Follow TV Tropes


Glorified Sperm Donor

Go To

"I'll be a better single parent than all of my high school girlfriends combined!"
Captain Hero, Drawn Together

In order to create a baby, a man and a woman need to have sex. note  Strictly speaking for the man this is an act of minimal investment since he can (and sometimes does) ditch the woman and leave her holding the bag (or baby, if you will). Unless she gets an abortion (which she only very rarely does) or puts the baby up for adoption, she either has to raise the child alone or with the help of a stepfather.


This trope is what happens when the sperm donor, having been absent for most of the child's life, is revealed to be the father and all of a sudden everything is chillin' between him and his long-ago Love Child.

It can be justified if Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You. Still, this trope is a bit of a harder pill to swallow when the guy in question suddenly receives a Promotion to Parent in spite of not actually having done a whole heck of a lot to deserve it. This trope is commonly averted if the stepfather is a sympathetic character in the story. On the flip side, if there is a stepfather and we hardly even see him, chances are that sperm daddy is going to be the one referred to lovingly at the end of the story.

Sub-Trope of Chosen Conception Partner. Related to No Fathers Allowed. Compare Disappeared Dad, which usually involves fathers who stuck around slightly longer after doing the deed. Contrast First Father Wins and Platonic Co-Parenting.


Be wary of spoilers as you read.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime & Manga 
  • Deconstructed in Sakende Yaruze!. When they initially meet for the first time Shino is reluctant but quickly decides to take Nakaya in and they get along well despite the fact Shino wasn't there for the first 17 years of Nakaya's life. However, their relationship proceeds to go through a series of ups and downs, Shino trying to act like a father when Nakaya doesn't want him to or not acting like a father when he does want him to, while Nakaya at times idolizes Shino and then at others pushes him away. In the end, Nakaya decides to move out because he feels uncomfortable with his father's new relationship but doesn't want to ask Shino to give it up because their father-son bond is too new for him to feel right in doing so.
  • Hunter × Hunter has a far more nuanced version of this. Gon looks up to his father, Ging, as a great Hunter, and wants to find him and learn more about him, but seems well aware that Ging, who walked out on him when he was a toddler, is not going to be a candidate for Father of the Year. In fact, the reason why Gon decides to be a Hunter is on the dubious logic that it must be a really great job if it's worth abandoning your son over. He also explains his general disinterest in his biological mother by noting that his Aunt Mito, who raised him, is already filling that role.
  • In Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time, this is the situation that the main character finds himself in. Being declared the World's Strongest Man has caused several monster girls to go after him so that they can bare a strong child, with all of them ignoring the fact that he is already in a happy relationship. No matter what he does, none of them seem to care.

     Comic Books 
  • In Watchmen, the Comedian, who is referred to positively by the end of the book by both the first Silk Spectre (the mother) and the second Silk Spectre (the daughter) though she spends most of the time after she learns her true parentage conflicted about his (lack of) role in her life and the circumstances that led to her conception, since he had first attempted to rape her mother but later began a consensual affair with her after he reconnected with her and she believed that he had changed, but he's still viewed as a douchebag by most of the cast and an Asshole Victim at worst. This is greatly due to the Grey-and-Gray Morality that Watchmen enjoys.
  • Wolverine (in the Ultimate Marvel universe) is revealed as such in Ultimate Wolverine. He didn't even know that he had a son, Jimmy, until his mother revealed it, and they gave it to another family to Give Him a Normal Life.
    • In the prime Marvel Universe this is exaggerated then played for drama. In addition to his other biological offspring that he may or may not be a father toward, three of his illegitimate sons and daughters note  were recruited by the Red Right Hand to kill Wolverine. Only after savagely killing each one of them did he learn, from the Red Right Hand themselves, that these were his children. This broke him mentally and he tried to make up for it by burying their corpses beside their mothers’ graves.
  • Jonathan Crane's father is one in Year One: Batman/Scarecrow since he was conceived in a Teen Pregnancy, and he finally tracks down and meets his try to kill him. Sadly things are not that better for him in the New 52 and Gotham continuities where he is actually raised by his father (poor bastard, can't catch a break).

