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Family Man

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"A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
Don Corleone, The Godfather

Part of The Parent Trope, an Always Male one.

A man who's loyal to his own family, the one he made (with a partner/spouse and children) as well the one he's part of (with parents and siblings). As the former, he could be a House Husband or well a Lazy Husband, but anyway he's loyal to his family and won't do anything to harm them, like being a cheater, an abusive or a workaholic. As the latter, he probably has the Big Brother Instinct or had a Promotion to Parent, but in both cases he wants his family united and will do anything to achieve this.

He is likely to be Happily Married. Compare House Husband, Big Brother Instinct, Promotion to Parent, Standard '50s Father and both Papa Wolf and Action Dad. Contrast Married to the Job, Workaholic, When You Coming Home, Dad?, and Bumbling Dad. See also Family-Values Villain.

Not to be confused with Family Man (Dylan Meconis) webcomic, BBC's The Family Man miniseries, the Indian Prime Video series The Family Man or Family Guy, which have nothing to do with this trope except the name.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kojiro Hyuga from Captain Tsubasa series, who works harder to maintain his family with humble origins, despite his mother's complaints that he stop being the "father" (she's a widow) and dedicate himself to his passion (be a football/soccer player.) Even when he finally gets the chance to fully do the latter, he never completely stops being the first: as soon as he gets a good contract in Italy, he buys his mother and siblings a lovely house.
  • Of all Z-Warriors in Dragon Ball Z, Krilin and Gohan are the ones who mostly focus on raising their families once they have children. By contrast, while Goku and Vegeta care for their families (begrudgingly in the latter's case), they both continue dedicating their time to training.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gru from Despicable Me films is considered a "family man" because of his treatment of his Minions, not hesitating to rescue them if they're in trouble (as seen in DM2.) This trope becomes straight when he adopts and later cares about the 3 young orphaned girls who ended up loving him as a real father in the first movie, and marrying the secret agent who falls in love in the second.
  • In Encanto, the men from the Madrigal family are all this. It began with Pedro, who loved his wife and children so much that he tried to plead for their lives with the Four Horsemen. Sadly, they murdered Pedro but his sacrifice created the miracle that saved his family and the other refugees. Agustin, Felix and Bruno follow in his footsteps.
  • Bob Parr from The Incredibles, is a devoted husband and loving father. He realizes how much his fixation on Glory Days was causing him to miss out on his family, calling them his greatest adventure. In the sequel, he is shown to take over as a House Husband so his wife can be the face of a campaign to legalize superheroes. He is upset by the implication that his wife and kids don't think he can do it and nearly breaks himself to make sure they are successful.
  • In Toy Story 3, Buzz, being a Team Dad, refuses to abandon his fellow toys and join Lotso, whose angered by the sentiment.
    Buzz: We're a family, we stay together.
    Lotso: Family man, huh? I understand. Put him back in the time out chair.
