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Calling the Old Man Out

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Fire Lord Ozai: GET OUT! Get out of my sight right now if you know what's good for you!
Prince Zuko: That's another thing. I'm not taking orders from you anymore.
Ozai: You will obey me, or this defiant breath will be your last! [steps towards Zuko]
Zuko: [draws swords] Think again! I am going to speak my mind... and you are going to listen.

Did Mom and/or Dad leave you without an explanation, only to pop up years later expecting hugs and kisses? Are you tired of listening to the same Freudian Excuse for frequently screwing up their lives and yours? Is endlessly sucking up to the "Well Done, Son!" Guy for the tiniest crumb of respect really starting to get on your nerves? This is when standing your own ground comes to play.

Right. Time to take a page from Oedipus Rex and let your parental figure know how you REALLY feel.

It's time to Call The Old Man Out, or the Old Woman, if it's your mother you have issues with. Time for a real shout-down with that dysfunctional parental figure. Possibly even a beat down if you really get into it. (We suggest you try not to go any farther than that; killing a parent, even one who arguably deserves it, tends to put you in the villain camp by default. Even Oedipus got nailed for it eventually, and he didn't even KNOW the man was his father.)


You see this trope whenever a child figure (who is most often fully adult in age, but in rare cases may still be a child or teenager) goes into full-on confrontational mode with a parent figure they feel has severely wronged them. "Child" and "parent" can be fairly loose here — it's the power relationship that's key, not the genetics. Although the confrontation can be quite long-winded as it plays out, the semantic content usually boils down to "Daddy/Mommy, you SUCK!". For some reason, father figures are far more often targeted for this, due to the general belief that most women tend to be better parental figures than fathers, or maybe it's just not considered nice to yell at Mom. This can be a double whammy if the "parent" is also The Caretaker since they're essentially the child's lifeline and are wronging them.


Also, for this trope to come into play, the parental figure must truly have transgressed, or the child figure must have good reason to believe the transgression has happened. If the child figure is not at least somewhat justified in their accusations, it's not Calling The Old Man Out — it's just throwing a temper tantrum.

Bonus points are awarded if the child is able to (correctly) point out that they have managed not to repeat the parental mistakes with their own offspring. Penalty points are awarded if they have tragically repeated exactly the same mistakes with their own offspring. Of course, the parent may be happy either way.

Sometimes, the writer may not want the child figure to be the one doing the calling out. Maybe they want to keep the child figure Really Nice, so nice they won't even yell at an abusive parent. Maybe they want to show that the child figure is still so thoroughly whipped by the abusive parent that they are still incapable of facing them. Maybe the child is hoping that Daddy may still turn out to be good after all, despite the abuse, and is therefore holding back on giving him the what-for. Maybe they feel that the accusation will seem less whiny if an outsider delivers it, thereby validating the abuse in the eyes of a third person. In such a case, someone who loves the child figure may step in and deliver the calling out vicariously — "How dare you treat your child like that, you monster!" Spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, aunts/uncles, mentors, best friends, or possibly even older siblings may step in and take on this job for someone unwilling or unable to do it for themselves.

The results of Calling The Old Man Out can vary widely. Clearing the air might be a good thing, and result in some kind of parent-child reconciliation. (A common variant is when the parent can provide some kind of reasonable explanation for why bad things were allowed to happen that the child was not previously aware of.) It might result in a permanent break between parent and child. It might even provide a powerful catharsis for the child figure, allowing Character Development to take place through resolving that Freudian Excuse, Parental Abandonment issue, or "Well Done, Son!" Guy obsession the character has been carrying around most of his or her life. If the parent being called out is a villain, it might result in that parent having a breakdown (if the parent hasn't had one already) and going on the warpath against the child. In extreme cases, the parent, the child, or both, might end up dead. Maybe the parent is touched by what the child said and reconciles with the child. Maybe nothing at all changes.

Just out of fairness, it should be mentioned that good old Oedipus himself is not truly an example of this trope, as he did not know he was killing his father when it happened and was not intentionally doing it as revenge for his father spiking his feet and leaving him to die on a hillside as a baby. Oedipus killed the old man for cutting him off in traffic.

Sub-Trope of Grew a Spine. Compare Rage Against the Mentor. See also I Hate You, Vampire Dad and Hates Their Parent. As noted, Abusive Parents will likely be on the receiving end, putting this on the far side of the Sliding Scale of Parent-Shaming in Fiction. Often a subtrope of "The Reason You Suck" Speech.