  • DC Nation: Lian Harper refers to Cheshire as a "glorified egg donor." Her stepmother (Donna Troy-Harper) is "Mom in all the ways that count!" Cheshire is less than happy to learn this.
  • In The New Retcons, Wilf starts regarding both John and Elly Patterson as this, once Elly loses her mind and claims that her youngest daughter April isn't her daughter at all and throws her out, and John doesn't try to seek treatment for Elly and gives up on convincing Elly that April's her daughter. April's own feelings on the matter are...complicated.
    • For years Stan Watson believed his son Michael regarded him as this since that was what Elly told him. He's angry when he finds out that she never told Michael that Stan was his biological father, letting him believe John was his father the whole time.
  • It's very popular in the Phineas and Ferb fandom to have Phineas and Candace's absent bio dad and Ferb's missing bio mom be their respective gender's version of this trope. A particularly strong example appears in ''Capturing the Past'' with Stacy out and out stating this trope albeit not by name.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction The Light of the World plays with this, in that it's revealed that Dawn, Buffy's magically created sister, was created from Buffy (making her the "mother") and Spike (making him the "father"). Spike slipping easily into the life makes sense because A) Dawn currently doesn't know he's her actual father, and B) even though she appears to be fourteen (and remembers fourteen years of her life) she really isn't that old at all.
  • What John Constantine is in Wanda Maximoff's eyes in Child of the Storm.
  • Up to Eleven in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. The youngest of the infamous Seven Brothers of Orre, some of the most heinous criminals in the Pokémon world, has traveled to just about every region, and left his mark by impregnating women all over the place, siring hundreds of children, including Ash Ketchum, of all people.
  • Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons: The males in Stable 99 serve as both this and "recreation", as the population is heavily controlled and predominately female. The Stable's 40 males, referred to as either P or U depending on their race, are given a designated number according to their age. Once they reach 21, they're euthanized to make way for the next P-1 or U-1.
  • This is Izuku's view of his father Hisashi Midoriya in Conversations with a Cryptid. Hisashi is a little bit more involved than most because he remains married to Inko and provides financial support to her and Izuku, but Izuku doesn't even know what he looks like and has no emotional connection to him. This was not by choice. All for One dearly wished to spend time with his family, but his enmity with All Might and later his massive injuries prevented him. Once he breaks out of prison and is restored to health, he spends most of his time trying to make it up to them.
  • Inverted in Witchcraft. Giovanni chose Ariana for his Darwinist Desire with the promise that Ariana would not have to interact with the child. For the next decade, Ariana only saw her son Silver in passing. This changes once she's arrested and Silver begins visiting her jail cell.
  • The Last Son has a reveal in Book Four that Black Canary, Siryn and Banshee are half-siblings, sharing the same father, with the implication that they might have more half-siblings elsewhere they might not know about.
  • Zigzagged in the Cabin Fever fanfic Cabin Fever:Promises To Keep. Practically since her daughter's conception, Marcy relegated her one-time lover, Paul, to this status in her mind, largely so that she wouldn't have to deal with the grief of him dying shortly after she became pregnant. But at the same time, she has been raising their daughter to be proud of him. Over the course of the story, Marcy reconciles her complex web of emotions surrounding Paul and ultimately comes to regard him fondly, as both a personal hero, and as an excellent (though justifiably absent) father to her child.
  • The Victors Project: Cecelia uses both Tanni and Brutus to get pregnant in order to make the Capitol see her as a mother and reduce the number of people who want to buy a night with her.

