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Calling the Old Man Out
aka: Calling The Old Woman Out

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Darkseid: It seems I erred in restoring you to life, my son.
Orion: Restoring—? You mean desecrating me, do you not, father? You stole those cells from me in life— and warped them to make a shambling mockery of me in death. No more, father... Your cursed voice will be still!

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/"Well Done, Daughter!" Girl for the tiniest crumb of respect really starting to get on your nerves? This is when standing your own ground comes to play.

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/"Well Done, Daughter!" Girl 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.

Sub-Trope of Grew a Spine. Sister trope to "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Compare Rage Against the Mentor and Anti-Smother Love Talk. 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. Extreme cases may end in You're Not My Father/Mother.

Calling the Young Man Out is the inverse, when the parent calls the child out. Conflicts with Honor Thy Parent. Compare and contrast Corrective Lecture.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • 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 their 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.
  • Devin Millar has a song titled "Grumpydad", which is a song about an abusive man who forces children to work for his rock mining company. He blackmails them and has a daughter who enforces his orders. The singer, who's one of the children, announces that he's tired of being abused and plans to fight back.
  • "Pa" ("Dad") by the Dutch band Doe Maar from their album 4US (Album), 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 
  • In Heather Dale's "The Trial of Lancelot," Galahad is one of the knights who speaks against him.
    Spoke Galahad, the purest of them all, "Have no fear of predilection,
    For though he is my father, he is my source of shame.
    He joined in sinful union with my unbeguiling mother,
    And for all his claim at virtue, he has gone and bed another.
    The laws of God declare this act damnation."
  • 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."

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Book of Mormon: Laman has serious issues with his father, insisting that he's deluded and even plotting to kill him. Most of the time he keeps it to complaining and dragging his feet when actually in his father's presence, taking out his frustrations instead on his younger brother Nephi, but when the family is sailing to The Promised Land, Laman (along with his younger brother Lemuel) makes dire threats against anyone who speaks on Nephi's behalf, including both their father and mother, who are so grieved by his behaviour that they are nearly on their deathbeds.
  • 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 understand their own faith by testing it and questioning it. God often praises those who question Him... If they have a good reason to 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. Later on, Rudolf calls Franz Joseph out for being an ultra-conservative who will end up sacrificing the empire by being resistant to change.
  • 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 tearjerker 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.

    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 Daughter for Dessert, Amanda gives a muted version of this to the protagonist. She gives him crap for not telling her enough about her mother, but she doesn’t directly say what she finds out.
  • 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 Sara slapping 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.
  • Averted in Melody. Before moving out of Arnold’s house, Melody reconciles with her stepfather, and he offers to help her with whatever she needs. Melody isn't the least bit hard on him for being a difficult stepparent.
  • 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 
  • Etra chan saw it!: In episodes involving abusive parents or guardians, it is common for the child, relative, or partner to call out the parent's behavior.
  • 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.
  • Helluva Boss:
    • In "Loo Loo Land", Octavia calls out her father Stolas for his adultery with Blitzo, feeling that it ruined their family, while also admitting she's scared of him leaving her to be with Blitzo. It takes on an ironic tone come season 2, where it's revealed that Stolas was forced into an Arranged Marriage with Stella and spent its duration baring colossal amounts of abuse from her, with Octavia being the only piece of the marriage that made him happy.
    • A ”spouse to their partner’s parents” example occurs in ”The Harvest Moon Festival”; Millie gets injured during a brawl with her family’s farmhand Striker after it’s revealed that he was going to assassinate Stolas, and in the aftermath, her family proceeds to blame her for getting hurt. Moxxie, who’s had to put up with his in-laws’ contempt for him just because he’s not ”manly” enough in their eyes, finally stands up to them and angrily points out that not only did Millie get hurt trying to protect him ( She’d walked in on Striker strangling Moxxie, who’d stumbled upon the angelic weapon first, which got her too pissed off to think straight), they’re the ones who hired Striker in the first place and thus allowed him to get in a position where he could hurt her. Millie’s father, at least, wordlessly concedes the point, and it’s implied that this earned Moxxie at least a little bit of Millie’s family’s respect.
    • In ”Exes And Oohs”, I.M.P are tricked into coming to the Greed Ring by Moxxie’s mafioso father Crimson, who intends to force Moxxie to marry his ex-boyfriend Chaz so that Crimson can get his hands on Chaz’s non-existent fortune, even threatening both Moxxie and Millie’s lives if Moxxie doesn’t comply. After agonizing over the Sadistic Choice, Moxxie ultimately steels himself and stands up to his father, telling him in no uncertain terms that he refuses to go along with his plans and won’t let himself get cowed by him any longer. Unfortunately, Crimson won’t take ”No” for an answer, so he has his right-hand man Alessio tase Moxxie unconscious and drags him to the Shotgun Wedding Bound and Gagged, forcing Blitzo and Millie to rescue him.
  • RWBY:
    • In the Volume 4 episode "Punished", Weiss Schnee calls out her father Jacques, declaring 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, Jacques disinherits her as a result. Eventually, in Volume 7, Weiss has Jacques arrested for his involvement in rigging the council election.
    • In the Volume 5 finale "Haven's Fate", Yang Xiao Long calls out her mother, Raven Branwen, 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 Rose calls out her uncle Qrow Branwen for his wallowing, stating 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!
  • Trouble Busters: A man hogs a seat and was inconsiderate to the women (who were pregnant) at a hospital. His daughter, who he drove to the hospital gave him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and it got to him, so he decided to change so that he'll see his grandchild.

