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I Have No Son!

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Bart: We came to talk to you about your son.
Rabbi Krustofski: I have no son! [slams the door]
Bart: Oh, great! We came all this way and it's the wrong guy.
Rabbi Krustofski: [opens door] I didn't mean that literally! [slams door again]

Sometimes, what parents want for their children differs from what the children want to do, especially if the parent has plans for the child to Follow in My Footsteps. Sometimes the child wants to be himself in a career the parent dislikes. And sometimes, the parent struggles with this, but eventually comes around and supports his child.

And sometimes he doesn't. And if the child, usually a son doesn't step into line quickly, the offending parent quickly disowns him, disavowing all knowledge that this "son" ever even existed.

Cue the sad violin music — it looks like the kid is going to have to learn to make his own way in this harsh, harsh world all alone.

This doesn't mean that reconciliation is impossible further on down the track. But it usually happens years later, when the kid's a success and often when the parent is on their deathbed, and it's a long, bitter road until that happens.

Rest assured, however, that the chances of this happening are far higher than one might expect. The initial sequence typically takes place in flashback — we only learn the story because the now successful disowned son is giving us a sob story about how much he wishes his father would approve, or at least acknowledge his existence. If we see the event unfold in real time, then usually it gets wrapped up much sooner.

Bear in mind that the parent doing the disowning might not be entirely a jerk; sometimes, the kid just crosses a line they shouldn't cross (especially if they've grown up wrong or done something that violates their parents' trust) and deserves being kicked out with all ties severed. Again, reconciliation isn't an impossibility, but since this kid's bitter and twisted anyway don't expect it happening any time soon. And rest assured that the parent is going to have to justify their actions to the audience explicitly anyway, since the act of disowning one's own flesh and blood for any reason is well, pretty harsh. A justification commonly seen in a Crime and Punishment Series is when the parents essentially disown the child due to a crippling drug habit that the child has plunged into; this is often accompanied with a justification about how "there's only so long you can watch or enable them to destroy themselves before you have to sever all ties."

This trope has various roots — most obvious is the tendency of many writers to be of Jewish descent. Orthodox communities could be particularly unforgiving when it came to children (particularly males) who decided to try making their own way outside of the Jewish community.

Of course, overuse of this term has caused the words themselves to be considered a Dead Horse Trope, if not the entire plot itself. As a result, most modern examples tend to skew toward the side of comedy and frequently involve something absurdly trivial. When the question is not about comedy but the descendant actually is the culprit, this trope can constitute Know When to Fold 'Em.

The exaggerated variant of this trope is honor killing, where the parents not only disown the child, but murder them.

Can result in Disinherited Child.

See also: Changeling Fantasy, Unperson, Acquaintance Denial, and Where Did We Go Wrong?. Not to Be Confused with That Thing Is Not My Child! or with Heir Club for Men, where literally not having a son is the source of the problem. Contrast You're Not My Father, which is the opposite and is more often aimed at a Parental Substitute, the inverse trope, Disowned Parent (where a child disowns their parent), and Hates Their Parent, the more general trope for when it's the kid with the issue, not the parent.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • One advert for Oak milk uses this.
    Downright Weird Guy: I wish I'd given Oak to my son when he was a child...haha, just kidding, I don't have a son, well technically I do, but he's in real estate.
  • An extremely harsh example in the "Can't Look" PIF for NSPCC.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bitterman, a recurrent strip of MAD magazine, had one issue of the titular character visiting his father in the old folks home, so the attendant knocks on the door.
    Attendant: Mr. Bitterman! Your son has come to visit you!
    Father: Son? I don't have a son!
    Attendant: It's okay, at this age, the memory of the residents tend to fail.
    Bitterman: Oh, his memory is all right. We just hate each other.
  • Doonesbury did a series of strips where Mark Slackmeyer's father used this phrase when he came to the conclusion that what he really had was "...a parasitic offspring who year after year just barely manages to pass his classes in time for me to shell out another four thousand bucks".

