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Doting Grandparent

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"Now he is a sugar grandaddy."
Grandparents tend to dote on their grandkids, to the point that it's become a common joke among grandparents that it's their job in the family to "spoil the grandkids and send them home". They'd shower the tykes with food, toys, affection, and permissions that the child's parents would never grant—and that they themselves probably never granted to their own children when they were younger.

There are possible reasons for why grandparents might spoil their grandkids even when they weren't as indulgent as parents. First, they don't usually live with the kids, so they don't really have to think about the side effects that these excesses might have on the child. Second, disciplining a child is hard, and the grandparents might no longer have the energy to deal with the persistent requests and tantrums that the child might throw if their requests are denied as they did when they were parents. Third, there's a common belief that people become more sentimental and mellow out as they grow older, meaning that grandparents are more likely to go Cuteness Overload over their adorable grandkids than they would have as young(er) adults towards their children.

However, the Doting Grandparents' love and generosity towards their grandkids don't always mean rainbows and sunshine in the family. In fact, their excessive affection might put them in direct conflict with their now adult children, who might resent that their parents showed more care and affection to their kids than what they themselves had received. Alternatively, the parents might not appreciate that the grandparents broke their house rules by giving their children things they're not supposed to have or allowing them to do things they shouldn't.

Compare with Doting Parent. Compare and contrast Grandparent Favoritism. Contrast with Gruesome Grandparent, as the grandparent is neglectful and/or abusive towards their grandchildren.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Boruto anime reveals that Hiashi Hyuga, who was a borderline Abusive Parent to his eldest daughter during the first part of Naruto, has mellowed out into a loving grandparent to said daughter's children.
  • Crayon Shin-chan have the titular character's grandfathers, Ginnosuke Nohara and Yoshiji Koyama (the fathers of Hiroshi and Misae, respectively) who genuinely dotes over Shin-Chan and Himawari, although the latter tends to be slightly strict and overbearing sometimes due to being a retired discipline teacher. Best exemplified in the story arc that introduces Himawari, where a week after Himawari is born both Ginnosuke and Yoshiji immediately goes on a gift-buying spree (Barbies from the former, stuffed toys for the latter) trying to out-do each other with presents for baby Himawari. Cue the grandmothers scolding them for wasting their monthly retirement budgets over the ridiculous amount of toys that fill up an entire room.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Son Goku is a doting grandfather to his granddaughter Pan when she's in his care, and he is seen indulging in her whims. He teaches her how to say 'gramps' and plays airplane with her when she's a baby. In Dragon Ball Super, during the Post-Moro battle victory party, Goku is paying more attention to baby Pan's antics than his own food (keep in mind that he usually prioritizes fighting and eating over everything and everyone else). Eventually, he goes on to personally train her in martial arts, becoming his second student.
    • The Ox-King is very fond of his grandsons Gohan and Goten during Dragon Ball Z, often buying them toys and spoiling them.
  • Naruto: Tsunade, the fifth Hokage is the granddaughter of Hashirama Senju, the first Hokage. Hashirama reveals that since Tsunade was his first grandchild, he spoilt her rotten and was responsible for her gambling habit.
  • Rumiko Takahashi Anthology: In the story "How Ridiculous at That Age'', Kotaro's father is recently widowed and starts blowing through his pensions to pamper a much younger woman he met at the gym—giving her extravagant gifts and signing on a life insurance policy with her as the beneficiary. When it's revealed that the woman is already married and is simply taking advantage of him, he turns his attention to his newborn granddaughter, and using those same funds to buy her extravagant toys and cooing over her. The narration remarks that he is now a sugar-granddaddy.
  • Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun: The three great demons are the most powerful demons of the netherworld, second only to the demon king. All three of them are extremely fond of their grandsons and spare no opportunity to brag about them. One of them, Lord Sullivan had never married and decided to adopt a human as his grandchild he could dote on. It was for this reason he bought Iruma from his parents. Not that Iruma minds because Lord Sullivan is far better than his own feckless and abusive parents.
  • Hungramps from Yo-kai Watch was one of these in life. He had a granddaughter who he adored however as she grew she started spending less time with him. He ended up becoming ill and died of his illness. His granddaughter had made it her aspiration to become a doctor and cure him, and even after his death, she continued her dream of becoming a doctor. Hungramps originally appeared haunting a convenience store because he was waiting to see his granddaughter again.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): The Heyday triplets' grandmother raised them after their parents' deaths and would do anything for them. The fact that she wrote her living (career criminal) son out of her will and left everything to them becomes an issue though when Joel gets out of prison and decides to kill them all.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Ares considers himself the kind of grandparent who adores and spoils his grandchildren, it's just that Wonder Woman and he have very different values so while he does save her life on multiple occasions and they both seem to enjoy their verbal spars they're more like mortal enemies than the normal take on this trope. Ares of course loves it this way since fighting is what he lives for and values above almost all else.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Garfield, Jon Arbuckle's grandmother is a cute little old lady who listens to heavy metal, rides a motorcycle, and claims to do 100 sit-ups every morning. She also makes sure everyone has plenty to eat; needless to say, Garfield adores her. Probably best summed up in "Garfield's Thanksgiving," when Grandma is tasked with fixing Jon's Thanksgiving dinner:
    Grandma: Garfield, you're looking a little thin. Hasn't that grandson of mine been feeding you?
    Garfield: Grandma, I love you. Never leave.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Grandpa Rome is this to Italy and Romano. He came down from heaven to see Italy's marriage to Germany and Japan as well as coming down to see Romano's marriage to Spain in Testardo, Persistente.
  • In Kir-Ben 10: Poyo Force, Verdona becomes a great-grandparent variation of this to Kirby as he was adopted by her grandson Ben, forming slides of mana for him to ride on and even offering to bring candy from travels to other worlds.
  • The Once and the Future Princess (the sequel to Castling Cozy Glow): Flurry Heart has to deal with an almost smothering degree of affection from her grandparents, Twilight Velvet and Nightlight, while staying with them during her time at Canterlot, studying under her aunt Twilight. So much so, she struggles to get out of the house in time to make it to her aunt's lessons no matter how early she gets up and is so loaded down by things her grandmother insisted she take to stay well fed, warm, etc. that she can barley carry herself to the palace.
  • In The Many Dates of Danny Fenton, regardless of who Danny chooses, their parents are very loving towards their grandchildren, even the ones who don't like Danny. For example, Phantasma's father hates Danny yet loves his grandson Eidolonius. However, Kim's parents get along well with him while doting on their granddaughter Annie.
  • In The Second Try sequel Aki-chan's Life, after getting used to the idea of suddenly having a four-year-old granddaughter due to time-travel, Anja considers her grandmotherly duty to spoil Aki.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: Agnes Skinner, to an unhealthy extreme. Seymour's beloved smother has become Simon's beloved grandsmother. She greets him by giving him a painfully tight hug, has a whole host of pet names for him, cheers for him (not his team, just him) at his peewee hockey games, offers cookies to him and exclusively him when he comes over, has pictures of him all over her house, and is very prone to Cuteness Proximity whenever she's around him. However, her affection for him is tied up in a lot of infantilization; she speaks to him in borderline Baby Talk, treats him like he's younger than he actually is, and still makes him sleep in a crib and wear very childlike outfits.

     Film Animation 
  • Anastasia: Dowager Empress Marie adores her granddaughter Anastasia. The plot is set in motion when she hears the rumor that Anastasia is still alive, ten years after her supposed death, and offers ten million rubles to whoever finds her and brings her back to her.
  • Dracula becomes one in Hotel Transylvania 2 after his grandson, Dennis, is born. He likes to call him "Denisovich" despite his human grandparents' protest and he tries to help bring out Dennis's vampire powers.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Mori Takana from 3 Ninjas is the title characters' doting grandpa who teaches them the art of ninjitsu. He even gave them their ninja nicknames "Rocky", "Colt" and "Tum Tum".
  • In ...And Your Name Is Jonah, Jonah's grandpa immediately bonds with him and likes carrying him around on his shoulder. He's one of the few people Jonah manages to form a connection with without the use of language and understands him better than his parents. It's a severe blow when he dies, especially since Jonah doesn't understand the concept of death.

    Literature 
  • Adrian Mole:
    • Adrian's paternal grandmother is very strict with everybody, but she loves Adrian more than his own parents do.
    • In Cappuccino Years, Adrian's mother dotes on Adrian's son William.
  • From the Aunt Dimity series: Willis Sr. vis-à-vis Will and Rob. There are many references to this, including a jocular reference to the "law" that grandparents must spoil their grandchildren and, being an attorney, Willis Sr. is a stickler for obeying the law. He refurbishes the stables at Fairworth House not for his own use (he doesn't ride himself), but so that the twins will ride over for frequent visits.
  • In The Berenstain Bears, Papa's parents Gran and Gramps are this to his offspring Brother and Sister Bear. They spoil their grandchildren and emphasize fun, unlike disciplinarian Mama Bear who is not above scolding her cubs for eating junk food and watching TV. On at least two occasions, when tensions rose high between him and his parents due to getting poor grades in school, Brother's strategy was to go stay with his grandparents.
  • Fire & Blood:
    • Aegon the Conqueror, the man who united six out of the seven kingdoms of Westeros via a combination of dragons and fire, was said to have been an utterly doting granddad to his first grandkid.
    • Viserys I was very defensive about his daughter's children, and made it clear anyone who even dared suggesting they might've been illegitimate would lose their tongues.
  • Outlander: Having been robbed of the opportunity to raise his own children, Jamie Fraser loves being a grandfather. He is there for the birth of nearly all of his grandchildren and loves doting on them, slipping them candy, letting them tag along with him wherever possible, and teaching them life skills in the way he never got to do for his own children. His grandchildren are always thrilled to see him.
  • Small World (Tabitha King novel): Dolly to Lucy's kids, though it's anyone's guess how much of it is genuine affection, how much of it is an act to goad Lucy, and how much of it is Dolly's need to acquire and possess everything. We get a pretty definitive answer in the end, when Dolly kidnaps the children, shrinks them, and locks them in the dollhouse.

    Live Action TV 
  • Played With Ethyl Philips from Dinosaurs. While crippled in a wheelchair, she still has attitude enough to be a pain in her son-in-law Earl Sinclair's ass and is a doting grandma to all three of her grandkids. She often reads stories to Baby and they even had a special episode with Ethyl telling a fable to Baby, and when Robbie was punished by Earl into waxing the floors for an argument about neglecting house duties, Ethyl informed Robbie there is a legal way to physically fight back against his father and take control of the house.
  • Edna from Everwood used to be an Army nurse and still works, married her new love despite most people frowning upon their mixed marriage and she rides a motorbike. She loves her two grandkids, Amy and Bright, and she's a cool female role model for Delia Brown who has lost her mother.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Marie Barone often makes it unsubtly clear that Debra's greatest single function in married life to her son was to provide she, Marie, with grandchildren she can dote on and spoil rotten. Grandchildren, although she genuinely loves them, are just another weapon she uses to remind Debra of her subordinate position and failings as a homemaker. Meanwhile, Frank Barone is the opposite of this trope - as often as not the grandkids are another imposition designed to spoil his comfortable retirement. Contrast Marie to Debra's mousy and unassertive mother - she is barely there in their lives, even when staying with her daughter. Debra's mother doesn't have a clue as to how to be a grandmother.
  • Hattie Banks, a recurring character from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is Will Smith's doting adopted grandma who cheats Will in the cards game, takes him to Disneyland, and embarrasses Uncle Phil. She loves the whole family but their Bel-Air lifestyle leaves the rest of them too high-strung and at times resistant to her actions when she visits. Will, who was raised in a far more laid-back manner in Philadelphia, gets on with her far more than the Banks part of the family because of similar fun-loving personalities.
  • Rory's grandparents on Gilmore Girls, though they are really very young as Lorelai had Rory when she was sixteen. They dote on Rory because she's a smart and sweet girl, though they sometimes treat Lorelai as their Unfavourite. Lorelai and Rory are more like sisters, so Emily and Richard are Rory's parental figures. Emily can be pushy, but Richard is a Cool Old Guy who takes great pride in his granddaughter.
  • Life With Lucy: Lucy and Curtis spoil the grandkids, much to Margo and Ted's annoyance.
  • Ed "Pop" Ward from Like Family is Bobby's doting grandpa who lives with his son Ed and dates 40-year-younger women. He is also a doting adopted grandpa to Keith and often helps him and Bobby to get out of trouble.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Long Distance Call", the extremely frail Grandma Bayles adores her grandson Billy. She gives him a toy telephone for his fifth birthday so that he will always be able to talk to her on it. She dies later that day, after mistaking Billy for her son (and his father) Chris. She begins to communicate with him over the toy phone from beyond the grave and convinces Billy to commit suicide so that they can be Together in Death. When Billy is on the brink of death after being found face down in the family pond, Chris talks to his mother over the toy phone and persuades her to let Billy live if she really loves him.