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  • In the short story "On Stage" from the North Korean anthology The Accusation, Kyeong-hun lashes out at his father for not realizing the nation's mourning for Kim Il-Sung comes from fear rather than sorrow. The realization ultimately drives the latter to suicide.
  • Animorphs: In book #41, Jake meets what he thinks is Elfangor, and calls him out for putting the fate of the planet on the shoulders of five teenagers. "Elfangor" turns out to be Tobias in an aged-up Ax morph, and the whole book ends up being All Just a Dream in the end.
  • Happens at the end of Gifts, the first book in Annals of the Western Shore. Orrec confronts his father on faking Orrec's supposed "wild gift" to give Caspromant a fearsome reputation when Orrec really has no gift at all. His father can't even answer, having convinced himself that Orrec really did have a wild gift.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The unfairly despised but worthy youngest son Tyrion Lannister finally tells off his father, Lord Tywin Lannister. And then kills him. Tywin deserved it.
    • After his father slaps him and goes on a rant about now being the King of the Iron Islands with a crown of iron and so on, Theon angrily reminds him that he's just a joke to his enemies, who will clean him up shortly after the true threats are dealt with. Balon admits that it's a bold move on Theon's part, but beyond that dismisses him. Ultimately Theon is proven correct: the only real blow the Iron Islands deal out has nothing to do with Balon, and only after Balon has been killed in a gloriously anticlimactic way do the islands begin to rise as a credible threat under Euron.
    • Princess Arianne Martell calls out on her father for being unresponsive to her Uncle Oberyn's death, for locking up her cousins, the Sand Snakes and for passing off her rights to her younger brother, Quentyn. She got the third one wrong when Doran revealed that she's supposed to marry Viserys Targaryen which was one of his plans to return the Targaryens to power and to destroy the Lannisters..
  • In The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri Karamazov calls his father out and ends up beating the everliving crap out of him in a fit of rage. It's part inheritance money and part Love Triangle which spurs him.
  • In The Canary Prince, an Italian Fairy Tale, the heroine calls out her father for his neglect of her, locking her in a tower for years. Somehow, the fact that she wasn't happy cut off from all society is new information to him, After asking for forgiveness, he punishes the queen, but he himself is not held accountable for his mistreatment of his daughter.
  • Coin of the Realm: Rosalind calls out her father, The Ruling Monarch and The Man Who Thought He Knew More About Everything Than Anyone Else, upon assassinating her newly-wed husband at the wedding itself, in front of everyone, and boldly claiming her prize as his new royal assassin.
  • In The Corrections, all three of Alfred and Enid's children try to call them out on their various issues and problems. It does not take.
  • Count and Countess tells the story of Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory, who, though living 100+ years apart, start writing to each other in childhood. At the start of the story, Vlad's father, Vlad II Drakul, has surrendered his three sons to the Ottoman Empire as war hostages. Vlad and his brothers endure unspeakable cruelty while there, and only Vlad survives it seemingly. When Vlad escapes life as a Janissary and walks all the way home to Wallachia, he calls the old man out by murdering him.
  • Senna Wales, when she finally meets up with her mother during her Villain Episode book, Inside the Illusion. Apparently, she's been imagining the moment since she was a small child.
    Senna: How have I been? For the last ten years after you dumped me off? How have I been, the only one like me stuck in a world full of deaf, dumb, and blind fools? Fine, Mom. Fine. How have you been?!
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Proven Guilty, Carlos Ramirez confirms his brass-balls-itude by calling out the Merlin himself — the single most powerful wizard in the world — on how much of a hypocritical Jerkass of a bastard he's being. It's also done movingly by Molly, to her mother Charity.
    • Harry himself calls out his de facto father, Ebenezar McCoy, several times in the series. He later finds out that McCoy is his grandfather, making it "Calling the Even Older Man Out."
  • Tash and Zak Arranda, in Galaxy of Fear: Army of Terror, finally tire enough of their uncle's standoffishness and stubborn secrecy to call him out. Turns out he's The Atoner. It works out well for them in the end.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, Ungannis declares that Humans Are Bastards because her father didn't give her everything she wanted when she was a child. It does not go over well.
  • In The Gunslinger, Roland calls out Cort for the ritual coming-of-age challenge of every gunslinger. Due to a plot by Walter, Roland is only 14 when he issues the challenge. Walter expects Roland to be disgraced and exiled. Some creative thinking on Roland's part plays a key role in the outcome of the challenge.
  • In the Harry Potter series:
    • Percy had himself a distinctly unheroic version between Goblet and Order when Perc got into a shouting match with his father during the hiatus between the books. During the fight, Percy blames his father for their family's poverty and a lousy reputation he's had to fight against since joining the Ministry. He vows to end his association with their family in order to protect himself from what he views as their foolish support of Dumbledore.
    • Harry himself throws a Grand Mal fit in Dumbledore's office at the end of Order Of The Phoenix over a combination of the shock of Sirius' death, Dumbledore's misguided avoidance of him for the entire book, and the revelation that Dumbledore had been hiding even more information from him than he suspected (information that might have helped avert the aforementioned death). To his credit, Dumbledore does let him vent his rage before apologizing and promising to tell Harry the whole truth. (It still wasn't ''the whole'' truth, but still things he admits he should've told Harry from the start.) In fact, he thinks Harry deserved to be even angrier than he was at the time.
    • In Deathly Hallows:
      • Harry gets to confront Lupin, who just abandoned his wife and unborn child. To his credit, Lupin realises he's being an idiot and, next time he sees Harry, asks him to be godfather to his newly born son.
      • Harry gets to call out Dumbledore again, when they meet in Harry's dreamworld limbo train station, towards the end of the book.
  • Dee of The Hearts We Sold puts up with a lot of her dad's crap, but after years of abuse and negligence, the discovery that he stole her inheritance from behind her back proves to be the straw that broke the camel's back. She finally calls him out and only returns home one more time after that: to get everything she needs to get a job, meaning she can move out for good.
  • In the Honor Harrington series, Honor makes an enemy of industrialist Klaus Hauptman when she confiscates one of his freighters with contraband aboard. He continues to sabotage her career for several books, and when Honor saves his life and that of his only daughter, Stacey, in Honor Among Enemies, he still won't bury the hatchet. At that point, his daughter calls him out, threatening to never speak to him again unless he makes peace. He does, and the Hauptmans go on to become two of Honor's most powerful allies on Manticore.
  • I, Lucifer has many instances of Lucifer calling out "The Old Man" on a few of his perceived jerkass qualities and actions.
  • While still a child, Jane Eyre eventually calls out her aunt and caretaker for being abusive and unfair towards her, and it actually seems to have some effect.
  • Journey to Chaos: The Noble Family of Esrah is supposed to serve the Royal Family of Ataidar, but Duke Selen stages both a kidnapping of the princess and then a coup against the king in order place himself or his son, Siron, in charge. He tells Siron that he's doing this for his sake and so Siron goes along with it. Eventually, he's had enough and calls out his evil dad for his treachery.
  • In the Jumper novel, the Abusive Parents subplot culminates in an epic Calling Out. Davy jumps his father to his mother's grave and then subjects him to a Breaking Speech. While using Daddy Dearest's whipping belt as a prop to emphasize just how horrific and wrong the abuse was.
  • In Kristy's Big News, the title character — founder of The Babysitters Club — and her older brothers get to finally do this to the father who walked out on them six years earlier, letting him know exactly how difficult he made life for them by abandoning the family.
  • Inverted in Leven Thumps when Elton calls out his son Leven for killing his wife Maria in childbirth. Then they fight. Afterwards, it's played straight as Leven gets to call Elton out.
  • In Jane Austen's Love and Freindship, Edward does this in face of a marriage to a lovely and agreeable woman.
    "No, never," exclaimed I. "Lady Dorothea is lovely and Engaging; I prefer no woman to her; but know, Sir, that I scorn to marry her in compliance with your Wishes. No! Never shall it be said that I obliged my Father."
  • Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series:
    • Magic's Pawn: After a series of traumatic experience that include the death of his first love, a failed attempt at suicide, and the sudden acquisition of a massive array of powers that he doesn't really want, Vanyel is drugged to the gills and barely conscious but still able to pull a mild Carrie on his abusive father for spending his entire childhood trying to have the "weakness" beaten out of him and make sure that he became a "real man." He repeatedly uses his new telekinetic powers to knock his father to the ground, demanding to know if he's finally "strong enough" and how his father likes being pushed around by someone bigger and stronger than he is. (His father gets the message, and by the third book of the trilogy, the two of them manage to reconcile.)
    • The "calling the mentor out" version happens in Winds of Fate, when Elspeth realizes that her companion Gwena is herding her, fat, dumb and happy, toward a Glorious Destiny while trying to foist Skif on her as an ideal mate. Her response, paraphrased: Screw Destiny, stop manipulating me, and if you don't like it, you can go back to Haven without me! Gwena is so shocked at Elspeth's behavior that she actually acquiesces (more or less). It turns out pretty well for all involved.
    • Bear calls his father out by proxy in Changes. He goes all-out on the spy his father planted in Haven to keep an eye on him, knowing the spy will send a full report home. He gets to do it face to face in Redoubt.
  • In "The Man Who Came Early", Thorgunna calls her father Ospak a coward and a perjurer when their houseguest Gerald kills a man in self defense, and Ospak will not pay the weregild out of fear for a blood feud.
  • Monster of the Month Club: Woman, in this case, since Rilla has it out with her mother in book 2 when she finally gets tired and frustrated with her over a variety of things, including Sparrow embarrassing her in front of her friends. Sparrow is somewhat taken aback, but she and Rilla do sit down and talk over things as a result, including asking Rilla to tell her if Sparrow is embarrassing her so she'll stop doing it.
  • The Mortal Instruments: For the entire duration of Jocelyn's kidnapping and subsequent coma, Clary is completely devoted to bringing her back. When Jocelyn finally is cured and returned, the very first thing Clary does is tear into her for depriving Clary of her Sight and not preparing her for the Shadowhunters' world.
  • In the second Night Huntress book, Cat tries to call her father out. Unfortunately, vampire politics get in the way.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • Luke is...very ticked with his father.
    • And in The Last Olympian, Percy does this to all the gods, telling them they should accept all demigods (including checking in time and time on their children) and take responsibility for their actions. And he even extends it to telling them that even the minor gods and their children should have a place at the camp.
    • Also in The Last Olympian, Hades calls out his father.
      "And if there is one thing we agree on - it's that you were a TERRIBLE father."
      • Leo does this to his dad, Hephaestus, in the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, to a degree that not even Percy would have.
  • In Prince Roger, near the end of March Upcountry Prince Roger is told that his father tried to pull off a coup before Roger was born. Roger, unfortunately, looks almost identical to the man. Worse, no one ever told Roger what happened, or why his father was banished - or even why his mother seemed to hate and distrust him. The resulting spoiled-lonely-brat-who-wants-some-loving-attention behaviour did nothing to improve anyone's attitude towards him. And to top it all off, once he finally finds all this out...he can't even Call Out his mother for her actions, because she's several solar systems away — so he has to settle for throwing a tantrum of epic proportions, ending up trashing his room and mistreating his sword badly.
  • In Rock of Ages by Walter Jon Williams, Drake tries this after discovering just how convoluted some of the plots his legally-dead father has gotten involved with are. Unfortunately, his father is not merely a Brain in a Jar but is getting rather senile, and manages to completely miss the point of Drake's angry lecture.
  • Not sure if this was included in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but Cao Pi (son of Magnificent Bastard Cao Cao) ordered one of his concubines (Zhen Ji, for those of you familiar with Dynasty Warriors) to commit suicide on the pretext that she was too jealous of his other wives. One day he takes his heir apparent (and Zhen Ji's son) out for a hunt and manages to bag himself a nice doe; in high spirits, he tells his son to capture the fawn as well, at which point the son answers: "You have already killed the mother; I see no need to murder its child as well".
  • Jenna from Septimus Heap does this to Milo Banda, her father who's always absent, in Syren:
    Jenna Heap: And you are not my father. Dad is.
  • Carmen in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Her dad definitely deserved it, seeing as he didn't tell her he was engaged, living with his fiancée and her two kids, and getting married that August before she came to spend the summer with him for the first time since the separation.
  • Zacharias in Sorcerer To The Crown finally is able to stand his ground against his adoptive father Stephen, after Stephen is dead. And a ghost. Zacharias finds his appearing in the midst of conversations with living people most annoying, and says so.
  • In Sourcery, Coin has spent his whole life as his father Ipslore's mindslave, being forced to kill people and magically tortured if he disobeys. At the end of the book, he finally calls Ipslore out. It's epic and involves a magical battle.
    • To put things in perspective, Coin is nine.
  • The Star Trek Expanded Universe novel The Captain's Daughter has Admiral John "Blackjack" Harriman, father of Enterprise-B captain John Harriman, and heavily implied to be the reason such a young, inexperienced officer is in command of the Enterprise, accompany his son's ship. He spends the entire time boasting about how he got his son such a prestigious command, complaining about James Kirk, and overriding the captain at critical moments. When Captain Harriman finally stands up to him, the admiral unloads on him, calling him names and saying he's worse than Kirk ever was, before sitting in the command chair. The captain's response is to beam him to the brig.
  • In one of the Teenage Worrier books, Letty mistakenly believes her father is planning to leave his family for a male lover. She imagines confronting him in a humorous scenario, finishing with:
    And the great noble Hand of God will wag its finger at Dad and say "Look after your kids, punk."
  • Mark does this to the Emperor, his biological father, when he finally meets him in the Third Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen. Since the Emperor is really God, it is not very surprising that His response is, in effect, when you're as old as I am and know as much as I do, you can question what I do and why I do it.
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • Crookedstar eventually stands up to his abusive mother Rainflower, telling her that she'll never make him ashamed of who he is or what he looks like.
    • Brambleclaw defies his father, Tigerstar, in The Darkest Hour when Tigerstar invites him to join him.
  • Both played straight and subverted by Zephyr in The Windwater Pack: His father Stone Voice is at the top of his list and he never hesitates to let him know it. However, when he has the chance to really put him in his place, he simply says “Good-bye” and walks away.
  • In the third book of The Witchlands, Vivia finally gets angry at her father, a Manipulative Bastard who moulded her into a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, calling him out on his megalomania, his lies and the way he constantly dismisses her and treats her like a child to prop himself up. Years of mental abuse being rather hard to cast off, she still feels horrid about it.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Jason is Alia's brother, not her father, but he's essentially raised her since their parent's death, and Alia delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to him after he reveals his true allegiances.

