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Fantasy-Forbidding Father

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Father: I got a call from your math teacher yesterday. She says that you were...drawing horses in your math book.
Bastian: Unicorns. They were unicorns.
Father: Stop daydreaming. Start facing your problems.

A father, mother, or guardian (these last two are less commonnote ) disapproves of their child or ward reading "fairy stories", playing fantasy or sci-fi games, sports, and even such "useless" hobbies as astronomy, boxing, and being literate. In extreme cases, anything the child likes that isn't directly and concretely tied to whatever it is their parent does for a living (or that they wants them to do for a living) is seen as an utter waste. The parent may even break, burn or sell anything of this nature their child owns, possibly even punishing or locking them up.

"Fantasy" in this trope isn't about the genre, but "fantasy" from the parent's perspective. To the Overprotective Dad or My Beloved Smother, any and all of these "distractions" are a Tragic Dream waiting to happen that will ruin their child's chances at life. For narrative purposes, this is basically anything that the kid likes that'll move the plot forward via alienating them from their parent (possible later reconciliation optional but heartwarming), which puts the Fantasy-Forbidding Parent into an antagonist role, though with rare exceptions he or she is not a true villain.

What's cruelest about this attitude is that he probably does hold his child's best interests at heart, but is too close-minded or too terrified to consider that there are many valid careers and hobbies for his child, and that they are capable of choosing for themselves. In these cases, the parent does come around to accepting their child's interests and vocation with a little coaxing. If the kid later really hits the big time in those fields, the parent will probably shake their head wondering in astonishment how that is possible. A more sinister possibility is the dad/mom is trying to somehow make their child co-dependent or at least clip their wings so they never leave or get out from under their thumb, either forcing them to follow a family legacy or just out of sheer malice.

Unfortunately, this is Truth in Television.

See also "Well Done, Son!" Guy and Tough Love. Compare Education Mama. A close-minded Caretaker usually takes this attitude. Keep an ear out for "You Watch Too Much X." Contrast Obsessively Normal, wherein not only does the "fantasy" usually has a more direct effect on the people and the setting, but the parent trying to forbid it occasionally may escalate a bit too much in their quest. May result in Strict Parents Make Sneaky Kids.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Otomen, the main character Asuka secretly loves knitting, embroidery, cute things, cooking and girls' manga. It's a secret, because Asuka's a guy, and his mother constantly warns him he must be manly, lest he ends up like his father who decided he wanted to be a woman and consequently left the family.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: A flashback reveals that Gozaburo asked his adopted son Seto what he would do if he was in charge of Kaiba Corp. Kaiba says that he wants to make Kaibaland (which is very much like Disneyland) for kids to enjoy. However, Gozaburo is an Arms Dealer, so he is completely unable to comprehend such a thing. So he decided to take away Kaiba's toys. Considering that Gozaburo was very abusive towards Seto at least, this would indicate that he simply wanted to keep Kaiba under his thumb. That Kaiba eventually overthrows him is laser guided karma, that he would eventually build Kaibaland and it was successful is desecrating the grave of somebody who deserved it
  • Hiroko's father in AKB49 – Renai Kinshi Jourei strongly disapproves of her aspiration to become an Idol Singer, which led to a heated confrontation between him and her when he found out that she had joined an idol group.
  • While they're not related, Tsubasa and Angie from Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi fit this trope fairly well. Angie, The Caretaker for Tsubasa, tries to keep anything that doesn't advance the latter's learning of martial arts away (such as manga), to the point where Tsubasa has a breakdown in one fight and basically cries I Just Want to Be Normal, after she experiences what its like to be a normal schoolgirl for one day.
  • In Fairy Tail, the two main reasons why Lucy Heartfilia runs away from home to join the titular guild are because her Well-Intentioned Extremist father Jude won't spend time with her after her mother Layla's death and he wants reign in Lucy's impulses to become a wizard by having her bear a son through an Arranged Marriage. To do this, he recruits rival guild Phantom Lord to retrieve her, but it inadvertently leads to a guild war between it and Fairy Tail one year later. Lucy, however, has other ideas when the guild war is over.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club anime, Kyouya's father actually slaps him when he finds out exactly what his son's after-school club is about. In the manga, Tamaki's father forces the club to shut down briefly near the end, but it's subverted later when it's revealed that he likes the Host Club, and was only shutting them down as part of a plan to get his mother to step down as head of the company.
  • Nagisa Motomiya's father in AKB0048 is initially dead set against his daughter becoming an Idol Singer, but it's hard to blame him when the Motomiyas live in a Crapsack World where music is outlawed and the Culture Police tend to shoot first and ask questions later, and his concerns are more about poor Nagisa's safety than anything else.
  • In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Nanami's parents does not support Nanami's aspirations to be a voice actress, which forced her to work for her own expenses in Tokyo. Sorata wonders if her Plucky Girl personality arises from this.
  • In Saki, Nodoka's father doesn't think much of Mahjong, saying that it's purely a game of luck, that training camps are a waste of time and that the friends Nodoka makes through it won't be of any use in a "hick town" like where she lives. He seems to tolerate her playing mahjong as long as it doesn't interfere with anything more important, and reluctantly decides to "consider" letting her stay where she is if she wins the nationals, though.
    • The prequel, Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-'' has Shino's uncle, who tells her to get over Mahjong. He even tries to sell the Mahjong set which they used to play Mahjong together with (failing because it's missing a tile)— and by 'they', this includes Shino's disappeared mom, as he believes that Mahjong will only serve to remind Shiho of her mother's absence and cause her pain. Ultimately, after seeing her participating in a tournament and enjoying herself despite not winning, he apologizes and returns the set.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Hana's mother is horrified by her pursuing tankery because she, head of the Isuzu school of flower arrangement, considers tanks barbaric, and disowns Hana when she makes it clear that she will not abandon it. She later undergoes Character Development, reconciles with Hana after admitting that participating in tankery has helped her flower arranging, and actually seems to enjoy the match between Oarai and Black Forest.
  • A few parents in Bakuman。 dislike their children getting involved in manga for various reasons, such as Mashiro's mother (out of the belief that she doesn't think he could succeed, and the death of her brother-in-law mangaka doesn't help either), and Shiratori's mother (who dislikes manga and thinks it would bring harm to the Shiratori family reputation).
  • In Digimon Adventure 02, it's revealed that as children, Cody's father and Owikawa were aware of the digital world and dreamed of going there one day. Cody's grandfather, unaware that the digital world was real, thought this was unrealistic obsession and ordered it to stop.
  • In One Piece, Sanji's father, Vinsmoke Judge, detests Sanji's desire to be a chef, as the old man is obsessed with status and considers cooking a form of servitude. This seems to have only fueled Sanji's passion even further. He gets so fed up with his son feeding other people and random animals that he locks Sanji up in a dungeon so Judge can forget Sanji even exists.
  • Detective Conan: The "Luxury Liner Serial Murder Case" has a fantasy-forbidding grandfather as the first victim. Gozo Hatamoto, the leader of an immensely rich Big, Screwed-Up Family, is an all-around jerk but especially belittles his grandson Ichiro, a promising painter and artist. Heck, he's even shown smashing one of Ichiro's works in a flashback, and openly badmouths the guy in front of Conan and the Mouris. Naturally, Ichiro is the killer: when he couldn't take the man's abuse anymore, he ended up grabbing a nearby knife and stabbing him to death. He has two reasons for it, actually: not only Gozo disapproved of his desires, but he wouldn't allow Ichiro to marry his cousin Natsue, Gozo's favorite relative and only heir. In fact, immediately after this refusal, Gozo had granted Natsue's boyfriend Takashi his permission to marry her; the wedding had occurred just days before Gozo's murder.
  • Tsubasa's mother in Comic Girls. She would prefer Tsubasa to live like her class and work in the family business eventually. Tsubasa is a tomboyish Sequential Artist, something her mother is not very fond of.

