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:
- She's a peripheral or retconned love interest.
- She's presented as an Exotic Dragon Lady.
- She gives birth to a Eurasian child and keeps it secret from the father.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- DC Comics:
- Cheshire (Vietnamese/French) is Arsenal and Catman's babymama.
- Moonday Hawke (Korean/black) is Oliver Queen's babymama.
- Shado (Japanese) is also Oliver Queen's babymama (via Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male).
- Lady Shiva (Chinese American) 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.
- Talia Al Ghul (Chinese/Arab) is Batman's babymama.
- Mindy Hong (Chinese?) is Trickster's babymama.
- Lillian Worth (Cambodian) is Deathstroke's babymama.
- Subverted in Watchmen: 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.
- 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.
- Marvel Comics:
- Daken is the son of Wolverine and his deceased Japanese wife.
- Mantis was the result of one such union by a supervillain and a Vietnamese woman.
- A group of New Warriors 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.
- Puck of Alpha Flight had a half-Asian daughter, Zuzha Yu, whose mother was an unnamed Asian Babymama.
- From 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.
- Ursula X. X. Imada, who is at least partly Japanese, was the mother of Nexus' (Horatio Hellpop's) twins Scarlett and Sheena.
- The Seance from The Umbrella Academy 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.
- ElfQuest has (admittedly non-Asian) Kahvi playing 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...)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flashman discovers he had one of these in Flashman and the Redskins. It's a rather odd parentage though, the mother is part-African American/part Caucasian, but the son is able to pass as a Native American, perhaps a product of his father being a Master of Disguise.
- In a short story 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.
- Hunter: 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Scrubs: Chief of Medicine Dr. Bob Kelso pays tuition for his half-Vietnamese bastard son Thong Tri.
- 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 Minnified and his son don't understand each other's languages.
- 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. Dummond is reunited with David's mother Hi-Sook it's revealed that Dummond knows he's not the father as does Hi-Sook but she told David he was to cover up the truth about his parentage. That 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. Dummond says it fine by him to let David keep thinking that he is his father but Hi-Sook refuses staying it's time to tell David the whole truth. (Also one of few episodes were Arnold wasn't the star.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The children resulting from these chance unions are the entire focus of the song "Bui Doi" from Miss Saigon.
- Subverted in M. Butterfly: Not only was there not a baby to begin with, but the mother was actually a man Disguised in Drag.
- 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 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.
- US law allows for the sponsored immigration to the United States of those fathered by Americans between 1951 and October 1982 in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Significantly, it does not cover the Philippines and Japan. And these are supposed to be America's strongest allies in Asia. What the Hell, Hero?
- Inverted with a subsect of Japanese women called "Gaijin Hunters". They're a group of Race Fetishists that seek handsome foreign men (usually white) so they can become pregnant with a half-Japanese, half-foreign child, and then dump their boyfriend and vanish with the child.