A Stock Phrase spoken by a person whose mother has died or is now permanently beyond reach. This tends to be more common to hear from younger children, especially when talking to their remaining parental figures or siblings. The stock response is "I miss her too." This can also be included in conversations with non-family members, though the personal nature of the discussion usually limits it to friends and rivals, who may share similar stories of loss.
Distinct from Missing Mom or other Parental Abandonment tropes in that the parent of the character in question was an active force in their life, for good or bad, but is now permanently gone. Character Death, or maybe just certifiably dead from the beginning. Contrast with Ambiguously Absent Parent, where Mama's absence isn't acknowledged.
Expect Ocular Gushers or Manly Tears. May be a Freudian Excuse, or something slightly more poignant. Examples with "I miss dad" are harder to come by for some reason. Compare to I Want My Mommy! (in its dramatic usage).
Undoubtedly Truth in Television.
- One advert for Norwich Union life insurance featured a man (played by Paul Whitehouse) chatting to the camera while his family ignores him as they run around the house doing some last-minute packing for their holidays. The daughter stops just as they're about to go out the door to the taxi:
"Mum... It won't be the same without Dad."
- Little Al says this in a flashback after their mother dies in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Mazinger Z: Shiro lost his parents when he was barely a baby. He misses them—and his older brother Kouji in Great Mazinger—, but he mainly and badly misses his mother. How badly? The tile of an episode is "Shiro misses his mother" (in the Latin dubbing). In that episode, a woman came to the Institute claiming she was Kouji and Shiro's mother and wants to get reunited with their children again. Kouji was—rightfully—suspicious, but Shiro was too glad and happy for questioning anything.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Pretty much everyone but Ritsuko misses their mothers.
- Shinji and Asuka miss their moms. Ironically, they've never been closer to them.
- While avoiding the exact phrase, the series includes a scene of Shinji and Gendo visiting Yui's grave that kind of carries the feel of this trope. Rather than the standard "I miss her too" sentiment though, Gendo instead discusses how he was fortunate to have what time he did with her and how important it is to rise above the loss, which Shinji finds rather inspiring. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal of the master plan that Gendo is scheming throughout the series is using an apocalyptic event to reunite his soul with Yui.
- Panzer World Galient:
- In the first chapter Jordy asks Asbeth about his deceased mother. Asbeth's reply makes clear that Jordy constantly asks about her.
- After being forced to leave White Valley Chururu also begins to miss her mom and dad.
- Ranma ½: Nabiki of all people pulls this on Ranma to try and get him to confess his curse to his mother (basically emotionally blackmailing him by saying at least he has a mother while her and her sisters no longer do). It's possible she may even mean it as she takes a lot longer to get to the extortion than usual.
- In Monster, Eva's frail chance at happiness with one of the only men who treats her well is foiled by the man's daughter, who misses mommy. When said mother comes back home from her adulterous ways, his daughter's happiness erases Eva out of the equation completely.
- A rare example where someone says this about both parents is seen in Episode 25 of Tiger & Bunny ; Barnaby (whose parents were murdered when he was four) visits their grave and ends up in tears, saying "I miss you... Mum, Dad! I wish... I could've spent more time with the two of you."
- CLANNAD After Story: "What was Mom like?"
- Alice Fujii from Arachnid feels guilty about her mother's suicide, which she comes to realize was staged. By Blattodea, Alice becomes fixated on looking for a "home", which she feels became impossible for her since her mother died.
- Batman: While later writers seemed to forget she existed in favor of focusing on Tim's dad Tim was really broken up by his mom's death. In Batman #455:
Bruce: Tim are you all right?
Tim: I was dreaming.
Bruce: Nightmare, Id say. Want to tell me ?
Tim: No! That isIm okay now. It wasnt anything I cant handle.
Bruce: Better get up. I hate to remind you, but today is
Tim: The funeral. Her funeral. My Mommys funeral.
