon" storyline until Zero-Hour happened, after which the story was taken out of continuity. Damian was reintroduced in the canon timeline in the 2006 storyline, "Batman and Son", where his original backstory was tweaked to reveal that Talia raped Batman to conceive Damian, who was kept secret from Batman for 10 years. This was later retconned to be consensual again.
    • Deathstroke: Lillian Worth (Cambodian) is the mother of Deathstroke's daughter, Rose Wilson.
    • The Flash: Mindy Hong (Chinese?) is Trickster's babymama.
    • Aquaman: Kako (Inuit) is Aquaman's babymama. Although she isn't Asian but indigenous, she fits the description of this trope.
    • Green Arrow:
    • Lucifer: Izanami (Japanese goddess) is Lucifer Morningstar’s babymama.
    • In DC's Elseworlds Superman & Batman: Generations, Superman's son Joel has a Vietnamese lover who eventually married Bruce Wayne, Jr. (who was supposed to marry Superman's Daughter, Supergirl). Their marriage was more for convenience so that they could raise Joel's son as Bruce's.
    • Teen Titans: Cheshire (Vietnamese/French) is Arsenal and Catman's babymama. Twist: Roy (Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow) actually takes full responsibility for raising Lian once he finds out. It was working well. Then, poor kid was Killed Off for Real. Now that didn't work well. Which is why Convergence fixed it.
    • Watchmen: Subverted. The Comedian had a Vietnamese woman who was presumably his babymama, but when he told her was NOT bringing her back to America with him (as he had promised), she slashed his face with a broken bottle and he killed her.
  • ElfQuest: The admittedly non-Asian Kahvi plays this part with regards to (admittedly non-white...please move this if it fits another trope better) Rayek during the Siege of Blue Mountain arc, going so far as to lie to the father about their child being stillborn in order to get him out of her hair. (This comes back to bite her and her tribe when a temporarily supercharged Rayek returns just in time to get the next arc started...)
  • Les Innommables: Differs from the usual portrayal in that Mac (father) and Alix (mother) are in love with each other and we know she gives birth to a daughter, but they get separated for years. When reunited, their daughter has been adopted by Americans and Alix has lost her memories.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Alpha Flight: Puck had a half-Asian daughter, Zuzha Yu, whose mother was an unnamed Asian Babymama.
    • The Avengers: Mantis was the result of one such union by a supervillain and a Vietnamese woman.
    • New Warriors: A group of villains called the Folding Circle (as well as one of the Warriors, Silhouette) was formed by a cult of Cambodian sorceresses mating with American G.I.s so their super-powered offspring could fulfill a prophecy.
    • X-Men: Iceman's ex-girlfriend Opal once resurfaced with a baby she said was his. Turned out it wasn't, and she was just using the baby as a lure to make him help her with her drama.
  • Nexus: Ursula X. X. Imada, who is at least partly Japanese, was the mother of Nexus' (Horatio Hellpop's) twins Scarlett and Sheena.
  • The Umbrella Academy: The Seance makes a baby with an Asian Babymama. You don't see said Asian Babymama, just the baby, and the Asian Babygrandmama with whom he leaves the baby.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Almost happens in Sayonara. Ace Pilot Joe Kelly is Happily Married to the Japanese Katsumi, but the US Army disapproves of the marriage. They try to ship Kelly back to America, despite him saying that Katsumi is pregnant (although it's never confirmed if she is or he was lying to stall them). They decide to kill themselves together rather than be separated. There's another scene where a General discusses the trope as a reason for preventing their soldiers from marrying Japanese women - but Eileen quickly shuts him down by reminding him that these are happy marriages he's splitting up.
  • Three Seasons: James Hager hadn't been to the city since it was Saigon, and when he left after the Vietnam War, he hadn't even known that he was leaving a child behind. He comes back to the city upon finding out that his Asian Baby Mama had died.