  • 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 Abusive Mom 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 twice: first in this strip for risking lives in order to teach him an unnecessary lesson,, and then more thoroughly starting here on how she tried to make it up to him. The second one is so brutally honest that it leads her to do some actual introspection for the first time in her son's life.
    Pandora: I wanted to create an environment in which you'd be able to do more. I had no idea that magic itself would...
    Raven: Don't.
    Pandora: What?
    Raven: Do not pretend... THIS WAS FOR ME! Forcing magic marks on people without their knowledge or consent. Destroying the balance of nature to create a magic rich environment, increasing the danger of that magic, and creating a beacon for monsters to flock to. The willing endangerment of innocent lives just to make the existence of magic more difficult to deny? None of those are things I want. And you... You of all people know that! This is just another excuse for you to spread misery and mayhem to alleviate your own boredom!
    Pandora: ...That... That's not true. I know you don't care for my methods, but this has all been for family.
    Raven: Noah nearly died for your boredom! How was that for family?!
    Pandora: Don't blame me for Noah putting himself in danger! You're his guardian! You're the one letting him play super hero!
    Raven: I will help with the dam, because of course I will. Once that's done, if you truly want to do something for me, please direct your boredom towards helping people.
    Pandora: I helped rid the world of werewolves. I'd say I've done enough for the world at large.
    Raven: You helped yourself get violent revenge on victims of a curse. You made no effort to find a cure.
    Raven: Father would hate what you've become.
  • 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!" Girl), 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.
  • Questionable Content: On learning her mother had interfered one time too many in her life, Hannelore storms up to her office, orders everyone else out (which they do, whispering that she too has The Voice), and tells her mother that from now on, any contact between them will come from Hannelore or not at all.
  • Rain (2010):
    • Chapter 35 starts with Rudy calling his parents out for trying to send Maria to conversion camp, causing her to run away from home, and bitterly suggests they're happy they've got one less gay kid. His mother realizes how much they've hurt their children, and she kicks her husband out of the house when he starts threatening Rudy.
    • Chapter 40 seems like it's setting up Emily to have closure by yelling at her mother for everything she put her through. It's then subverted when it turns out her mother's already left for business again, leaving behind only a curt note saying that she's kicking Emily out and selling the house. The author notes that sometimes there just isn't a chance to have the last word.
    • Chapter 43: While she can't say it to him in real life, in a dream Rain disowns Marcus as her father, affirming that the Bryers are her true parents. He fades into dust, and Rain says he never appears in her dreams again.
  • 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.
  • Sleipnir: Equine Invader from Jupiter: When his father David bursts into his new lab and starts yelling at him, belittling his work at NASA as "firing oversized bottlerockets into the sky", Clint explodes and berates his father for years of emotional and physical abuse... which his sister Jess later reveals was misremembered and blown out of proportion.
  • 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 Less Than Three Comics' "Brat Pack". Firestorm has to be held back from attacking Napalm when he finds out they have to work together.
  • Looming Gaia: After dealing with a lifetime of abuse from his mother Moswen, when Lukas finds out that she sold Itanya, the family's slave and his only friend, to Kaconenans, he chews her out:
    Lukas: I will never appreciate you. And I will never forgive you. You’re a despicable queen and an even worse mother! You’re the most vile, sadistic, sorriest excuse for a person I’ve ever met! I’m ashamed to share your blood! If ruling Uekoro means becoming anything like you, I’d rather die in exile!
  • 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 Skywalker 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.
  • Oxventure: 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.

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


This is Not Your Daughter!

Sadie has had it with Barbara interfering with her life.

How well does it match the trope?

4.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CallingTheOldManOut

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