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Luke, I Am Your Father
aka: Familial Reveal

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If this image spoiled anything, where have you been for the last few decades?

Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke Skywalker: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Darth Vader: No. I am your father.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (full quote here)

A parent-child relationship between two characters who were previously thought unrelated is revealed, usually with generous dollops of melodrama—blood is, after all, Thicker Than Water. Beloved of soap operas, made famous by the Star Wars films (from which the trope takes its name, though as you can see, it isn't an exact quote).

Whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing for whoever is being given the reveal mainly depends on who is giving the reveal in question. Sometimes an ally, a Mentor or a non-romantic Mysterious Protector will turn out to be the parent of the person being given the reveal, but other times, the reveal of who a character's parent is will be cause for serious anguish, such as someone who just gave his or her life for him, someone who could have been a Love Interest, or worst of all, a villain working for the Big Bad or even the Big Bad himself, as in the most infamous Star Wars example.


In cases when villain and hero turn out to be parent and child, count on at least one scene where the hero worries that he or she will eventually end up like the parent.

Sometimes it's a bogus revelation, and at the end of the episode or plotline the Reset Button is pressed to restore the previous relationship — or lack of one.

Though the trope itself is too fundamental to become Discredited, any permutation of the actual line ("No, X. I am your father.") nowadays will be met with a groan and a "Not again!" from the audience. Also a popular insane fan theory.

Compare with Mysterious Parent, or Family Relationship Switcheroo where the characters were thought to be related, but are not parent and child. Frequently, it's a father-son relationship revealed this way.

This trope was already being mocked back in 1790 by Jane Austen in Love and Freindship (with four grandfather-grandchildren relationships revealed in under a page).


This is a specific variety of The Reveal. The flip-side is Luke, You Are My Father. Compare Long-Lost Relative, Luke, I Might Be Your Father, Everyone Is Related. Contrast with I Am Not Your Father. Subtrope of Connected All Along. Frequently occurs alongside Archnemesis Dad.

As a plot twist trope, spoilers marked and unmarked are abundant in this page. You Have Been Warned.


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    Comic Books 
  • In Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, Huntress gets an old photo of her deceased mother, Maria Bertinelli, in flagrante delicto with mob boss (and rival to mob boss Franco Bertinelli, Maria's husband) Santo Cassamento, and demands to know what they were doing in that hotel room together. His answer: "Isn't it obvious? We were conceiving you, Helena Rosa." Even worse: when he was instructed to kill the rival mobs, the Bertinelli, he saw a chance to Murder the Hypotenuse, and instructed his henchman to kill all the family "except the sister" (meaning, María Panessa, sister of the mob leader Tomasso Panessa). But the henchman, who was not used to the usual mob words, saw a regular family (a man, a woman, a male child and a female child) and spared the female child, the "sister" (yes, Helena). You can be sure that, after hearing this, no threats or manipulations could possibly keep Cassamento alive for very long. The blood cries for blood.
  • The plot of Batman R.I.P. essentially involves multiple Mind Rapes piled on top of each other to see how many it takes to make Batman crack. The biggie? Enigmatic villain Simon Hurt claims that he is actually Thomas Wayne, and that he faked his own death after hiring Joe Chill to kill his faithless whore of a wife. The truth of his story hasn't been determined, but Bruce decides to reject it at the end of the arc.
  • In Booster Gold One Million it is revealed to the audience — but not to any of the other characters — that Booster's mentor Rip Hunter is actually Booster's son.
  • In nine issues, Brightest Day has already had three separate revelations about familial bonds between heroes and villains.
  • In Green Lantern Corps #35, Sinestro tells Soranik Natu that she is his daughter. He left her in the care of her foster family to keep her away from the dangers of being associated with him; making this one of the only semi-decent things he's ever done in his life. Since it's Sinestro, he could be lying.
    • The last page of Green Lantern #36 makes it pretty clear that he's telling the truth.
  • A Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series in the '80s started with the premise that R. J. Brande, the team's billionaire sponsor, was dying, and in order to save him, the Legionnaires had to figure out which one of them was secretly his child — an idea that had never been even hinted at before. It finally turned out to be Durlan shapeshifter Chameleon Boy; Brande was revealed to also be a Durlan who'd contracted a disease that froze him into human form.
  • Rose Walker's grandfather in The Sandman is Desire, who impregnated the comatose Unity Kinkaid during Dream's imprisonment.
  • Supergirl:
    • Subverted with super-villain Lesla-Lar. After being disintegrated, her consciousness lived on. This messed with her mind to the point where she thought Supergirl was her sister. When she made this claim, Kara replied she had no siblings.
    • Lampshaded in Peter David's Supergirl #57:
      Buzz: Dominique... I am your father... Oh, I'm certain that didn't sound too "Darth Vader".
    • In Supergirl vol 6 #24, super-villain Cyborg Superman gets his memories back... and remembers what he is Supergirl's father. Several months later, in Supergirl vol 7 #2 he tells Kara he is her father (who she had previously thought dead).
  • Chris, Superman's adopted son, was found in a rocket similar to his. It was revealed during an invasion that the rocket was sent from the Phantom Zone, and he was the son of Zod and Ursa.
  • Lilith from the Teen Titans knew nothing about her past. Nothing at all. Until her mother kidnapped her, to rule Olympus together. Her identity? Oh, nothing important: it was Thia, a Titan of Myth and goddess of the sun. Which implies that Lilith is a demigoddess.
  • Pre-Flashpoint, Wonder Woman discovered that one of the Hechatonkaires was her "father": the clay that was used to create her came from his imprisoned body.
    • Post-Flashpoint she learns that the whole clay story is a lie, and she's the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus.
  • Cassandra Cain was raised in horrific by the assassin David Cain, never knowing the identities of her true parents. In the final arc of the Kelley Puckett run of the book, she finally comes to the realization that Cain was her real father, but her mother's identity is left unknown until the final arc of the entire book, where she confirms, as she has suspected for some time, that Lady Shiva is her mother. Her Post-Flashpoint counterpart knew that David was her father the entire time, but it is only during the League of Shadows arc in Detective Comics (Rebirth) that Shiva reveals that she is Cassandra's mother, sending Cass into a Heroic BSoD.


  • Eighteen years after their creation, it was revealed that Avengers Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were actually the children of their former leader, long-time X-Men antagonist Magneto. Their feelings over this revelation were mixed, to put it mildly. Still, as Magneto is a Drama Queen, he did not told this directly. He told that Luna was his granddaughter, and let them react to that.
    • Polaris, of the X-Men, was revealed early on to be Magneto's daughter, too. But then that was revealed to actually be a plot by the villain Mesmero, who was using a Magneto robot to make that claim. Then later it was again revealed that she is his daughter... then once again not. Currently, she is once again revealed to be Magneto's daughter... ugh.
  • Hiro-Kala knew that he was the son of Incredible Hulk. He didn't know that Bruce Banner was the Hulk. So when they first met, the following exchange happened:
    Hiro-Kala: Who are you?
    Banner: Your... your father.
    Hiro-Kala: Hmp. I don't think so.
    Banner: Yeah, I'm not too happy about it either.
  • During John Ostrander's run of The Punisher, Jigsaw has kidnapped the member's of a mafia family that Frank has fallen in with. While talking with the oldest sister, he tells them why he's doing this; he and Frank are cousins. When they were kids, Frank was always showing him up, and everyone loved him. When she asks him if it's true, he says nah. He was just lying to pass the time.
  • A pivotal turning point in the original Spider-Man 2099 run featured Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man) discovering that the main antagonist of the series and head of the megacorp Alchemax, Tyler Stone, was in fact his father. This derailed the current plotline for quite a few issues as Miguel wrestled with his hatred of the man. The trope was lampshaded near the end of the title's run, when Tyler attempted to shock Miguel into following his orders by dropping the bombshell of his parentage, only to have Miguel, who by this point had come to terms with the fact, casually sip his coffee and then smugly and calmly reveal that he knows.
    Tyler Stone: And you will do it... because I'm your father.
    Miguel O'Hara: [sips coffee] Yeah, I know.
    Tyler Stone: You... you know?
    Miguel O'Hara: Yeah. Now get out of my office... dad.
  • Mr. Sinister pulls a particularly unpleasant Luke, I Am Your Father on Gambit in X-Men: The End when he reveals that Gambit is a clone created from Sinister's original DNA mixed with that of Scott Summers.
    • Thankfully, this probably isn't canon — the Summers have a messed-up history as it is.
  • In their Star Comics' imprint Planet Terry series, the Big Bad Vermin the Vile gets Terry, who has been searching for his parents throughout the galaxy, to believe that he is actually Terry's father. However, it is later revealed that a villain known as The Hood, who is about the same age as Terry, is actually Vermin's real long-lost son.