    Comic Books 
  • Walter of ClanDestine disapproves of Rory and Pandora's superhero aspirations, going so far as to threaten to have them raised separately in order to negate their Wonder Twin Powers until they're adults. However, while he does think that "superhero" is an impractical job choice, he's also worried that they could get hurt — they're twelve years old at this point. There's also the risk that someone could find out about the family through the twins' activities — the last time that happened, two of the Clan died. In this case, the eventual solution is a compromise: the kids get to continue their superhero careers, but only when an adult relative can chaperone them.
  • Dr. Manhattan's father in Watchmen could be seen as an example, or technically a Fantasy-Fostering Father. His son is at first eager to follow in his footsteps as a watchmaker, but he forces him to abandon this (by throwing his tools out the window of their apartment) and pursue a career as a nuclear scientist after the Atom bomb is dropped at the end of WWII. His father's reasoning was based on Einstein: what use is a watchmaker if time is an illusion? Interestingly enough, the chapter ends with Einstein's quote about how he should have become a watchmaker if he had known what his research would lead to.
    • In the prequel miniseries Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, young Dan Dreiberg's father burns all of his Nite Owl stuff because he doesn't like the boy's obsession with the superhero. (Incidentally, mini-series writer J. Michael Straczynski had the same thing happen to him as a kid.)
  • Wonder Girl's mother in Young Justice is a brilliant archaeologist who puts a lot of pressure on her daughter to excel. She's overall a supporting parent, but is very hesitant and strict when her daughter becomes a superhero, making sure she doesn't neglect her schoolwork. At one point, she even gains the ability to take away Cassie's powers if she needs to, making her a literal example of this trope. The two are estranged for a while when Wonder Girl is older, but eventually reconcile.
  • In Robin Tim's father forbids him from continuing to act as Robin or having any contact with anyone he knew from his time as a hero, even threatening Bruce with a gun, when he finds out Tim is Robin. He only figured it out when he tore Tim's room to shreds after learning the football coach didn't remember Tim trying out for football and finding the hidden compartment in Tim's closet.
  • In Runaways, Klara Prast's parents disowned her and married her off to a much older man because she talked to plants. Granted, the plants happened to talk back, but still...
  • Praxton of White Sand outright tells his son Kenton that he has no chance of ever becoming a Sand Master, as he has no talent and no power, and that he should give up pursuing a stupid dream he has no way of ever achieving. Hurts more thanks to the fact that Praxton himself is the most powerful of all Sand Masters.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film — Animation 
  • In The Book of Life, Manolo's father steers him away from the guitar to continue the family tradition of bullfighting.
  • This trope provides most of the conflict in Coco. A kid named Miguel Rivera dreams of a career as a musician, but the rest of his family (who make shoes for a living) forbid him from it, due to a "ban on music" rule passed down by his great-great-grandmother, who was pissed off by her musician husband (apparently) abandoning their family.
  • Epic has an inversion. The father is looking for proof of fairies, while the daughter would rather he focus on the here and now of the real world, since his obsession ruined his career and marriage.
  • In Kronks New Groove, Kronk's father was shown to be this, disapproving of his dreams of being a chef. In the end though, he comes to accept his son's lifestyle since he has a lot of friends (and a girlfriend).
  • The Secret of Kells has the Abbot and uncle to Brendan, who is (reasonably) worried about a Viking invasion and wants the entire abbey to focus all of its energy into building a wall. He looks down on every creative endeavor Brendan has, and finally locks him in after he goes into the woods too many times and works on illuminated manuscripts. Interestingly for this trope, he comes to regret his decision immensely once the Vikings invade anyway and he believes Brendan to have been killed. He spends years living in misery over the regret. Early character designs even had him as the main antagonist.
  • In Disney's Tangled, Mother Gothel kept Rapunzel's desire to leave the tower she was living/prisoner in in check for most of her life by a combination of belittling her and telling terrifying tales of the outside. In this variation, however, Gothel has no interest in protecting Rapunzel's feelings or well-being, and keeping her in the tower is directly related to Gothel's own gain. This is reinforced by Gothel by attempting to limit her imagination; the only books in the tower are Botany, Geology, and Cooking, which Rapunzel has read hundreds of times before, two of which are fairly useless to her as she never goes outside and one can directly benefit Gothel.
  • The antagonist of Tinker Bell & the Great Fairy Rescue is Lizzy's father, an overly skeptical scientist who gives her grief for her 'flights of fancy'. When he learns she's filled her journal with everything she's learned about fairies, he starts ripping down all her pictures and throwing everything away, claiming it's 'high time she grows up'. Because being nine years old clearly equals adulthood.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Willy Wonka's dad from the 2000's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie was like this. He opposed candymaking since he was a dentist. In the end however, it's revealed that he has kept newspaper clippings regarding the growing success of Wonka's factory.
  • Dead Poets Society - Neil's father thinks anything that could detract from his son's future as a doctor is an utter waste. He goes ballistic when he finds out Neil is playing Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. When he punishes him by sending him to military school, Neil is pushed over the edge and takes his own life. What's worse? He doesn't even believe he was the cause of Neil's death, and he isn't even punished for it.
  • The lord of Swamp Castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, who won't let his son sing (or do anything else except marry the girl with great tracts of land that he's picked out).
  • Homer "John" Hickam Sr. in October Sky discourages his son's interest in building rockets and tries to get him to accept his destiny as a coal miner like almost every other man in town. He gets better at the end, though.