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Book of Life, after Manolo refuses to kill the bull, Carlos disappointingly tells him he is "not a real Sanchez."
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup is told this by his father Stoick. Fairly predictable though, given Stoick's personality and Hiccup's actions. Unlike many other examples of this trope, Stoick is hurt by his words as badly as Hiccup is — he physically staggers when he leaves the room and realizes what he's said.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • When Tai Lung, who was all but a son to Master Shifu, confronts Shifu at the temple with "I'm home, Master." With barely restrained grief, Shifu retorts to his "son" with "This is no longer your home. And I am no longer your master."
    • Kung Fu Panda 2: Lord Shen was also essentially disowned by his parents when they banished him from his ancestral home. It's rather hard to blame the parents in this case as this was in response to Shen committing genocide. Despite this, it's later revealed that Shen's parents truly did care about him as the pain of having to do this to their son literally killed them.
  • In The Sissy Duckling, during an argument Elmer's father tells his mother that he doesn't have a son. He considers Elmer a weakling and a sissy for being so flamboyant.
  • Wonder Woman Blood Lines: When Diana chooses to help Steve escape Themyscira, she briefly battles with Hippolyta over aiding a prisoner and running off with the sacred armor. In response, Hippolyta proclaims she's not her daughter and essentially kicks her off the island. When Diana returns home and saves it from Medusa, Hippolyta welcomes her home and even proudly accepts her Man's World title of Wonder Woman. This is a huge departure from Hippolyta's usual characterization, where she wants to protect her daughter from the outside world.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1994 version of Angels in the Outfield has a dramatic scene where Roger's biological father officially gives up custody of him to the state of California in a court hearing, with Roger and his foster caretaker Maggie right outside. Once he renounces custody Roger is called in and is initially excited to see him again because the Angels baseball team was rocketing up the standings and on the cusp of winning the American League pennant, which his father said might be enough for them to become a family again (Roger not realizing his father said that as a sarcastic retort). He just pats Roger's shoulder one last time, apologizes quietly, and walks out of the courtroom...and out of Roger's life — cue the heart-wrenching waterworks. As the narrative is focused on Roger and not his father, we don't really know the motivations for why he gave up custody beyond a remark to the judge that he wasn't proud of it, which leads to debate over whether Roger's dad was just selfish and didn't want to deal with raising a kid or whether he knew beforehand that because of his situation he wasn't going to be able to do so and gave Roger up to give him a chance at a better life than he could ever provide.
  • Famously done in the 1980 version of The Jazz Singer, with that very line delivered by Laurence Olivier in full-on Large Ham mode. Slightly more underplayed in the 1927 version, with the Trope Namer title card "My son was to stand at my side and sing tonight — but now I have no son."
  • In the 2000s film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this is used as part of Willy Wonka's backstory, which was made up just for this movie.note  Wilbur, his father and a dentist, did not want his son to be a chocolatier, so Willy tells him that he will run away from home. Wilbur angrily responds, "I won't be here when you get back." Becomes an Exaggerated Trope when Willy returns to find the entire house missing from the street. However, it turns out that he had saved every newspaper article about his son.
  • Die Another Day: Colonel Tan-Sun Moon/Gustav Graves attempts to explain his Evil Plan to his father General Moon, telling how the Kill Sat he obtained could be used to destroy the Korean Demilitarized Zone, allowing renegade North Korean soldiers to invade and occupy South Korea. But his father, who had hopes of having a peaceful reunion between the two Koreas and hoped his son would act as a bridge between North Korea and the West, simply disowns him by telling that his son died the day he plunged into the waterfall, having realized and ashamed the cold-blooded monster his son has now become. This causes Graves/Moon to kill him out of anger, only for 007 to kill him in rage.
  • Head Office: Senator Issel's reaction to his son being honest about how his employer's and the senator's bribe-givers are Corrupt Corporate Executives is to say "[n]o he isn't" when a reporter asks if Jack is his son.
  • Justified in There Will Be Blood: As it turns out, the father in this case has a very valid reason to make such a claim.
  • In The Karate Kid Part II, Chozen refuses to help Daniel rescue the bell ringer girl during a hurricane, and when his uncle Sato helps Daniel instead, Sato declares that he is "dead" to Chozen...thus setting up the final climactic battle between Chozen, Daniel, and uncle issuesnote .
  • In Shanghai Knights, Chon Wang's father has disowned him for staying in America and abandoning his family. The ending may or may not be a subversion due to the puzzle box message.
  • Happens in any number of Bollywood films. Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham is a good example that adds an extra twist since the disowned son is actually adopted and states that if his father had not specifically said "You're not my son", he may have actually tried to mend bridges sooner.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: In a marvelously hammy yet tragic scene, Denethor tells this to Faramir.
  • Lord of War: An unusual example, in that it happens towards the end and isn't reconciled. The main character's brother is killed after being dragged back into an illicit business for "One last time," and the main character is arrested. He calls his parents from jail to tell them what happened to him and his brother, to which the mother's only response is "Both my sons are dead."
  • Derek Zoolander's estranged father feels and acts this way when the remaining family members are in the "Mining Shaft" bar in rural "Mine Country" and a somewhat embarrassing advertising spot comes on TV that shows Derek as a Mermaid uttering nonsensical phrases about water and being wet.
    Derek's father: You're dead to me, son. You're even more dead to me than your dead mother. I just thank the Lord she didn't live to see her son as a mermaid!
    Derek: Merman! Merman!!!
  • The Robe: When Marcellus Gallio helps his former slave, Demetrius of Corinth, escape from Caligula, Marcellus' father, Senator Gallio, says this to Marcellus and accuses him of "making himself an enemy of Rome" when doing this for Demetrius.
  • Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: Sybok was exiled from Vulcan for his heretical beliefs and lifestyle. He was cut off from his family officially and so completely that Starfleet had no record of Spock having an older brother until circumstances forced a confrontation between Sybok and the Enterprise. Although Sybok and Spock reconciled, Sybok's outcast status did not (especially since Sybok was killed shortly thereafter).