  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Knuckles' girlfriend Julie-Su discovers that she's the half-sister of Dark Legion leaders Kragok and Lien-Da, which also makes her a descendant of Knuckles' ancestor Dimitri (making her and Knuckles very distant cousins). And sometime later, it's revealed that Remington is Kragok's son.
    • In a dark alternate universe, 30 years in the future, Lara-Su was raised to believe her father Knuckles had been killed by Constable Remington. However, after she goes back in time (and travels to the wrong dimension too), her mother Julie-Su finally tells her that, in fact, Knuckles wasn't killed by Remington, but went insane with Chaos Powers and became the dreaded leader of the Dark Legion and by extension tyrant of the entire planet, Enerjak.
  • The original Gen¹³ had more of a "Luke You Are His Father", with Burnout and team mentor Lynch simultaneously learning that the former is the latter's long lost son.
  • Gen-Active revealed A. Sublime of DV8 isn't adopted, and B. her biological father is Michael Cray, alias Deathblow, one of the most prominent figures in the Wildstorm universe. Notably, it's revealed to the reader, but not necessarily the characters — Sublime's mother doesn't seem to remember his name.
  • In the first G.I. Joe comic series, a boy named Billy living in the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield had joined the local anti-Cobra underground, believing that his father had been swayed into joining the organization by Cobra Commander. He'd failed to realize that his father was Cobra Commander all along. Destro knew the truth, however, and revealed it when he intervened to stop Billy from assassinating the Commander.
  • Preacher: "Mom?"
  • Raptors: Aznar Akeba turns out to be in fact Drago's son, resulting from his previous romance with a beautiful Indian woman.
  • Several comics from the Star Wars Expanded Universe feature this:
    • Star Wars: Darth Vader shows the inverse in issue #6: Boba Fett reveals to Vader that the boy who destroyed the first Death Star was named Skywalker. After Fett leaves, there's an Internal Reveal flashing back from the end of Revenge of the Sith to a little after A New Hope (to Luke and Vader's first confrontation in a previous comic). Vader is mostly silent, but his hand is shaking with enough Force energy to shatter the glass window in front of him.
      Vader: Skywalker.
      [Later — Vader folds his arms. Scenes flash in his memory. Padmé crying. Padmé's funeral. The destruction of the first Death Star. His first confrontation with Luke.]
      Vader: I have a son.
      The glass before Vader is almost completely gone now.
      Vader: He will be mine. It will all be mine.
    • At the end of the canon comic series Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader undergoes a series of dark side visions relating to his past, present and future. One of these visions heavily implies that Palpatine himself was responsible for Anakin's conception through the Force (and thus tying back to the revelation that was planned to originally occur in Revenge of the Sith).
  • In Issue 6 of the Dallas arc of The Umbrella Academy, it's revealed that Number 1 and Number 5 are biological siblings (they were adopted siblings before this point).
  • Tossed in a blender with Luke, You Are My Father (but not really) in Usagi Yojimbo: Usagi discovered that his old flame Mariko's son Jotaro is actually his son, and Mariko's husband (Usagi's very unfriendly rival) also knows but loves Jotaro anyway. Usagi and Jotaro's sword master guessed almost immediately (they're very much alike), and gives them the opportunity to travel together for several months; after talking with Tomoe about responsibilities and relationships, Usagi decides not to break the bond between Jotaro and his family, while Jotaro decides not to force Usagi to give up his wanderer lifestyle to take care of him. It turns out Mariko told Jotaro the truth, but left out the part about Usagi knowing too. Upset at his "weakness" and the fact that he doesn't know when or if he'll ever see his "uncle" again, Jotaro calls out "Miyamoto Usagi! You are my father!!" but Usagi is already too far away to hear ("Just a trick of the wind, I must be tying my ears too tight"). TL;DR: Father A and Son B know they're related, but they don't know the other knows the truth (C,D,E, and F know the truth too but they aren't talking, mainly out of respect).
  • Watchmen has a particularly twisted example of this. Laurie, the second Silk Spectre, knows from a tell-all book written years earlier that the recently-deceased Comedian tried to rape her mother, the first Silk Spectre. Then Laurie finds out that after the near-rape, her mother had consensual sex with him anyway, and that the Comedian is in fact her father.
  • In Mélusine, Mélusine learns from her mother that Mélisande was never her cousin, but her twin sister. On top of that Mélusine's mother is a fairy who disguised herself as a witch so she could marry Mélusine's father, a witch. These revelations lead to war between Witches and Fairies.

    Comic Strips 
  • Parodied brilliantly in FoxTrot. Jason is wearing his Darth Vader helmet to see Episode III, but gets stuck in his helmet. His father helps him get free, commenting that he had that problem with his Vader helmet when he was Jason's age.
    Jason: Wait, you're saying that you were a Star Wars fan long before I was?
    Dad: Search your feelings, you know this to be true.
  • Parodied in Mafalda. Remember, the protagonists are all little children.
    Susanita: Felipe, did you get me something for Mother's Day?
    Felipe: Why should I get you something for Mother's Day?
    Susanita: Well, I don't know how to say this... You have to get me something for Mother's Day because...
    (cue melodrama) I AM YOUR MOTHER!
    Susanita: (disheveled and bruised) I don't understand, it works in the soaps!