  • Rad has the mom disapprove of her son's BMX'ing, and doesn't want him to participate in a local competition. The reason? It might interfere with him taking his SAT test months down the line. It wasn't even a question of the son having to balance school and biking, just random opposition to pad the movie.
  • In School of Rock, Zach's dad forbids him from playing rock music and insists on him only playing assigned classical guitar pieces, which doesn't exactly make sense as part of learning classical guitar is all the possible styles and genres you can play in.
  • Star Wars: Uncle Owen Lars to Luke Skywalker. Owen never knew what actually happened to Anakin, so he assumed that the Jedi Order did something to him and forbade Ob-Wan from interacting with Luke, not wanting Luke to follow his father's footsteps. However, Luke wanted to leave the moisture farm and make something of himself, but Owen would constantly shoot down any attempt and the two frequently got into disagreements.
  • Step Brothers: Robert mentions that his dad made him give up being a dinosaur at age seventeen so he could get a job. ("But you're a human. You could never be a dinosaur.")
  • In Super 8, deputy Jackson Lamb felt his son helping with the costuming and makeup of friend's film hobby was something to be outgrown, and was intending on sending his son to a baseball camp for maladjusted kids. Eventually after a lot of outside pressure piled up on him (and his son befriended the daughter of the man he blamed for his wife's death) he forbade him from associating with them again. Most of this was due to him being emotionally disconnected from his son after his wife's death.
  • In Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Jables' father spanks his son for his reverence of Ronnie James Dio and Rock. Ironically enough, his father happens to be played by Meat Loaf.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia is chided for reading too many fairy stories when she's supposed to have outgrown them.
  • In Sister Act II, Rita's mother is determined to squash her dreams of becoming a singer. She won't even allow her to join the school choir as an extracurricular because she thinks she should be spending all her time studying to get into a good college.
    • Which is a little misguided, when you consider that college admissions aren't just about your GPA and SAT numbers, and participating in extra-curricular activities can help.
    • Rita's mom also objects on the ground that her husband pursued a career in music and was an utter failure.
  • A milder example; Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara) in Miracle on 34th Street didn't expose her daughter to fairy tales, believing that she should be truthful with her child. While her decision in this regard was informed by her backstory, she was never cruel to her daughter, just pragmatic.
  • Robert, the little girl's father in Enchanted, has a similar attitude; he discourages his daughter's interest in fairy tales by playing up the heroic achievements of real women such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman. Even with his disillusionment about "happily ever after", Robert's ideas actually make sense for raising a girl in these days.
  • A Little Princess: as in the book, the power of storytelling is a major theme, but Miss Minchin's opposition to it is all the more pronounced in the film. In the book she flatters all of Sara's tendencies, including her imagination, until the girl falls from grace. In the film, she is outraged from the start at Sara's flights of fancy and just gets all the more enraged when she finds that Sara's imagination has survived the reversal of fortune. Minchin believes in the girls learning to be 'productive and useful' where the story shows how Sara's imagination is her last and best weapon against degradation and despair.
    Miss Minchin. I suppose that now you think you are a princess again.
    Sara. I tried not to be anything else.
  • Mama Boucher in The Waterboy ("You playin' the foosball behind my back, Bobby Boucher?!!") She does it because her husband, Bobby's father, ran off to New Orleans for another woman and never returned. As such, she's become incredibly overprotective of Bobby and hates even letting him out of her sight.
  • Dangerous Minds: One student's mother pulls him out of high school because he's being taught poetry, when she needs him to get a job to support the family.
  • Parodied in Yellowbeard. Betty disapproves of her son Dan reading books because the last time she read a book she was raped.
  • Played straight in the film adaptation of The Neverending Story - Bastian's father in the opening scene tells his son to get his head out of the clouds because he's failing in school as a result. In the end, if not for Bastian's vivid imagination Fantasia would have been destroyed forever.
  • In High School Musical Troy's dad is a downplayed variant. He disapproves of Troy becoming a singer, but (unlike Troy's jock friends) does not try to sabotage him.
  • At first played straight then inverted in Billy Elliot. Young Billy's dad thinks his son needs to "toughen up" and sends him to boxing lessons. At first enraged when he discovers the boy has been using the money to pay for dancing lessons, his attitude undergoes a complete 180-degree turnaround once Billy proves to him that not only is the boy passionate about his chosen career, but he's also darned good at it. Also contains at least one Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Billy's dad becomes what he hates most of all - a strike-breaker - just so his son will have the chance to do what he loves.
  • Mazes and Monsters: Daniel's parents, especially his mother, take a dim view of his role-playing hobby, insisting that he focus all his attention on his computer science degree.
  • In Paulie, Marie's dad thinks that she already spends too much time fantasizing, blames her fantasies for her stutter, and thus takes it as a personal affront when she begins insisting that Paulie is helping her learn how to speak and thus convinces her mother to get rid of Paulie.
  • Aunt Sam in Behind the Waterfall is completely opposed to any sort of fantasy or imagination, going so far as to declare a perfect date ruined because the man she was with said they should make a wish after seeing a shooting star. Afterwards, she claims said man was a fool with his head in the clouds.
  • The House That Dripped Blood: In "Sweets for the Sweet", John forbids his daughter from any contact with other children, or even to have any toys. As it turns out, he does have some solid reasons for his incredibly strict parenting but, by the time these come out, it is far too late for all involved.