- Wonder Girl: While Donna Troy's history is subject to change her most iconic and oft revisited backstory involves her being adopted at an early age, then losing her adoptive parents and being rescued from a fire by Wonder Woman, who took her home with her where her mother adopted Donna. Despite being perfectly happy with her adoptive family she spends a lot of time searching for her bio mom and previous adoptive parents, as she has vague but happy memories of them and misses them.
- It isn't unusual for members of the Superman Family -most of which are orphans- to dwell on their deceased parents.
- Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superman was very broken up by his four parents' deaths. Back then he often mused that his powers could do anything... but preventing Jor-El and Lara from getting blown up and Jonathan and Martha from dying from heart disease.
- Who is Superwoman? opens up with a scene where Supergirl dwells on her father Zor-El, who was murdered by Reactron several weeks earlier.
Supergirl: I came out here the first time to cry. It's next to impossible to feel like you have any privacy in a city where everyone has superhearing. In space, though, no one can hear me grieve. My tears would boil, then instantly freeze in the vacuum. No evidence of weeping for anyone to see... I miss my dad.
- Power Girl 2009: At the end of the Palmiotti/Conner's run, Power Girl sees Terra hugging her parents and sheds a tear while remembering her deceased family and friends.
Power Girl: Oh man, I'm gonna lose it. I miss Kal so much. I miss my family. I miss Huntress and my universe and—
- In The Black Ring, Lex Luthor gains godlike power which he uses to taunt Superman with memories of his past failures. Defiant, Superman challenges him to watch his most painful memory... Jonathan Kent's death. Luthor, who cannot -doesn't want to- believe the "alien" has human-like feelings, has a breakdown.
- A Crown of Stars: Shinji and Asuka decided to follow Daniel mainly because he promised he would give them their mothers back.
- Advice and Trust: When Shinji and Asuka open up to each other after their first kiss, they talk about their mothers' deaths and how much they miss them. Several months later, when they deduce that Yui and Kyoko are inside their giant robots, Asuka is thrilled and eager to get into her Eva and try to talk to her mother.
- The Child of Love: Asuka often dreams about her missing mom (one of those times happening in Chapter 2). Later she tells Shinji about her mother and how much she misses her.
- Children of an Elder God: Shinji and Asuka miss their late mothers, even if Asuka met a decent foster mother.
- Doing It Right This Time:
- Shinji and Asuka missed their late mothers in the original timeline. Now they know what has happened to them, they are looking forward to meet them again (although Shinji has no idea what telling to Yui after her actions).
- Averted with Rei who never knew her mother and did not care about it. And now she knows who she is, she does not like her.
- Evangelion 303: During a conversation in Chapter 4, Shinji reveals to Asuka that his mother died and he misses her.
Shinji: "Now I have to wait the rest of my life to see her..."
- Ghosts of Evangelion:
- Shinji and Asuka miss their late mothers. Asuka is delighted when Kyoko returns.
- Ryuko says she'll miss her mother when Asuka is on her deathbed.
- HERZ: In Chapter 2, Asuka reflects about how she missed her mother... and she had been there in her Eva all along, but she had not felt it until she was able to open up her heart.
- Higher Learning: This came up during Instrumentality, when Shinji and Asuka met their mothers again and they got to tell them how much they had missed them.
- Last Child of Krypton: The story examines how Shinji and Asuka felt after their mothers' deaths and how much they miss them.
- Once More with Feeling:
- During their argument in the Eva cages, Shinji said his father he has not forgotten that robot was the thing swallowed his mother. He constantly misses Yui, and when a co-worker told him several things he remembered about her, Shinji was deeply grateful for those memories.
- Later Asuka asks Shinji if his mother still shelters him. When Shinji replies his mother is dead Asuka feels horrible because she misses her late mother badly and realizes Shinji must feel the same thing.
- The One I Love Is: Shinji often misses his mother and wishes she was there with him. He also wonders what his father would be like if he would not have lost her.
- Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In a battle Asuka had to choose between rescuing a recording with the last remaining information about Krypton—her biological's father homeworld—and saving another recording with her deceased mother's memories. She chose the latter because she misses Kyoko and those memories are more precious to her.