  • 3 Doors Down. "Sarah Yellin'" is a diatribe directed at an entire family.
  • Reversed in Ayreon's "Day 16: Loser" off "The Human Equation". Here we have the abusive, alcoholic, jerkass of a father berating and calling out his own son while in the hospital. He goes on about how weak, helpless and pathetic his son is before leaving. The closest we get to a response is when the son's rage persona freaks out and screams at the father.
  • Death Cab for Cutie's "Styrofoam Plates" consists entirely of a boy/young man calling his father out in the bitterest way imaginable at said father's funeral. Naturally, averts Never Speak Ill of the Dead.
  • Demi Lovato's song "For The Love Of a Daughter" is about her biological father's drinking & abusiveness, directed at him. It includes lines like "Lied to your flesh & your blood, put your hands on the ones that you swore you loved," and says "You're hopeless" as part of the chorus.
  • "Pa" ("Dad") by the Dutch band Doe Maar from their album Virus, about a troubled son-father relationship.
  • Dream Theater's "Honor Thy Father" is exactly this. Directed towards a stepfather, but a pretty venomous rendition of the trope nonetheless. Drummer Mike Portnoy wrote this song about his stepfather. He explained, "I'm not very good at writing love songs, so I decided to write a HATE song!"
  • Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness", though done symbolically - the "mother" in question represents society.
  • Everclear's "Father of Mine", which calls out the speaker's Disappeared Dad.
  • Any Eminem song about his mother, especially "Cleanin' Out My Closet".
  • The Trope Namer is the Garth Brooks song "The Night I Called the Old Man Out", in which the narrator and his father come to blows. It's never quite revealed what exactly the father is being called out for, but by the end of the song the son relents, realizes his father is right, and "prays someday he's half the man he is."
  • Reversed in Genesis' "No Son of Mine". The song tells the story of a boy who runs away from home, and after some consideration attempts to return, only to be berated by his jerkass abusive father. note 
  • Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild".
  • James Durbin's song "Screaming" has him calling out his parents for being "liars" because they said that his life would improve with time.
  • The Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" deals with a man on a search to find his old man, who abandoned him at a very young age and left him with the titular name (which led, as you might expect, to a lot of bullying for the kid). When Sue finally finds his father, he calls him out with "My name is Sue! How do you do! Now you gonna DIE!", then starts throwing punches. Then Dad gets out he named him Sue so he'd be the tough SOB he'd grown to be in his absence, and they make up, and Sue says if he ever has a son, he'll name him..."Bill or George, anything but Sue!"
  • Possibly Korn's "Daddy". There has been some confusion over this one, given the title. Jonathan Davis has clarified (in the few interviews where he discusses this song) that his father did not abuse him; rather, the song is about a neighbor who abused him, with the line "I'll be your daddy" being some sort of sick come-on and not at all literal. The reason he was so ticked off at his parents was that they didn't believe him when he told them about it.
  • Lifehouse's "Walking Away" and "Blind" are both good examples of this.
  • Martha Wainwright's "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole" is about her father Loudon Wainwright III.
  • A bittersweet example is Martin Simpson's Never any good, where the narrator is saying his dad was no use but without those traits, he'd have never been born:
    You were never any good with money / couldn't even hold a job / not steady enough for the office / not hard enough for the hod ... If you'd have been a practical man / If you'd have been forewarned / you would have seen that it never would work / And I would have never been born
  • The Megas: Mega Man rages at Dr Light for sending him to war against his wishes, while Proto Man is understandably furious that Light physically took him apart and used the bits to build Mega Man.
    Mega Man: Why did he give me voice? And still choose not to hear it - just white noise? Your light is going out on me. It was you who built this uncertainty! This is your answer - another machine...I'm just another machine. ("Fly on a Dog")
    Proto Man: My heart is gone, there's only fire. I've met my maker and the man's a liar. ("I'm Not the Breakman")
  • Metallica's "Dyer's Eve" is mostly this, with both parents being called out for their sheltered religious parenting.
    Dear Mother, Dear Father
    What is this hell you have put me through?
    Believer, Deceiver
    Day in, day out, live my life through you
    Pushed onto me what's wrong or right
    Hidden from this thing that they call life
  • the Mountain Goats song "Lion's Teeth" describes a terrifying confrontation with the singer's abusive stepfather, imagined as a literal lion. The whole album is actually an example of Calling The Old Man Out. There's a reason why the album is dedicated to those who are living in broken homes.
  • Nickelback's "Never Again" where the speaker calls out a domestic abuser: "Father's a name you haven't earned yet / You're just a child with a temper / Haven't you heard you don't hit a lady / Kickin' your ass would be a pleasure." Not surprising, the wife busts a cap in her abusive husband.
  • NOFX's "Happy Father's Day" starts off with a soft melody before transitioning into a typical fast-paced punk song, as the true intentions are revealed:
    Fuck you Paul Burkette / I'm glad that you are dead
  • Pearl Jam's "Better Man" is a good example. It's inspired by Eddie Vedder's abusive stepfather, whom he referred to as "the bastard who married my mama".
  • Queensrÿche's "Bridge", in which the speaker calls out his estranged father for trying to make up for lost time when he never made that connection in the first place.
    You say, "Son, let's forget the past,
    I want another chance, gonna make it last."
    You're begging me for a brand new start,
    trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart,
    but you know... you never built it, dad.
  • Either a songwriter, singer or someone closely associated with the band Simple Plan must have had some serious father issues because a fair number of their songs are about just this: "Shut Up", "Perfect", "One Day", "You Don't Mean Anything". And listen to the song "This Song Saved My Life." There is a line which says that he became closer with his dad than he used to be.
  • Skillet's song "Open Wounds" is essentially about a young man calling his father out for being emotionally distant in his life (with lyrics like "How could you hate me/When all I ever wanted to be was you?") The song is based on frontman John Cooper's rocky relationship with his father after his mother died of cancer, but they've since made up.
  • Sufjan Stevens's "Pittsfield" from The Avalanche describes a neglectful (and possibly emotionally abusive) parent or guardian. It opens with the narrator affirming their own independence and reflecting that they are no longer afraid of this person.
    I'm not afraid of you now, I know / so I climb down from the bunk bed this slow /I can talk back to you now, I know / from a few things that I learned from this TV show / You can work late 'til midnight; we don't care / We can fix our own meals, we can wash our own hair
  • Tupac Shakur's second album has "Papa'z Song", featuring 2Pac and his half-brother Moprene raging at 2Pac's stepfather and Moprene's father at abandoning his family.
  • One of the interpretations of "Bite My Tongue" by You Me At Six is that it's one of these thanks to the chorus: "I wanna hate every part of you in me/I can't hate the ones who made me."

    Myths & Religion 
  • A recurring theme in Classical Mythology. Cronus does it to his father Uranus, as punishment for imprisoning his children, and Zeus does it to his father Cronus in turn, for doing his damnedest to swallow all of his own children at birth. In both cases, it ends in a rather permanent Groin Attack.
  • Achilles does it to Agamemnon, the commander of the Greek forces at large, in The Iliad. Agamemnon responds by taking Achilles' war prize, kicking off the plot.
  • In The Bible, God actually encourages His people to call Him out despite Him being an infallible deity. Mainly on the grounds that humans not be just mindless machines doing what they are told and to better understanding their own faith by testing it and questioning it. God often praises those who question Him... If they have a good reason too that is. If they don't and are just complaining for some petty reason, He will call them out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Very common in a game of Bliss Stage, where someone is almost certainly going to get sick of the Authority Figure's crap and tear them a new one.
  • The Horus Heresy from Warhammer 40,000, where Calling The Old Man Out resulted in a galaxy-splitting civil war which left trillions dead, trapped a comatose Crystal Dragon Jesus on life support, and started ten thousand years of the worst regime imaginable as mankind slowly shudders its way towards extinction.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons module Return to the Tomb of Horrors lets the Big Bad Acererak, of all people, give one to his demon father. As a Child by Rape whose mother tried to raise him well and was killed by a mob for her efforts, Acererak held a grudge against the demon for 800 years, then finally summoned it and trapped it in service... as a decoration.

  • All My Sons:
    • Chris Keller turns on his father for shipping 128 cracked engine heads that caused the deaths of 21 men. When he finds out his father knew about it but told nobody until it was too late, he asks him what kind of a man would do such a thing. His father says it was to keep the Family Business for him, and Chris explodes with rage:
      "For me! Where do you live, where have you come from? For me!—I was dying every day and you were killing my boys and you did it for me? What the hell do you think I was thinking of, the Goddam business? Is that as far as your mind can see, the business? What is that, the world—the business? What the hell do you mean, you did it for me? Don't you have a country? Don't you live in the world? What the hell are you? You're not even an animal, no animal kills his own, what are you? What must I do to you? I ought to tear the tongue out of your mouth, what must I do?"
    • Larry does it posthumously. In his last letter to Ann, he asks her not to wait for him if he is reported missing because he will commit suicide since he cannot live with what his father had done. This is the final straw that breaks Joe Keller leading to his own suicide.
  • Elisabeth: Franz Joseph called his mother Sophie out - a little too late - for meddling in his marriage in the name of the throne.
  • The Glass Menagerie: Tom tells his mother off before leaving.
  • Hamlet: Hamlet absolutely rips his mother to shreds for her quasi-incestuous ways.
    Hamlet: Now, mother, what's the matter?
    Gertrude: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
    Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended.

    Gertrude: Have you forgotten me?
    Hamlet: No! By the rood, not so. You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife, and — would it were not so! — you are my mother.
  • Done by Prince William to Prince Charles in King Charles III, though a lot of it is tied up in how Charles has conducted himself in the lead up to his coronation. William strongly suggests that Charles abdicate when he confronts Charles over the damage Charles has caused to the institution of British monarchy on both the political and popular fronts. He accuses Charles of damaging Williams' birthright (and by extension the birthright of Charles' grandchildren, and all descendants thereafter) by turning the British people against the crown and weakening the already tenuous power of the Royal Family.
  • In King Lear, Kent, a loyal subject, confronts Lear, who had just banished and disinherited Cordelia, under penalty of banishment:
    Kent: Be Kent unmannerly when Lear is mad.
    What wouldst thou do, old man?
    Thinkest thou that duty shall have dread to speak
    When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor's bound
    When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state
    And in thy best consideration check
    This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
    Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
    Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds
    Reverb no hollowness.
  • Into the Woods: The Baker does this to The Mysterious Man at the end of act two, resulting in the eleven o'clock number "No More'', in which the absent father helps his son to not repeat his mistakes.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: "Gethsemane". The Old Man in this case being God, although Jesus relents and goes along with the original plan.
  • At the end of Mrs. Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren calls out her mother for not being very maternal and for her *ahem* profession.
  • In That Championship Season, four of the five members of Fillmore High's 1952 Pennsylvania State High School Basketball Championship winning team have relied on their coach as a father figure ever since they were in high school (in some cases, he is a more important father figure than their own fathers). However, one of the four, Tom, has become increasingly disillusioned with his trite advice, and near the end of the play, he lashes out at his philosophy of the importance of winning above all else by revealing why the fifth member of their team hates him and hasn't spoken to him in twenty years: the coach's philosophy led said fifth player to put the star player of their championship opponents in the hospital, and when, overwhelmed with guilt, he begged the coach to refuse the trophy and the coach refused his request, he severed all ties with the coach and his teammates.
  • Wicked: "Defying Gravity" is an indirect example, as the requisite Old Man isn't there to call out. Not that that stops Elphie...
  • The Wild Duck: Gregers Werle has an entire scene where he calls his father out on his schemes. When he comes to the fate of his mother, it almost goes into Tear Jerker territory. Not that old Werle minded, though.
  • In You Can't Take It with You, Tony tells off his father for giving up on the dreams of his youth, including being a trapeze artist and a saxophone player. Tony Sr. still has the sax in the back of his closet, though.