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Potter:
    • A handful of fics. A lot of Snape fans enjoy writing stories in which Snape is revealed to be Harry's biological father. Either Lily cheated or her whole marriage to James was a big, complicated ruse. Harry's reaction varies, but anger at being placed with the Dursleys when he had a living father the whole time is common.
    • Some other fics have Hermione being the daughter of either Bellatrix Lestrange OR of Voldemort himself. Her reaction, most times, is being terrified.
    Snape glared at him, black eyes glittering oddly. "Potter—I had sex with your mother sixteen years ago. You are the product of our union. In rudimentary language—you are my son." -In Blood Only
    • In The Indecipherable Riddle, Harry discovers he was kidnapped by James and Lily Potter as a baby (and that they fed him dangerous potions so they could pass him off as their own son) and that his true parents are Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange.
  • Lampshaded in A Rose and a Thorn 3.
    Ashura: I am your father Luke — I mean, Shadow.
    Shadow: Shut up with the clichés already! You're not actually my biological father, are you? I saw that movie. I'm not going to do that stupid NOOOOOOOOOO thing.
    • I'm afraid he really is... Well, one of them, anyway.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: Erazor's Revenge, it is revealed (by the author) that the evil Genie of the Lamp, Erazor Djinn is the father of Sharah the Genie of the Ring, the lesser genie.
  • In Whispers in the Dark, a popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians fanfiction, Luke pulls a "Taylor I Am Your Father."
  • In the Coraline fanfiction Right Beside You, the Beldam captured Wybie and now Coraline and the Cat had to enter in the the Other World to rescue him and there, Coraline learns that Wybie's true father is the Cat, actually named Richard. The Beldam killed his mother and transformed his father in a cat. Although it's based on a Wild Mass Guessing, it works very well.
  • In The Great Dog Detective, a crossover fanmake/Film Fic of The Great Mouse Detective, Fat Cat of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers reveals to Garfield that the former is his father, much to the latter's dismay.
  • In A Cure for Love V, an Original Character Action Girl that is later revealed to be the Big Bad is also revealed to be Mello's mother. She wasn't there for him growing up because Wammy's House wouldn't let her near her son, deeming her "too broken to fix" and so trained her to be an assassin instead.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Inverted in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure; we go through the whole story thinking Celesia is Twilight's mother, but then at the very end her brother's ghost tells her that it's not actually true, and in fact she killed Twilight's real parents.
    • Pony POV Series: Discord reveals to Diamond Tiara that she and her mother are direct descendants of his mortal mother Shady note , making him her great-great-something uncle.
    • In Princess Trixie Sparkle, the main antagonist reveals to Luna that she's her older sister. Astelle is a Fallen Hero who was already an adult when Luna was born. Celestia hid her existence from Luna for several thousand years.
  • In The New Retcons, Elly Patterson is Claire Thompson's biological mother, who was forced to give her up for adoption.
  • In Yugioh The Thousand Year Door Redux, Vladmir, the Shadow Spawn of Darkness and the heir of the Empire of Shadow, is the son of Count Bleck.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, though Empath knew that he came from the Smurfs, what he didn't know until his 150th birthday is that he is Papa Smurf's only biological son, while the rest of the Smurfs were Happily Adopted. This of course makes Brainy Smurf upset, because he always assumed that he was Papa Smurf's only biological son. (He turns out to be Empath's illegitimate half-brother through the same mother.)
  • The Rise of the Guardians story Guardian of Light: While the story had been placing hints and a few readers had already guessed correctly, the reveal that Pitch is Helen's biological father still took many by surprise. The scene is an obvious Shout-Out to Star Wars, but the author denies watching the film while working on the chapter.
  • Frozen:
    • In the fanfic, Frozen Hearts, while Hans is trying to return to Arendelle, he and his brother Heins run into some pirates, and, after a while, recognize their captain as their brother, Heinrik. Later that chapter, and that day, they encounter Harry, who ran away from home and serves as a fence for Heinrik.
    • The Queen of Hearts revolves around Elsa trying to find out if she's a Chocolate Baby or not. It turns out that her parents couldn't conceive their first child, so they found a man to act as a sperm donor. Along the way Elsa and Anna find out that Hans is their half-brother from when their mother was imprisoned during a war with the Southern Isles. Hans doesn't know of their relationship.
  • In the climax of Sonic X: Dark Chaos, Maledict reveals that he is the creator and father of both Shadow and Sonic (and Eric as well). They were all early prototypes of Maledict's "Ultimate Weapon" project. None of them worked out; Gerald Robotnik turned on Maledict and altered Shadow, Sonic's fetus failed and Satan launched him out of a capsule to euthanize him, and Eric was literally flushed down the sewer after a catastrophic failure did... something to him.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act II reveals that Kurumu's father is none other than the Lord of Hell himself, who conceived her with Ageha during a one-night stand; Kurumu herself remains unaware of this.
  • In canonical Sailor Moon Chibi-Usa is the daughter of Usagi and Mamoru. In Ranma ½ crossover Fist of the Moon there're hints that her parentage is different, but it isn't until Ranma goes down and Usa screams "Mommy!" that it's made obvious. She later refers to Usagi as "Pops," foreshadowing the blonde's Jusenko boy curse.
  • Pokémon:
    • There are tons of Pokémon fanfics that imagine the Team Rocket leader Giovanni as being Ash's father. But many other theories exist. Since the 8th movie, for example, some writers have attributed Ash's aura to him being the son of Sir Aaron, or at least one of his descendants. This also extends to Ash's game counterpart, Red.
    • In the one-shot Severance, it's revealed early on that Ash's father is Giovanni. When Delia worked with Team Rocket, she had a one-night stand with Giovanni that resulted in Ash. Ash himself doesn't know. The story starts wiith Delia having been shot after she tried to kill Giovanni. Giovanni knows that Ash is his son... he just doesn't care and is out to kill him and Delia.
    • The Oak/Delia oneshot Sins of the Past has Delia as an ex-Rocket member. Ash is Giovanni's biological son, but she never told her deceased husband, her son, or Giovanni.
    • Frayed Ends has Delia having half-lied to her son about his father. She told Ash that he's away pursuing his dream, but left out the part where "his dream" was "being a crime boss".
    • Subverted in the oneshot Revenge. After Ash defeats him, Giovanni has most of Ash's loved ones brutally killed one-by-one. With only Misty left, the two run off together but end up meeting face-to-face with Giovanni anyway. Giovanni tells Ash that he is his son, but that doesn't stop Ash from shooting him. It later turns out Delia is safe. When Ash questions her on his father, she confirms that Giovanni was mistaken and that he wasn't Ash's father. Ash's dad was some random guy named "Fred" who helped Delia leave Team Rocket as a teen.
    • In the Pokémon fanfic The Road You Choose, the final story not only reveals that Ash's biological father is Pokémon Master Red, but also reveals that Jessie of Team Rocket is actually Giovanni's daughter, and Ash's Sinnoh companion Dawn is his half-sister as a result of Red having an affair with Dawn's mother after he left Delia; Jessie's family ties to Giovanni are the reason her team has never been fired despite their mistakes, and characters such as Iris note that Ash and Dawn being related actually makes perfect sense in hindsight.
    • In Mended, a 19-year old Ash finds out that Professor Oak is his father and that his supposed father walked out before he was even conceived. He initially takes this poorly and gets drunk, but later comes to terms with it.
    • In Lost, Delia reveals to Oak that Ash's father is none other than Team Rocket's leader Giovanni. When Delia learned just what Giovanni's "family business" referred to, she left him. Giovanni doesn't even know about Ash. Delia made up the excuse about Ash's dad being on a Pokémon journey as a cover-up. When Giovanni turns up for the memorial service (due to the TR trio being on the ship), Delia reveals to him that Ash is his son.
    • Back To Zero is a fanfic where Giovanni is not only Ash's dad, but he's also Jessie's dad. This unknowingly makes Ash and Jessie half-siblings.
    • Chapter 23 of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has Ash confront the local Knight of Cerebus, Belladonna Tyrian, who quickly notices the resemblance between them, and realizes they're half-siblings. Moreover, this revelation quickly drops the bomb that all those Ash-lookalikes our hero has encountered before are related to him, having all been sired by the same father.
    • In the Pokémon fan fic Speak Up, Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, is Red's father. The author got this idea from Pokémon Live!.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager Parody Fic "Man of Wood" by Odon, an explanation for the canon Crack Pairing of Seven of Nine and Chakotay is found when the latter discovers during a Vision Quest that his father is producer Rick Berman. He responds with the appropriate Big "NO!".
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage:
    • The Equestrian Wind Mage has a non-villainous example during Season 2, when Daring Do reveals that she's Rainbow Dash's mother, having abandoned her with her father as a newborn, out of fear of not having what it took to be a parent. Dash chews her out for this, but her anger burns itself out, and they reconcile.
    • Season 3 reveals that Dethl is Vaati's father. Though this was heavily foreshadowed in the previous season, and straight up spoiled in the Universe Chronology.
  • In The Lion King Adventures, it's revealed in Series 3 that Hago — Simba's Arch-Enemy and the Overarching Villain of the series — is actually Nala's father.
  • During Megane's cameo in Infinity, it is implied that Zest is Lutecia's father via a one night stand. The established timeline of events also implies that she never got the chance to tell him before his death and her falling into a coma.
  • Near the end of MGLN Crisis Fate takes a DNA test and finds out that her father is actually Clyde Harlaown. One of the stories in Red Jewel Diaries has her looking deeper into it and discovering that it was actually an aged up clone. Seeing as she was already related to Clyde due her adoptive mother Lindy being his widow, it doesn't change anything other than give her closure.
  • Miraculous: Marinette's baby: Much of the story has Marinette unwilling to tell her parents who the father is (mostly because she was not sure who Chat Noir was).
  • In To Hell and Back (Arrowverse), Malcolm learns that Oliver is his biological son in Chapter 25. Oliver has yet to find out, though.
  • Crimson And Emerald: If you even read the tags on the story, you know that this is another All For One is Midoriya Hisashi fanfics.
  • In Earth 27, Deathstroke is Ronin and his brother Sam's biological father.
  • Naruto:
    • Inverted during the time travel arc of Vapors. Minato quickly guesses that Naruto is his son, but it takes much longer for him to realize that Aiko is being snippy because she's his daughter and has abandonment issues.
    • 2003's Bloodlines begins with the Fourth Hokage revealing to Naruto that he's his father. This was years before it was revealed but canon, but fans already knew this (and an author's note in Bloodlines lampshades the obviousness).
    • The Line Is Not Broken is a oneshot based on the theory that Tsunade is Minato's mother (and as a result, Naruto's grandmother). Tsunade had a One Night Stand Pregnancy after a drunken fling with Jiraya. Jiraya never knew about the baby.
  • Conversations with a Cryptid, Izuku's father is Hisashi Midoriya (and this is his real name), but it's not until the end of the story that other characters connect him with the alias he's been using most of the time, All for One.