  • The Hong Kong film Cold War 2012. Deputy Commissioner Lee discovers his own son Constable Joe Lee — a talented police constable — is behind the conspiracy to abduct five Hong Kong police officers (to discredit Lee's rival for promotion, whom his son thinks is a desk man not suited to the job). Joe refuses to believe his father will arrest his only son, only for Lee to draw his pistol on him...then offer it butt first. Joe smirks and takes the pistol, only to be immediately shot by a police sniper. Lee says afterwards that offering Joe the pistol was a test, and that by failing it he is no longer his son.
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar: It's implied that Vida Boheme got disowned by "her" family, or at least her mother, for becoming a Drag Queen. When she drives by her old home, her mother steps outside, though scowls before walking back. This prompts a minor Heroic BSoD in Vida.
  • Played with in X2: X-Men United. When Xavier asks William Stryker how he could think of lobotomizing his son, he replies "my son is dead", but before he orders him to launch his attack against all mutants, he says "Make me proud, son."
  • A brotherly version happens in the Walking with Dinosaurs movie, when Scowler callously kicks Patchi out of the herd and leaves him to die. When Juniper tries to get him to help because they're brothers, he coldly tells her "I don't have a brother". But immediately afterwards Gorgon attacks and mauls Scowler to near death, causing Scowler to take back disowning Patchi and warn him to stay away from Gorgon and head to safety.
  • American History X: After the Neo-Nazi Derek attacks his own sister during a family dinner and drives his mother's Jewish boyfriend away, she realizes how lost her son is to her and disowns him. When she later visits him in prison she tells Derek that Danny worships him and is starting to follow in his path, but she doesn't want to give up both her sons. After Derek gets out of prison and becomes The Atoner, his relationship with his mother has improved a lot.
  • A common trope in Bollywood movies and Baghban is no different. Raj disowns his four sons after the misery they put him and Pooja through. A bit of an Inversion with Alok, though. He is not biological, but the adopted son of Raj and Pooja. However, in the end, Raj sees him as his only son.
  • In the American version of The Ring, after Rachel Keller asks former horse breeder Richard Morgan about where his daughter would be, he coldly responds with, "I don't have a daughter." This doesn't stop her or her ex-husband Noah from digging deeper into the family's history.
  • In the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation, Tom Canboro's brother Calvin disavows any knowledge of their sister Eileen and has his family pictures photoshopped to remove any evidence of her, at the time of the Tribulation when Eileen was Caught Up in the Rapture and Calvin had taken the Mark of the Beast.
  • In The Stoning of Soraya M., right before throwing his stone at Soraya, the father proclaims that he doesn't have a daughter anymore.
  • After Dr. Lanyon hears that his daughter Sara has been once again seen together with Dr. Jekyll in Jekyll & Hyde (1990) tv-movie, he disowns her and has her thrown out of his house, because he believes that she is cheating on her husband with Dr. Jekyll, bringing shame to her family.
  • Exaggerated and definitely not played for laughs in When Darkness Falls, after Nina is honor-killed by her family and her non-participant sister Leyla asks her father where her sister's body is.:
    Leyla: Where is Nina?
    Father: You've never had a sister who is called "Nina".
  • In Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood, Mrs. King refuses to let her son Teh-en marry peasant girl Lim. But after Teh-en receives word that Lim is dying, he rejects his mother, saying "Consider that you have never had me as your son."
  • In the Ally Sheedy comedy Maid to Order (1987), she plays the daughter of a wealthy philanthropist (played by Tom Skerritt) who has been magically unpersoned from her father's life when her carefree hard-partying lifestyle wears thin on his patience with her, and thus she has to seek employment as a maid in order to regain any respect.
  • While the exact words are not used in Boone: The Bounty Hunter, Cole abandons Ryan as dead weight at the end of the film.
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008): After Banner is captured in New York, Betty Ross deploys this on her father, the general who's been hounding him for the entire movie.
    Betty: Don't ever speak to me as your daughter again.
  • In A Study in Terror, the Duke of Shires disowned his eldest son Michael for daring to study medicine against his wishes. As he puts it, no Osborne should ever sink so low as to pursue 'a trade'.
  • In The Hands of Orlac, Orlac's father despises his son for reasons that are never established. When Orlac's wife Yvonne goes to him to beg for help because they are on the verge of financial ruin because of Orlac's Career-Ending Injury, the father refuses because he wishes to see his son suffer.
  • A Princess for Christmas: Edward had disowned Charles in the past for marrying a commoner. His butler invites Charles' children and their aunt to Edward's home for Christmas, which kicks off the plot. Edward admits doing this was wrong, regretting it after Charles died along with his wife.
  • Nocturnal Animals: Susan says that her parents have disowned her brother because he's openly gay.
  • The Viking: When Leif reveals himself as a Christian, his father Eric makes his disapproval known by hurling an axe at him, and when Leif reproaches him for attacking his own son, Eric asserts that "[w]hen you turned from the gods of our fathers, you ceased to be a son of mine."
  • Bonnie & Bonnie: Yara's older sister Leyla was disowned for marrying someone whom her father didn't approve of (implied to be a non-Muslim) and moved away. Her sister resents her "abandoning" them though Yara comes to understand after doing much the same thing over her forbidden love for Kiki.
  • Saleh from The Air Up There wasn't always an only son. His older brother Halawi made a deal with Tyrannical Town Tycoon Nyaga behind his father Urudu's back. When Urudu found out, he banished Halawi from Winabi. Now Halawi works for Nyaga while his parents pretend he doesn't exist. He is accepted back into the family after he turns on Nyaga and joins the Winabi basketball team.
  • A New York Christmas Wedding: Gabby's parents disowned her when she got pregnant out of wedlock. Twenty years later in the new timeline, they still haven't reconciled, and only her brother goes to her wedding.
  • The Angel Levine: Morris is Jewish, and ever since his daughter Ruth married an Italian, he has refused to acknowledge her as his daughter.
  • Carmen y Lola: Lola's father angrily declares she's no longer his daughter publicly after learning about her dating Carmen and being a lesbian.
  • Young & Wild: Daniela's older sister was disowned for having had extramarital sex with her boyfriend then marrying him against her mother's wishes. She won't let Daniela see her, though their aunt still arranged a secret reunion. When her mother catches on that she's been having sex with Tomás, it's later implied that she'd been disowned for this since she just stays off to the side with her sister at their aunt's funeral, her mother giving them dirty looks.
  • Tevya: "Khave is no more! She is dead!", says Tevye after his daughter goes through with converting to Christianity and marrying a Gentile.