    Video Games 
  • Jude in Agarest Senki 2 does this to his father Jainus calling him on his Chronic Hero Syndrome when he offers to help Yumil. While Jude says he has no problem helping Yumil, he tells his dad that they can't go risking their necks for a job (they're mercenaries) that either doesn't pay or pays little as they are working to support Chloe (Jainus' wife) and can't afford to play hero.
  • Not necessarily calling the Old Man out, but the Old Woman. In BioShock 2, Eleanor Lamb is being turned into a one-person hive mind by her mother, and is terrified of what she sees as a plot as mad as Andrew Ryan's. With her "Father"'s help (IE: You, her former Big Daddy), she frees herself. The kind of person she becomes depends largely on your moral choices concerning Little Sister disposal and a few Kill/Spare choices along the way.
  • In Borderlands 2, Angel has spent her entire life as essentially a slave to her father, Handsome Jack. At the end of her final mission, where she has the player destroy her life support system so she can die her final act is to call him "an asshole." Since her father apparently kept constantly chiding her for using "bad language", and ordered the death penalty for anyone else who used profanity, this is one of the deeper insults she could offer him.
  • In Chrono Trigger, if he's present, Magus tells Queen Zeal how pathetic she really is, and that killing her would be the merciful thing to do. She doesn't know he's her son, though. To emphasize how personal the battle is for him, the boss music is replaced by Magus' battle theme.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
      • Dorian's entire personal quest revolves around confronting his father for trying to change his sexuality with blood magic, in order to better fit with the Tevinter idea of perfection. It's up to the player if Dorian leaves it at that after his callout, or if he decides to try and reconcile with his father. This quest is a complete Tear Jerker and a Nightmare Fuel in a way that Dorian reveals to the Inquisitor (and to the player) that his father who always espoused against using blood magic ends up using it and considers his son being reduced to a vegatable rather than being himself as a worthy risk to take:
        Halward: I only wanted what was best for you!
        Dorian: You wanted the best for you! For your fucking legacy! Anything for that.
      • Morrigan of all people gets one, provided that you imported a world state where Kierran has the Old God Soul. When Flemeth leads Kierran into the Fade, Morrigan is more fearful and desperate than at any other point in the series, but that doesn't stop her from trying to defend herself and her son or calling her mother out on her horrible parenting and body-snatching tendencies. The player gets to see that she truly does care about her son, beyond whatever ambiguous power he is said to have. And for the first time too, the player will see Flemeth visibly being taken aback by Morrigan's words.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, Winged Humanoid Pendragon gets called out by his elderly mother on behalf of his adopted daughter, Firia. She isn't adopted, mind - she was just born without wings, and he pretended she was just an abandoned orphan because he was too scared to admit his 'flesh and blood was flawed'. This included standing by while his other daughter treated Firia like a slave, and while the other kids in Gorges mocked and abused her — at one point their 'pranks' almost cause her to fall to her death.
  • Inverted in Dragon Quest VIII by King Clavius and Prince Charmles. Having given his son every opportunity to grow into a good heir, only to watch the Entitled Bastard screw the rules, he finally calls him out by publicly revealing he knew all along that Charmles had bought his Argon Heart instead of finishing his Rite of Passage, and had kept silent as a Secret Test of Character and declaring he had proven himself incapable of serving as heir.
  • Nero in the final mission of Devil May Cry 5 gloriously gets to call out both his uncle and father Dante and Vergil, for pointlessly trying to kill each other, saying he’ll forcefully put an end to their Sibling Rivalry once and for all. Dante concedes to his nephew’s wishes (after getting a Offhand Backhand) but Vergil being Vergil is just annoyed at his son interrupting the Duel to the Death and only begrudgingly gives in once Nero kicks his ass.
    • The clashes between Nero and Vergil in-game are certainly this, with the dialogue of Nero rightfully calling Vergil out for being a callous bastard.
      Nero: Feeling accepting yet?
      Vergil: Of your existence or strength?
      Nero: Both, you fucking asshole!
    • Lady back in Devil May Cry 3 calls out her father Arkham multiple times for being a complete monster who killed her mother to gain power, Arkham believes she doesn’t have the strength to kill her “dear papa” and even emotionally manipulates her into attacking Vergil by making it seem like he was brainwashed. At the end Arkham during his Villainous Breakdown pitifully tries to justify his actions to his daughter, who in response shoots him in the head though she does burst into tears shortly after.
  • In the Dawnguard DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Serana calls out both of her parents for treating her as a pawn rather than a daughter. She is actually more vicious towards her mother Valerica because she had already given up on her father, the evil Lord Harkon, a long time ago. If the player has been supportive towards Serana in dialogue and kept her as a Follower for a long time, she will mention that the Dragonborn has done more for her in the short time they've known each other than her mother has done in the last few millennia. Later she'll comment that her mother was, in a way, just as bad as her father. Valerica, to her credit, is sane enough to apologize to Serana and admit her mistakes. Lord Harkon is too far gone to care.
  • Fallout 3:
    • You have exactly one chance to do this after rescuing your father from Tranquility lane, but it changes nothing. This is chiefly due to the small range of dialogue options that would allow you to truly Call The Old Man Out. You're never able to mention that his leaving created too much turmoil and danger for you to remain in Vault 101 as he intended and the option that comes closest requires you to have performed one of the game's more evil acts (blowing up Megaton), which allows your father to maintain the moral high ground. Similarly, you're unable to explain to Doctor Li why you left the Vault against James' wishes, except with a childish "I do what I want" kind of answer.
    • You can do this when talking to Sentinel Cross. She calls you an Ungrateful Bastard and is so offended she will not be your companion.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The father and son of Final Fantasy X set up a Calling The Old Man Out throughout the entire game (case in point: in a Flashback where a young Tidus doesn't show any grief for his missing father and wishes that he'll never come back, his mother asks him if he won't wish for his return so that he can tell him how much he hates him). Near the end of the game they subvert it when Tidus, who has sympathized too much with his father to resent him anymore, tries to call out Jecht despite the tears from his eyes and the knot in his throat. He's barely able to say that he hates Jecht, but does choke it out, only to immediately follow it up by saying that he doesn't mean it, but doesn't know what else to feel. To his credit, Jecht had already acknowledged what a horrible father he had been, and that Tidus was justified in his hate.
      • Dissidia Final Fantasy changes their dynamic a bit; Jecht is more or less something of a Posthumous Character (kind of, it's complicated) in Final Fantasy X, but in Dissidia, he's fully alive and his normal self. Tidus's showdown with Jecht has Jecht initially beating the tar out of Tidus, only for Tidus to recover and yell, "There's no tomorrow for me until I beat you today!" Before the fight, he did get the chance to call him a "no good, self-centered old bastard." And his antagonistic relationship with his father is never actually explained in Dissidia, beyond the need to settle things with Jecht. It's unclear if it's a case of hatred and loathing or anger at living in the old man's shadow and disgust at his father's being manipulated.
    • Balthier tries to call out his father in Final Fantasy XII, but Cid just ignores it.
      "How could you do this? How could you fall so far?"
  • This pops up several times in the Fire Emblem series:
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War:
      • First Generation: Lex calls out his father, Langobalt, if you make them fight.
      • Second Generation: If Levin is the father of Phee and Sety, they call him out for abandoning their mother Ferry. If Nanna's father is Fin, she will also call him out on letting her mother Lachesis leave Lester and try crossing for the Yied Desert in search of her eldest son Delmud. And last, Altena calls out her adoptive father Travant and mixes it with You Killed My Parents.
    • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776: Averted, as Mareeta isn't upset with her father Galzus, and in fact, she's overjoyed to see him and manages to recruit him for the group. Justified as Galzus had saved her life before and tried to hide it, but she could see through him anyway.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Severa didn't take kindly to how her mother Cordelia held an Undying Loyalty to Prince Chrom, the guy whom she once held an Unrequited Love for. At some point, she was both so upset at what she saw as a borderline betrayal to her dad (whoever he is) and so scared about Cordelia possibly dying in the war, that she yelled at her mother for it. The result? Cordelia went out to fight, died in battle and never returned home, and Severa was totally traumatized by it. When Severa returns to the past with her friends and she's recruited by the Shepherds, she again questions Cordelia and her thoughts on Chrom... but this time it's more of a desperate facade where she pretends to be a jerk, as she's very aware that this Cordelia isn't the same mother she lost (Timey-Wimey Ball and all) and doesn't want to emotionally connect to her only to probably lose her again.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, some of the kids end up doing this to their parents.
      • The main one is the Avatar towards his/her supposed father, King Garon. At the end of Birthright, the Avatar confronts Garon over his crimes, particularly causing the deaths of the Avatar's mother, Queen Mikoto. The Avatar is especially furious that Garon doesn't care that Elise and Xander just died and in the ensuing battle, ends up killing Garon.
      • Shiro disappears from his Deeprealm to seek out answers about himself in the real world, thus forcing his father Ryoma and the rest of the army to save him from some thugs. Ryoma lectures Shiro for his reckless behavior, but when he protests that he didn't raise him to be so irresponsible, Shiro turns it back on him and criticizes Ryoma for how much he kept from him.
        Shiro: Dad, want a reality check? You didn't raise me at all.
      • When Saizo finds his son Asugi, he's not happy about his son casting aside the family name and working with thieves. Asugi, however, calls Saizo out on caring more for the Saizo family name than for raising his son.
      • Nina, Niles' daughter, is quick to criticize her father for not doing more to raise her, and that she thinks Niles criticizing her thieving for justice despite having been a thief himself when he was younger is incredibly hypocritical. As a result, they have one of the more strained parent-child relationships in the game.
      • Leo's son Forrest is upset enough with his father's harsh attitude toward Forrest's crossdressing that he storms off, and is still a bit bitter toward him for some time afterward.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, if you complete Felix's prologue, he will chastise his father Rodrigue for putting his obligations to the late King Lambert over those of the people of his kingdom, and for saying that Felix's older brother Glenn (who, like Lambert, was killed in the Tragedy of Duscur) died a hero's death. While Rodrigue takes issue with Felix's tone, he soon admits that Felix may not be entirely wrong about his beliefs.
  • At the beginning of the mission "Reuniting the Family" in Grand Theft Auto V, Jimmy goes on a rant saying he's tired of Michael's shortcomings and refusal to acknowledge them, wrapping it up by saying that he misses him. Interestingly, Michael doesn't argue with him.
    Jimmy: You are just a lame and angry psycho sometimes. You do bad shit and things, and I don't know if I love you and I'm pretty sure I hate you a little bit, but I'm just so fucking upset that we can't even see each other. You're just a drunk, lame dad.
    Michael: You know what? That just might be the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me.
  • Two of the "messenger quests" on Knights of the Old Republic have this trope, and a third has an arguable variant on it. The most literal one is Carth's seems the son he thought dead has actually joined the Sith. Cue one awkward moment in the Korriban academy with two hot-headed Onasis. Bastila's is a female version her terminally-ill and rather ill-tempered mother on Tatooine needs help retrieving a data holocron made by Bastila's late father. The arguable one is Mission's, as her deadbeat brother was the one who more or less raised her. She finds out it was his idea to abandon her at the age of twelve. Cue a lot of players wanting to kick the guy's blue butt into orbit!
  • Raziel from Legacy of Kain has this trope as one of his primary motivations throughout Soul Reaver, the first half of Soul Reaver 2, and continues as a lingering issue right up until the end of Defiance in regards to Kain, his vampiric "father".
  • In Mass Effect 2, Jacob's personal mission has him learning that after being promoted to acting captain and crash landing on a planet where the local flora leads to mental decay, his father eventually set up a Lord of the Flies-esque "paradise" for himself, killed off his fellow officers, made the women his personal harem and sabotaged attempts at outside contact. Jacob for his part is absolutely disgusted, no longer accepting the man before him as his father and depending on what Shepard recommends him will either have him arrested by the Alliance, leave him to the survivors, or force him to commit suicide.
  • In the last chapter of Max Payne 2:, checking Senator Woden's phone messages will reveal a recent one where Vlad, who saw Woden as a father figure, rants about having never received a word of thanks from him. This is a rather extreme example of the trope, as Vlad was planning to kill Woden. Vlad is also pretty egotistical about it. "Would it have killed you to say 'thank you' for once in your life? 'Vlad, my son—can I call you my son, because I sure do love you like one. Vlad, my son, you are a true prodigy. Everything you touch turns to gold!'"
  • Odin Sphere:
    • Oswald does this to Odin at the end of the first episode.
    • Velvet and Ingway had a few moments of chewing out their illegitimate daddy Odin as well, although they went about it in entirely different ways: Velvet outright rejected him; Ingway whipped up an army of Netherworld denizens, learned a secret transformation, and then stormed his kingdom and tried to kill him.
    • Cornelius has a moment like this with his dad: After one royal blunder too many, King Edmund tries to abdicate the throne and give the crown to his son. Cornelius tells him that he can't - the people will never accept a cursed Pooka as their king - and while Edmund never deserved the crown in the first place, now is the time for him to stop being a coward and act like a true ruler.
  • The penultimate mission in Oni is something like this: Konoko raids the TCTF headquarters in an attempt to call out Griffin (her nearest thing to a father figure, save her dead uncle, after years of systematically lying to her and using her, and ultimately trying to have her killed. Once he is cornered, the player is given a choice: you can kill Griffin or let him live. If you choose the latter option, the final boss is much easier as a consequence, and Griffin redeems himself at the very end.
  • In Persona 2: Innocent Sin (and seen in a flashback in Eternal Punishment), you discover that Philemon helped orchestrate the events of the series up to this point to test whether he or Nyarlathotep was truly the more powerful aspect of humanity. Events that involved creating an ill girl, the deaths of numerous people — both innocent and not-so-innocent — and an Earth-Shattering Kaboom before he offered the opportunity to perform a Cosmic Retcon that made that an alternate timeline. The game gives you the option of punching him for what he's helped put everyone through.
  • In Persona 4, Dojima gets this at a few points from his daughter Nanako, and the Player Character(his nephew).
    • Midway through Nanako's Social Link, she has to give her father a form for when he can come in for parent-teacher meetings. Noticing that Dojima is too busy to take a serious look a the sheet, Nanako accuses him of caring more about hunting down bad guys than for spending time with his family, says he's not her "real" dad and runs off to the Samegawa Flood Plain, where she used to go with her parents while her mother was alive. Dojima searches for her, and after finding her, lets the protagonist talk to her and convince her to come home.
    • Near the end of Dojima's Social Link, you, as the Player Character and provided your courage parameters are high enough, have a dialogue option to call him a coward for his inability to interact with his daughter Nanako, following her mother's death. He calls you a punk for doing so but nonetheless agrees with you.
  • In Persona 5 Strikers, Zenkichi, like Dojima before him, has a strained relationship with his daughter Akane. Akane, who's more outspoken and moody than Nanako, is a lot more forthcoming when calling Zenkichi out on not being there for her, especially when he's late for the annual visit to Akane's mother's grave. Akane's Shadow accuses Zenkichi of knowing who was responsible for her mother's death and not acting on the information, (since she doesn't realize that he abandoned the investigation to protect her) and is furious that he didn't try to get justice for the innocent man who was made into a scapegoat for the real killer.
  • Silver essentially does this in Pokemon Heart Gold And Soul Silver, in the Celebi time travel scene. It's not quite as obvious he's Giovanni's son in the English version as in the original Japanese, but the trope is still in evidence.
  • Lillie to her and Gladion's mother, Lusamine late in Pokémon Sun and Moon, laying out every horrible thing the character in question has done.
  • In Resident Evil 2 (Remake) Claire does this on behalf of Sherry (who is too docile to complain herself) calling out her mother Annette for her disregard towards her daughter’s life. Seen when Sherry gets infected and Annette watching from a security camera initially writes her off as dead, Claire enraged scolds “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re her mother. Get in here.” Annette does ultimately redeem herself curing Sherry and apologizing for being a terrible mother before succumbing to her injuries and dying.
  • Struggling: Troy's speech to the scientists who created them at the Galaxy Brain Summit is a variation of this, calling out the pain and suffering that their audience's prior actions ended up leading to. Hopefully, the standing ovation they received in a response implies that they took it to heart and will be more careful and responsible in the future.
  • In Tales of Symphonia there's an example that teeters right on the level of Narm Charm. You'd think Lloyd would want to call Kratos out for not admitting he was Lloyd's father, or for betraying Lloyd to Cruxius, or any number of things. But no, Lloyd's tirade of choice is after the Duel Boss encounter, when he lectures Kratos for being a Death Seeker.
    Lloyd: What will you accomplish by dying? Nothing! There is no meaning in dying!
    Kratos: You're... right... to think, I had to have my son teach me such an obvious lesson...
  • Kazuya Mishima from Tekken, after being thrown to a ravine by his father Heihachi, when at the tender age of 5 nonetheless, made a Deal with the Devil to get back up, build up his strength, topple his father, and then throw him back to the same ravine he was thrown.
    • There's also his son, Jin Kazama, to both of his father and paternal grandfather.
  • Krista Sparks has this in her Twisted Metal: Head-On ending to her father, Calypso.
    Krista: What's the problem? You didn't want to help me! You just want another contestant to kill all those innocent people! You destroy everything and run around like you own the world!
    • The tragic irony is that he did want to help her more than anything, but is unable to do anything unless someone wishes for it and could only wish if she won the contest. You can clearly see how utterly heartbroken he is by having to put her through this.
  • This occurs in Warframe, specifically The War Within. After escaping the Kuva Fortress, the Operator gets into an argument with the Lotus regarding the truth behind Margulis and the Zaramin children.
    Lotus: A mother wants to shield her child from the evils of the world. Margulis didn't lie to you. She protected you.
    Operator: But isn't it better I know the truth? Wouldn't you want to know? Teshin said—
    Lotus: Teshin thinks he knows better. Maybe he does. Maybe you needed to know to survive the Queens. But you are changed now.
    Operator: That's what you have to say? That I'm 'changed'?
    Lotus: What you did, you didn't have a choice. Tenno, you were only just a—
    Operator: Don't. Don't do that. Don't... make excuses for me.
  • Matryona's Last Night provides a fatal example of this. Before he kills them, Matryona calls out both of his parents for forcing him to act like a girl since birth and throwing him away once they get the daughter they always wanted. He decided to save his mother for last because she was the primary source of his rage and misery.