    Film — Animated 
  • In the direct-to-video sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin discovers his father is the leader of the Forty Thieves.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 has Hiccup learn of a mysterious dragon rider who has been stealing dragons from another tribe of dragon riders; when he winds up captured by this person, he discovers that it's his long-lost and presumed-dead mother.
  • Coco: Miguel discovers that his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, is actually a fraud who murdered his real great-grandfather, Hector, and that his family banned music because Hector walked out on them to become a famous musician all those years ago. Unbeknownst to them, Hector had every intention of coming back.
  • Toy Story 2:
    • Parodied with a Buzz Lightyear action figure (not the main one) and his archnemesis Evil Emperor Zurg reenacting a slightly modified version of the Star Wars reveal.
      Zurg: Surrender, Buzz Lightyear! I have won!
      Buzz: I'll never give in! You Killed My Father!
      Zurg: No, Buzz, I am your father!
    • Later on, you see Buzz and Zurg having a father-and-son game of Catch.
      Zurg: Go long, Buzzy!
      Buzz: Oh, you're a great dad!

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The big reveal in Angel Heart where Harry Angel is revealed to be Johnny Favorite, and therefore the father of Epiphany Proudfoot, who he has been having sex with, and has just murdered during a blackout; in a rather bizarre set of supernatural circumstances.
  • Parodied in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me with Dr. Evil claiming to be Austin's father (in an exaggerated voice akin to Vader's) and then admitting almost immediately that he was just making it up. In a twist, the third movie features the revelation that Austin and Dr. Evil were in fact brothers, separated as infants.
  • In the parody Backfire!, the Most Evil Man reveals this to the heroes, complete with Darth Vader voice.
  • Near the end of Big Money Rustlas, before dying of a gunshot wound inflicted onto him by Sugar Wolf, the film's villain, Big Baby Chips, reveals to Sugar Wolf that he is actually his father, Grizzly Wolf, prompting Sugar Wolf to rub off his face paint to see if he was telling the truth. He was.
  • In the movie The Boondock Saints, the hitman known as Il Duce, who previously gave the MacManus brothers the fight of their lives, is revealed to be their long-lost father when he walks in on them delivering the family prayer to their fallen comrade Rocco (whom he had previously been hired to kill) and finishes the prayer himself. And then much ass was kicked.
  • Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh has the main protagonist Annie discover that she is the great-great-granddaughter of the Candyman.
  • In the 2003 film version of the Filipino superhero Captain Barbell, the Big Bad Lagablab, reveals he is Enteng's (Captain Barbell's mortal alter-ego) Disappeared Dad. Captain Barbell is shocked but defeats him anyway.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo has Albert revealed as the son of Edmond, conceived right before Edmond is framed for treason and shipped off to prison 16 years earlier.
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in Dirty Work. Mitch and Sam are talking to Sam's father, Pops, who reveals he's also Mitch's father. They don't believe him; so he pulls out a locket:
    Mitch: That's you and my Mom!... having sex!
    Sam: You were unfaithful to my mom!
    Pops: No I wasn't. Who do you think took the picture?
    Sam: Hey, Mitch, remember when you had sex with my sister?
  • It is pretty obvious in the French 1961 film Le Fils de Caroline Chérie that Juan is the son of Caroline and Gaston de Salanches, but the characters themselves don't find this out until the last fifteen minutes.
  • Ego says tells this to Star-Lord after they first meet in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
  • The Man from Earth: in the end what confirms that John wasn't lying about his claims to be an ageless immortal was when Gruber (a colleague of John's who appears to be about twice John's age) realized that John is his father. (John had suddenly left his family at the time when Gruber was just a few years old.) The shock ends up giving Gruber a heart attack and he dies shortly after.
  • Before dying at the end of The Man in the Iron Mask, D'Artagnan barely has the time to reveal to Philippe (and Louis) that he is their father.
  • The climax of Mortal Engines offers the heavy implication that, like in the books, Thaddeus Valentine is Hester Shaw's biological father, showing that he and her mother Pandora were romantically involved in the past, as well as him directly comparing her own personal drive and determination to his.
  • In Mr. Deeds, it's revealed that the family butler, Emilio is Preston Blake's son by way of Blake's cleaning lady, and thus heir to his company and fortune.
  • Subverted masterfully in the movie Pirate Radio, throughout most of which it is implied that Quinten is Young Carl's father, only for it to be revealed by Young Carl's mother that Bob, the 3-6 am DJ is his father instead. Quaintly enough, Young Carl?s reaction is eerily similar to that of the trope namers.
  • Scanners: Darryl Revok, the villain, reveals that he and Cameron Vale, the hero, are the sons of Dr. Paul Ruth, the Broken Pedestal mentor.
  • In Shocker, the main villain reveals himself to be the protagonist's father before he is executed in the electric chair and is turned into a Psycho Electro.
  • In The Smurfs 2 Gargamel quotes the full line to Smurfette: "I am your father. Search your feelings, you know it to be true".
  • Parodied in Spaceballs:
    Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate!
    Lone Starr: What does that make us?
    Dark Helmet: Absolutely nothing, which is what you are about to become!
  • Star Wars:
    • Trope Namer. This is The Reveal from the second part of the original trilogy.note  The reason that this reveal worked and a lot of the imitators fell flat was that a big part of Luke's story revolved around his Jedi Knight father, whom he sought to emulate as a Jedi himself, which was why Luke let out the Big "NO!" in response to the Awful Truth about said father being revealed. In addition to that, this also means that both Obi-Wan and Yoda had been lying to him ever since they met. It also gives new light to Uncle Owen's reasons for refusing to let Luke accept the Call to Adventure, in particular Aunt Beru's assessment that "he's got too much of his father in him" and Owen's response "That's what I'm afraid of". Also, the reveal in Return of the Jedi is that Leia is Luke's sister.
    • According to The Other Wiki, this was meant to be played again in Revenge of the Sith, where Palpatine would tell Anakin that he created him from midichlorians, before Lucas heavily changed the script, although the implication that Plagueis created him was nonetheless present. It was nonetheless implied that Palpatine was at least somewhat involved alongside Plagueis in manipulating the midichlorians into creating him in the Legends novel Darth Plagueis, although Anakin's creation was actually not just an accident (they were intending to manipulate them into creating a Sith weapon), but they struck back and created the very means to destroy them.
    • Happens yet again in The Force Awakens. This time, Han Solo and Leia Organa are Kylo Ren's parents, although this is only a surprise to the audience, not the characters.
    • A subversion happens in The Last Jedi, where for the entire movie and the one previous, it was hinted that Rey had some familial connection to someone important (perhaps even a prominent character in the series). In the end, though, Kylo Ren reveals to Rey her parents' true identity: They were "nobodies", just lowly junk traders who sold her for drinking money and are long dead by now.
      • This is actually not what Rey said though. She said her "they were nobody" and had a Force-induced vision of seeing endless copies of herself. Kylo Ren assumed he meant they were worthless junk traders. But the Exact Words (in light of this vision) can imply anything from a clone (part of Star Wars canon) to literally being born from the Force (also canon).
  • The Terminator: Kyle Reese is John's father by Time Travel.
  • Transamerica: when Toby, a teen runaway who had made a living as a hustler and who seems to only show affection sexually, attempts to seduce the Transgender woman, Bree, who is adopting him, her only recourse is explain him that she was, in fact, his father before transitioning. She'd kept it secret from him because she knew he thought his father was a famous actor and didn't want to disillusion him. The fact that the audience already knows this is a considerable source of Squick in the scene.
  • Inverted in TRON: Legacy when Sam Flynn seems to finally find his lost father on the Grid; it turns out only to be a program written by Dad, though the dialog is almost verbatim.
    CLU: I'm not your father, Sam. But I'm very, very happy to see you.
  • In the film Wanted, this is used as the twist about 3/4ths of the way through the film. It actually makes sense, because it's the only reasonable explanation for why Cross never seems to be able to hit Wesley despite his improbable superpowered gun skills; turns out he was never trying to kill him in the first place.