  • In Born To Run, book one of Mercedes Lackey's SERRAted Edge novels, Tania ran away from home because her parents strictly forbade her from having any form of entertainment - no media or activities that weren't purely educational, no foods that weren't chosen based on nutritional fads. When they discovered and burned her tiny stash of fantasy novels, lecturing her about her "betrayal" and how reading such things would ruin her mind and prevent her from being accepted into college, it was the last straw. (The end of the book suggests that they realized their mistake after she ran away, and presents Tania's upcoming reunion with them in a hopeful light.)
  • In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged's father, a blacksmith, is always telling him his fantasies will do him no good, and that learning to make a living as a blacksmith is the only realistic way for Ged to get by in the world. He's proven wrong when Ged saves the whole damn village (and, unintentionally, several others) with magic.
  • Thomas Gradgrind in Charles Dickens' Hard Times. He's got a utilitarian's love of Fact, and regards poetry and fiction as "destructive nonsense". His views have bad consequences for his daughter Louisa, who represses her emotions and enters a loveless marriage with her father's business associate.
  • The Dursleys throughout Harry Potter, especially Uncle Vernon. He very specifically tried to crush the potential for magic out of Harry with all sorts of means. Harry notes that his uncle disapproves of even innocuous things like cartoons and dreams. This borders on horrifying when it's remembered that Vernon did all these magic-quashing things before Harry ever found out he was a wizard, meaning he had no idea why he was being treated this way.
  • J's father, Manny, from I Am J had parents like this. Manny loved horses and wanted to be a jockey growing up, but his parents disagreed because they didn't think it was becoming for a Nice Jewish Boy.
  • Matilda: Matilda's parents not only don't understand her love of reading over watching brainless game shows and soap operas all day, but her father even goes as far to rip to pieces a library book she'd borrowed in front of her. Then there is the scene where her mother explains to her teacher Miss Honey why she thinks being pretty is more important than education. They much prefer her brother who is being trained to take over his father's used car place.
  • Michael's father in the Knight and Rogue Series does not approve of his youngest son going off and playing Knight Errant. His first major attempt to force Michael to quit is to legally require him to become a steward, and when Michael still refuses he has his son branded as a criminal and stripped of legal rights to try and eliminate all options other than being steward.
  • Yanus, Menolly's father in the Harper Hall Trilogy of Dragonriders of Pern is this way. Because centuries-old cultural tradition holds that women could not become Harpers, Menolly's musical talent inconveniences and embarrasses him. She disgraces him and his Hold simply by existing. He once beats her with a belt across her back for playing one measure of her own creation when she's supposed to be playing a traditional ballad. When she runs away and becomes the personal apprentice of the MasterHarper, her parents continue to ignore her existence; even after the rules are changed and she is elevated to the position of MasterComposer, her brother notes that their only comments are thinly-veiled references to ungrateful children.
  • Anais Nin recounts a Real Life example of a fantasy-forbidding mom in The All-Seeing. Writing about a friend, possibly the occultist Jean Carteret, Anais talks about his collections of exotic objects, then says:
    A violin hung on his wall. His violin nailed to the wall and never touched since the day his mother had said to him: "So you failed to get the prize you struggled for? You're hurt, you're humiliated, but I'm happy. Now you will stop playing the violin and wasting your life. You will be a man like your father, not a fiddler. I'm very glad you did not win the prize. You would have gone to Paris to study and become a good-for-nothing. We never had musicians in our family." With one phrase she had destroyed his first passion. He hung his violin on the wall. The strings snapped gradually and hung dead... He is condemned to wander outside of his violin, yet in every object around him I could place my ear and hear the music his mother was unable to silence."
  • Dean Koontz has a rather tragic variation in his short story Twilight of the Dawn, wherein a staunch atheist man is determined to raise his son with the same views, rejecting anything fantastical, supernatural or "irrational". The man's wife dies and the young son begins trying to pray as a way to cope, much to his father's angry frustration. When the little boy gets cancer and then dies the father still refuses to accept the boy's hope and faith until far later.
  • Randyll Tarly of A Song of Ice and Fire is a particularly vicious example, who attempts to jolt his soft, overweight, book-loving son Samwell away from reading and into manlier pursuits by any means necessary. He even goes as far as chaining him to a wall for three days for the horrible crime of wanting to be a maester. When his efforts don't pay off, he gives Sam the choice of forsaking his birthright and being packed off to the Wall, or be involved in a "hunting accident".
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Daniar doesn't want Benji to follow in her foot steps so she does everything she can to keep him away from battle and danger.
  • In Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams, the protagonist's (single) father never read her and her sister any stories, but just taught them facts. (Though, in the present, when the kids are grown up, he seems pretty mild-mannered.) The girls managed to use their imaginations, anyway, to the extent of "We are from Zanzibar, we are from Ireland, our mother is the Queen of Potatoes."
  • Prince Caspian's evil uncle Miraz is this to Caspian, regarding the tales of old Narnia:
    "That's all nonsense, for babies...Only fit for babies, do you hear? You're getting too old for that sort of stuff. At your age you should be thinking about battles and adventures, not fairy tales."
    • Justified (from the story's perspective, anyway) by the fact that Miraz along with most of the rest of the Telmarine leadership wants to stamp out the memory of the fact that they stole the land from the talking beasts who had lived there before.
  • Averted in The Eyes of the Dragon. King Roland's Evil Chancellor Flagg warns him that allowing his son Peter to play with his late mother's dollhouse could turn him into a sissy. Roland, despite usually being an Extreme Doormat when it comes to Flagg, observes Peter's play and decides that it is harmless, as the fantasies he acts out tend to involve bloody battles rather than romance or other "girly" topics.
  • In Bloodlines, Sydney's father sees many subjects as "nonessential" and wants all three of his daughters to become Alchemists. When Carly chooses not to become one, he increases the pressure on Sydney and Zoe.
  • Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for the kid) the son's Imaginary Friend turns out to be not so imaginary.
  • Conradin in Saki's short story Sredni Vashtar is raised by a cousin who likes to "thwart him For His Own Good", including selling his pet chicken. (Saki never says this outright, but the cousin's behavior suggests there's an inheritance involved.) The child has preserved his health and sanity through his imagination, and in the end it frees him.
  • Theodore Sturgeon's novel More Than Human has Child Prodigy Hip (Hippocrates) Barrows, a gifted engineer. His father the doctor is determined to shoehorn him into the same profession, burning his electronics magazines and tearing up his homemade radio set. It does absolutely no good, his father disowns him and he dedicates his life to his chosen field, later becoming the conscience of the gestalt group.
  • In The Sorceress's Orc, Vervain grew up in a village where everyone hated magic. She had to run away from home to study the Magical Sciences. Her family disowned her after that.
  • Chip of Rangers At Roadsend was even named "Piety" because her mother had her career planned; she was to become a priestess. Naturally, Chip did not agree.
  • Murph from Henry and the Paper Route is a Teen Genius who is working on building his own robot. His father thinks his pursuits are a waste of time, and won't give Murph the money he needs to buy parts for the robot. Murph eventually puts his robot project on hiatus when he can't keep up his work as a paper boy in Klickitat Street.
  • Owen Davies in The Grey King wants his son Bran to concentrate only on practical, realistic things. This is because Bran is adopted and actually the legitimate son of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, brought through time and left in Owen's care, and Owen is terrified of losing him to his greater destiny.
  • It: Richie's mother loathes rock music, forbids her son to listen to it, and is aghast that he wants to play it. One can only imagine her reaction to Richie growing up to become the most popular rock DJ in the country.
  • In The Shepherd's Crown, Lord Swivel hires a tutor who gets his elder sons functionally literate. When the youngest son Geoffrey shows a passion for reading and an interest in languages and mythology, Lord Swivel has the tutor dismissed. (Geoffrey never even thinks of letting his father know that he wants to be a witch.)
  • In The Amy Virus, Cyan's father wants all three of his daughters to become doctors. When Cyan brings home a bad report card, he confiscates all her music and instruments. In addition, her older sister Tamarlyn is a talented artist who wants to apply to RISD, but her parents don't want her to go anywhere but Caltech.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Smallville: The end of the Pilot Movie sets up the Monster of the Week for the next episode, a teenager who's really into bugs - collecting, classifying, etc. - a budding entymologist. His mother dislikes his hobby, partially on the grounds that he can't make a living at it. And how he spent the rest of his time stalking and peeping on Lana, complete with videotapes.
  • Mike Chang's father on Glee. They temporarily disown each other when Mike refuses to quit the school musical.
    • Sue Sylvester's eternal opposition to the club ultimately boils down to this; art and music programs can't prepare students for the harsh realities of adulthood and only gives them false hopes of showbiz success.
  • Lester Dawson, ally's father from Austin & Ally.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tattoo" has Chakotay's father be against him leaving his tribe and abandoning their ways to join Starfleet. SF Debris noted the racist overtones of the prohibition.
    This whole story is structured to make it seem like Chakotay was just some stubborn teenager who couldn't accept the wisdom that his father was trying to instill in him. And yet we have seen this scene so many times before— reversed. For some reason this time we're supposed to be on the side of the isolationist zealot. "All good indian boys shouldn't ask questions and should just blindly follow their elders."
    • Played straight with Tom Paris' father, a Starfleet admiral who wanted him to go into space when Tom wanted to join the Naval Patrol. Lampshaded when Tom is dictating a letter to his father in "Thirty Days" explaining How We Got Here.
    "It all started on a morning I was doing something you would find a complete waste of time..."
    (Cut to Tom in his Captain Proton holoprogram, flying through Outer Space in a Jet Pack and Adventurer Outfit)
  • In Freaks and Geeks, all Nick wants to do is play drums, but his father sells his drum set "for his own good," causing Nick to move out of the house.
  • Psych gives us an interesting example with Henry Spencer, Shawn's dad. As a child, he wasn't fond of Shawn reading comic books, as they usually depict cops as useless in order to justify vigilante justice meted out by superheroes. The more general case is subtle with him raising Shawn to be a cop. While Shawn had the aspiration, his dad's control issues along with other problems led to Shawn pursuing his own ideals, ending up as a psychic detective, which his father initially disapproved of (disliking private investigators and psychics.)
  • Inverted in Political Animals - Bud genuinely wishes his son TJ would find a career path that involves the piano, as it's clear that he enjoys playing, and it's far healthier than his other hobbies (like drugs and affairs with married men.) Unfortunately, TJ finds the notion of a stable, happy life boring.
  • In the series finale of Corner Gas, Emma disapproves of Brent going into the city to preform stand-up comedy every week, believing that at his age he should be "stuck in a rut with a wife and kids, living the Hell we all lived". Bizarrely, Oscar is actually supportive for once, key word being "for once".
    Oscar: Unbelievable, Emma! The boy has a chance to do something with his life and you wanna squash it! This is just like the time you burnt his letter of acceptance from college.
    Emma: You burned that!
    Oscar: Well... someone had to take over the family business!
  • One episode of Gun Smoke dealt with a farmer who disapproved of his son reading fantasy books like The Odyssey he goes as far as burning one of the books despite the fact that it belonged to the school, he also disapproved of him going to school because he felt it interfered with his farming, the boy wanted to be a teacher instead of a farmer, the boy's teacher takes the father to court because he pulled his son from the school and also because he assaulted him, eventually the teacher is able to convince the father to allow the boy to go back to school and let him be what he wants when he grows up.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In Season 6, Tyrion Lannister recounts that he once asked for a dragon for his nameday. The entire family laughed at this, and then his father drilled it into his head that dragons were long extinct.
    • While Ned Stark loves his daughter Arya, and even appoints a tutor to teach her basic swordsmanship, Ned never sees it as more than a hobby and doesn't quite understand why Arya takes it as seriously as she does. He still expects that when she grows up she would become a Proper Lady and have an Arranged Marriage. Arya bluntly tells him, "That's not me!" and it's the only point on which she disagrees with her father.
  • Briefly referenced on The Big Bang Theory when Sheldon hires an actor to portray an Invented Individual:
    Sheldon: This is Toby Loobenfeld, he’s a research assistant in the particle physics lab, but he also minored in theatre at MIT.
    Toby: It was more of a double major, actually: theatre and physics. You can guess which one my bourgeois parents pushed me towards.
  • Patriarch John Winchester is a subversive example of this in Supernatural. He and his youngest son, Sam, bump heads because Sam enjoys mundane activities like reading, homework, and playing soccer when John would rather he train to become a hunter like John and Sam's older brother, Dean. The family had a big blowout that led to years of estrangement when Sam chooses to go to college and study to be a laywer rather than remain in the family of the business of hunting ghosts, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night.
  • CSI: NY: The Monster of the Week in one episode turned out to be one of these. After losing his childhood friend in an accident involving a toy submarine that they bought, believing the advertisement a bit too much (the friend drowned), the man grew up and had a child of his own, that he utterly prevented of having distractions of any kind, no comics or toys and even forbidding him from leaving home except to go to school. His wife eventually divorced him because of this, and acknowledging the trauma had made him a monstrous parent, he decided to get payback on the man who (allegedly) made him this way by gifting the toymaker an Exploding Cigar capable of tearing his head to shreds (and that got taken by another man... the father calmly accepted going to jail in the knowledge that the accidental death and the reason it happened would probably haunt the toy man for the rest of his days).
  • One episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge introduces us to Shelby's father, a successful, clever businessman who owns a famous chain of ice cream parlors. Through the episode, Shelby and her dad constantly butt heads because he disapproves of his daughter's interest in dinosaurs and paleontology and would rather want her to focus on the family's ice cream business, much to her annoyance. By the end of the episode, he comes to terms with his daughter's own aspirations, however, and even gives her a dinosaur-shaped ice cream cake for her birthday.
  • Season Five of Arrested Development has Tobias Funke discover he has a long lost teenage son he is eager to raise into a crazy dreamer like himself. It gets to the point where he becomes clearly angry with his son when he tries to ask him what he wants to be when he grows up and gets practical answers (a computer scientist becuase he likes computers, or a vet because animals make him happy) and keeps prodding until ultimately he decides his son is going to be a world famous clown. He's a Reality Forbidding Father.