- In the Criminal Minds fanfic To live again, Annie very much misses Strauss, her sort-of foster mother despite the fact she deeply hurt her. The situation changes when Annie is reunited with Blake and she becomes her chosen mom.
- Near the end of chapter 12 in The Legend of Royal Blue and La Sylphide, Gabriel says he misses his late mother (in his native Spanish) for the first time in years, which leads to him sobbing in bed. Duusu hugs it out with him, which is the first time he accepts her affection. Getting this out gives Gabriel the courage to ask Emilie out on their first Not a Date the next day.
- During their duel in Thousand Shinji, Asuka reveals Shinji that her mother died and she misses her. Shinji replies he's an orphan and he misses his own mother, too.
- In The Second Try:
- Shinji and Asuka missed their mothers, never knowing that they were trapped in their Evangelions until it was too late. So their first synch test after time-traveling was very emotional because they could feel their presence and talk to them again.
- After travelling to the past, Aki asks constantly where her parents have gone.
- Several examples in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide:
- Both Shinji and Asuka miss their deceased mothers. It hurts, but Shinji doesn't want to stop missing her because then he'd stop loving her.
Shinji thought about that, and about what Asuka said regarding them never losing their mothers, and how when she made him talk about her he had felt so dejected until she took his hand and shared her own pain with him. And then he realized that even though he badly missed her, he was also glad he could remember her. Her memory remained strong in him because he loved her, and the day he stopped missing her was the day he stopped loving her.
- In Chapter 8, Shinji remember Asuka cries for her mother in her sleep:
"I never knew how she felt about her mother. I heard her cry in her sleep once, but I never thought much about it."
- In Chapter 9, Keiko screams that she misses her mother and wants her back.
- Both Shinji and Asuka miss their deceased mothers. It hurts, but Shinji doesn't want to stop missing her because then he'd stop loving her.
- A bit of a darker version here; Bambi II had Bambi yell "I wish Mother were here instead of you!" after he finds out that his father was going to give him to another doe because he didn't know how to take care of him.
- In the Star Wars prequels, Anakin Skywalker's descent to the Dark Side began with this.
- Sleepless in Seattle had a helping of this.
- The first Spider-Man film has Peter Parker telling Aunt May how much he misses Uncle Ben after his graduation.
- Signs has Abigail Breslin and Mel Gibson sharing this moment.
- In Alaska, the protagonist angrily tells his father that he wishes he had died instead of the mom. Of course, the father then goes missing after his plane crashes, invoking a guilt trip.
- Invoked in Trick 'r Treat, when Stephen (a Serial Killer, which creates a few rather eerie implications) complains to himself about his son's whining.
"Daddy, I wish Mommy was still alive."
- Played rather sweetly in Shadowlands, when C.S. Lewis (played by Anthony Hopkins) is mourning the death of his wife, and sees his stepson, Douglas, crying about this. Lewis breaks down and joins him ("I miss her too"), in the first moment of real bonding between the two of them in the film.
- A major thread throughout Super 8 is the kid protagonist trying to reconnect with his father after the death of the mother. The problem is that whenever the kid tries to initiate this kind of moment, the dad, in his determination to be strong, becomes emotionally distant. There's also something about an alien in the movie, too.
- Wild Things: In one of her few (if only) scenes with genuine emotional depth, Alpha Bitch Kelly Van Ryan tearfully declares "I miss dad" this to her mother. (It's revealed in the next handful of lines that he killed himself and heavily implied that this is why she's so screwed up).
- From Babe, after Babe has seen his mother hauled off.
Babe: "I want my mom."
- In Jumanji, near the end, Judy says to Peter, "I wish Mom and Dad were here," which he agrees with (both of their parents died in an accident during a vacation). It's made even more tragic because Judy had just been shot in the throat with poisonous darts from a plant and, given how little movement she seemed capable of, was either very close to dying or already had died when Allen wins the game (which, fortunately, resets everything—including the deaths of Peter and Judy's parents).