    Visual Novels 
  • Jared in Asagao Academy Normal Boots Club gives an extremely satisfying "Reason You Suck" Speech to his mother who bashed and manipulated both him and Hana for a good portion of the last chapter.
    Jared: I. Am. Sick. Of. This. I have put up with you for seventeen straight horribly awful, painful, joyless years of my life. I begged and begged for you to grant me an ounce of happiness or sunshine every day, and you rejected me in favor of your own selfish greed and pointless ambition, all intended to hide your pathetic sense of loneliness and abandonment. I have finally, finally found something— someone— who makes me happy, someone who showed me that I was still worth a damn even if I wasn't perfect, someone who showed me that everything you taught me throughout my life was wrong. And I will be damned straight to hell if you think I am going to let you take her away from me.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, Satoko Houjou pulls off one of these during Minagoroshi-hen, despite being terrified of the old man (her abusive uncle) in question. It took all of Keiichi's fate-crushing oratory skills and all of Hinamizawa backing her up, but Satoko finds the courage to oppose her abusive uncle and ask for the help she so desperately needs.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has a rather horrific one of these in its fourth arc. Maria, as a full-fledged witch, finally gets revenge on her abusive mother, Rosa. In between each round of bringing her back from the dead and killing her again in inventively horrible ways, the two of them are yelling about how much they hate each other and accusing each other of ruining their lives.
  • Implied in Ever17 In both Kid's routes there is a heated argument between Tsugumi and Sara about Tsugumi refusing to give Sara's some "answer" and running away from her, which ended with Armor-Piercing Slap from Sara to Tsugumi. Only later we find out that parties involved were parent and child and it's unclear if they knew at the time and if that's related to the argument.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: The climax of Yumiko's route in the good ending. She finally decides to stand up to her father, who wants to turn her into an empty puppet, solely interested in propagating the company.
  • Secret Little Haven: The story culminates in Alex confronting John after his constant abuse and gaslighting, calling him out on monitoring her and taking away her privileges to something that's become a safe space for her. Shortly before he completely takes away her internet access, her friends join the chat to call him out for making her feel unsafe.