  • The Genesis song "No Son of Mine" is about an abused son and his abusive father. After having enough of the torment, the unnamed boy runs away. However, he cannot escape the emotional scars his father left him with and some untold time later he returns to his family. When he returns his father sits him down and tells him, "You're no son, you're no son of mine / You're no son, you're no son of mine / You walked out, you left us behind / And you're no son, you're no son of mine". The boy, still trapped in this abusive relationship, states he will live to regret being told these words.
    • Also, band member Mike Rutherford's solo hit "The Living Years".
  • Victor Lundberg's Vietnam-era spoken-word hit "Open Letter to My Teenage Son" ends with the narrator-father telling his kid, "If you decide to burn your draft card, then burn your birth certificate at the same time; from that moment on, I have no son!"
  • In W.A.S.P.'s 1992 concept album The Crimson Idol, the protagonist Jonathan calls his estranged parents one last time after realizing how unfulfilling his life as a rock star is. The conversation ends with "we have no son." Jonathan then kills himself on stage during the concert later that night.
  • The Courtyard Hounds' song "Ain't No Son," which deals with a father disowning his son, directly references this trope.
    He said "You ain't no son to me
    You ain't no son to me
    Eight-pound baby boy I bounced on my knee
    No, you ain't no son of mine"
  • The lines of George Michael's "Praying For Time" implies this on a cosmic scale with God:
    And you cling to the things they sold you.
    Did you cover your eyes when they told you
    That He can't come back
    'cause He has no children to come back for?
  • "Jesse Younger" by country musician Kris Kristofferson deals with a man named Jessie Younger who is in all but name disowned by his parents after he starts refusing to live his life the way they want him too and insists on speaking his own mind. As a result, his younger brother is treated by his parents as if he is their only son.
  • "The Last Song" by Elton John actually averts this. The song is about a young gay man who is dying of AIDS, and his estranged father returns to care for him at his end, leading to them coming to an understanding with each other.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Bible, according to some students of it, Cain's murder of his brother Abel caused him to be disowned by his parents, as they started over with their third son Seth and numerous other sons and daughters.
  • In the Book of Hosea, Hosea marries a prostitute who bears three children. Two of them God tells him to name "Lo-Ruhama" and "Lo-Ammi", which literally mean "not loved" and "not mine".
  • In The Four Gospels, Jesus treats His mother Mary and His relatives as if they weren't biologically related to each other, with Jesus Himself saying, "Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, the same is My brother, My sister, and My mother," emphasizing the spiritual birth of becoming believers over the natural birth of fleshly beings. Not that Jesus treats His biological relatives with any ill-will, as on the cross before His death He does give His mother's care over to His disciple John, "the disciple that He loved".