  • In Turning Red, Jin loves his family for who they are, red panda spirits and all. Jin isn't frightened by Ming's gigantic raging kaiju form, describing her as "incredible" when standing up to her mother when she disapproved of their relationship. Neither is he ashamed of Mei's transforming antics with her friends, as his daughter's videos made him laugh.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Various of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies in The '90s are about this: True Lies (a secret agent that works undercover of his own family), Jingle All the Way (a father that looks for the "perfect gift" for his son, which is the Title Drop for Latin American title for this film) and Junior (a couple that can't get children so he offers to be the "mother" in an experimental in-vitro pregnancy).
  • Nicolas Cage:
    • The Family Man: A successful but lonely businessman who has a What If? scenario in which he has a family with his ex-girlfriend from college instead of being the successful man he's now.
    • As Cameron Poe in Con Air: He's convicted of murder for defending his pregnant wife from a knife-wielding drunkard, and proceeds to spend his time in prison writing letters to the wife he left behind and the daughter he never met (being locked away before her birth). He works hard to be an exemplary inmate and gets out on parole for good behavior. Unfortunately, he also gets on a plane full of ultra-violent prisoners bound for a new super-max facility, who end up hijacking the plane. Poe spends the rest of the movie squaring off with various and sundry criminals and murderers so he can get back to his family.
  • Also, his fellow friend and rival Sylvester Stallone made various films like this. The most remarkable ones are the Rocky series, in which Rocky Balboa is seen as a family man for the care of his girlfriend and future wife Adrian and his son, this relationship is taken deeply in the 2006 film, Rocky Balboa.
  • Dracula Untold depicts Count Dracula as a loving father to his son Ingeras and husband to his wife Mirena. In fact, he becomes a vampire in the first place to protect his family and homeland when the Ottoman Empire comes knocking demanding they hand over several boys to become Janissaries in their army, including his son.
  • The Godfather film series as well a good part of mafia films are about this concept of the "family man" and the loyalty towards the family, being the wife and children as well the parents and siblings, no matter the cost.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Clint Barton and Tony Stark are/become Family Men who will do anything to safeguard their wives and children in the later Avengers movies.
    • Hank Pym from Ant-Man created an interdimensional portal to save his wife from a Pocket Dimension and made sure his daughter Hope was never endangered by separating himself from her... which proved to be more harmful than good. Scott Lang also is a loving father to his daughter and Scott even has a healthy relationship with his ex-wife and her husband Jim Paxton.
  • In the Star Wars saga, Anakin Skywalker epitomizes this trope. He remains devoted to his mother Shmi after years of separation from her and breaks his Jedi vows to marry Padme. Even in his dissociative phase as Darth Vader, he recognizes Luke as his son and wants to rule the galaxy with him.
  • The Taken trilogy is about a Retired Badass Action Dad who has his family kidnapped or killed (his ex-wife in the third movie) and how he'll kill whoever's behind this.
  • X-Men Film Series: The only thing Professor Charles Xavier treasures as much as his ideals is his Family of Choice, and his dedication to his loved ones is his most distinguishing characteristic alongside his quest for peace between mutants and humans. He has been a brother figure to Raven, Erik and Hank, and he's a surrogate father to virtually all of his students. He invests a lot of time and effort to care for them.