    Web Animation 
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Magnus's debut in the series has him calling his father out, pointing out that the Emperor was insanely secretive, didn't trust his own children and let Magnus's brothers bully him for having powers the Emperor also had. To be honest, they both needed this rant.
  • RWBY:
    • In the Volume 4 episode "Punished", Weiss calls out her father Jacques, declaring that she'll leave and be a Huntress no matter what he says. She even puts a stop on his rant about "the Schnee name" by reminding him he married into that name, so it's not his to protect. Unfortunately, he responds by disinheriting and detaining her. The next episode, she responds by bailing out of Atlas.
    • In the Volume 5 finale "Haven's Fate", Yang calls out her mother, Raven, for her cowardice: opting to murder the last Spring Maiden and take her powers because she wouldn't get stronger, and preferring to hide away from Salem and her forces rather than actually fight them. Raven actually breaks down and leaves.
    • In the Volume 6 episode "Lost", Ruby has finally had enough of her uncle Qrow's wallowing and calls him out for it, stating that they made it this far without adults and they'll keep going because they haven't given up yet.
  • Season 10 of Red vs. Blue is all about Carolina and Epsilon trying to find the Director and make him pay for what he's done to them. When they finally find him, Sympathy for the Devil kicks in for Carolina. Epsilon still calls him out on what he did to the Alpha and Texas, not to mention all the other people he screwed over or got killed, but is persuaded by Carolina to leave it at that.
  • Ally (who is really Havoc in her body) does this during a phone call with her bitchy mother in Episode 24 of Dr. Havoc's Diary.
    Kim: Hi sweetie, what's up?
    Ally/Havoc: Hey, Mom, uh, just wanna let you know that I love Dad more than you, and I always have. Uh, I think you've made a lot of mistakes in your life, and the biggest one is leaving Dad, heh. I think you need to take a long look in the mirror and realize that you've been really dropping the ball as a mother, and frankly, as a wife. Okay, gotta go, bye.
    Kim: [stunned silence]
  • Sam & Mickey: In "Barbie's Mother", Barbie finally gives Margaret a piece of her mind and eventually forces her to leave the former's mansion.
    Margaret: You are being rude to me, Barbara.
    Barbie: No mother, you're being rude to me!
    Margaret: I beg your pardon?!
    Barbie: You walk into my house for the first time in years, and then proceed to fling insult after insult at me and my kids! I don't need it, mother! I already get enough of that from Skipper who still hasn't brought me a gin and tonic!
    Skipper: [exasperated] Not the maid!
    Margaret: I'm simply pointing out areas in which you and your sad little family may improve yourselves.
    Barbie: My family doesn't need to improve itself, mother! They're perfect just the way they are! They might be a little dysfunctional, but I love them!

    Web Comics 
  • Achewood: Roast Beef, after one insult too many from Grandma K, finally snaps at her for being a control freak and leaves her to take care of herself.
    Roast Beef: Old woman, listen to me. You have forbidden me from pleasure since the day I was born. Now I pay for this house and I pay for your wine. So as of this day, I am the LAW and I am the LASH, do you hear me!?
  • Mistress Sixx calls the old lady out in this page from Collar 6.
  • Dominic Deegan. Here, Miranda Deegan calls both of her parents out for their behavior (and their attacks) on Donovan for him being her choice of a future husband.
  • In The Dreamer, Freddy Knolwlton does this in issue #8, stands up to his father and voices his own opinions about the war, and the eventual burning of New York.
  • Butt-Monkey Syphile from Drowtales gets what possibly may be her one and only moment of awesome in her entire life when she finally tells Quain'tana what a truly godawful mother she is. Then she gets killed. Ironically, her doing this is what finally earns her Quain'tana's respect.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Raven calls out his immortal mother in this strip for risking lives in order to teach Raven an unnecessary lesson.
  • In Endstone, Cole greets Jon with a punch because he used her against her own mother and caused her to be alone in the world.
  • Will Erixon of Fans! has a confrontation with his abusive wife murdering father after he gets sprung from jail as part of a greater conspiracy against him and his friends. To add insult to injury, after Will beats the bastard into the ground, he gets shot full of bullets by FIB agents, and then his corpse gets pistol-whipped by Will's girlfriend Shanna.
  • In Flipside, Crest lets his former mentor, Orransong, know exactly why he dropped out of Knights of La-Shoar training: because he saw Orransong strike his (Crest's) blind mother for daring to question the Knights' prohibition against magic (magic that could've restored her sight years ago). That he was expected to emulate and uphold that sort of behavior was too much for Crest, and he lets Orransong know it, in so many words.
  • In Goblin Hollow this occurs at Lily's family reunion with Ben and Lily's grandfather. The old man makes a threat to Ben to "get out of the picture or else". But Ben indeed DOES call the old man out, not once, but twice, with Ben telling the old bigoted codger that he won't tolerate him making threats.
    Ben: "When it comes to threats, don't bring a tomahawk to a shootout."
  • Ame from Heart Core does this on a daily basis against her father Royce ever since that day when he forced her into a painful and permanently scarring ritual. She doesn't care if she gets denied Heartcores from humans, loses royal privileges, or gets locked into the castle dungeon. She just keeps defying and messing with him in every way possible just for the sake of getting any sort of payback at him.
  • In Kevin & Kell, the first time Lindesfarne appears together with Angelique, her adoptive mother until she divorced Kevin, is when Angelique hires her as a babysitter. Lindesfarne starts out unsure of whether she should continue calling her "Mother" like she used to, and then lays into her over being distant while raising her (resulting in Lindesfarne becoming a "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal), and then abandoning her. Later on, Rudy gets this with the memory of his deceased father after he learns that his rival Vin Vulpen is his half-brother on his father's side, meaning that his father had an affair ("So who do I turn to now for a moral, ethical male role model?").
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND:
    • Liquid Snake (in Decoy Octopus's body) calls out his father, Big Boss (who is currently possessing Liquid's original body) for turning him into an insecure showoff so history wouldn't remember Big Boss only as "Liquid Snake's father."
    • Liquid Snake calls the spirit of Big Boss out again later after Big Boss shows him everything the Philosophers/Patriots have done, asking why he didn't just tell him all this from the beginning instead of jerking Liquid around and manipulating him just like the Patriots.
  • In Misfile, Emily gets chewed out royally by her beloved smother for running away, and her friend Molly returns the favor (as she'd be leaving town soon anyway) while defending her.
  • Roy does this several times over the course of The Order of the Stick to his father's ghost, most recently in comic 500. Which ends up being a variation: Roy only gets to "You pathetic old—" before stopping himself, calming down, and explaining that he won't be bullied by his father anymore. And strangely enough, it works better than any rant Roy could have attempted.
    Roy: I'm not going to change who you are as a person by shouting a few insults at you, no matter how clever they may be. I used to think that I could; that if I could just deliver the perfect retort, it would open your eyes a little. But if everything you've been through with Mom and Eric and Grandpa and the literal forces of the cosmos hasn't made you want to become a better man, I doubt a one-liner from me is going to do the trick now. You are who you are, and every time I stoop to the level of engaging you with another angry tirade, I'm a little more like you and a little less like Mom.
    • But he did it best in comic 293
      Roy: Yeah? Well, I think there may be a flaw in your plan, Dad, because... Well, because screw you.
      Roy: I just want you, personally, to know: If it weren't for the threat to the entire world, I would tell you to shove your 'blood oath' against Xykon up your wrinkled incorporeal ass.
    • When Elan finally realizes what his father is he calls him out on causing the suffering of countless slaves, and when he learns that he fought and exiled Nale, not solely because he betrayed him, but because he did not do it the way Tarquin approved of, he draws his sword, outraged.
    • Haley gets in on it in the same arc after being reunited with her father. He raised her never to trust anyone except family, and she lets him know in no uncertain terms how close that came to wrecking her life.
    • Nale does this as well to his father. He frequently accuses him of having lost his nerve and just sitting around doing nothing with his power. Eventually he yells that he is his own person, not a cog in his schemes, and that he wants NOTHING from his father. And Tarquin kills him, saying that he would have been dead years ago if he hadn't been protecting him.
    • In response to the above, Elan does this again when Tarquin dismisses Nale as a B-villain that Elan had already outgrown. Elan furiously shouts that Nale wasn't just a plot element, he was Tarquin's son. He also points out that Tarquin is the one responsible for Nale growing up to be a crappy person.
  • Fairly early on in Sabrina Online, Sabrina tells her passive-aggressively controlling mother, Endora, gently, but in no uncertain terms to quit trying to control her life or sooner or later, she'll find herself completely shut out of her life.
  • Sluggy Freelance — Any time Riff and his mom are in the same room together. Still waiting for Zoe to do the same, though.
  • Fred, who later becomes Monette's adoptive father, gives her derelict biological father a beautiful chewing out when the bastard shows up at the MacIntire residence for Thanksgiving and treats her terribly, in one arc of Something*Positive.
    • And then there's Jason's father. When he shows up again, Jason remains dumbstruck, until his father says he finds some form of physical greeting appropriate for a 'long lost parent'. Jason immediately punches him.

    Web Original 
  • At the end of Less Is Morgue Episode 9, Riley helps Tarrare work through his feelings of resentment towards his father by shapeshifting into an approximation of him and letting Tarrare just go off about it.
    Tarrare: You were a terrible father! All you ever did was drink and smoke and womanize—
    Riley: This is all just standard, boilerplate French dude activity.
    Tarrare: If you were any man at all, you'd have made sure that your family lived a happy and prosperous life. I shat myself to death in a Versailles hospital at twenty-six! Are you happy about that?
  • Firestorm's defining character trait seems to be that he hates his father Napalm in LessThanThree Comics' "Brat Pack". Firestorm has to be held back from attacking Napalm when he finds out they have to work together.
  • This partly why Tsar Alexander split off from his daughter, Anastasia Romanova, in Malê Rising. She learned of her father's orders during the Great War and grew repulsed by his actions, as well going against his wishes by marrying Prince Tewodros of Ethiopia.
  • In Receiver of Many Demeter is very unhappy with Persephone's and Hades' marriage as well as the fact that Persephone has to come back to the Underworld for six months each year. She firmly believes that Persephone was raped and tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds, despite being told otherwise several times by Persephone herself. After hearing her complains one time too many, Persephone finally calls her mother out on the fact that her plan to transform her permanently into a tree was what forced Hades to abduct her hastily from Nysa. She also reminds her mother that she tried to keep her ignorant of her divine destiny and in the effort to control her life she isolated her and banished all her friends.
  • In Sherwood Forest, the first time Will sees his foster father after two years, he spits at him and tells him that he's at fault for the Sheriff's takeover. Welcome home!

