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How Dad Met Mom

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"This is the story of how your father met your mother. Now including Marty."

Simply put, an episode/chapter/scene/whatever detailing how a character's parents met, almost always in the form of the child or children being told the story by one of the parents. This trope usually comes into play when at least one of the parents is an important character, and thus worthy of giving an explanation on how they ended up having a child with the other character. The story is almost always told by one or both parents, but on occasion can be told by a third party, especially if the child is now an orphan. It's also all but guaranteed to be told to the audience through flashbacks.

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Often comes in the form of a Whole Episode Flashback. See Everyone Meets Everyone and How We Got Here. May result from Tell Me About My Father.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan shows us how Eren's parents Grisha and Carla met, via a Whole Episode Flashback as told by Keith Shadis, a friend of the Yeagers.
    • There's also the case of how Grisha met his first wife Dina, which we see through Grisha's flashback arc, which details most of his life from his childhood until he arrived at the walls on Paradis Island.
  • In Bleach's final arc, after Ichigo is kicked out of the Royal Realm, Isshin tells him about how he and Masaki met.
  • In Naruto, when he meets the last of his mother (Kushina Uzumaki)'s conscience inside his body, Naruto tells her that her red hair is beautiful, and she goes to tell him how she and his father ended up together.

    Fanfiction 
  • The MCU fanfiction You Are My Sunshine begins with Tony Stark meeting (and later bedding) Mary Fitzpatrick at a charity event. This one night leads to Peter, Tony's son, being born.
  • The Discworld is an intrinsically dangerous place. Ankh-Morpork is a dangerous city. The oldest daughter of wizard Ponder Stibbons is not surprised to hear that her parents' early courtship involved so many things trying to kill her father whilst he was in the company of her adventurous Assassin mother, that Ponder finally decided if he was going to die young, he might as well die married to her. Rebecka concedes this was sort of romantic, in its way. note 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Definitely, Maybe: When Will Hayes' daughter, Maya, learns about sex education, she asks her father if how he met her mother. He tells her under the condition that he changes the names of the people in the story. The whole story is told through flashbacks.
  • Not in the finished film, but a case of What Could Have Been in Moulin Rouge!. In earlier drafts of the script Satine was a Single Mom Courtesan; Christian would have adopted her son after her death and the framing scenes would have shown him some years later telling the boy the story of their love. In the finished film, however, there is no child, and the framing scenes have Christian writing the story on his typewriter, as per Satine's Last Request.
  • In Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love, Barry and Suzie are asked this question at one of the doctors' offices. They explained that a friend introduced them. On their first date, Suzie felt a sense of inevitability, like this was the man she was destined to marry. She wrote Barry a letter telling him about her feelings, saying she wasn't sure she was happy about it.
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    Literature 
  • An important part of the Dunbars' Back Story in The Bridge of Clay, involving a piano, a shop owner with atrocious handwriting and three incompetent piano man. Penny Dunbar tells the story to her son Clay before she dies.
  • In Queens of Geek, Charlie makes a video for her parents' twentieth anniversary in which she talks about how they met at college in Beijing before moving to Australia.
  • In Rogue, Kiara's parents met at a music festival. Her dad dropped out of college after her mami got pregnant with her oldest brother Eli.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of Hannah Montana features Miley and Jackson going back in time and having to force their parents to meet up like they're meant to do. This is All Just a Dream brought on by their dad attempting to tell the story and being ignored, causing them both to go listen and appreciate the slower moments on the road.
  • Taken to an unusual extent in How I Met Your Mother. The framing device is that the show is one giant flashback of Ted in 2030 telling his future kids the events that led up to him meeting their mother. He doesn't actually meet the titular mother until the series finale.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Bill Cosby has a stand-up routine about how his father would never give him any money but would instead tell him a story about how he made whatever it was Bill wanted to buy when he was a boy, and all of these stories ended the same way: "...and that's how I met your mother!"

    Video Games 
  • Episode 3 of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm opens with James Amber, Rachel's father, telling the story of how he met her mother. Specifically her biological mother Sera; he goes on to explain how their relationship soured because of her drug addiction and why he doesn't want Rachel to meet her.
  • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Player Character can discuss with their sibling what they were told about how their parents, Alec and Ellen, met. The joke is that their stories don't match. If Scott Ryder is the NPC twin, the version he was told is that Alec put on the spec ops bad boy act to draw Ellen in, which worked like a charm. If Sara Ryder is the NPC twin, the version she was told is that Ellen thought Alec's attempt at playing the stoic bad boy was adorable, so she approached him once it was obvious that he wasn't going to make a move. Whether Alec embellished things when he shared his version with Scott or if Ellen never actually told him the truth is left to the player's imagination.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, a large portion of "The Choices" is spent with Nicole recalling how she met Richard when they were children, but she isn't telling her children about it, just recounting it in her memories.
  • An episode of Dexter's Laboratory had an episode showing how the parents met when the mom was a germaphobe and the dad was a dirty slob. This also shows how she got her yellow gloves, which he gave to her so they can touch.
  • The Harvey Beaks episode "The Ballad of Muesli and Jangles" has Irving tell Harvey, Fee, and Foo tell the story of how he met Miriam, except the kids interrupt it to add their own twists (like renaming the characters or setting the story in space). It also shows how Miriam became a librarian (it started out as community service). The kids never catch on to what the story was really about.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Perfect Pear" not only tells the story of how the Apple parents met, but who they were, as told by several characters who knew their parents and played a role in their love story.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In episode "The Way We Was", Homer tells the kids the story of how he and Marge met in high school.
    • In "The Way We Weren't", it turns out that Homer and Marge first met as children, but only saw each other for one night and lied about their names.
  • The episode "Moon the Undaunted" in Star vs. the Forces of Evil involves Star's mother, Queen Moon, meeting her future husband River when she was Star's age. However, this is just a subplot, with the main plot revolving around Moon defeating Toffee and his army.
  • Steven Universe: "Story for Steven" is a Whole Episode Flashback of Steven's father, Greg, telling him how he first met Rose Quartz when he was twenty-two. Greg had actually told him their story before, but without mentioning Greg's manipulative ex-manager Marty (in Greg's debut episode, he boiled it down to "I was performing on the beach, and Rose was the only one who came to watch."). It's implied the flashback is portraying how the story feels more real to Steven after he'd seen his mother move and talk in a home video.
  • The episode "Razor's Edge" in Voltron: Legendary Defender consists largely of flashbacks where Keith experiences his mother's memories and learns how she ended up with his father.
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How Greg Met Rose Quartz

Greg regales to his son Steven about the night he met his mother Rose Quartz.

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