  • In the song "The Mayor of Candor", the narrator is in love with the mayor's daughter, but the mayor won't hear of it. In the end we learn why:
    As I look into his leering aged wrinkled mirror of my own face
    He laughs and sneers and says — Of course dear son —
    Where do you think you came from in the first place?

  • The Tragedy of Sohrab and Rostam from Persian myths, found in The Shahnameh. Rostam's son is raised without meeting his father for years. The young Sohrab decides to become a hero and gathers up a force. Rostam is the Persian equivalent of Hercules and is meanwhile ordered to subdue the marauding enemies. In the final battle, the father and son engage each other in battle, as no one else is a match for either of them. Although Rostam notices similarities between himself and his enemy, it is not until it is too late when he discovers that he has killed his own son.
  • The Irish mythological hero Cuchulainn accidentally kills his son, thinking he is an intruder, only to find out that his son is the victim when it's too late.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Oedipus, in Oedipus the King, finding out that the woman he married is his biological mother, and that guy he killed years ago on the road was his biological father. Oh, and then he had to tell his daughters "I am your brother." Ouch. He puts out his eyes after that... A tragic end to a loyal son who loved his mother.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the late 1990s, after The Undertaker's brother, Kane, came to the WWF, it was revealed that Kane's biological father was Paul Bearer, the Undertaker's manager until 1996. The story was Bearer worked in the funeral home run by Taker's parents (Bearer was a licensed mortician/funeral director in real life) and the mother made a pass at him, resulting in a one-night stand ... and Kane 9 months later.
  • The 2005 feud between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. included an angle where Rey's real-life son Dominick was revealed to be the (kayfabe) biological son of Guerrero.
    Guerrero: I'M YOUR PAPI!
  • WWE did a story line in 2007 where it was revealed that Vince had fathered a child out of wedlock years ago, and his illegitimate offspring was a member of the current WWE roster. In the end, the child was revealed to be Hornswoggle.note 
    • Originally, it was planned for Mr. Kennedy to be Vince's long-lost son.
  • During the 2016 Road To Best In The World Dalton Castle was reminiscing about meeting Bobby Fish's children, to which Fish dropped the bombshell that he was Castle's father...he was lying.

  • Spoofed in Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music when, after a series-long Running Gag about Mitch's rivalry with fellow musical satirist Richard Stillgoe, the final episode features him as a special guest, and a showdown between the two performers.
    Stillgoe: Punt and Dennis never told you what happened to your father.
    Benn: You're not my father!
    Stillgoe: No, of course I'm not. Whatever gave you that idea?


    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Comedian Gad Elmaleh parodied this in his stand-up show. His mother, he said, used to tell him that "your father is no Rothschild", i.e. "he's no millionaire, we can't waste money." He then says that he later met Rothschild, only to scream at him: "I know! You're not my father!"
  • There's an old joke about a boy who figures out that he can get adults to give him stuff simply by saying a sly "I know the truth..." and leaving it at that, allowing their minds to jump to "What could he know?" and pay him off without confirming what it is he "knows". Then he tries this on the milkman, who, rather than paying him off, drops down in tears of joy and exclaims "SON!" as he hugs him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Invoked in Exalted, where the Sidereal Exalted have a power, Brother and Sister Revelation, which allows them to invent any sort of blood relationship between two characters and make it metaphysically true.

  • Finale ends with Amy revealing that she is Sam's mother.
  • Happens with the Baker and the Mysterious Man in Into the Woods.
  • In the opera Lucrezia Borgia, the title character turns out to be the mother of the protagonist, the young noble Gennaro, by a previous relationship.
  • The Marriage of Figaro has an instance of this that's similar to the one from The Italian above: Marcellina is about to force Figaro to marry her in lieu of paying off a debt, when a casual comment he drops about a birthmark reveals that she's his mother. They embrace and make up, leading instantly to a classic Not What It Looks Like scenario...
    • Something similar happens in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as the Centurion was intending to marry Hero's love interest. Turns out in the ending that not only was the blind man that Pseudolus attempted to distract by having him run across the hills of Rome seven times was his father, but the Centurion and the love interest were actually siblings (they were kidnapped and separated while they were very young, and it was presumably at a time that they simply had no way of remembering due to not knowing this until after he told them). This was more than enough to allow the Centurion to allow Hero to marry the love interest.
  • In Molière's The Miser (1668) Anselme, the man who Harpagon wants his daughter to marry, ends up being the father of her lover Valère as well as Mariane, the love interest of both Harpagon and his son.
  • Almost in Pokémon Live!. Giovanni used to date Ash's mom, and in the first draft of the show, The Reveal would be made that Giovanni was Ash's dad.
  • Urinetown milks the revelation that Penny Pennywise is Hope Cladwell's mother for all that it's worth.
  • Wicked has the Wizard realize that he's Elphaba's father. Elphaba herself never learns the connection — probably all for the better.