- My Life as a Dog: Ingemar's mother dies early in the film. This is however subverted in the fact that Ingemar lost everything at the time. His father was already gone and when his mother died, he was separated from his brother, his pet dog, and everything he knew.
- Cinderella (2015): Ella and her father have a conversation like this soon after his remarriage, just before he leaves on a business trip and dies while away.
- In Diane Duane's Young Wizards series after Nita and Dairine's mother dies of cancer.
- This is pretty much the plot for Mitch Albom's "For One More Day."
- In Pillage, Beck states this to the reader on more than one occasion, following it quickly with explanations that he misses the mom he might have had.
- In The Stand, Harold says something like this to Fran. She doesn't know how to react.
- "I miss Papa" is common in A Brother's Price, as in the culture of that book, men are rare and protected and seen as the primary caregivers, and both POV characters have dead fathers.
- Harry Potter:
- Harry is pretty stoic about this, having no memories of his parents, but he has a moment like this when he visits his parents' grave.
- Also, at the end of The Goblet of Fire, when Mrs. Weasley hugs him he reflects that he'd never before been hugged in that way, the way a mother hugs her child. Of course, in the same book Rita Skeeter twists words around and literally writes that he cries for his mother every night.
- In The Book of Lost Things, David's entire motivation for going to, and searching through, the fantasy land. He believes he hears his mother's voice calling him, saying that she's still alive and trapped.
- Carla says this in Scrubs after the death of her mother.
- Example of an "I miss Dad" from Smallville after Jonathon Kent dies of a heart attack. Lex Luthor and Lana Lang both play it straight, though.
- Used in Full House.
- Turns up in Buffy where Dawn tries to solve this problem by raising the dead. Never a pitfall free solution to this problem.
- Climaxes in a real Tear Jerker scene when Buffy confronts Dawn over her use of dark magic. Dawn accuses Buffy of not even missing her, prompting Buffy to break down in tears, revealing that she was just trying to stay strong for Dawn's sake. Dawn is so moved and Buffy is so distraught after opening the floodgates to her grief that they end up switching positions on the resurrection spell, with Buffy rushing to greet "mom" at the door and Dawn deciding to undo the spell at the last second and let their mother rest in peace.
- Also in Buffy's Despair Speech in the season 5 finale.
Buffy: I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world, if these are the choices, if everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point. I just wish... I just wish my mom was here.
- In "Afterlife" the Scoobies are hitting the books for info on the Monster of the Week when Buffy (who isn't even pretending to help) says out of the blue, "I miss Giles." The Scoobies naturally assume their research skills aren't up to scratch, being unwilling or unable to see just how depressed Buffy is over being brought back from the dead.
- Frasier, when he starts dating a woman who looks like his mother. After most of the episodes' Oedipus jokes, Marty points out, quite poignantly "Maybe you just miss your mom. I know I do."
- A deliberately ambiguous instance of this seems to occur in the Doctor Who special episode The End of Time. During the climax of Part 2, the Tenth Doctor shares a sad, knowing glance with a mysterious unnamed woman standing in the ranks of the revived Time Lords, which inspires him to Take a Third Option and not shoot Rassilon or The Master like he was preparing to do. When Wilf asks him about the woman afterwards, he looks away for a long time and refuses to talk about it. It's not explicitly stated that this woman is the Doctor's mother, but the implication is there, leaving viewers free to interpret as they choose.
- The death of Mary's alcoholic mother in the finale/epilogue of Vanities: The Musical.
- The opera Paul Bunyan introduces Tiny with a song lamenting her mother's death.
- In EarthBound, "Homesickness" is a Standard Status Effect which exclusively affects Ness at random. To get rid of it, you actually have to call your mother on the telephone. Or "use" a newly-hatched chick; it's not clear what this entails, but it removes the baby bird from the character's inventory.