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Chick's (not Lindsay's) real father is a distant alcoholic who never gave her any love. She gets him back by gushing over manly overprotective Disney fathers like Mufasa and Triton.
  • Happens in Episode 2 of Nightwing: The Series. That episode, which details how Dick became Nightwing, reveals that his transition followed an argument with Bruce immediately following Barbara's funeral service in which he lambasted the Dark Knight for putting his mission ahead of the welfare of his comrades. That argument swiftly got physical.
    Dick: I'm getting so sick of this. Every single person you bring into your life gets consumed by this ridiculous vendetta you have! And look at the result! I can't be a part of this anymore.
    Bruce: [coldly] Careful what you say next.
    Dick: You and I, Batman and Robin... it's over.
  • Scanlan gets one in Critical Role — or rather he's the one getting called out. Kaylee, the gnome bard he'd briefly been courting, revealed that she is his daughter from a one night stand many years ago. The rest of their interaction in that episode is her alternately berating, humiliating, and demanding that he fight her, while he apologizes for abandoning her and her mother.
  • The Cry of Mann: Callers tried to call out Tank for being a bad father who abandoned his family.
  • This video shows what might have happened if Luke had turned out to be Rey's father in The Last Jedi(which ended up not being the case). Rey calls Luke out on leaving her behind on Jakku, where she lived in poverty and almost died multiple times, and complains about how Lor San Tekka was unable to do anything to help her.
  • Outside Xbox: Corazon and his father have a...troubled relationship, to put it mildly. Both times they interact, Corazon just tears into him for being an abusive, not to mention totally self-centred, utter douchebag.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series introduces Cruella de Vil's mother Malevola, the head of the de Vil family and a horrid woman who makes Cruella look like a saint in comparison. In "Coup de Vil" Cruella finally snaps at the years of constant disrespect Malevola's shown her and calls her out for the hateful, domineering bitch that she is. Interestingly, Malevola responds to this disrespect with pride and sheds Tears of Joy because Cruella finally shows some spine and their relationship actually improves.
    Cruella: You're a Control Freak! You're as cuddly as a gargoyle and you have the fashion sense of a DRUID! How do you like THAT?!
  • Earl of Lemongrab does this to Princess Bubblegum in the Adventure Time episode "You Made Me!", several times:
    Lemongrab: No one... No one understands! I am alone! And you made me like this! YOU MADE ME!!! YOOOU MAAADE MEEE!!! You're... my... glob! You're my glob!
    Lemongrab: It's gross! And who says your way's right, anyway? I look in the lemon heart you gave me and see my lemon way to act - and that must be right!
    Lemongrab: NO! No more helping! You unload your punkest boys on me?! Tryyy to change my ways?! YOU'RE POISON! YOU'RE POISON!!! YOU NEED RECONDITIONING!!! REEECONDITIIION YOOOU!!!
  • Several occasions in American Dad!, but a great example is in "Bully For Steve." Stan takes the role of a bully and makes Steve's life miserable to get him to toughen up and face his bully. Steve finally calls him out to a fight on the playground. When Stan arrives, Steve reveals that he hired Stan's old bully, Stelio Kontos, to beat him up. Stan gets pulverized, but afterwards, admits he's proud of Steve for handling his bully his way.
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake gets fed up with his job after two years of endless mind-numbing training and threats, repeatedly getting grounded by his father (who isn't in on The Masquerade and thinks he's just been goofing off — which, to be fair, sometimes he is), and ultimately losing his girlfriend twice while still being expected to face all the trouble of youth without any time to enjoy himself whatsoever and deliberately gets his responsibility removed so he can relax for the final week of middle school. The reins get passed to Haley, who at first claims she will do a far better job than her brother, but goes from a calm collected child genius to a frazzled, gibbering mess within days. When Haley overhears Lao Shi start to criticize Jake for being irresponsible and not flawlessly rising to the thankless job, she snaps and tongue-lashes him declaring that it might have been stupid, but it wasn't selfish for him to want to actually be a kid for a few days— generally considered her finest moment in the series.
    Haley: HEY! When's the last time either of you were the American Dragon? Well as the little troll girl currently filling the position, let me tell you it's stinkin' hard! I can't imagine doing it two more days let alone two more years! And to think about everything Jake's gone through; he's had to save magical creatures on a daily basis, lie to his own dad about who he is, say good-bye to the girl he loved, all to protect a mystical world that nobody knows about. He may be the American Dragon but he is also a 14-year-old kid who just wanted a couple days off. If that makes him immature, fine, but self-serving? With all due respect to both of you, STEP OFF!!
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Katara loudly vents her pain and frustration at her father for leaving her and her brother behind to fight in the war. In a twist, Katara admits that she knows that he had no choice and didn't do anything wrong, but can't help but feel angry and hurt by it. Hakoda, loving father that he is, takes it like a man, expresses his regret and asks her forgiveness, which she finally gives to him.
    • Toph calls out both parents in her debut episode, telling them (politely) that she likes being a fighter and is tired of them overprotecting her. Unfortunately, her father decides this means she needs to be protected even more, leading to her running away with Team Avatar. All the more frustrating because all of this takes place after both of Toph's parents have seen her in action and have seen how well she could handle herself.
    • The most epic scene of Calling The Old Man Out in Avatar, however, has to go to Zuko confronting Ozai for controlling him, making him feel worthless, burning his face, banishing him for three years and generally being an evil, contemptible douchebag. It pisses off Ozai so much that he tries to kill Zuko with lightning. It doesn't work, thanks to Zuko knowing the only counter to lightning-bending... which was taught to him by Iroh, Ozai's brother (Zuko's uncle). This scene is not only epic for Zuko in general, but it also marks his actual Heel–Face Turn, making up for his fake-out at the end of the previous season.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Inqueling", it's revealed that before her mutation, Inque gave birth to a daughter named Deanna, whom she subsequently gave up for adoption. When the two reunite in the show Inque explains that she had grown up poor and let herself become Inque all for the money, and she wanted to give her daughter an easier life with normal parents and a large trust fund. When Inque reveals just how much money she has, however, her daughter tries to kill her in order to get control of her bank accounts.
    Deanna: You never gave me anything except money, Mother. How did you expect me to turn out?
  • In season four of Bojack Horseman, Bojack learns his emotionally abusive mother, Beatrice, has gone senile and now can't even recognize him, leaving him bummed out... because he never got around to personally telling her off and now, may never get the chance to let her know how much he truly hated her. Later in penultimate episode of the season, he gets his chance when she's finally able to recognize him, right after she's done probably the worst thing she's ever done to him and he's ready to dump her off to die alone in the worst nursing home room he could find, no less. But, he ultimately decided to be the bigger horse and instead, tells her she's eating ice cream at the old family summer home by the lake.
  • In The Boondocks episode "The Color Ruckus" at his grandmother's funeral, Uncle Ruckus finally tells off his father for abusing him as a child and using his own crappy life to justify it. The senior Ruckus responds by trying to hit Uncle with a beer bottle, only to fall backward into his mother's grave and break his neck when his back gives out.
  • In Castlevania, Alucard multiple times calls out his father Dracula for being insane with grief over his mother Lisa’s death and even correctly claims that his father’s Roaring Rampage of Revenge is just “History‘s longest suicide note”. This gets subverted when Dracula does have a Heel Realization and lets his son stake him, Alucard himself deeply regrets having to commit Patricide even if it was to save world since he did genuinely love his father.
  • Late in Code Lyoko, Ulrich's emotionally and verbally abusive father shows up to talk to his son about his poor academic performance. Ulrich calmly tolerates his father's lecture until his father implies Ulrich's friends (the only people who keep the poor boy sane) are behind his poor grades. Ulrich is visibly angry and snaps that his father doesn't know his friends... or him for that matter. Then when it's revealed the team needs him, Ulrich stands to leave and rebuts his father's command of "I'm not done talking to you!" with "Yeah? Well, I'm done listening.", slamming the door on his way out.
  • In Big City Greens, Remy calls out his parents in "Remy Rescue" for not letting him make his own decisions and trying to keep him from hanging out with Cricket and Tilly. Fortunately, his parents see the error of their ways and let the two be friends again.
  • In The Fairly OddParents, Cosmo gets an awesome one against Mama Cosma in "Apartnership":
    Cosmo: Let's get something straight! I'm not bright! Big words confuse me! I have the attention span of a rodent! But Wanda loves me anyway. She makes me happy, and that should be enough for you!
  • Family Guy: In "Seahorse Seashell Party", Meg finally blows up at her family during a hurricane. While Lois gets attacked pretty hard, Peter gets the brunt of it. What she essentially says is that Lois is a callous bitch and Peter is a failure of a man.
    • In "The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou", Peter spent a good deal of time trying to make Chris stand up to a bully... while becoming one himself. Chris responds by socking Peter and telling him what a dick he's been.
  • In the Goof Troop episode "From Air to Eternity", Pete lies and says he's not afraid of heights and then belittles PJ for his lack of accomplishments, makes him feel insecure and inadequate about his own fear of heights, coerces him into dangerous stunts for his own profits, yells at him and insults him for doing them wrong, and shames and rejects him for "lying" because Pete made an incorrect assumption which PJ didn't know he needed to correct. Then PJ and Max discover that Pete is afraid of heights and lied to PJ, which meant what he did wasn't just needlessly cruel, it was also hypocritical. PJ is a bit too meek to call Pete out directly, but with Max's help, he manages to call Pete out indirectly by tricking him into confessing to the original transgression. PJ pretends to be surprised and shames his father with all the "new information that comes to light."
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "King Tooten Pooten", Irwin's mom Judy calls her father Poppin Lockin out for his cruel ways in the past and trying to make Irwin the next Pharaoh in his family instead of letting him decide what he wants to do. Irwin accepted being the Pharaoh when Poppin Lockin told him that Mandy would love him.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has Jackie's Hyde side doing this in one episode.
    Dark Jackie: Pull your tongue out of your mouth and wring out the spit.
    Uncle: (gasps) You call Uncle an eel!
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • Upon his resignation, Captain Marvel does this to his former idol Superman, citing how the man of steel and the team — or rather organization — as a whole have become infatuated with their power, distracted from their original purpose, and forgotten how to be heroes.
      "You don't even act like [heroes] anymore."