  • The plot of Wasabi kicks off with a French police detective finding out that his Japanese ex-lover has died and left him with custody of their daughter whom she never told him about.
  • Watchmen comes within a hair's breadth of this trope, but the Comedian kills her off first.
  • Inverted in The World of Suzie Wong where the Asian female lead has a secret son that was fathered by a Hong Kong businessman that didn't want him - and he's adopted by the white love interest. Until he dies tragically in an earthquake.
  • Played with in The Yakuza. Harry Kilmer is not Hanako's biological father, but he acts like her adoptive one, having romanced saved her life and romanced her mother during the Allied occupation of Japan. Kilmer hasn't seen either Eiko or Hanako in twenty years, instead choosing to go back to America when his service was up and Eiko refused to marry him. We find out why during the course of the movie.

  • In "Infusion" by Kelley Armstrong, it is revealed that Jeremy's mother was a Japanese Asian Babymama, who seduced his father in order to have a child with her psychic abilities. Her plan ended badly when the father freaked and killed her.
  • In Diamond Chariot, "Rybnikov", an undercover Japanese agent undermining the Russian war effort in the Russo-Japanese war, is revealed to be the protagonist Erast Fandorin's son, a product of his relationship with a Japanese woman in the days of his service in the Russian consulate in Yokohama. She feigned her death to Fandorin and gave birth without him ever finding out. Although the "angst" part is inverted in that it is the father who gets abandoned in a rather cruel way, the "martial arts" part is played straight, since the son grows up to become a Ninja.
  • Played With in On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. The Vietnamese Lan married a white American soldier and claimed that Rose was his daughter. Although they both know they are likely not really related, he has a decent relationship with his "grandson" Little Dog anyway.
  • In the end of the James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, Kissy Suzuki knows she's pregnant, but doesn't tell Bond when he leaves her. The sequel short story "Blast from the Past" by former Bond author Raymond Benson features the son, James Suzuki, as a corpse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of The A-Team features a man who goes with the Team to Vietnam, where he apparently has a child from a wartime lover.
  • Dodger in China Beach presumably had an off-screen Asian Babymama, though it's never totally confirmed that the baby handed over to him by a random orphan kid in a bar is biologically his. Still, he takes the boy home to the states with him.
  • There is an episode of Diff'rent Strokes where a young Korean man named David seeks out Mr. Drummond, believing him to be his father from his time in the Korean War. Later, Mr. Drummond is reunited with David's mother, Hi-Sook. It's revealed that Drummond knows he's not the father; so does Hi-Sook but she told David that Mr.Drummond was to cover up the truth about his parentage. Instead, his father was an deserting American soldier who helped Hi-Sook hide after her village was attacked but then raped her when she tried to leave days later. Drummond says it is fine by him to let David keep thinking that he is his father, but Hi-Sook refuses, saying it's time to tell David the whole truth. (Also one of few episodes where Arnold wasn't the star.)
  • Hunter (1984): Rick Hunter, the title character, a police detective in 1980s Los Angeles and a Vietnam vet, finds out that he has a teenage son from a one-time Vietnamese girlfriend.
  • Since M*A*S*H was set during the Korean War this topic comes up a lot, with the different episodes varying on whether or not the American soldier father married the mother or not. In fact the episode Yessir, That's Our Baby is entirely dedicated to the hardships faced by the biracial children fathered by foreign soldiers who then either abandon the mother or get killed before they could marry them.
  • Maurice Minnifield in Northern Exposure suddenly discovers that he has a half-Korean son, conceived during the Korean War. What adds to hilarity is the fact that Minnifield and his son don't understand each other's languages. They eventually find some common ground in both being engineers.