    Pro Wrestling 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889: In the adventure Mission to Shaptash in Challenge 76, a wealthy American has the player characters inform his son that unless he stops fighting the British as a privateer he will be disowned and disinherited.

  • The early 20th-century musical The Jazz Singer, (probably better known today as being the first talkie) featured this as the central plot: Jakie Rabinowitz wants to sing jazz in blackface and his rabbi father disapproves. No, not for the same reasons we would disapprove of this action today. Actually somewhat Based on a True Story, making this one Truth in Television.
  • At the end of The Lion in Winter, a despondent Henry II makes this remark about all of his sons' collective betrayals. Well, in the next line, he acknowledges that he had offspring; what he seems to be saying is "My children aren't real men" rather than "I have no children".
  • In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye agonizes over his first two daughters willfully opposing tradition and marrying men they choose rather than ones chosen for them by the matchmaker. The first begged for permission to marry her childhood friend, which Tevye granted; the second married an itinerant tutor who had been teaching her, and they made clear that they would be marrying, permission or not, but would be grateful for his blessing. Tevye eventually came around on that one, too... but when his third daughter marries outside the faith, Tevye can't take it: "if I bend that far, I'll break!" Though it breaks his heart, he disowns her.
    • In the original stories by Sholem Aleichem, Tevye can't ever bring himself to forgive her; in the musical, just at the end, Tevye bends just enough to at least acknowledge her, and her husband, when the husband makes a valid point:
      Fyedke: Some are driven out by edicts. Others... by silence.
      • Actually, the Chava of the original stories delivers a twist on the trope by being the one to fold, leaving her husband and reconciling with the family before emigrating with them to America.
  • Subverted in The Music Man when Harold Hill suggests that the Mayor order a fluglehorn on the grounds that his son would be a virtuoso. The Mayor almost falls for it before realizing (loudly) that he doesn't have a son.
  • In Spring's Awakening by Frank Wedekind, after Moritz flunks out of school and commits suicide his father says at Moritz's funeral that Moritz was "no son of mine."
    • Damn that is cold..
  • No literal disowning, but in La Traviata Germont exclaims "Where is my son? I no longer see him," after Alfredo insults Violetta by throwing money at her. Alfredo immediately repents, and the two are later shown as reconciled. It's ambiguous whether Germont is evoking this trope or just calling out Alfredo for not acting like his normal self.
  • Played with in The Importance of Being Earnest: Cecily tells Jack his brother Ernest is in the dining room, and he replies "I haven't got a brother". Cecily thinks he's disowning his brother, and the other characters on stage think Ernest has just died, but Jack actually means it literally; he lied about having a brother, and the man in the dining room is his friend Algernon pretending to be Ernest who is later revealed to actually be his brother.
  • Because they abandoned him in favour of seeking power over Thebes and only sought him out once he was useful to them, Oedipus curses his sons to kill each other in Oedipus at Colonus shortly before he dies.
  • Oddly enough, averted in The Merchant of Venice: despite Shylock's anger at his daughter's marriage and conversion to Christianity, he never actually disowns her. Later in the play, he mentions her, saying "I have a daughter..." The Al Pacino film version changed the line to say "I had a daughter", turning the film into a straight example. As a matter of fact, it's Jessica who disowns Shylock: "I have a father, you, a daughter lost."
  • In The Gentleman Ranker, Lieutenant Graylen was cashiered from the army after forging his father's signature on a bank draft. He rejoined as Private Smith and ended up under his father's command. When they recognized each other, Colonel Graylen said that his son was dead.
  • In Beyond the Horizon, James says "You're no son o' mine" after Andrew rejects him and the farm, electing to go off to sea.
  • In Abraham's Bosom: Abe proclaims this after Douglass drops out of school and turns to a life of drinking and dissolution. ("He ain't no longer mine, and that's the end of it.")
  • Played for laughs in Ruddigore, when the protagonist is afflicted with an ancient curse that obliges him to commit a serious crime every day. He tries to satisfy the letter of the curse without doing anything genuinely terrible, so one of his "crimes" is to disinherit his only son. There's just one small problem:
    Roderic: But you haven't got a son.
    Robin: No — not yet. I disinherited him in advance, to save time. You see — by this arrangement — he'll be born ready disinherited.
    Roderic: I see. But I don't think you can do that.
    Robin: My good sir, if I can't disinherit my own unborn son, whose unborn son can I disinherit?
  • The two times his son William is inquired about in 1776, Benjamin Franklin is dismissive about him — he first asks rhetorically "Son? What son?", and then later asks what happened to "the little bastard" after he is arrested. While Benjamin is one of the major Founding Fathers of the United States and a major driver behind the push for independence, William was the royal governor of New Jersey and very much in the Loyalist camp; William's arrest was by the Continental Army when independence was decided upon. The "bastard" quip is in both senses of the word, William being the product of an affair by the notoriously lusty Benjamin and their relationship forever strained by their different political allegiances.
  • Older Than Steam: In Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, the titular character kills one of his sons for challenging Titus' decision as to who will be the next emperor. Another of his sons, Lucius, reprimands him, leading to this exchange:
    Lucius: In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
    Titus: Nor thou nor he are any sons of mine.
  • Parodied in Rossini's opera Il Signor Bruschino. When Bruschino senior looks at the young man who supposedly is Bruschino junior and claims "This isn't my son!" Gaudenzio assumes he's evoking this trope. Actually, he's just telling the truth – it isn't his son, but an imposter, the tenor lead Florville.