  • A Glorified Egg Donor Gender Flip of this trope in The Champ, wherein Andy's ex-wife swoops in and wants to take their son Dink away, years after she divorced Andy and left them both for a rich new husband.
  • Another Glorified Egg Donor in Tokyo Twilight, in which mother Kisako tries to reinsert herself in her daughters' lives after abandoning them 20-odd years ago when they were small children. Younger daughter Akiko doesn't even remember her; older daughter Takako tells her mother to bug off.
  • In Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Katya's lover Rudolf dumps her when he finds out she's pregnant. Twenty years later he runs into her again and insists on meeting his daughter, much to Katya's displeasure.
  • In Superman Returns, Superman fills this role. He ditched Lois for five years without giving an explanation to anyone. He seems to have had no idea (until the end of the movie) that he had even gotten her pregnant.
  • Used in Mamma Mia! with a generous dose of Lampshade Hanging. No one else on the island thinks the heroine's desire to find her Glorified Sperm Donor makes a whole lot of sense, and she even realizes this herself at the end of the movie.
    • All three dads decide they're willing to be her dad at the end, too. One-third of a kid isn't bad...
  • Deconstructed in The Kids Are All Right, which takes a serious look at the ethical ramifications of this trope. Paul's apparent status as an instant parent comes off as insulting to Nic, as she and Jules were the ones who actually raised the kids. At the same time, the kids' desire to know their bio-daddy is shown as nuanced and reasonable—he is, after all, the only biological connection between them.
  • The Big Lebowski: Maude Lebowski takes the "glorified" out of this when she has the Dude become the father of her child. She doesn't want to have to see the father socially, nor does she want the father to be invested in the raising of the kid. The Dude, of course, is cool with this.
  • Exaggerated in Starbuck, a Quebec film. The protagonist, David Wozniak, sold a great amount of sperm to the sperm bank, fathering over 500 people under a pseudonym. Once most of them grew up, they tried to nullify his anonymity through legal means. David sued the sperm bank to prevent this from happening and won the case. Not long after, he decides to reveal his identity publicly. All his children began to love him dearly.
    • This story is remade as the American film Delivery Man featuring Vince Vaughn as the protagonist sperm donor.
  • In A Story of Floating Weeds, Kihachi, the leader of an itinerant theater troupe, has never even told Shinkichi that he is his father, and he's been away for years at a time to boot. This does not stop him from getting all self-righteous and trying to act like a protective dad when one of the actresses in his troupe seduces Shinkichi.