  • NCIS: Subverted. In the distant past, Gibbs travelled to a South American country to snipe an evil drug lord/murderer/rapist fellow. He has a brief love affair while there. That woman's son eventually comes to him asking for help. The team speculates that Gibbs has a kid . . . only for the last minute Reveal that the boy's father was the guy Gibbs sniped. Add in the fact that the guy was mentioned to be a rapist, and we have some sad Fridge Logic on our hands.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles has an episode from Season 3, "The Dragon and the Fairy", where it emerges that A domestic servant living in slavery-like conditions in LA was in fact the daughter of an American translator who was helping on the case.
  • Scrubs: Chief of Medicine Dr. Bob Kelso pays tuition for his half-Vietnamese bastard son Thong Tri.
  • Played with and averted in the Seinfeld episode "The Understudy". Whilst stationed in Korea, Frank Costanza has a brief affair with a Korean woman. However the relationship never gets very far because he refuses to take off his shoes whilst in her parents' house, which they see as disrespectful. It turns out she is living in New York by the point of the series, something which was completely unknown to either of them. She works in a manicure parlor. Elaine brought Frank to the parlor because he speaks fluent Korean and she had suspicions the Koreans were insulting her in their language. It turned out she was right, as they ended up insulting Frank too, which led to him shouting at them, leading his ex-girlfriend to recognise his voice.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Seska, the Cardassian who was disguised as a Bajoran claimed to have stolen Commander Chakotay's DNA and impregnated herself with the child. It was revealed at the end of the story arc to be the child of her new lover, the Kazon Culluh (originally it apparently was supposed to be Chakotay's, but the producers changed the baby's parentage because they weren't interested in having Chakotay raise a kid for the rest of the series and because they couldn't have him callously abandon his own son).
  • The Young and the Restless: Jack Abbott turns out to have one of these when the son he conceived with a Vietnamese woman during his service in the war comes to Genoa City looking for him.


  • In the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, several characters (Reno, Billy and Moon) are trying to break up the impending wedding of Hope, who Billy is in love with, and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, who is in love with Reno. At one point, Evelyn mentions that he had an affair with a Chinese girl named Plum Blossom. In the finale, Reno, Billy and Moon dress up in Chinese costumes and bad accents to break up the wedding. This leads to several great lines, including "Lord Evelyn take Plum Blossom into rice paddy and bring back Plum Tart. Pretty soon, along come Little Plum Pudding... *baby-rocking motion*" This prompts Hope to break off her wedding with Evelyn, and offer herself to Billy (aka "Plum Blossom's Uncle"), who insists that Evelyn "join club and right wrong done poor Plum Blossom." Evelyn takes the hint, proposes to Reno, and a double wedding ensues. Can have unfortunate implications, depending on how it's staged, and how much Billy and Moon ham it up with their accents.
  • Madame Butterfly deconstructs this trope by having the mother as the main character, and showing how her life gets ruined when the white man forgets about her and marries an American woman.
  • Subverted in M. Butterfly: Not only was there not a baby to begin with, but the mother was actually a man Disguised in Drag.
  • The children resulting from these chance unions are the entire focus of the song "Bui Doi" from Miss Saigon.

    Western Animation 
  • In King of the Hill, Cotton had a romance with a Japanese nurse, Michiko, during the final days of World War II. Unlike the usual connotations of this trope where one of the lovers is using the other, their romance was real and Michiko is the only woman Cotton truly loved and respected. In the two-parter "Returning Japanese," the Hill family travels to Japan so that Cotton can reconnect with his old love, and it turned out he fathered a child with her, Hank's older half-brother Junichiro.
  • Just like the comics, Young Justice (2010) does this with Red Arrow and Cheshire. In the Time Skip between Season 1 and 2, they did the dirty, Cheshire got pregnant, and she reveals the existence of Lian to her baby daddy in Season 2. Though they make an effort to be good parents to Lian together, in Season 3, Cheshire apparently left them during the Time Skip and returned to being a supervillain (one reason is that she thought Lian deserved a better mother, but it's implied she was also blackmailed).
    • Season 3 also reveals Talia had a baby — likely Damian with Bruce.