    Video Games 
  • Tatsuzou Sudou from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment went to a LOT of effort to get his son, Tatsuya Sudou, sent to a sanitarium so he could be rid of him and he also worked very hard to eliminate any connection said son had to him. Justified, as he's a politician and his son became a crazy arsonist, and that would not have been good for his political career, among other things.
  • A scene like this kicks off the plot of Metal Max Returns. A more moderate version also kicks off Metal Saga.
  • In Riven: The Sequel to Myst, if you fail to imprison Gehn before opening the Star Fissure, Atrus will show up only to be surrounded by Gehn and his goon. Atrus will react to his unexpected appearance (you were supposed to have imprisoned him before signaling Atrus, after all) with "Father..." only for Gehn to shout "[Y]ou are no longer my son!" before having his henchman shoot him.
  • When Jessica of Dragon Quest VIII stubbornly declares her intent to find her brother's murderer and bring him to justice - at the urging of her brother's ghost, no less - her mother (who wants her to stay at home and "mourn like a proper lady") equally-stubbornly declares that she has no longer has a daughter.
    • But going back to Jessica's mother later in the game will cause them to reconcile, but Jessica admitting that she must stop the one who killed her brother.
  • In Guild Wars, Adelbern does this in spirit, if not using the exact words, after the Nolani Academy mission. He wants to continue to defend his kingdom from invasion, while his son wants to evacuate to one across the mountains.
  • Pokémon:
    • Happens in the climax of Pokémon Black and White, when Ghetsis storms in and disowns N for allowing the player to defeat him, spoiling Ghetsis's plans to conquer Unova. Rather than saying, "I have no child", the line is "you are unworthy of the name Harmonia", but the effect is the same.
    • And from Pokémon Sun and Moon, we have Lusamine, the president of the Aether Foundation, disowning her children (Lillie and Gladion) when it's revealed that she's the main antagonist of the story. It's implied she was Brainwashed and Crazy as she later seems to take it back after being defeated.
  • When the party inadvertently breaks into the Wyndian royal castle in Breath of Fire II, the king and queen completely ignore Nina's presence as they have the group ejected, even silencing their other daughter when she attempts to identify her older sister. They know perfectly well who she is, and actually do this out of kindness. Nina was born with black wings - and any child with black wings is supposed to be put to death since they're prophesied to bring tragedy to Wyndia. The royal family covered up the truth and disowned her so at least she'd have a chance to live. Nina understandably has a complex about this, but doesn't blame her parents for it.
  • Wild child Gau in Final Fantasy VI was abandoned at birth by his father because the mother died during childbirth and he went mad from it. This leads to Gau being raised by monsters and while Gau isn't fully capable of meshing with society, he considers the main characters his friends and he helps them out to save the world. A year later after the world is ruined, the party finds Gau's father and they go to great lengths to dress up Gau and teach him how to speak properly so that the reunion would be a happy one. However, the man is still insane and claims that he has no son, but briefly mentions that he once had a nightmare of the birth of a "demon child" that he abandoned. He actually believes that it was only a dream and that he really never had a son, but he compliments Gau on being a fine young man. Gau chooses not to tell him the truth but is happy that he was able to see him again.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, we find out that the Nightwing in the Regime universe is actually Damian Wayne and that, prior to the story, he killed Dick Grayson. When Insurgency!Batman and Regime!Nightwing fight and Batman wins, he tells Damian "You're dead to me." ... Except the tie-in prequel comic revealed that Damian killed Dick by accident and was devastated at what he did, but Batman still ignored his pleas and took Dick's body away, leaving Superman to take Damian in.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, Anomen's father threatens him with this. If Anomen refuses to take revenge on the merchant believed to have murdered his sister, his father will reject him. And if he does take revenge, and the PC is romancing him, his father will reject him anyway.
  • Final Fantasy XIV
    • The Level 50-60 Dark Knight missions deal with this: the Player Character aids a Dark Knight named Sidurgu protect a young girl named Rielle, who is being hunted by Ishgard's Temple Knights. As you take down the knights and protect the girl, you're ultimately confronted by Ystride, who is revealed to be the girl's mother, who keeps referring to Rielle as an "it" and refuses to do anything with her. As Sidurgu reveals to you at the start of the Level 58 mission after piecing together all the clues, Rielle was the daughter of Ystride and a man later revealed to be a Heretic spy who had apparently drank dragon's blood for decades. Ystride, a fervently religious woman snapped at the revelation and locked away her daughter, declaring her a monster and attempts to murder her.
    • During the main scenario quest in Patch 5.55, Fourchenault Leveilleur, a powerful member of the Forum, the governing body of the isolationist nation of Sharlayan, arrives to Gridania to deliver a callous refusal from Sharlayan to intervene in the growing conflict between Eorzea and the Telophoroi. When his children, twins Alphinaud and Alisaie, protest the decision, a furious Fourchenault, perceiving the opposing as a sign of his children Going Native against Sharlayan's isolationist philosophy, disowns both of them in public. One can tell the twins do not take this well.
    • Though ultimately a more positive example, Fourchenault always loved his children deeply and worked only to make sure they, and as many people as they could take with them, survived a prophesized apocalypse.
  • In World of Warcraft, one world quest in Stormheim, "Rise of Skovald," has you re-enact God-King Skovald murdering his mother, after killing his father and brothers in order to seize power. Queen Bretta gives Skovald a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, saying his "fel tricks" will not save him from her wrath. As she dies, she says this trope.
    Queen Bretta yells: You... are no longer... my son...
    Jarl Skovald yells: No, mother. I am your KING!
  • In God of War: Ascension, Orkos is the son of Ares, the God of War, and Alecto, the Queen of the Furies. Ares thought such a union would produce an "ultimate warrior", but while Orkos has some powers, he is relatively weak and not warrior material. Ares angrily disowned him and left him to be raised by the Furies.
  • An Easter Egg in Red Dead Redemption II allows you to loot Herbert Moon's body to find a letter. The letter reveals that he has a daughter whom he disowned for marrying a Jewish man (Herbert hates everyone that's not a WASP, but especially despises Jews).
  • If you played through the entire plot of Fallout 4 by destroying the Institute, but completely ignore Codsworth your robot butler from before the bombs, you can still find him and catch up with him. At that point, you can sadly inform Codsworth of your spouse’s death, but when he asks about your son Shaun, you can dismissively respond with “Forget him!” This is because Shaun grew up to become the sociopathic amoral Director of the Institute while you were in cryogenic stasis. And you had to leave him to die when you destroyed the Institute.
  • Lara's backstory in the Core era of the Tomb Raider games has her being disowned by her parents when she breaks off the arranged marriage set up by them in order to be an adventurer and explore tombs. The reboots would undo this and have Lara being very close with her parents.
  • In Guilty Gear, since getting actual confirmation Dizzy is his daughter in Xrd Sol has been very cautious in ever directly referring to her as such, he even tries to get a cheap rise out of Ky in their personal fight to end their rivalry, by the end of the same game, by claiming Ky married a monster which immediately enrages him; that said, Sol doesn’t dislike Dizzy in any way, since he has saved her once, it just seems Sol doesn’t quite want to bond with her as a daughter, also this is entirely one-sided since Dizzy quickly goes to try to call Sol father once.

    Web Animation 
  • asdfmovie:
    • Akira is disowned by his parents. According to them, his younger sister Nagi told them he assaulted her. However, it turns out Nagi never said that nor Akira did such a thing; her parents actually lied and she actually admires Akira in spite of him being an otaku.
    • After leaving for half a year, Chinami comes back 7 months pregnant in a failed attempt to marry someone of even higher status than Kosuke. She gets disowned for it and is left on her own by Chikage after their grandmother leaves the house to the latter.
  • Etra-chan saw it!: Yuri in one episode disowned her son Hiragi after his fiancé caught him cheating on her.
  • Otakebi: Sojiro gets disowned by his parents after they find out about his affair with a woman behind his wife's back before their wedding and he also tried to avoid responsibility as he impregnated the former.
  • RWBY: May Marigold, a member of the political activist Happy Huntresses, was born into a wealthy Atlesian family, but rejected her heritage and decided to fight for the poor and downtrodden people of Mantle. Her family took that poorly.
    May: Mantle needed me, and to the Marigolds, that meant I wasn’t their son anymore. And I made sure that everyone knew that I wasn’t their daughter.

  • Can't See Can't Hear But Love: Yun-Jeong's mother forced her into ballet. When she quits to pursue her dream of being a manhwa artist, her mother disowns her.
  • Cyanide and Happiness explores the phrase's use as a pick up line.
  • Used in DMFA as part of Pyroduck's backstory: "he [Pyroduck's father] considers me one of the five [of his children] that were 'destroyed' by the cubi" (shown here). He later has one of his servants force him into an Involuntary Battle to the Death.
  • Dork Tower: Said word for word by the owner of the Friendly Local Gaming Store when he learns his son isn't all that interested in gaming.
  • In Dubious Company, when Elly returns home only his sister is happy. His parents are displeased and won't welcome him back until he fixes "his personal problem". Sound familiar? They are actually upset that he is unable to control his "pet" raccoon.
  • Michael Alan Avariss of Gene Catlow is this way about his son, Steven over his associations with anthropomorphic animals, or, as Michael puts it, "beasts".
  • A sibling variant in El Goonish Shive. While clarifying the relationship between Tedd and Nanase (their mothers are sisters) for the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot, Amanda phones Nanase's mother to ask why Tedd's mom never gets mentioned. When she gets the reply "I have no sister!", she wonders if her initial explanation was wrong.
    • Considering her doting over Tedd, she must feel that Noriko's abandonment was something no mother should ever have done.
  • Hero Oh Hero: In Justopea it's not uncommon to disown children if they manifest magic abilities, because of fear and hatred of magic. Noah's mother does this when his abilities are recognized. Presence of any legal guardian seems to severely limit what Justopean government people are allowed to do to magical children. Thus Noah's estranged father shows up to help him.
  • In Impure Blood, Caspian's father threatens it: If you ever show your face in Turien again, you are not my son.
  • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal: The story starts with Amal's father kicking him out for being gay, and while Amal thinks that's it for his relationship with his family it becomes clear that his mother still wants him in her life. His father, though never accepting of his son's sexuality, backs down from outright disowning him for the sake of Amal's mother and sisters.
  • One Oglaf story tells the story of Kronar, Son of Man — whose bloodline has been free of women for a hundred generations. When his child is born a daughter, he orders her hair decorated with the Bow of Shame and herself thrown in the wolf pit. When she kills all the wolves barehanded, he declares her his son.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In the prequel Start of Darkness, Right-Eye and Redcloak always called each other "Brother" rather than going along with Xykon's renaming of them based on visual traits. When Redcloak kills Right-Eye to protect Xykon (since Xykon is needed to continue the Plan that Redcloak has devoted his entire life to fulfilling), Redcloak says "Goodbye, Brother." Right-Eye says "Goodbye, Redcloak". With his dying breath, Right-Eye disowned Redcloak as his brother and denounced him as Xykon's lackey.
    • Desperate to get out of his father's shadow, Nale essentially disowns him, urging him to stop coddling him as his son and start treating him as a man. Tarquin sighs and agrees... and promptly treats him like he would have treated any other man who just murdered his best friend as Nale did.
  • One Penny Arcade strip had Gabe declare his son dead for not liking Star Wars as much as he did.
  • Rebirth: One of Noah's greatest regrets is saying this to Neo after he found out that he was his brother's son, whom his wife had been having an affair with. He went on to ignore him for much of his life.
  • Subverted in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The guy's actually shouting "I have no son" to his daughter, so it doesn't seem to mean anything in particular.
  • Shot and Chaser: Tre's fundamentalist mother disowned him for being trans, and regularly commits credit fraud using his deadname which ruins his credit score and means collections agencies are constantly calling him using his deadname and the wrong gender.
  • Parodied in Sluggy Freelance in the Oceans Unmoving storyline. Calix sends one of The Greys, aliens with a slim to nil understanding of human social behavior, to talk to his father being held captive in the hold. Unfortunately, Calix's father blames his son for their capture, which he views as a deliberate act of betrayal (which is not the case), and has disowned him. Hilarity Ensues as the Grey is clearly incapable of understanding that the proclamations of I Have No Son! are strictly for dramatic effect. He ends up reporting ("logically" enough) that he didn't find Calix's father since obviously that guy no longer was.
    • Riff ends up being disowned after using a mechanical replica of himself (piloted by Bun-Bun and Kiki) as a stand-in at one of his mother's parties, resulting in his doppelganger behaving disgracefully, such as punching out one of the guests while trying to shake his hand. Considering that Riff can't stand his mother, he's actually somewhat glad but finds the circumstances to be quite humiliating.
  • Walking in the Dark: There is a heartstring-yanking one of these moments between Ben and his dad, just before a newly-turned Ben kills him.

    Web Original 
  • Common in the Whateley Universe, where mutants are often disowned by their family. Of the main cast, Ayla gets this most literally, to the point that his mother actually refuses to believe that "that thing" used to be Trevor.
  • Tsar Alexander of Malę Rising invoked this after his daughter, Anastasia, announced she will marry Prince Tewodros of the Ethiopian Empire. Of course, her finding out what her father did during the Great War also influenced the falling-out.
  • In AsteroidQuest, The Don Father Zozu chews out his treacherous biological son Maklata after the latter orchestrates a bank job against his brother and tries to have everyone involved (most of which are "family members") killed in the ensuing coverup attempt. Zozu then proceeds to disown Maklata and has him executed.
    Father Zozu: Now.... as I have said, I do not kill my sons. But in light of your recent actions, you are no longer any son of mine.
  • Played for Laughs in a certain edit for a promo image of the Hentai Oide yo! Mizuryuu Kei Land:
    Child: [arrived at Bimbo Land with his mother] I can't come in the theme park, mommy?
    Woman: No, sweetie. This theme park is just for mommies and daddies. It's okay, I'll be back in a little while.
    Child: O-okay mommy...
    [after spending the day at Bimbo Land]
    Woman: [clearly about to get it on with some blonde hunk] Son!? I don't have a son! Stuff like that is just soooo dumb! All I care about now is cock! ❤
  • Played for Horror by SCP-3344 which causes Site 24 Director Carter (and anyone with whom he interacts) to believe that his adult son Niklas, who is living in Site 24 and desperate to contact his family, does not exist and to be completely unable to perceive any evidence to the contrary.