    • Invoked then derailed in Season 4's last episode, "Epilogue", which kept the title as it also served as the series ending for Batman Beyond; A grown Terry imagines himself reaming Bruce on his control issues and emotional distance. In the end, he doesn't actually go through with this.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "Death Picks Cotton", Peggy Hill finally gets to chew out her father-in-law, Cotton, for how much of a complete jerk he's been to his son (Hank) for all of his life. The kicker? She waits until he's on his deathbed to let him have it.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • When Hiroshi Sato reveals that he's working for the Equalists, he spends quite a bit of time trying to get his daughter, Asami to undergo a Face–Heel Turn and join him. She refuses, repeatedly, before saying that his wife would have hated him for what he's become and that he has no more room for love, he's so filled with hate. Even as he tries to kill his once-beloved daughter, and she strikes him down, she's crying.
      Asami: You really are a horrible father.
    • In Amon/Noatak and Tarrlok's backstory both of them get a chance to do this. After being forced to bloodbend innocent animals and then each other by their father, Tarrlok refuses as says he doesn't want to do that to anyone. When their father (Yakkone) is about to attack him, Noatak calls him out too, and stops him from hurting his little brother.
    • During the final season, Lin finally meets up with her mother and is clearly working hard to keep from blowing up at her. When Toph prods her to just get on with it, Lin blows up at her mother for her terrible parenting. While we've already heard part of Lin's issues and thus don't get a repeat of those, we also learn that Lin is both upset that she has no idea who her father is and, more importantly, that her mother doesn't even understand why she's mad. Whenever Lin tried to explain, her mother would just blow her off because she apparently couldn't understand why Lin would even care.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Timber Wolf was calling out his father twice in the series, the first time where he confronts him in the lab after the Legion helped restore his humanity, was when he points out that his father wasn't a good parent to him and destroys his lab, the second time he was Brainwashed and Crazy and was confronting him at a science convention in front of a huge audience, where he accuses him of manipulating people around him and experimenting on sentient beings as well as destroying their lives and families. This time he makes himself into a Self-Made Orphan.
  • Metalocalypse:
    • Played with in Season 1. The Bandmates are forced to deal with their overbearing parents/guardians who force them to spend quality time with them. When the band is confronted with the idea of a Family Album, they angrily state that they are the most brutal band in the world and that their parents know nothing about being brutal. Suddenly, the trope becomes an Inversion and all the parents berate their kids for taking them for granted.
      Grandma Murderface: You little bastards think you know about brutal? Let me tell you something, there is nothing NOTHING in this world more brutal than raising a child!
    • Also briefly parodied with an absurd non-sequitur (par for the course, really, considering what show this is) in Skwisklok:
      Nathan Explosion: I guess I always hated my father. But then Explosion Sauce changed all that. [chugs barbecue sauce straight from the bottle] Explosion Sauce: It's good on its own.
    • In "Motherklok," Pickles finally has enough of his mom's attitude and, after being told by just about everybody that he should tell her to go fuck herself, he finally does exactly that.
      Pickles: Hey mom? GO FUCK YOURSELF!
  • Clay Puppington, father of Moral Orel's title character, got double-whammied. Already a less-than-stellar father, in the second season's finale he sunk to new depths while on a hunting trip with Orel. He gets progressively drunk throughout the day, goes into a mad rant that night, accidentally shoots Orel, blames Orel for it, tears Orel's lucky shirt for a tourniquet, then drinks the rubbing alcohol Orel had brought for exactly that kind of emergency. The drinking alone had gotten Orel to anxiously tell his father he didn't like it when Clay drank, but all the other stuff forces Cheerful Child Orel to utter the three magic words: "I hate you." Clay's response: "Hate away, Sister. Hate away..." The second whammy comes at the end of the third season's premiere, when we learn he overheard the tail-end of a conversation between Orel and his mother, in which Orel sincerely questioned why his mother married his father, and his wife dismiss Orel's claims that Clay became a different man when he drinks as "his true nature coming out." Clay got into bed soon after with an expression that leaves the impression he was thinking "My God, What Have I Done?." Unfortunately, most of that third season shows Clay getting worse, up until finally the only man who cares for him decides to abandon him, forever dooming him to a miserable marriage. His kids, at least, do grow up and have relatively happy lives.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", Diamond Tiara cements her own Heel–Face Turn when she confronts her mother Spoiled Rich and reams her out for her controlling ways, going so far as to call the Cutie Mark Crusaders her friends.
    • In the episode "Parental Glideance", Rainbow Dash tears into her parents for their oversupportiveness, telling them how embarrassing it was. Sadly, her outburst is caught by Scootaloo, who has a Broken Pedestal moment because of it.
  • In Ōban Star-Racers, after Don Wei tells Molly that he knows that she's really his daughter, Eva, she unloads on him for abandoning her at a boarding school for most of her childhood without so much as a letter and not even recognizing her when she first joined the team.
  • Samurai Jack: Ashi (after having undergone her Heel–Face Turn) battles her mother, the High Priestess of the Cult of Aku, and calls her out for raising her and her six sisters as Child Soldiers to kill Jack and sending them on what was basically a Suicide Mission.
    High Priestess: How could you betray your family?! He killed your sisters, and you let him live!
    Ashi: No, you killed them! We were made for one purpose; to kill! Our fate was sealed the day we were born!
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Both Adora and Catra rip into Shadow Weaver at different points, with Adora tearing through the "Golden Child" nonsense to point out that all Shadow Weaver ever did was manipulate and exploit her, and Catra not only outright overthrowing her and taking her job at Hordak's right hand, but also yelling at her about how many of Catra's own issues are direct results of Shadow Weaver's parenting style.
    Shadow Weaver: I've missed you, my child-
    Adora: We're past that. Try again.
    Shadow Weaver: Clever. You always were. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were different. You were-
    Adora: Special? No. What you always told me was that I didn't matter. I was special only as long as I obeyed you.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Harry actually throws his father across the room in "The Uncertainty Principle," screaming that it was his fault that he took Globulin Green and became the Green Goblin. Harry doesn't go much farther with it, though, because Norman actually listens to him and starts acting like a decent father for once. Or at least, he seems to be...
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Defenders of Peace" Wag Too, before going to help the Jedi and clone troopers, chews out his father for his Suicidal Pacifism and essentially points out that no matter how well they fight, their village is still being defended by a grand total of five people and that eventually the villagers might have to defend themselves.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In the episode "Nightmare Hospital", Connie calls out her mother for her control-freak tendencies and her increasing denial about how little she knows about her daughter's life, revealing A) Connie no longer needs her glasses, B) she's been studying sword-fighting, and C) she's more than capable of helping Steven deal with any "weird gem stuff" (like the two "Franken-gems" that had wound up in the hospital after being mistaken for horribly deformed car accident patients).
    • In "Drop Beat Dad," Sour Cream reunites with his absent father Marty, who offers to make up for lost time by upgrading his son's ramshackle rave into a full-blown concert. When it is revealed that Marty hijacked the show to shill disgusting soda, Sour Cream makes it known that he doesn't need Marty or his product endorsement to be a DJ — in the same gibberish language his stepfather and half-brother speak.
    • In season 3, Steven starts to learn that his mother, Rose Quartz, wasn't the saintly paragon he was always told she was, and that she had secrets she kept even from the other Crystal Gems. When Steven dreams of a palanquin he knows is connected to those secrets in "Steven's Dream", he gets angry at Garnet and Pearl when they're clearly trying not to tell Steven something. He tells them that he, as Rose's son, deserves to know the truth if anyone does. A few episodes later in "Storm in the Room", Steven goes into Rose's room in the temple and uses its ability to conjure illusions from his mind to actually interact with his mother on some level, which eventually turns into calling her out on leaving Steven to deal with her messes.
    • Sadie calls out her mother Barb in "Sadie's Song" for her suffocating and controlling nature.
    • In the finale of season 5, "Change Your Mind", Steven calls out the Diamonds on their abusive treatment towards his mother on her behalf, owing that Pink Diamond became Rose Quartz and betrayed them for always ignoring her in favor of their tyranny and her attempts to change them for the better.
    • In "Mr. Universe", Steven calls out his father for running away from home when he was a kid because his parents were too strict and leaving behind a normal life that Steven would have loved to have had.
  • In the Super Mario World episode "The Night Before Cave Christmas", Oogtar takes a peek at one of the presents King Koopa wrapped for the Koopa Kids. Upon discovering Koopa is giving Bob-ombs to his children for Christmas, Oogtar calls him out and laughs when the Bob-omb explodes in his face.
  • In the second episode of the original 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Shredder says the Turtles should join his forces because their existence as mutant ninjas is all due to him framing their master Hamato Yoshi and getting him banished from the Foot Clan, then following him to America with the purpose of finishing him off for good, which he attempted to do with the mutagen that did at least turn Yoshi into a mutant rat while giving the turtles their humanoid form. All the Turtles need for a response is one line from Raphael to sum up their feelings toward that:
    "Does the phrase 'go suck a lemon' hold any meaning for you?"
  • W.I.T.C.H. features Will calling her mother out for lecturing her about being honest while keeping the fact that she was dating Will's teacher a secret. Said teacher agrees with Will while her mom can only gape in shock.
  • X-Men:
    • As mentioned above, the '90s animated series condensed and distilled Cyclops' resentment of Corsair (originally a 3-issue-long storyline) into one Tear Jerker of a rant about his pre-Xavier school Dark and Troubled Past to a shamefaced Corsair, even as he helps him escape a crooked Shi'Ar cop so he can clear his name.
    • The time Magneto got called out by Wanda and Pietro, while they're kept as prisoners alongside Beast and Professor X. Up until then, neither the twins nor Magneto had an idea of this, and worse, the twins had just learned that the Maximoffs were only their adoptive parents. Yeah, that scene was just as sad as the former one.

Alternative Title(s): Calls The Old Man Out, Calling The Old Woman Out


Tony Calls Cap Out

After Thanos's victory, Tony throws Cap's earlier words about "losing together" in his face.

How well does it match the trope?

4.57 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / CallBack

Media sources:

Main / CallBack