    Web Animation 
  • In the third Lazer Collection video, we find out that the detective hero is the son of Doctor Octagonapus.
  • In Proxicide's MK vs. SF 3, it is revealed at the very end that Akuma and Ryu are father and son.
    • This deviates from Street Fighter canon a bit — in canon, Gouki is Gouken's younger brother and Ryu's adoptive uncle.
  • The Most In The Graveyard toon on Homestar Runner reveals that Coach Z's aunt is Bubs's uncle, which makes them sixth fourth second fifth cousins thrice removed, according to Bubs.
  • Broken Saints: More like I Am Her Father''. Big Bad Lear Dunham tells the other heroes that he is Shandala's biological father in his Just Between You and Me.
  • In FTL: Kestrel Adventures General "Blackbird" Sandoval is Jose and Ricardo's mother.
  • Ultra Fast Pony uses this as a punchline. It comes out of nowhere and doesn't get followed up on until the next season.
    Twilight: Spike, I don't want you hanging around with Rarity any more.
    Spike: You're not my mom.
    Twilight: What are you talking about? Of course I am.
    Spike: Really?
    Twilight: Yes, Spike, it is true.
    For those unfamiliar with the characters, Twilight is a pony and Spike is a dragon. Later events suggest that Twilight is just delusional about the relationship, and that it's part of a very odd My Beloved Smother complex.
  • Parodied in X-Ray & Vav when it looks like X-Ray is about to be killed by the Corpirate and he laments that he's about to die a virgin and without knowing who his father is.
    Corpirate: What if I told ye... I be ye father?
    X-Ray: (instantly brightening) Really? Papa?
    Corpirate: Of course not ye fool!
  • Dreamscape: In the flashback in "The Mystery of Melinda", Betty never knew the titular witch was her sister. She was intentionally kept in the dark about her sister, because if she found out, that would break Melinda's seal.

  • Girl Genius: At the end of the first major arc, Agatha escapes from Baron Wulfenbach with the newfound knowledge that she is the daughter of famous adventurer Bill Heterodyne.
    • In the next arc, she finds out that her mother Lucrezia was almost certainly the infamous menace known as the Other... shortly before getting a copy of said progenitor's persona uploaded into her mind.
    • Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, the Baron's son, may also be the son of a woman from the lost city of Skifander. This may or may not be related to reports that a princess of Skifander is in Baron Wulfenbach's domains and according to the Baron wants Gil dead. Said princess may be the Baron's daughter and thus Gil's sister (probably twins).
  • Earthsong: Willow learns that She's is Earthsong's "Eve" - the first example and eventual mother of the native race of Earthsong's planet.
  • Ozy and Millie: Millie eventually learns that the dread pirate Locke is her father, even though Merlin Sickness makes him look like he's about her age.
  • A variation in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Bob first tells Molly that he considers her to be his daughter, even though they are not related.
    • Still later, Jean reveals that because Molly shares some of her DNA, Jean is her mommy, "just a little bit."
  • Revolver Ocelot tells this to Psycho Mantis at one point in The Last Days of FOXHOUND. Mantis, having killed his father at the age of eight, states that he isn't. Ocelot concedes the point since the only reason he said it was to rip up in Mantis' old wounds.
  • In Drowtales, Ariel understandably starts to become wary of this trope after one time too many.
    • First Jer'Kol tells her he is her father, but it turns out he is really an assassin sent to kill her!
    • Ariel's revelation to the identity of her actual father, Zhor, apparently occurred off-screen but seems to have been taken much better.
    • Mel is really Ariel's mother, a fact that she has trouble accepting thanks to the aforementioned Jer'kol, and in the same line Kalki is really Mel's daughter.
  • Questionable Content references it in this strip.
  • In Looking for Group, when Richard is in the demonic court on the Plane of Suck, he is asked why he travels with Cale. He responds with a mumbled "He's my mother." This gets a "What?" reaction from everyone in the room, including Richard. Probably just a joke, though. But they said that about the rabbit, too, so...
    • Played straight in page 674 where Captain Tah'vraay reveals this to Benny to get her to break the magical block that keeps her from using healing spells.
  • Subverted in the Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures side-comic Abel's Story, in which Abel grows up believing Cid Rewanz is his father, when in fact Cid was killed and replaced with the Incubus Aniz years before Abel was born.
  • Darths & Droids: Repeatedly.
  • In The Order of the Stick:
  • The Mulberry story "Mul/Kerry/Bush" included a scene where George W. Bush tried to escape Mulberry's experiment by claiming he was her father. Since Mulberry has Invisible Parents, she nearly believed him, until Taffy pointed out that her last name isn't "Bush."
  • A variation in The Whiteboard: Jinx's friend Kasi turned out to have been Howie's stepdaughter. Both of them knew, but it was certainly unexpected for the readers.
  • In GastroPhobia, Philia reveals that she is Phobia's daughter from the future.
  • In Scandinavia and the World, colonies and independent micro-nations are portrayed as the children of the countries that "own" them.
  • Being the offspring of Satan and Lilith is quite a shock to Lazarus in Underling.
  • In The Silver Eye, Enel had been denying that Velvare Bamidele was his father for years. Finally, after years of silence on the matter, Velvare admitted that he is his son after all.
  • In the furry adult comic, Tina's Story, Tina is told that the man she thought was her stepfather was actually her biological father. Tina's mother was underage when she became pregnant, so they made up about her being raped by a human to cover it up. Stan (the dad) confessed to Tina because she was getting married to a human, and he didn't want to take the chance that Georgette's grudge against humans (over the years she'd taken to heart that humans had hurt her) would taint her marriage. This turns out to be fortunate timing, since Tina not long after after gave birth to triplets, one of whom looked just like Stan.
  • Being a Star Wars parody, of course Blue Milk Special covered this:
    Vader: Yep. I got it on with your mom. You know it to be true.
  • In one issue of Oglaf, a wizard who's fighting a Cthulhu-like monster has used all his spells to no effect and tell his companion that his last spell will allow him to travel back in time and seduce the monster's mother, so that he can invoke this trope and cause the monster to have a Luke Skywalker-esque breakdown. When the companion questions why he can't just lie and say he's the father, the wizard claims that won't work since everyone instinctively know who their parents are. When the warrior is skeptical, the wizard proves it by saying he is the warrior's father, causing him to have a breakdown.

    Web Original 
  • In "AVGN vs NC", the Nostalgia Critic tries pulling this on the Nerd. It fails.
    NC: Wait! Wait! Would you let your brother die?
    AVGN: Brother? You're my brother?
    NC: Uh, yes! I am your brother!
    AVGN: Well then, surely you know the name of our mother.
    NC: Well of course I know the name of our mother! Eliza... be... (Nerd points Super Scope at Critic) Oh, blame a guy for trying!
  • Brennus: In one of the side arcs, a retired supervillain-turned war hero returns from decades at war, to find he has not one, but two daughters he never new about. One became a super hero, and the other a villain. And their apparently Arch Enemies. Then he reveals that his father, their grandfather, is The Dark, the world's preeminent supervillain. And he reveals this to all three of them in one dinner.
  • In the Legion of Net.Heroes title Dvandom Force, .Sig Lad is revealed to have been the son of Mr. Thingy and the !Visible Woman of the Net.tastic Nine, who was dosed with an unstable form of the Super-Molder Serum, and who managed to escape the Retcon Limbo where the rest of the Nine had been sent through the Dvandom Dial.... No, seriously.
  • Parodied, once again, in College Saga. The Darth Vader Clone Diculous tries to pull this on the hero, only to have two of the party members inform him that "*We* are your parents!". Perhaps the reason the hero doesn't fall for it is that he was already revealed to be the son of Willie Wonka. The final twist is Diculous is their daughter.
  • Seen in the Whateley Universe with Carmilla (Sara Waite). Not only does her father turn out to be the very demon a bunch of occultist wannabes are trying to sacrifice her to, but the first time she faces down the infamous archvillain known as the Necromancer she finds out that he in turn is her uncle!!
  • Inverted in Battle for Milkquarious. Near the end, it is revealed that the villain is White Gold's son.
  • Sockb4by - Doug Jones, to Ronnie Cordova.
  • In Red vs. Blue the trope is played with in season 1. Sarge, after being shot in the head, talks to Church as a ghost.Sarge laments that he never got to tell Grif the he was his son. The following conversation is something along the lines of:
    Church: That orange guy is your son?
    Sarge: Nope. I just wanted to screw with him one last time.
    • The Freelancer Saga (season 9-10) combines this with The Reveal — the characters involved already know of the connection, but the audience is kept completely in the dark until the very last episode.
    • Season 14 has a humorous example of this in the crossover with Death Battle when it turns out that Sarge is Boomstick's long-lost father.
  • Rule 72. Darth Vader is Everyones father. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • The Gungan Council has Darth Apparatus doing this to both Ryori Holloway and Delilah Nepenthe.
  • Appears to be parodied in the original audio story True Blues Retold when the Corn Man throws out the classic line to Frank. It turns out, though, that the villain was deliberately using the famous movie line as an attempt to distract Frank, who was at that moment threatening him with a pipe. It worked, since Frank, a simple farm boy, had never seen The Empire Strikes Back.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Wheiner attempts to blackmail Walsh by threatening to reveal that Shane is Walsh's biological son. Shane never discovers this fact.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Avatar and the Fire Lord", it is revealed that Avatar Roku, Aang's spiritual predecessor, was the great-grandfather of Prince Zuko on his mother's side, making Aang Zuko's great-grandfather in spirit, if not in body. Did we mention that Mark Hamill voices Zuko's father? Cue run-in-the-family memes.
  • Parodied on The Brak Show episode "All That I Desire You", itself a complete send-up of soap operas; Dad is revealed to be living a double life as billionaire oil baron Drake Gainway, and is father to Zorak, Clarence, and his secret third wife Cynthia - in addition to Brak and the Gainway children.
    • And just for extra craziness, when The Brak Show was "hosting" [adult swim]'s New Year's Night, it was revealed that Thunderclese's father was none other than Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a completely different show.
  • Evil Emperor Zurg pulled this during a climactic fight scene with the title character in an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Quite possibly to give a Shout-Out to Toy Story 2 (Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is a Show Within a Show that got turned into a show. It gets a little headscratch-ey, but the above mention is canon because of this show, which is the derivative work and... yeah, just yeah.) On the other hand, Zurg was implied to have been fooling around, as he then strikes a stunned Buzz and states "Psyche! Made ya look!"
  • In Chaotic, the card game revealed something more of a "I am also your founder" with Kiru, the greatest Overworld hero (even got a beautiful city named after him)and the ancestor to Chaor, currently one of the Overworld's greatest enemies.
  • Code Lyoko: It is revealed just before the Season 2 finale that Franz Hopper, creator of Lyoko, is actually Aelita's father. This also reveals that she is human, and not an A.I. as everyone originally thought.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Number 1 learns in The Movie that the Big Bad Father is his uncle. Inverted in the same movie with the Delightful Children, who it's revealed aren't actually Father's children but former KND operatives whom he kidnapped and Brainwashed.
    • Also, kind of inverted in that Numbuh Zero, who we haven't seen before, is Nigel's dad, who we have.
  • Parodied in Dexter's Laboratory when Dexter's dad was making a big deal over not being allowed to get Mom's muffins.:
    Dad: Dexter, son, could you come here for a moment? I'd like to have a little word with you.
    Dexter: And just what do you want?
    Dad: (coming out of the shadows) Dexter, I... am your father.
    Dexter: (gasp) That is not possible! Oh, wait, no, you're right.
    And Also:
    Dad: Join me, Dexter. Join the muffin side!
  • Parodied in The Fairly OddParents! in a "copyright-infringing dream sequence":
    Timmy: Hey! You cut off my hand! I've only got two of those!
    Darth Vader-like: Don't worry, you get a new one. A really cool robot one!
    Timmy: How do you know all this?
    Darth Vader-like: Because, Timmy, I am your father. (removes mask to reveal himself as Cosmo)
    Cosmo: Your godfather!
    • A brilliant Continuity Nod to the quote starting the Fairy Odd Parents section here.
  • Parodied in Freakazoid!, in the episode "The Wrath of Guitierrez". During the climax of the episode, Guitierrez is knocked off a platform and hangs dangling over an abyss, and cries for Freakazoid to pull him up.
    Guitierrez: Freakazoid, help me! Would you let your father fall?
    Freakazoid: My father? You're my father?!
    Guitierrez: (glances confused at camera) O-oh yes. I am your father!
    Freakazoid: (goes to help him, stops) W-who was my mother?
    Guitierrez: Uhh... Faye Dunaway?
    Freakazoid: (crosses arms) No she's not...
    Guitierrez: Kaye Ballard?
    Freakazoid: Kaye—nooo.
    Guitierrez: Would you believe Sandy Duncan?
  • Happens in the Futurama DVD movie Bender's Game, the parties being Farnsworth and Igner, the stupidest of Mom's three sons.
    • And an... odd version later: Hermes was the one that approved Bender in the production line (even though he shouldn't have been), making him, in a bizarre sense, Bender's father.
    • This
    Leela: They killed my parents! (Leela is with two cloaked figures when Fry appears)
    Fry: Close (pulls down the hoods to reveal they're both purple-haired cyclopes)
    Leela: They... are my parents.
  • Gargoyles had a unique example of this. Since the eponymous creatures in the main cast are part of an egg-laying species whose members are raised collectively by their home clans (and, thus, do not have any concept of individual parenthood), the show's creator eventually had to directly reveal which characters were the biological offspring of which, as it's never actually stated in-universe for many of them. Specifically, Hudson is Broadway's father, and Othello/Coldstone is Gabriel's father.
  • Gravity Falls has a downplayed variant. You know the author of the Journals? The ones that Dipper's been obsessing over all summer, and trying desperately to figure out who wrote them? Turns out he's Grunkle Stan's twin brother, and therefore Dipper's great uncle. Of course, Dipper's thrilled about this, since the Author's his hero, so instead of a Big "NO!", it's more of a squeal of joy.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): In "Teela's Quest", the titular character finds out that she's the daughter of the Sorceress. Her mommy gave her Easy Amnesia, though, since Teela was NOT supposed to find out. This would've been true in the 2002 remake, but without the amnesia, had the show continued. Oh, we would've also learned that Fisto was Teela's biological father. For some reason, a couple of episodes seemed to hint that it was Duncan a.k.a. Man-At-Arms (who happens to be Fisto's brother and Teela's adoptive father) instead.
    • Some time after the end of the original animated series, the minicomic The Search for Keldor dropped hints that Skeletor is really King Randor's long-lost brother Keldor, making him Adam/He-Man's uncle. In the 2002 remake, Skeletor was originally named Keldor, but there is no indication that he is related to Randor.
      • While never stated in the show, the writers have since revealed that Keldor was intended to be Randor's half-brother. Same father, different mothers.
  • Parodied in Johnny Bravo.
    Darth Vader knock-off: I did not destroy your second cousin. I am your second cousin!
    Johnny: Nooooooooooooooo!!!
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In the episode "The Once and Future Thing", it's revealed that Warhawk, assumed to be the Legacy Character of Hawkman, is (or will be) in fact the son of Hawkgirl and Green Lantern John Stewart.
    • "Epilogue", the Fully Absorbed Finale of Batman Beyond, reveals that Bruce Wayne was Terry McGinnis' genetic father. Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA had been overwritten with Bruce's as part of Amanda Waller's Batman Beyond project.
    • Hades also tries to do this with Wonder Woman, with a twist that he had to resort to a technicality when WW pointed out her origin story doesn't allow her to have a father (she was sculpted of clay and made flesh by the breath of her mother, Hippolyta, instead of born). Hades claimed he helped Hippolyta sculpt her. Shayera suggests Diana use her lasso of truth to get the real story out of him, but Diana decides she just doesn't care if he's telling the truth or not — she already has a real family.
  • Moral Orel: The episode "Dumb" shows that Nurse Bendy is Joe's mother. Joe bonds with her much better than he ever did with his aging, senile father or his Promotion to Parent sister, and Nurse Bendy's finally able to throw away the teddy bears she was using as a surrogate family.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: In the beginning of the episode "Big Reveal", Carol casually reveals to K.O. that Laserblast was his father. Later on, Professor Venomous reveals to K.O. that he was Laserblast, and thus is K.O.'s father, in a scene referencing the Trope Namer.
  • Parodied in Phineas and Ferb, in the episode "The Chronicles of Meap". The pair mistake an alien villain (named Mitch) is the eponymous Meap's father, due to miscommunication. Later, after having discovered this, Mitch quite explicitly tells Meap "Just so we're clear on this, I am not your father!"
  • A variation was used in the Pale Kids episode of Recess. Lawson hated the Pale Kids because of something that happened to Tiny Sedwick, a kid who had to go to the Pale Kids because he broke his foot while playing Pickle. When telling the leader upfront, the Pale Kids laughed, with Lawson reacting with confusion as to what they think is so funny about his reason, before the leader tells Lawson that he is Tiny Sedwick (or at least was).
  • The final episode of The Replacements reveals that Conrad Fleem is Todd and Riley's uncle.
  • Robot Chicken recreates and elaborates the scene (with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, too!):
    Vader: No, Luke...I am your father.
    Luke: That's not true! That's impossible!!!
    Vader: And Princess Leia is your sister!
    Luke: That's not true! That's...improbable!
    Vader: And the Empire will be defeated by Ewoks!
    Luke: That's... highly unlikely.
    Vader: And as a child I built C-3PO!
    Luke: ...enh?
    (Cut to some indeterminate time later. Vader is relaxing having a coffee while Luke is learning against the pylon smoking a cigarette.)
    Vader: ...and the Force? Well, that's just microscopic bacteria in your bloodstream called midichlorians...
    Luke: (snuffs cigarette, walking off) Look, if you're not gonna take this seriously, I'm out.
    • Earlier, they parodied it with George W. Bush and his daughter Jenna as Vader and Luke respectively.
    Jenna: That's not true! That's impossible! My real father would let me go clubbing as late as I want! [flips Dubya off]
  • In a episode of Rugrats Angelica says to Tommy "I am your cousin!" Follow by Tommy's Big "NO!" reaction.
  • Samurai Jack reveals in its penultimate episode that the Daughters of Aku, including Ashi, are literally his children, born of the High Priestess consuming some of his essence years ago. This enables him to take control of her and use her to fight Jack against her will.
  • A big Reveal at the conclusion of the first season of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, where we learn that Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves, two of the members of the original Mystery Incorporated, are Fred's real parents. Mayor Jones actually took Fred away from them when he was a baby.
  • From South Park episode 201: Eric Cartman, Scott Tenorman's father is also YOUR father!
  • In the third season of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Miss Heinous is revealed to actually be Meteora Butterfly, the half-monster half-Mewman daughter of Eclipsa Butterfly.
  • Steven Universe: Occurs when Rose Quartz is revealed to be the identity assumed by Pink Diamond when she faked her own death, thus making Steven the son of Pink Diamond.
  • Parodied in Teamo Supremo when Skate Lad corners the CheapSkate.
    CheapSkate: You can't turn me in, Skate Lad.
    Skate Lad: Give me one good reason.
    CheapSkate: Well, um, because, uh... Skate Lad, I am your father.
    Skate Lad: Huh?! No you're not; my dad works down at the sporting goods store. I look just like him, loser!
  • Parodied in Teen Titans. In the first episode of the fourth season, Control Freak enters a Star Wars-esque TV show, kicks the Darth Vader lookalike and approached the Luke lookalike with saying, "I am Count Rol Freakow, the twelfth-level space samurai that trained Baran Rang. And... I am your father!". Followed by the typical "NOOOOOOO!!!!"
    • Also played with when Starfire and Killer Moth each try to convince Silkie/Larva M319 to choose between them. Killer Moth's attempt: "Larva M319, I am your father. Join me and we can... go on a picnic or something." Silkie already knew this.
  • Said word for word, in Ultimate Spider-Man, when Spider-Man heard that Power Mans parents are working for Scorpio, Spidey's imagines Dr Doom saying this to Luke Cage.
  • Parodied in The Venture Bros.:
    Monarch: Hank, what if I told you that your mother was someone you've met before? And that your father was not your REAL father?
    Hank: What?
    Monarch: Hank! I am your real father!
    Hank: [utterly unconvinced] No, you're not!
    Monarch PSYCH! Oh man, I totally got you. You were all like, "Oh, daddy! You're my daddy!" You are so gullible, what's that like?
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: At the end of the Season 5 episode "Bloodlines", Krolia confesses to Keith that she is his long-lost mother. We don't actually see his reaction until the next season in the episode "Razor's Edge", which begins right where the last one ended. It's in that episode that we also find out through flashbacks how she met Keith's father.
  • Winx Club has Roxy finding out that Queen of the Earth Fairies, Morgana is her mother.
  • Such a moment happens in W.I.T.C.H. when Caleb finds out that Nerissa is his mother.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Irwin eventually finds out that Dracula is his grandfather, something his father was also unaware of, because as a child he was raised by his mother alone after Dracula "left" them.
  • Xiaolin Chronicles: After an Enemy Mine, Chase Young keeps his promise of helping Omi find his real family - it turns out it was Chase himself all along... a plot point which is forgotten after one episode.
  • In X-Men: Evolution (and also in the comics) Nightcrawler is lured out to a construction site with a mysterious note that promises that "everything will be explained". A hooded figure comes out of the shadows (actually, since it is early evening, there aren't many shadows to speak of, so they obviously added this in for dramatic effect) and, after making Nightcrawler squirm in confusion and anticipation for about thirty seconds, throws her hood off to reveal Mystique, Magneto's Evil Chancellor of sorts and says, "Kurt, I'm your mother." For bonus points, she does it a second time with Rogue (who was adopted, but still), though since it was in the middle of Rogue having a mental breakdown from all her absorbed personalities fighting in her head, it wasn't nearly as dramatic.
    • The original 90s cartoon also did this with Nightcrawler and Mystique, but with the added twist that Big Bad leader of the Friends of Humanity Grayden Creed, Jr. (who was already exposed in an earlier episode as being Sabertooth's son) was Mystique's son and Nightcrawler's half-brother(Just like in the comics).
      • X-Men scribe Chris Claremont originally intended Mystique to be Nightcrawler's father — she's apparently a really good shapeshifter — but Executive Meddling derailed those plans.

    Real Life 
  • The biggest real life example is the revelation that birds are the direct descendants of non avian dinosaurs
  • Recent evidence has backed claims that a Frenchman, Jean-Marie Loret, was the product of an affair between Adolf Hitler, who was a German soldier in World War I, and his mother when she was 16 in 1917.
  • The great Hawaiian king Kamehameha's biological father may well have been his rival, Kahekili.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's son with the cleaning lady. He didn't know Schwarzenegger was his dad until the press got hold of the story.
  • There are uncertain claims that O.J Simpson may be Khloe Kardashian's father.
  • According to an interview in the '90s, Lee Harvey Oswald's youngest daughter, who was an infant at the time of the JFK assassination, grew up under a new name when her mother remarried shortly afterward and didn't know Oswald was her father until she discovered a box of old letters and newspaper clippings in the attic.
  • Jack Nicholson learned, via a reporter during promotion for Chinatown, that his dead sister was actually his mother, his dead mother was actually his grandmother, and a man he never met near his hometown was his father and very much alive. That was one crazy phone call. Details here.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): I Am Your Father, Familial Reveal


Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier

Ja'far realizes that the Princess is actually HIS daughter and not the Sultan's.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / LukeIAmYourFather

Media sources:

Main / LukeIAmYourFather