    Web Videos 
  • The College Humour video "Sexually Confused Ninja" invokes this trope when a swordsman named White Falcon is impaled by his rival, the Black Eagle. Falcon implores his son Lee to avenge him, at which point Lee starts pulling off his father's pants, believing "avenge" to be a verb for sucking his father's dick. Thankfully, White Falcon ends up subverting this trope via a Verbal Backspace while still calling his son an idiot.
    White Falcon: So from the clues and context, you deduced and readily embraced the notion that to avenge means to suck your own father, you idiot?!
    Lee: Yes.
    White Falcon: I have no son.
    Lee: Father!
    White Falcon: I have no smart son.
    Lee: OK.
  • In a Downer Ending in the SML Movie, Bowser Junior's Cheeseburger, Bowser does this to Junior.

    Real Life 
  • Among solitary animals that practice parental care, they will invariably chase away their children once they are weaned, so they can survive in the wild on their own.
  • William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was disowned by his father when his father learned that he was sympathizing with the despised Quaker sect. Indeed, the name "Pennsylvania" is actually a Take That! at the younger Penn; he wanted to call the colony "Sylvania", but Charles II insisted that it be called "Pennsylvania"... after his father. Through the efforts of his mother, however, William was eventually admitted back into the fold.
  • After Prince Andrew was implicated in the Epstein scandal, Elizabeth II's favorite son was stripped from all his Military Ranks; Royal Duties and the Crown's official web page quietly changed all mentions of him to the past tense; and he was stripped from Royal Protection, meaning that he could be criminally accused and/or sued as a private citizen. And days before The Queen's Platinum Jubilee (70 years on the throne), Andrew "just happened" to get COVID-19 and had to self-isolate during the celebration. Her son Charles III appears to be following a similar pattern with his son Prince Harry following his and his wife's decision to step back from royal life, stripping him of his patronages, security, and financial support. Although the couple attended the Jubilee celebrations, they sat separately from the family. Harry explicitly stated in one of his interviews to promote his memoir Spare that neither he nor his brother had made any effort at reconciling with him.
  • The mother of author/musician/songwriter James McBride was disowned by her Orthodox Jewish family after marrying a black man, even changing her name from Rachel Shilsky to Ruth McBride.
  • Osama bin Laden was disowned by his family (the very wealthy Saudi owners of the world's largest construction firm) for his extremist attitudes. And given what he's done, can anybody really blame them?
  • There are plenty of parents out there who disown their children (read: kick them out of house and home) for being gay, bisexual, or transgender. This happens with such frequency that LGBT teenagers account for approximately forty percent of America's under-eighteen homeless population. This is why a lot of LGBT people with conservative parents will wait until attaining financial independence before coming out. It's also one reason why it's considered bad form to out someone else before they're ready.
  • Prominent banker Amos Kling and newspaper publisher and future U.S. President Warren G. Harding were enemies for several years. To Florence Kling, daughter of the banker, this made Harding irresistible. She pursued him until Harding agreed to marry her in 1891. Amos' reaction fits the trope: he disowned his daughter and refused to speak to either her or his hated son-in-law for the next eight years.
  • German actress Sibel Kekilli was disowned by her Turkish Muslim parents after they found she had been a porn star.
  • The father of Yūsuke Katayama has gone on record as threatening to disown him if it turns out he was the one who had infected and remote-controlled several computers, which, among other things, infamously resulted in the false arrest of a Gundam assistant director and three others and embarrassed the Japanese government in the process.
  • Benjamin Franklin cut off communication with his son William after William supported the British in the American Revolution. The two met in person one time after the war, but (although William hoped to reconcile) did nothing more than coldly settle some financial and legal matters, as Franklin believed William's actions a personal betrayal. In his will, Benjamin left William almost nothing except some land in Canada, justifying his stance by claiming if England had won the war, he would've been left with nothing anyway.
  • British Politician Leo Amery disowned his adult son John Amery because the latter was a Nazi sympathizer during World War II.
  • Irving Berlin's second wife Ellin Mackay was the daughter of Clarence Mackay, an extremely wealthy man (he was the head of a major telegraph company) and one of society's elite. Clarence made his disapproval of Irving and Ellin's courtship clear, a fact picked up by countless papers. When Ellin eloped with Irving, reporters asked Clarence how he felt about his daughter marrying a poor Jewish immigrant; he coldly responded: "I don't have a daughter."
  • Armie Hammer has stated that he was disowned in all but name for several years after dropping out of high school to pursue acting.
  • Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror, allegedly not only rebelled against his father but managed to wound him in battle. Enraged, William effectively disavowed Curthose (whose epithet was already linked to William's condescending nickname for him of "short boot") until his wife, Matilda, managed to effect some sort of reconciliation between him and their son. Years later, after she had died and the truce had been broken, William, then on his own deathbed, wanted to disinherit Curthose, but was persuaded to bequeath him Normandy while leaving England in the hands of another son, William Rufus. Rufus died not long after in mysterious circumstances and was replaced by yet another brother, Henry, while Curthose eventually attempted to claim England as his own. The nobles, many of whom held land on both sides of the Channel, were divided, and Curthose's efforts failed. Henry came to possess Normandy instead, and Curthose spent the rest of his life a prisoner.
  • Academic and social justice activist, sj Miller was disowned by father after Miller came out as agender-transgender.
  • Mevlüt Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer who assassinated Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in 2016 over protests regarding Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War, was disowned by his relatives who did not claim his body due to his extremist actions, stating "We are ashamed of him because of the murder and we will not claim the body of a traitor."

Alternative Title(s): I Have No Daughter, Disownment


Alphaeus disowns Matthew

Alphaeus is not pleased after finding out his son is the district tax collector.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / IHaveNoSon

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