  • In The Curse of Chalion, Martou dy Jironal's love of and loyalty to his family is the virtue that the titular curse twists and corrupts, turning him into a nepotistic Evil Chancellor who puts family ambition above the good of Chalion.
  • This is Julian Blackthorn's characterization in The Dark Artifices, despite being a teenager. After his mother died, his father was turned into an Endarkened, his older sister was exiled, and his older brother was kidnapped by faeries, Julian, at the tender age of 12, inherited the duty to take care of his four younger siblings. His uncle, Arthur, did come over, ostensibly to become the children's guardian and head of the Los Angeles Institute, but he had been driven mad by the faeries and is basically useless. As a result, Julian has to cover up Arthur's condition, as well, because if it is found out, the Clave will step in and separate the children by putting them in different foster families, while Arthur and one of the children, Tiberius (who is autistic), will be sent to the Basilias.
  • Sam Vimes in the last two Discworld City Watch books. He is a workaholic, but is absolutely determined that this will never affect Young Sam, and to be there for him whenever humanly possible (and sometimes beyond).
  • Hachiman Hikigaya from My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected, who had a Promotion to Parent for his little sister Komachi because the constant neglect of his parents, a Big Brother Instinct that also is inherited by extension to Ruri and Iroha. Also, he stated he wants to be a House Husband as his career after high school.
  • Old Kingdom: Touchstone tries to keep his family close, as does his wife, though this tends to be more on the level of emotional closeness, due to his own Royal obligations, Sabriel's Abhorsen duties, and their children being in boarding school in another country. It is mentioned that Touchstone and Sabriel both try to have family time during their childrens' school holidays, and in Lirael it is clear that they try their best to keep up with what is going on in their childrens' lives. As for Touchstone's family of origin, his closeness to them is what his half-brother Rogir/Kerrigor took advantage of to lure them to their deaths at Rogir's own hands.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Tywin Lannister is this the worst way possible. He does everything to bring glory to his family and to ensure his legacy. Under his rule house Lannister becomes the most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms. This doesn't mean that he is very kind to his children, though, as they mostly despise the decisions he made for their lives.
      Tywin: The house that puts family first will always defeat the house that puts the whims and wishes of its sons and daughters first.
    • Gender-Inverted Trope:
      • Cersei Lannister would do anything to protect her children and Jaime. When Tywin died she takes over the position as the head of house Lannister. She is not nearly as skilled as her father, however.
      • Catelyn Stark, nee Tully is this as well, being the Foil to Cersei. She starts an entire war to free her husband and daughters from captivity. Sadly she fails to do so and gets killed after watching the murder of her first born son and most of her other family members either dead, or thought to be dead. However, she gets the ultimate revenge, by getting reanimated and starts killing anyone who ever wronged her family in any way. It is only fitting that her families words are "Family, Duty, Honor" in this order.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Most of American Sitcom of The '80s and The '90s starring men are about this trope, especially from Miller-Boyett Productions.
    • Some of the most known Sitcom series from those decades (not just from Miller-Boyett) are Full House, a widowed father who enlists his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters; Step by Step, two single parents (each with three children), who spontaneously get married after meeting one another during a vacation, resulting in the two of them becoming the heads of a large blended family; Family Matters (Spin-Off of Perfect Strangers), a police officer with a wife, a son and 2 daughters; and Who's the Boss?, a retired major league baseball player who relocates to Fairfield, Connecticut to work as a live-in housekeeper for a divorced advertising executive and who has a daughter.
    • There are 2 series named after this title: The Family Man (also made by Miller-Boyett Productions; a recent widower holding his family together as both a mother and a father, along with the inept help of his father-in-law) and Family Man (made by Earl Pomerantz; a middle-aged comedy writer married to a much younger wife, and focused on the trials and tribulations he faced raising two stepchildren and one biological child) which have various things in common despised of being 2 different series: this trope, the series titles (only differenced by "The") and both having the main theme made by Jesse Frederick.
  • 7 Yüz: Metin in "Biyolojik Saat". After catching up with his ex-girlfriend Duygu and seeing pictures of her kids, Metin realizes that he too wants children and a family of his own. Unfortunately, his time is running out, which hastens his search for the perfect woman to start a family with.
  • There's a Hong Kong comedy-drama series called literally "Best Dad Ever", but which is known as Family Man. The series is about a widower who raised his four daughters alone. He is also a retired police officer who still participates as a saxophonist in the policeman band. Besides being a devoted father who still cares for his daughters, he is constantly worried about their lives, romances and happiness.
  • Breaking Bad's Walter White is a man worried about his family and especially for his children, before and after becoming a drug lord. However it's ultimately subverted in the series finale when Walter admits to his wife that his family was just an excuse. He really did it because he was good at it and enjoyed the thrill.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Having raised a neurodivergent daughter with love and putting effort to understand her, Gwang-ho embodies this trope. At times, he understandably borders on being overprotective but knows when to give Young-woo room to grow and spread her wings. Further cemented when is revealed that he convinced Young-woo's mother (his girlfriend back then) to not abort their unborn baby so he can raise it.
  • Prime Video's The Family Man is a Deconstruction of this trope. The protagonist, Srikant Tiwari and titular "family man", is an agent for the Indian Intelligence but his family believes he has a desk job. He wants to be a great dad and husband but the nature of his job keeps him away from his family when they need him the most.
  • Just as the mafia films, The Sopranos is also about the family and the patriarch who wants to get their family united, no matter the cost.

  • There are various songs which has the "Family Man" as the title of the song:
    • Mike Oldfield's version, sung by Maggie Reilly (also reversioned by Hall & Oates) is about a man who is being solicited by a prostitute and his protestations because he is a "family man." The original version has the woman (Reilly) storming off after his rejection. The cover version is sung from the man's perspective and has some altered lyrics, including a line in which the man finally gets the nerve to take up the woman's offer, but she has left, and he screams out the chorus.
    • Fleetwood Mac's version, which is about the difficulties of a family man, but who succeeds after all because of his family.
    I am what I am, a family man.
    • Craig Campbell's version, which is also his first known single. The lyric paints a portrait of a modern working-class man struggling through tough economic times.
    • James Taylor's version, part of 1976's In the Pocket album. It's about a guy who used to be a party guy in the past, but now he's a family man and he won't change back.

    Video Games 
  • In Crusader Kings II with the Way of Life DLC the family focus makes you this, in regularly giving you bonuses to relationships with your close family members and your spouse. It can also earn you the family patriarch/matriarch flag.
  • The main driving force behind Hawke's actions in Dragon Age II is taking care of his/her remaining family (mother, a younger sibling, a good-for-nothing uncle, and, eventually, a cousin).
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Toyama, the professional wrestler who joins up in protecting the Earth. He's happily married to the woman he tag-team wrestles with and together they have a doting daughter that we get to see during the credits.
  • Family Man (Broken Bear Games) revolves around Joe Hawthorne, who can either embrace this trope or not, depending on the player's actions.
  • God of War:
  • In The King of Fighters series, there's Goro Daimon from Japan Team, a bulky Judoka that participate in several years in KOF Tournament. He retired temporarily from the team to get some quality time with his wife and his baby, and after his return to the team his baby son Kogoro (basically a toddler!Goro) can be seen some of his intros.
  • In Love & Pies, Raj describes himself as a reliable family man who makes an effort to tend to his children's needs while helping Amelia with her investigations. That's why the man who claims to be Amelia's father assigns him to deliver his anonymous letter to her.
  • In Potion Permit, being in a wheelchair doesn't stop Garret from tending to his ranch with his wife Mercy and raising Lucke and Laura with her.
  • Of all characters from Samurai Shodown series, the most fitted to this trope is Gen-An Shiranui, a kind of goblin who despise of being an evil person, has a family with a beautiful wife and not-so-cute children and he loves them so much at the point of stays in home by their request. Also Hanzo Hattori, who apart of defend Japan from evil, he goes into a Roaring Rampage of Rescue for his son Shinzo possessed by Amakusa, the first Big Bad of the series.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Guile literally has this as one of his winning catchphrases ("Go home and be a family man!"). He has a wife and daughter who he loves very much and became a crux of his character arc dating back in his debut at II. He entered the tournament to exact vengeance for his fallen friend Charlie against M. Bison and was very close to accomplishing it (and Bison was goading him to do it). His wife and daughter stopped him and warned him that he would end up in the same path with Bison if he gives in to revenge. Guile took the hint, he went home and resumed being a family man, a role that saved him from going the dark path. note 
    • Other characters that fit this include Ken Masters, who forms a family after the second game, and Hakan, who has a wife and several daughters that idolize him.
    • It should be noted that Ken and Guile's wives are sisters, thus making them brothers-in-law, and they usually don't get along. However, in Street Fighter 6, circumstances led Ken in a dangerous situation with his family to the point that he has to be on the run to protect them and hunt down the one responsible, JP, and even contemplate on killing him. Guile ends up putting aside his distaste with Ken and travels to look for Ken and make sure he doesn't get too consumed with revenge the same way Guile did with Bison. After all, a Family Man's duties are not limited to just their wives and children.
  • WarioWare: Jimmy T. is shown to care deeply about his family, having two appearances where he dances alongside them and having pictures of them on his phone in his Gold character trailer.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Family Men