    Music 
  • Barry Louis Polisar: In the song "I Can Do Anything", the narrator loves visiting his grandparents because they let him do anything he wants, such as roll around on the floor, play loud music on the radio, chew on cables, stay up late. etc., which his parents would almost certainly forbid. They also frequently take him for outings, such as visits to the zoo, and buy him anything he tells them to.

    Video Games 
  • APICO: When you meet your Nana Beelia, she immediately asks you if you're okay and if you're sick and need rest, but she quickly apologizes for getting carried away because she misses you so much.
  • Mae's late grandfather from Night in the Woods was this. What little we see of their relationship makes it clear he adored Mae, and he frequently indulged her love for gruesome horror stories, a love he shared. Mae obviously still misses him, though she prefers to dwell on the good parts of their relationship.
  • In Yakuza 6, Kazuma Kiryu ends up becoming this when he learns that his adoptive daughter Haruka had an infant son while he was in prison between games. When carrying him around in the world, he'll periodically have to calm the crying infant down by playing with him.

    Webcomics 
  • Erma: Osamu is The Dreaded to a whole town of Yokai. But, to the absolute shock of everyone, he turns to be absolutely loving to his granddaughter Erma the minute he meets her.
  • Discussed in Freefall: The possibility comes up of sapient robots eventually creating yet another form of sapient life. Sawtooth optimistically expresses hope that humans will still be around when this happens, to which Florence jokes that humans, upon learning that they've become "grand creators", are likely to spoil this new species rotten.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Howard's deceased maternal grandparents were extremely close to him, encouraging his interests and forming a relationship of mutual adoration. His mother is less close to him, and she laments her inability to live up to her parents' example.
  • Til Debt Do Us Part:
    • Yejun's step-grandmother was the only person in his new family to treat him with love and care.
    • After Yejun's daughter is born all four of her grandparents adore her and clamor to spend time with her.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Beatrixo from Atomic Betty is a retired Galactic Guardian and often likes to bake treats for Betty whenever she visits, though they often don't turn out so good.
  • Max Tennyson from Ben 10 is a retired intergalactic cop who sidekicks his grandson Ben Tennyson, the bearer of an alien weapon called Omnitrix, in his fight against alien villains who threaten the planet Earth. Ben's parents weren't aware of their double life until the sequel series Ben 10: Alien Force.
  • Big Bob Belcher of Bob's Burgers has a strained relationship with his son, but has a genuine soft spot for his grandchildren, who he gives money to whenever he sees them and lets roam around in his basement to find a gift for Bob. As a result, the kids are always happy to see him, which is a sharp contrast to their maternal grandparents (who the kids are never excited to visit and never have positive things to say about).
  • Malloy gets this treatment from Woody's mother Anita (whom he considers a grandmother) in Brickleberry as she keeps spoiling him with expensive toys such as a mini-car. When Anita is about to leave (or rather kicked out forcefully by Woody as retribution for all the abusive crap she inflicted on him such as locking him inside a closet full of birds and bees or the bicycle chain whipping), Malloy begs Anita to stay. But then Anita has some bad news...
    Anita: I don't have any more money, Malloy.
    Malloy: Choke on my balls!
  • Cotton from King of the Hill is this to his grandson Bobby. Even though he hates most things, he does love Bobby and treats his grandson far better than he does his son Hank.
  • Jasmine Lee aka Ah-Mah from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee is an old magical fighter who chose Juniper as her substitute and trains her in the role of Te Xuan Ze. She often sidekicks Juniper against magical villains. Juniper's parents don't suspect their double life and think Jasmine is a regular grandma.
  • By the time of Steven Universe: The Movie, it's become pretty clear that White Diamond has fallen into this role towards Steven, along with Blue and Yellow as his Cool Aunts. All of them beg for him to live with them so that they could shower him with affection to the point where Steven (who is famous for being a Cuddle Bug) finds it too much. White in particular turns up the ham in order to guilt-trip when he tries getting out of it.


 
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Sam "Grandpa" Vladimir Munster

Lily's father and Herman's father-in-law, grandfather of Eddie and Marilyn. An elderly vampire who is either Dracula himself or an Expy thereof.

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Main / Dracula

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