  • In A Brother's Price it is considered completely normal to have a sperm donor as father, as men are very rare. Women of the lower classes usually go to so-called "cribs" to get pregnant, and the sperm donor is documented to avoid inbreeding. Only from middle-class up do people have an actual father. The Whistler family has a shared grandfather and shared father, and may not be otherwise related at all - Jerin suspects that his grandmothers just pretended to be sisters, in order to be able to rise to middle-class.
  • Martin Silenus' father in the Hyperion Cantos is this trope Up to Eleven: Not only was he completely uninvolved in Martin's upbringing, he was completely uninvolved in his conception, as well; long after he died, his wife decided to hop onto a machine "part squirt gun and part dildo" to squirt his preserved seed into her "at the magic touch of a trigger" when "the moon was full and the egg was ripe." Yeah.
  • Used twice in John Varley's Steel Beach when Hildy refuses to inform her baby's father that she's pregnant even though her own mother's constant refusal to identify her father causes her considerable angst. After the baby dies her reasoning shifts from a selfish "mine, all mine" to "why ruin his [the father's] day?"
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, this is a grave insult among Mandalorians. As in "make out your will beforehand" insult. A Mandalorian father who does not stick around to raise and train his kids is violating one of the six actions central to their society and therefore considered a traitor.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, some of the kids at camp get this; many of the kids in the Hermes Cabin are not Hermes's children but unclaimed by their actual divine parent, or who have a divine parent who does not have a cabin at camp, and this does lead to bitterness and resentment among some campers.
    • In The Last Olympian, Percy puts a stop to this policy, requiring the gods to acknowledge their children at age 12, and that all the gods have their own cabin for their children. The gods aren't all that pleased about it, but Percy did just save all their hides, and that resentment fueled a great deal of the conflict, so they agree.
  • In Carl Sagan's Contact, the man Ellie thought of as her curmudgeonly stepfather turns out to be her biological father, and her late, loving "dad" was merely the man who raised her. When Ellie learns this, she immediately starts referring to her biological father as "her father", a practice which most Real Life people who were adopted as children don't actually engage in.
  • In The Goblin Emperor, Maia's father, the elven emperor, immediately banished his mother, Chenelo, to a country estate when she got pregnant, for no better reason than that the marriage had been arranged and he had really loved his recently deceased wife. Of course, Chenelo being a goblin didn't help any. The only time Maia ever met his father was at Chenelo's funeral, eight years later. When the emperor and his three eldest sons die in an accident, Maia succeeds to the throne and has to pretend that he is sad about his father's death, wearing full court mourning and all.
  • Subverted in the Kamal And Barnea series. When Danielle tells Ben she's pregnant, he's excited about being a father again and having a family with her, but she wants to raise the baby alone, convinced that a child with a Jewish mother and Palestinian father would be an outcast.
  • Max from Saving Max is the product of a short-lived affair with an unhappily married attorney who doesn't know he exists.
  • Cormoran Strike Novels: Cormoran is the illegitimate son of Jonny Rokeby, a rock star who fathered Strike with a groupie and only met the boy twice. When Rokeby, ill with cancer, tries to make amends and connect with 39-year-old Strike, Strike refuses.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Hotdog in Battlestar Galactica, after he's retconned as Nicky's father.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air devotes a full episode to that. Will's birth-dad Lou comes and Will's excited about taking a trip with him, only to be abandoned again. The episode ends with Will sobbing in Uncle Phil's arms and realizing he's the closest to a real father he could ever ask for.
  • ER does it with Sam's son Alex. Just as Luka (Sam's boyfriend) has become a suitable role model and father figure, his felon birth-father Steve appears for the first of several times, causing a lot of conflict. The long plot has its ups and downs including Alex visiting his dad in prison and ending dramatically with Steve abducting Alex and Sam, raping the latter and being shot by her.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Noblemen are expected to be this to their bastard children, who are commonly just left with their mothers or fostered by another family. That Ned and Oberyn avert this is considered remarkable to the court in King's landing, although it's perfectly normal in the North and Dorne (respectively). It even brings down the ire of Ned's wife, who is not from the North.
    • Jaime sired all of Cersei's children but wasn't a father figure to them from fear that people might get suspicious about their paternity. As of Season 5, he begins to regret this. Cersei tells him he has no right to call Myrcella his daughter, and Myrcella herself says he doesn't really know her.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • In one car, Luke's nephew Jess comes to live with him. Jess has never known his father. The string of stepfathers he's lived through are implied to be pretty unreliable. Luke is the closest, most stable thing to a father he knows. But when his Bio Daddy comes to town—doesn't even say anything, mind you, just rocks out to a Bowie song with him—Jess drops Luke, his girlfriend, and everything he's come to care for just to spend some time with Daddy out in California. It was an aborted attempt at a spin-off.
    • Arguably Rory's father Christopher qualifies. Lorelai realized early on that Christopher was too immature to be a husband and father, refusing to marry him, much to their parents' chagrin. While Christopher may have wanted the family with Lorelai and Rory, he was never more than an intermittent presence in their lives until Rory was in her late teens. In the revival, when Rory finally asks him why he was never there and why he didn't change Lorelai's mind in raising her alone, he fully admits to being young and stupid. He also tells Rory that after he saw how Lorelai first held baby Rory, he knew that there was nothing he could do to convince Lorelai otherwise and just let her.
    • One episode addressed this. Christopher accuses Lorelai of turning Rory against him and not letting her be with him more. Rory steps in and calls him out about how this and the above were not her mother's fault, but his, and that she avoided him because she wanted to.
    • Also addressed when Christopher attends a Yale event and Rory's schoolmates' parents are talking about how they had to be there for their kids all of their lives, helping out with assignments, coaching the soccer team, etc. Christopher felt bad and tried to overcompensate it with not very good results. It's not certain whether he ever fulfilled the role in more ways than being an "executive parent" (paying tuition, attending college graduation). Luke, on the other hand, was indeed always there for her.
    • Luke himself later finds out that he had a daughter he was never told about by an ex-girlfriend. He freaks out when he realizes that he's basically been this to her for the last 13 years. In fact, his relationship with Rory (specifically, Lorelai's character reference for him as a caring, reliable father figure) is part of what helps him earn shared custody when things get nasty between him and the mother (because she wants to move away and sees no problem with cutting him off from the daughter she never gave him a chance to know).
  • When Nathan Petrelli on Heroes finds out that the daughter he thought had died as an infant is alive and well it leads to this exchange with his mother:
    Nathan: I'm this girl's father, Ma!
    Angela: You're a glorified sperm donor. Don't get emotionally attached.
  • Averted on Friends, where Phoebe's dad eventually comes back eighteen years after abandoning her and her mother, only to find Phoebe quite pissed at him. Eventually she warms up to him, but it doesn't come even close to "glorified".
  • Glee:
    • Subverted, though in this case it's an egg donor. Rachel eventually does learn that Shelby Corcoran is her biological mother, but she can't see her as a mother figure, and Shelby simply isn't fit to be a parent. Rachel keeps living with her dads and doesn't see Shelby again.
    • Quinn treats Puck as this for most of the first season, deciding that Finn (who thinks the child is his) will be her baby's real dad (that is until the truth comes out and he dumps her for cheating, lying, and manipulating him).
  • Inverted on Community. Jeff finally finds his father in season four, and William puts himself on the pedestal by attributing Jeff's self-reliance and independence to him leaving. Jeff tells him to go to hell.
  • On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Amaro had an affair with his target's sister while on an undercover assignment, and ten years later discovers this resulted in a child. They were forced apart by the end of Amaro's assignment and weren't able to find each other afterward, meaning she never got a chance to tell him she was pregnant and had to raise the child alone. Amaro immediately tries to establish a relationship with his son and is extremely pained that he missed so much of the boy's life.
  • Bones: In "The Salt In the Wounds", Booth and Brennan uncover a murder connected with a group of teenage girls who formed a "pregnancy pact"; the girls agreed to get pregnant and raise their respective children together without the aid of the fathers. Brennan found this an acceptable solution. Booth, not so much.
  • Rebecca on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a Rare Female Example in that she donates an egg when Darryl decides that he wants another baby. She doesn't want to be involved in the child's life and doesn't even carry the baby since Heather volunteers to act as a surrogate. Later explored — she decided to be the egg donor during a dark time in her life and associates the baby with that, and is worried that her own issues might manifest in the child. In "I Can Work With You" she babysits the kid and becomes more willing to be involved.
  • Modern Love: He is somewhat involved in the preparation for the birth, but Ted wants very little to do with Maggie's pregnancy after she tells him about it.