- Could be argued that the entirety of MOTHER 3 is centered around this. Lucas is stuck in a stagnant form of grieving for his mom during most of the game, always remembering what she taught him and how much he misses her, and visiting her grave often. This is also the reason that Claus set out to avenge her death and disappears afterwards. Flint also shares this sentiment, but instead of grieving together with Lucas, he focuses his thoughts and time on searching for Claus instead to cope. Chapter 6 of the game is also primarily centered around Lucas tearfully chasing his Mother's ghost through a field of sunflowers to be with her again, even jumping off a cliff in his desperation to reach her. And at the end of the game, her ghost returns to bring Claus back to his senses, and he subsequently kills himself to be together with her in death.
- Given that there are plenty of robots around New Pork City that look like her, even Porky Minch seems to miss his permanently estranged mother, horrible as she was.
- Guild Wars: "Mother told me we see people again after we die. I miss her."
- The subplot of Super Mario Galaxy, which recounts the life story of Rosalina. Especially Chapter 7...
- Koko in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the subject of a series of Fetch Quests where you retrieve ingredients for her so she can cook meals for her sister Cottla. She occasionally mentions that she does this for her sister because their mother is dead and their father is too busy with his guard duties to do so himself. The final quest sees her breaking down into tears and saying how much she misses her mother.
- Red Dead Redemption II: Combine that with "Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas". In one campfire interaction, Javier Escuella says that he heard that his mother died, and there's a bit of sadness in him when he says, "I mourn her... but I did not bury her." Combined with the fact that his sister got married, he says that he's afraid to go back to Mexico because he might get killed.
- Tactics Ogre: Sherri Phoraena was the closest to their mother and grieves her deeply. It's the reason why she loathes her father and decides to work for Brantyn instead.
- Teen Girl Squad: "I miss video games." "I miss my mom."
- Though in this case it seems that she's alive and well; the guy is just on vacation.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, this is the cause of the first crack in Antimony's stoic facade.
- xkcd turns a Your Mom joke into a Tear Jerker.
- As of Act 5 of Homestuck, John started missing his dad and got quite annoyed when things got in the way of finding him; the one time they almost met up on the Battlefield was cut short by Vriska waking him up. Needless to say, he did not take finding his dad dead at Jack Noir's hand well.
- In Worm, the two worst days of Taylor Hebert's life were the day her mother died and the day she had her Traumatic Superpower Awakening. Even a simple reminder of her mother's death is still like a punch in the gut two and a half years after the fact.
- Renegade for life: when Vegeta is playing Undertale he starts getting annoyed at Toriel's constant handholding.
Vegeta: (Sarcastically) Oh yes! Thanks MOM! (Silence, then sincerely) I miss my mom.
- Comes up in Avatar: The Last Airbender a few times, what with all the war-orphans. One particular Tear Jerker in the episode "The Runaway" has Sokka confessing that as much as he misses her, he can't even remember his mother's face anymore. When he thinks of her, all he can picture is Katara, his younger sister who took over mothering him when their mom was killed. Toph also finally admits that she misses her parents (though they are still alive) and feels bad about making them worry all this time.
- At the beginning of the Season 1 finale of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Fred notices his father looking forlornly at a photo of Fred's Missing Mom. Fred asks him, "You miss her, don't you?". Instead of answering the question, he scolds him for sneaking up on him, though immediately apologizes afterwards and tells his son that he loves him — which is rather affectionate, coming from him. Partly chalked up to Fred's father not liking being seen emotionally vulnerable, but it also turns out by the end of the episode that he felt guilty about lying to Fred; he's actually his kidnapper and the Big Bad of Season 1. He was sad while looking at the photo not because he misses his partner (who does not exist; it's a photo of a random woman ripped from a magazine), but it was symbolic of his remorse, which also explains why he didn't reinforce the lie by answering that he misses her too.
- One South Park episode featured a fake, live-action commercial a fictional product based on the episode. The family in the commercial happily enjoys the product until the little girl randomly says "I wish Dad was still alive," momentarily causing the cheery music to falter and the mom's smile to fade.
- Kaeloo: Mr. Cat says this after accidentally being hit with Truth Serum. It's not clear if this is because he ran away from home and stopped living with her, or because she's dead or left the family.