  • Grandpa in Peter and the Wolf.
  • Red Vox's "Job in the City" is a sarcastic account of a parent who is urging their child to get a "real job" in the city. The parent openly mocks how their child's aspirations didn't turn out to be what they expected, how they're going to abandon fun with their friends to slave their days away for pennies, and even try to guilt their child by bringing up everything they've done for them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A typical villain in Changeling: The Dreaming is a muggle who might mean well but his attitude makes him a Walking Wasteland to fey creatures.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In the background for Blood Bowl, the Dragon Princes were a team made up of board young High Elf princes. Horrified that their children wished to participate in such an uncouth game, the players’ parents threatened to disinherit them if they played against any team that wasn’t their social equal, resulting in the Dragon Princes disbanding without playing a single game.
    • When he was a child, Belial, Grand Master of the Deathwing from Warhammer 40,000, wanted to participate in the tournament held to find recruits for the Dark Angels Chapter of Adeptus Astartes. Belial’s father however, forbade him from entering as he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as the leader of their tribe. In defiance, Belial disguised himself and entered the contest and managed to duel a Space Marine Chaplain for 7 minutes before being knocked out.

  • Disney's Believe on the Disney Cruise Line has a milder version in Dr. Greenaway, who at least TRIES to accept his daughter's belief in magic. He's just a little too scientific to believe in magic and it takes Genie showing up to help him learn.

  • Nexo Knights:
    • King Halberd disapproves of his daughter, Macy, wanting to become a knight, on the grounds that it's dangerous (and also because he still sees her as a little girl). The first episode has him go as far as not giving her a shield at the knighting ceremony, the certification of her being a knight, which is broadcast live to the entire kingdom.
    • In the opposite direction, Lance hates his parents because they made him train to be a knight, as is the family tradition, rather than be a celebrity like he wanted. The fallout is so bad Lance refuses to lift a finger to save them when they're abducted by Jestro.

    Video Games 
  • World of Warcraft:
  • Dragon Quest VII's King Burns regards his son Kiefer as an irresponsible Upper-Class Twit chasing foolish dreams of adventure without any concept of the inherit risks. Even after Kiefer and his friends stumble across a way to restore the lands lost long ago in the war with the Demonlord, he forbids him from continuing (and attempts to stop the others as well).
  • Inazuma Eleven surprisingly has Gouenji's father disapprove of his playing soccer. The sport can't save lives, so apparently it doesn't mean anything compared to becoming a doctor.
  • Bianca's Overprotective Dad in Pokémon Black and White is this until Elesa sets him straight. He refuses to let his daughter become a trainer due to worries about the danger.
  • Raz's father Augustus Aquato in Psychonauts, who is opposed to him learning to use his psychic powers. He's only trying to protect Raz from his family's enemies by keeping him out of the world of psychics, and is actually a psychic himself. While Raz sees his father's constant acrobatic training as oppressive, those skills turn out to be massively useful in psychonaut work. It is heavily implied that this was actually Raz's father's reasoning behind the training and Raz was misinterpreting things. When Raz's father meets Raz's mental image of him, he's visibly hurt.
  • Garrus' father in Mass Effect is mentioned as hating Spectres for having nearly unlimited power but very little government oversight. He apparently pulled some strings to prevent Garrus from pursuing this career after his mandatory military service was up, so he could join C-Sec like he did.
    • In a comic focused on Garrus, he remembers his childhood, with his father teaching him to shoot. As he's defending his HQ from three gangs on Omega, he calls his father to say good-bye and tell him he was right. When asked why the rush, Garrus replies that there are too many targets. His father immediately brushes off any attempts at father-son reconciliation and goes all business on him: how many targets? what are their tactics? Then Garrus sees an N7 uniform in his scope and tell his father he'll call him back.
    • By the third game, it becomes an aversion. Garrus mentions that they never saw eye-to-eye on things, so when Garrus sees him in person and says it's serious, his father listens. Garrus explained everything that's happened; Saren, Virmire, the Collectors, the Reapers, everything. His father doesn't believe at the start, but then he started connecting the dots and accepts it as the truth since Garrus wouldn't be making this stuff up for a joke. He even took it to the Primarch, who also listened.
  • In Spellcasting 101 a harsh down-to-earth stepfather is one of the things that makes you eligible to enrol into the Sorcerer University. If you don't hurry in the first scene, he makes you a dragon farmer and the game is over.
  • In Mishap: An Accidental Haunting the parents of Judith Kaufman wanted her to take over the family investment business instead of being a painter. Sadly, like all of the other boss ghosts in the game, she died with her dream unfulfilled.
  • In the final cutscene of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Ethan is told to stop being Mr. Imagination by his brother and uncle. The father doesn't comment negatively about his vivid fantasies which grants him a Heroic Suicide in Ethan's Dying Dream.
  • Mary Vanderworth's parents in Mary le Chef: Cooking Passion want her to become a lawyer like them instead of a chef. This results in her juggling a job as a part-time cook and an entry-level position at a law firm in an attempt to not disappoint them while still chasing her dream.
  • In one of the retrievable memories from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda is excitedly telling Link about all the progress Hyrule has made in controlling the Guardians. Things turn tense when her father King Rhoam shows up to scold her and forbid her from spending her time learning about the machines rather than figuring out how to unlock the Sealing Power that will let her defeat Calamity Ganon. What makes Zelda especially resentful is that she has been praying at the requisite fountains and doing all manner of other things to unlock this ability, all for naught.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sakuya Le Bel Shirogane is forbidden from plebian pursuits like the arts by his birdy bigot father, who convinces him that the Le Bel family must prove their status by remaining Idle Rich. Sakuya has a passion (and a talent) for music, which he represses unless the heroine pursues him and hones her Charisma to persuade him to chase his dreams, which gets him disowned.
  • In Scandal in the Spotlight, Iori Enjo's father is a wealthy and high-powered corporate executive who expects his son to succeed him in running their family's company, and strongly disapproves of Iori's career as a (phenomenally successful) pop star. When Iori first joined Revance, his father declared that he would allow Iori's participation in the band only until Iori turned thirty. Since Iori was nineteen at the time and didn't expect his run as a pop star to last more than a few years, his father's edict hardly seemed important... but with Revance still going strong ten years later and the deadline looming increasingly close, Mr. Enjo has become more and more willing to resort to underhanded methods to force Iori to quit.

  • Ursula's parents in Precocious, who basically raised her in an opaque, home-schooled bubble, and are still obsessive helicopter parents.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Up to the beginning of the story, Tuuri had the lifelong dream of visiting a Plague Zombie ridden Forbidden Zone, while not being The Immune. While the story itself is about her finally getting the opportunity to do just that, her Promoted To Parent older brother is shown to understandably have a few issues with the idea, both in Chapter 1 and in a flash-back pre-dating the death of their parents.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • ThunderCats (2011) has Claudus feel this way towards Lion-O's fascination with mythical technology in Thundera's world of Medieval Stasis. Of course, it comes in very handy once it's revealed that there are pockets of Lost Technology in the outside, and the Big Bad is invading with it. He then proceeds to realize the "trinkets" he's been repairing on and off for years are time bombs and uses them to tear through enemy tanks and allow his and his allies' escape. Of course, had Claudus known his son was tinkering with bombs without first knowing what they were, he'd have been very justified in his opinion but for entirely different reasons.
  • A variation/deliberate subversion in the South Park "High School Musical" parody; musical star/Zac Efron Expy Brydon's dad is a Camp Straight musical enthusiast who is outraged that his son wants to play basketball.
  • This is a recurring trend on King of the Hill, where Hank's reaction to whatever Bobby's current interest is varies somewhere between annoyance, shame, and outrage. How extreme of a Fantasy-Forbidding Father Hank is varies from episode to episode; sometimes it's just a quick sigh for the audience's amusement and sometimes it's trying to urge Bobby to stop. But when Hank is being particularly close-minded and shaming of whatever Bobby's into that week, he'll usually learn to appreciate his son and the two of them will share a tender moment (with Bobby often learning that his father wasn't so much trying to bust his chops as he was trying to protect him from becoming a target for bullies). One episode took this literally when Bobby began to get absorbed by a Fantasy book series in the B-Plot and Hank repeatedly told him to stop reading it in favor of a typical Boy's Adventure book.
  • Episode 2 of Become Jehovahs Friend has the mother (who looks like Mel from Coraline) successfully guilt her son Caleb into throwing away a plastic Sparlock the Warrior Wizard toy on the grounds that God hates magic. And she's portrayed as the hero!
  • ChalkZone:
    • Mr. Wilter has this opinion regarding cartoons. Though at least one episode shows that he does have a point (he gives Rudy lunch detention so that he can finish the assignment that they were given before summer vacation, which Rudy spent drawing a comic book of an adventure he had in Chalk Zone that no one in class would think actually happened.)
    • This was the case with Mr. Wilter himself also. In one episode, when Rudy and Snap stumble upon some old drawings, we end up discovering they were creating by Mr. Wilter who happily recognized him and ended up confessing that the reason he stopped drawing was because of his own father.
    • One episode featured an art teacher named Miss. Tweezer who only liked art of "real" things and despised anything unrealistic or cartoony.
  • Parodied at the end of The Simpsons episode "The President Wore Pearls" where Homer shoots down all of Lisa's dreams out of laziness (driving 45 minutes to take her to a fancy new school, getting up at 6:30am).
  • One episode of SpongeBob SquarePants showed that Neptune was like this to his son Triton, who didn't want to be a chaos bringer. Eventually, Neptune trapped him a cage and left him on an island. When Triton was finally freed by SpongeBob, he was so consumed by revenge that he devastated Bikini Bottom, which surprisingly, caused Neptune to be proud of him and for them to make up.
  • In the Sofia the First episode "Gizmo Gwen," Chef Andre discourages his daughter from inventing because he doesn't want her to be embarrassed when her inventions fail, as his did.
  • When Mr. Langtree from Over the Garden Wall discovers his daughter attempting to teach her animal students to play musical instruments, he promptly and angrily confiscates them and threatens to revoke her funding. Subverted when it's shown he was going to pawn them as a last-ditch effort to keep the school afloat, having already spent his life savings on it.
  • In one episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, a beaver wanted to be a musician, but his father wanted him to be a construction worker like him and so destroyed his bongos and enrolled him in construction school. While this trope is portrayed as harsh in many cases, this one was downright lethal as the dam the beaver would build caused the farm to flood and nearly drowned Eustace and Muriel.
  • Invader Zim: Professor Membrane strongly disapproves of Dib's fascination with the paranormal, and keeps urging him to study "real science."
  • Riot's father in Jem wouldn't allow his son to be a "sissy" who played music. He spanked him for even playing the piano and broke his guitar. Riot tried to appeal to his dad by joining the army like him; however, after he left to join a band and was given a dishonorable discharge, his dad disowned him.
  • In Bob's Burgers, this causes problems between Bob Jr. and Bob Sr. They're both cooks, but Bob Sr. hates how creative Bob Jr. is and thinks that there's never more than one way to do anything. When Bob Jr. surprised a customer with a special burger, Bob Sr. threw it in the garage before the customer could try it.
  • Played for Laughs in one episode of Teen Titans Go!. Raven mentions that her demonic father Trigon forbids her from becoming a dancer like she's always wanted.

    Real Life 
  • George Lucas's father did not approve of his film-making career. He did come around when his son started breaking box office records.
  • Neither did Satoru Iwata's parents approve of him joining the staff at Nintendo. He went on to run the company. Notice that Iwata was willing to speak about anything in his past in his "Iwata Asks" column—except his parents.
  • J. Michael Straczynski's father tore up all of his comic books when he was a teenager.
  • Many of the reasons for Elton John adopting a flamboyant image in his career (especially in The '70s) had to do with rebelling against his strict biological father (who divorced Elton's mother when he was young), who hated rock music, and wanted Elton to wear conservative clothing and get a respectable job as a banker. Elton later said he took on the job writing music for the Billy Elliot musical partly because he identified with Billy so much for this reason.
  • Baseball great Joe DiMaggio had a fisherman father who, on top of calling his son "lazy" and "good for nothing," completely dismissed his son's passion for baseball in favor of a future of fishing.
  • "The guitar's all right, John, but you'll never make a living at it."
  • Though obviously exaggerated in the strip, several of Jerry Holkin's writings, both on the site and in the print collections, make it clear his mother was against Dungeons & Dragons due to her church thinking they were full of bad magic and the like. They reconciled over this issue in 2010 when she finally saw it in action and realized she was wrong.
  • Inverted, but good, by Shirley Jackson. Invited to write a children's book, she was provided with a list of acceptable vocabulary words. She saw getting and spending, cost, buy, supermarket, post office — but not magic, wishing or Fairyland. Incensed, she wrote Nine Magic Wishes. In the two books about her home life, Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons, she allows her children's imaginations free rein.
    ... there are many groups of educators who feel that Fairyland is an unhealthy environment for growing minds, but in a choice between television (“television” was on the list) and Fairyland, I know where I would rather have my own children growing up.
  • Ernest Thompson Seton (founder of the Woodcraft Indians and founding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America) wrote in his autobiography about how his grandfather was apparently one of these, forbidding Seton's own father from becoming an engineer for railroad construction, since he felt the railroad was just a passing fad.
  • A promising young mangaka's mother really, really didn't want her fourth child to replace his attempts to get into university with his budding manga career. The son's name? Go Nagai.

Alternative Title(s): Fantasy Forbidding Parent, Fantasy Forbidding Mother