  • Some portrayals of the Hercules myth show Zeus as being distinctly hands-off, allowing other Gods to harass Hercules at will. Admittedly, Zeus' parenthood here is glorified for good reason, since his parentage is what makes Hercules a Greek Super Hero. In fact, more often than not in Greek Mythology, the spawn of the gods get some kind of nifty powers which at least make the being dumped off by your parents pill a little easier to swallow. Zeus and ancient patriarch and/or warrior gods in general have a habit of leaving little bundles of Demi-joy all over the mortal landscape and then doing bupkis about them. And while other Greek gods didn't see their children picked on as much as Zeus', their children typically didn't see much of the divine parent, either. Which might've done them a favor, since Hera often actively hounded the (often unwilling!) mothers and children, with other gods sometimes having to step in to try and save them.

  • Recalled in very realistic and bitter fashion in Death Cab for Cutie's "Styrofoam Plates". Mind you, he's saying this at said sperm donor's funeral.
    It's no stretch to say that you were not quite a father
    But a donor of seeds to a poor single mother
    That would raise us alone
    We never saw the money
    That went down your throat through the hole in your belly
  • The Gaslight Anthem's "Keepsake", though the lyrics make it clear that he doesn't expect an instant relationship or much of anything.
    And I'm not looking for your love, I'm only sniffing out blood
    Just a little taste of where I came from
  • Heart's "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" is about a woman whose partner is unable to impregnate her, so she picks up a hitchhiker to perform the honor.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Whether this applies in Scion is on a case-by-case basis, and usually connects to how the Scion's mortal parents were. In general, the worse a Scion's mortal family, the more likely they'll be relieved to discover they had a divine parent. Most of the sample characters are still a little bitter at the circumstances; in the opening fiction for Scion: God, Donnie Rhodes makes a point of barging in on his mother (Aphrodite - a rare glorified egg donor) to inform her that his (mortal) father is dead - and showing no surprise at her lack of reaction.
  • In both of White Wolf's Werewolf lines, it's noted that werewolves aren't typically the most involved parents, given that they've often got duties that put them in the line of fire on a constant basis, a feeling about them that unsettles normal humans, and Rage that's constantly threatening to boil over. The games also note that this isn't exactly a guilt-free matter for the parents - as they've got wolf-life aspects in culture and mindset, they feel a need to protect their mate and young. It's just that sometimes, the best form of protection involves staying away, no matter how much that sucks.

     Video Games 
  • Cernd in Baldur's Gate 2 is eventually revealed to have left his wife with child when he heeded the call of nature and became a druid (it's implied that he knew this, which was why he left her). He has a sidequest that involves retrieving said child from its abusive stepfather (who probably killed Cernd's wife)... And then leaving it to be raised by druids. If you keep Cernd in your party through Throne of Bhaal, his character epilogue reveals that his son grows up a bitter, bitter person since his father is always busy with being a druid. The son becomes an Evil Sorcerer who threatens large parts of Faerun, and Cernd tries to stop him: The two fight each other to the death.
  • Averted in Contrast where despite Vincenzo being Didi's biological father, she loves her stepfather Johnny more.

  • Drowtales features a matriarchal society that views men as the lesser gender, due in part because drow females are generally larger and stronger than their male counterparts. Noble classes place heavy importance on producing strong female heirs and as such men are often bartered and traded between clans to mate with women of other clans to produce strong children. Depending on the couple and the circumstances it may either be this trope or Chosen Conception Partner. One clan in the setting forgoes this and is practicing methods and experiments to negate the need for a man and allow for Homosexual Reproduction.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted twice, first by the father, then by the son on Young Justice. Superman is not at all happy that someone cloned him, and refuses to claim responsibility for Superboy. If you keep up on the comics, you know that Superboy has two fathers, and the other is Lex Luthor. And when he shows up, he clearly wants to instigate this kind of relationship with Superboy (for his own ends, as you'd expect) and Superboy turns him down flat. The trope is later played straight to a point when Superman accepts Superboy as a little brother, a relationship both of them are okay with after their initial awkwardness.
    • Subverted by Black Manta and Aqualad. Aqualad appears to have this relationship with him, even though he did nothing (worse, he's attacked and tried to kill Aqualad in the past) to have that respect. However, it's made clear in "Depths" that Aqualad is only using him to get closer to The Light, and refers to him quite coldly as "my biological father", showing that the attachment is fake. Also played with in that Manta's attachment to him seems to be genuine given the distress he shows when Kaldur gets mind raped into catatonia by Miss Martian and Kaldur himself shows regret when he drops the act and takes his father down near the end of the season.
  • Subverted in The Simpsons when it is revealed that Barney Gumble is the sole donor to Springfield's sperm bank, resulting in a lot of burping babies.
    • Also subverted in another episode, where it is revealed that Homer donated to an out-of-town sperm bank and that many of the customers had Homer-esque babies.
  • Averted in Adventure Time when Finn finds out his human father is alive and trapped in the Crystal Citadel as a prisoner/criminal in an alternate dimension. Despite having a caring (if demanding) stepfather, Finn is determined to find and form a relationship with his biological one, probably thinking he had a good reason for not being in his life. Turns out his father, Martin, is an immature jerk who treats Finn's attempts at emotional bonding with little more than irritation, only baiting him with paternal affection when it leads to him getting what he wants. In the end, Martin completely abandons Finn with a group of other escaped interdimensional convicts, directly causing Finn to lose his arm and leaving him and Jake alone to deal and nearly get killed by the Lich. Needless to say, Finn is left utterly devastated after all this.
  • Family Guy had a bit involving Superman's x-ray vision revealing a fetus growing in Lois Lane, prompting him to bail on her with the excuse that he "forgot something on Krypton". Non-canon prequel?
  • Samurai Jack had Aku do this unintentionally, and not in the way you'd expect: Aku discovered an all-female cult that worships him, and as a reward he dropped a portion of himself into a chalice before leaving. Then, the High Priestess of the cult drank the whole chalice, (doing such would normally turn someone into an Aku clone like it did Jack) which magically impregnated her and caused her to give birth to seven half-human daughters.
  • Implied in Steven Universe. In a Full Episode Flashback, we see that Greg's manager, Marty, had a fling with Vidalia and a year later she was the single mom to a baby boy. The episode "Drop Beat Dad" confirms that Marty is Sour Cream's father, but implies that he only saw him occasionally growing up.
  • Subverted in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with Sludge, who claims to be Spike's father, but is not.

     Real Life  
  • Poor Matthew Roberts, the man who made headlines when he found out his biological father might be Charles Manson (not only that but according to his mother, he was conceived by rape). When Manson found out, he sent him a letter saying "I didn't know my father either" which all things considered is not particularly comforting...
  • Gerald Ford's father, Leslie Lynch King, was essentially like this. They only met once, and all that King had to give the boy was ten dollars to get "something he normally wouldn't get". And that is why Gerald legally changed his name to that of his stepfather.
  • A Dutch TV show, which aired in 2011, attempts to take (voluntary) DNA tests of everyone who has donated to or was conceived by artificial insemination.
  • The purpose of family law is in significant part avoiding this. In most countries, the law has expansive powers to take money from fathers to support their children, and fathers are encouraged to see their children. This doesn't always happen, of course, but technology has made it harder than ever for fathers to avoid their responsibilities.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: