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Maternal Death? Blame the Child!

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Tywin Lannister: I will let myself be consumed by maggots before mocking the family name and making you heir to Casterly Rock.
Tyrion Lannister: Why?
Tywin Lannister: Why? You ask that? You, who killed your mother to come into the world?

Sometimes, when a woman suffers Death by Childbirth, the child is seen as the mother's last gift to her surviving family. But then there are these cases, in which the child is blamed for the mother's death.

Typically, this involves being hated or otherwise ill-treated by their father, their (maybe) Resentful Guardian. Other relatives are free to join in, though. Who's actually to blame for the death is completely irrelevant — there are too many historical cases of Death by Childbirth caused by doctor screw-ups (and Streptococcus pneumoniae), but if this trope is in play, the kid's still getting full blame. Likewise, don't expect anyone to point out that the father is much more blameworthy for the mother's death than the child, as he's the one who impregnated her in the first place. Also, keep in mind that this trope also applies when the child blames themselves for "killing" their mother.

Needless to say, this child will commonly grow up to be The Un-Favorite. Expect them to be told that They Died Because of You. Bonus points if someone mentioned that the child should've died instead.

For actual cases of children killing their mother, see Matricide.

This is a subtrope of You Should Have Died Instead. Compare Replacement Goldfish, when the (often female) child is seen as a preservation of her mother. Contrast Hates Their Parent, for when it's the father (or mother) receiving the hate.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: Arguably the main source of Noelle's issues. Subjected to this by her father and elder siblings, with Nozel even lamenting that Noelle didn’t die in place of their mother. The fact that Noelle was born and grew up unable to properly control her own magic, no doubt intensified this lingering resentment and belief already held by her family.
  • In Bokurano, Jun Ushiro abuses his little sister, Kana because their mother died giving birth to her. In the manga, Kanji, a long-time friend of the siblings, gives Ushiro a "The Reason You Suck" Speech saying that as uncaring as Ushiro is, he doesn't want Kana to die, since Ushiro's angry with his mother for dying, and is taking out his anger toward her on Kana. It turns out that Kana's mother isn't Ushiro's mother — in fact, he was adopted when his own mother, Misumi Tanaka, abandoned him.
  • In CLANNAD, this is the main reason behind why Tomoya's father has a rough time getting along with him. In a twist of fate, Tomoya's wife also dies at childbirth and he chose to neglect their newborn daughter for about five years. It wasn't until his grandmother calls him on it that he realizes he's being like his old man.
  • Inverted in Deadman Wonderland with Condor and his daughter. He was The Stoic and loved his daughter deeply, but she blamed herself for her mother's Death by Childbirth and convinced herself that he secretly hated her for it despite his insistence otherwise. After she was disfigured in an earthquake, she went mad and was Driven to Suicide under his care with him going mad in turn, deluding himself into believing she was still there.
  • Eureka Seven: This is part of the reason Dewey Novak, the series' antagonist, despises his younger brother Holland. Because of the event, the title of Sacrificial King is passed on to Holland. Of course, Dewey's account may be all in his head.
  • Kodocha: Akito's issues turn out to be largely caused by his sister Natsumi blaming him for their mother's Death by Childbirth. He assumed this was the case with his father as well, but it turned out Dad was just distant because he's a Workaholic, and working out his grief in his own way.
  • In the backstory for Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Oskar von Reuenthal's mother committed suicide when he was born because his distinctive two-tone eyes were living proof of her infidelity. Reuenthal spent his entire childhood being told by his father that life would have been better had he never been born, which very much warped his sense of self-worth.
  • While it's not made a topic in the Marginal Prince anime, the website for the game it's based on all but states that this is what happened to Henri. His father is anything but fond of him and as a direct result, he said to crave for love.
  • Inverted in Mobile Suit Gundam with Prince Garma Zabi. His mother, Nacliss, died giving birth to him and he is the favorite son of his father, Degwin.
  • Naruto: Gaara's uncle Yashamaru blamed him for the death of his sister Karura (Gaara's mother), as he tells him during his Suicide Attack. Subverted later when it turns out it was a lie he said on the Fourth Kazekage's orders, and that Yashamaru actually loved his nephew and hated his brother-in-law for forcing him to do that.
  • One Piece: Sanji's mother Sora took dangerous drugs in an attempt to undo the in-utero genetic modification Judge had forced on her to turn their children into merciless killing machines. The drugs destroyed her body and failed to have any effect on three of the four children; Sanji was the only one who turned out normal. Judge already treated Sanji with utter disdain for not being born exceptional, but his abuse increased once Sora died from aftereffects of the drugs, as though it were somehow Sanji's fault.
  • Trash Skill Gacha makes it a huge plot point that protagonist Crest Bahurst, the youngest of five brothers, had the unmitigated gall to survive his mother's Death by Childbirth, as such, his father, Duke Bahurst, saw him as a murderer that escaped justice and openly condoned all four of Crest's elder brothers to abuse and torment him, in pretty much any way imaginable. Crest had a brief ray of hope on his 15th birthday because his father decided to be decent for once in his life and suck up to him due to getting an unusual god's given skill "Gacha." However, since Crest couldn't use it on the spot, Duke Bahurst accused him of lying and banished him to near certain death. When it turns out Crest was telling the truth, he blames Crest for his own hot-headed blunder and lets the very same sadistic brothers try to get him back. Naturally, this pointedly does not go well.

    Comic Books 
  • In Atari Force, Christopher Champion was believed to be blamed by his father Martin for his mother Lydia's death at birth. It was only years later that Dr. Lucas Orion, the physician present at the birth, realized that Martin blamed the Dark Destroyer for Lydia's death, as the Dark Destroyer's life force entered into Lydia, killed her, then entered into Martin while he was unaware due to grief, in order to know his unique genetic makeup so that he could be born as an Evil Knockoff of Martin.
  • A dying Red Skull weaved this trope into his Unreliable Narrator account of his Freudian Excuse life to Captain America, saying that his father blamed him so much for his mother's death in childbirth he attempted to drown the baby right there and then.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Snively’s father Colin tried to avoid this trope, but Snively growing up with several traits he despised caused him to resent his son. This resulted in the demeaning nickname and him going to work for Dr. Robotnik.
  • Played With in Spider-ManHarry Osborn's mother, Emily, died within the first year or so of her son's life. While it wasn't Death by Childbirth, Norman Osborn still mused that losing her and gaining Harry was a sort of trade. And since Emily seems to be one of the few people Norman sincerely cared about, he feels like he got the short end of the stick.
  • Venom: Related to the above Spider-Man example, part of Eddie Brock's backstory had his mother dying of complications giving birth to him. His father Carl, a mostly cold, unemotional man before meeting and falling in love with his mother, held him responsible for her death by being distant and unaffectionate towards him, which in turn instilled in Eddie a desire to prove himself and make his father proud. After the false Sin-Eater debacle which ends with Eddie disgraced following Spider-Man capturing the real deal, Carl outright disowns him and ceases all communication. Becoming Venom doesn't make things any better; indeed, Carl slams the door on Peter Parker when approached for a word about his son.
  • The second wife of Justice Society of America villain the Icicle died giving birth to their only child, Cameron, due to the baby developing cryokinetic powers in the womb as a result of his father's constant exposure to freezing technology. Joar hated his son for this and constantly told him that he would never be anything but a killer before eventually abandoning him and cutting him out of his will. Unsurprisingly, Cameron grew up to be a self-loathing Jerkass who became a villain himself.
  • Taken to extremes in the story "Revenge" from the horror anthology Taboo: A Mad Scientist loses his wife in childbirth, and blames their son for "murdering" her. However, since the child died during the birth as well, he has no target for his anger. His solution is to repeatedly clone his son, creating an unlimited supply of infants to torture and murder to obtain his vengeance. (It never occurs to him to bring his wife back by cloning her instead.)

    Fairy Tales 
  • Tattercoats's mother died in childbirth. Her grandfather hates her as a consequence.
    He hated her bitterly because at her birth his favourite daughter died; and when the old nurse brought him the baby, he swore, that it might live or die as it liked, but he would never look on its face as long as it lived.

    Fan Works 

  • Better Bones AU: This is part of the reason Tigerstar gives Stormpaw and Featherpaw the dishonor titles of Graypaw and Silverpaw after their parents. The other reason is emphasizing how their father is a traitor and their birth was a crime in general.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Emily's father blames his daughter for his wife's Death by Childbirth, verbally and physically abusing her because of it.
  • The original Fallout: Equestria has Deadshot Calamity be the victim of this. Not only was it how he got his name, but his father hated him because of it. Because of this, it also made his two older brothers Pride and Autumn Leaf that were starved for their fathers' approval to think that by bullying and belittling Calamity would make things better for the both of them.
  • Fates Collide: Victor Frankenstein is Fran's biological father instead of creator in this story. Victor blames Fran for his wife dying while giving birth to her. He abandoned her but eventually decides he'll never get closure for his wife's death unless he kills her. Fortunately, he fails.
  • In Forbiden Fruit: The Tempation of Edward Cullen uncle larrynote  blames Atlantiana for killing her own mother at childbirth, which apparently is his motivation for, among other things, calling her an "evil bitch", hitting her and raping her. This in spite of the fact that she was adopted by his brother as a teenager, well after he had any chance to so much as meet her mother.
  • Godzilla 2000: New Era: Asuka Shinoda died in childbirth because of radiation exposure to the second Godzilla during the 1984 attack. However, whereas her now widowed husband Yuji doesn't at all blame the child Asuka left the world to bring into it, said daughter Io blames herself both for "killing" her mom and making her father so lonely.
    Yuji Shinoda: Asuka could save herself or she could save Io. She picked Io.
  • His History Revealed: A Dr. Robotnik Biography: Ivo's father was distant and aloof towards him growing up. Ivo thinks that his dad blamed him for his mother's Death by Childbirth.
  • Karma Graves from The PreDespair Kids was a serious victim of this. After her mother died giving birth to her, her father blamed her and kept her locked in the basement for the first thirteen years of her life. She was eventually rescued by an agency and became the Ultimate Secret Agent, but the damage from her experience has continued to plague her. Her creator has heavily implied some of the things she experienced during her childhood, and well...
  • The Rose and the Crown: It turns out Katherine was brought back to life by the witches and, in turn, she must bring them Philippe. When asked how she can do that to her own son, she describes him as her murderer.
  • Ruby and Nora: Raven and Qrow Branwen are twins and their mother Ava died in childbirth while delivering Qrow. Thus, Raven considers it his first kill. Unlike most examples, however, she sees this as a point of pride. This is shown as another example of her sociopathic nature since she wishes she could've done it.
  • In the core Triptych Continuum fanfic Triptych, Doctor Gentle blames his daughter the nameless pony Her because his wife died giving birth to her. She was also born an Earth Pony. The idea that his wife died giving birth to an Earth Pony who would never be able to use unicorn magic was not something Gentle could accept. So he would dedicate himself to "correcting" this, leading to the main plot of the story. For extra cruelty points, part of the grooming process he did was to deliberately refuse to name her and repeatedly drill it into her head that she killed her mother and that she has to make up for it.
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, Apple Bloom's parents committed suicide for unknown reasons, and Granny Smith blames her for it. It's unclear if Granny actually believes it, or if she's deliberately invoking this trope to screw with Apple Bloom's mind.
  • Frexspar in Verdigris often blames his daughter Elphaba for his wife's death. Melena died because of a zombie bite, not Elphaba's birth., but her pregnancy cravings led to her being bit.
  • Warriors Rewrite: Darkstripe hates his younger brother Graystripe because their mother died in childbirth with him.
  • The A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic What Was Lost and What Was Found has Tyrion Lannister working through his initial hatred of his newborn son after Sansa dies in childbirth. The fact he's reacting much in the same way his own father did when Tyrion's mother died in childbirth with him is certainly brought up.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Apur Sansar: Apu abandons his baby with his in-laws after his wife Aparna dies in childbirth.
    Apu: It's because Kajal is alive that Aparna isn't.
  • Gender-flipped in The Babadook, where the Haunted Heroine's husband was killed in a car accident trying to get her to the hospital when she went into labour. Her unarticulated resentment and unresolved grief drive the plot.
  • Played With in Boy (2010): Boy always told his younger brother, Rocky, that their mother's Death by Childbirth was the result of Rocky's "superpowers," in what seems to have been a well-meaning attempt to make Rocky feel better about it. It doesn't seem to have worked, however, as Rocky actually apologizes to their father for this near the end of the film. (Boy, in contrast, blames their dad for her death, or at least for not being there when it happened.)
  • Present in some adaptations of A Christmas Carol, such as the the 1984 version with George C. Scott. This is usually done to explain why young Ebenezer was left at school over the holidays with this trope.note  It may also explain why he's so cold towards his nephew, Fred, since Ebenezer's sister is said to have died giving birth to him.
    Ghost of Christmas Past: As your mother died giving you life, for which your father never forgave you, as if you were to blame.
  • Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!: As the old man reveals in a rant, the Vegetable (his son) was big even when he was a newborn and his birth killed his mother. The old man says he hates the Vegetable for this.
  • Warcraft: Lothar's wife died giving birth to their son Callan, making Lothar resentful of his son for it. Lothar eventually realized how unfair and cruel he was being, but Callan still spent his life trying to earn his father's approval by becoming a great warrior, which eventually led to him being killed by Blackhand.

    Literature 
  • In Anne of Windy Poplars, Elizabeth Grayson suffers constant psychological abuse at the hands of her great-grandmother's housekeeper who used to dote on her mother, who died in childbirth. She is abandoned by her father for the same reason; however, a letter sent by Anne, describing what sort of life Elizabeth leads, triggers his Heel Realization, and he returns to take the girl away.
  • In Best Served Cold, the Barbarian Hero Shivers justifies his participation in helping to carry out a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, because Shivers wants to avenge the death of his beloved brother, who everyone considered The Ace. Later, Shivers's POV reveals this is a lie. In reality, Shivers hated his brother. Shivers's mother died giving birth to him, and because of that, his brother would cruelly abuse him when others weren't watching.
  • It's indicated in Blood Meridian that the Kid's father resented his son and fell into alcoholic despair over his wife's death after giving birth during the Leonid meteor shower of 1833, referring to the Kid as "the creature" in front of his face as he recounts the story. The Kid is shown running away from home after this.
  • Downplayed in Breaking Dawn when Edward tells Bella, who's dying from her accelerated supernatural pregnancy, that there's no way that he could ever love the baby if Bella dies. Bella and Edward are unusually insular when it comes to their romance, so he's telling the truth. He changes his mind when he hears the baby's thoughts.
  • Discussed in Carpe Jugulum, when Granny Weatherwax assists at a difficult birth and realizes that the mother and child aren't both going to survive. She focuses her efforts on saving the mother because she judges that this would be the result if the mother died and the child survived.
  • Casteel Series: The heroine correctly assumes that her father hates her because her mother dies in childbirth. But as the series continues, she learns that his resentment is heightened by the fact that she isn't even his daughter — she's the result of her mother's rape by her stepfather.
  • In the Chronicles of the Kencyrath, Ganth's birth weakened his mother, and his sister Tieri's killed her. Their father, Gerraint Highlord, blamed both of them for her death and showed extreme Parental Favoritism to his eldest son Greshan.
  • Inverted in Cruel Beauty: Nyx came out of her mother's womb easily, but her twin sister Astraia's birth soon after caused fatal complications. However, their father favors Astraia because she strongly resembles her mother, and treats Nyx as The Unfavorite because she resembles him instead. Nyx theorizes that the lack of difficulty of her birth only reminds him of how he himself escaped the suffering his Deal with the Devil caused his beloved wife and Astraia.
  • In the Deptford Mice trilogy, Isaac Nettle abuses his son Jenkin, mainly because his mother died giving birth to him.
  • Subverted in the novel The Doctors, where a character's mother survived childbirth. However, she developed postpartum depression that led to her killing herself, so his father blames him for his mother's death anyway.
  • Earth's Children:
    • The second book contains a variation in which both the mother and the child die. Jetamio has been trying to give Thonolan a child, but keeps miscarrying. Eventually, she carries a pregnancy to term, only for complications to arise during labour due to a combination of the child being breech and Jetamio's hips being too narrow, resulting in Jetamio's death. The local healer tries to save the child (a boy) by performing an emergency c-section, but is unable to get the child out in time. When Thonolan is told about this, he says he "doesn't want to see the son that killed her", suggesting that, even if the child had survived, he would have blamed him for what happened to Jetamio.
    • In the sixth book, Ayla wonders if one of the reasons "children of mixed spirits" (people of mixed Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon heritage) came to be regarded as "abominations" is the increased risk of potentially fatal complications if the mother is a Cro-Magnon. The heads of such babies, in addition to being shaped differently, are often too big for a Cro-Magnon woman to deliver, which can lead to the mother's death.
  • The Elric Saga: Elric's father, Emperor Sadric, is said to not have cared much for his son because of this trope. Interestingly enough, he still chose the sickly Elric to succeed him to the throne over his ambitious cousin, Yyrkoon. In the novels, Sadric is a Posthumous Character but in the prequel comic, Elric: Making of a Sorcerer, we get to actually see him interacting with his son. In the comic, Sadric seems to be occasionally genuinely worried about his son's wellbeing and it is hypothesized by Cymoril that at least a part of him loves Elric even though he claims to spurn him.
  • In The Eyes of The Dragon, Prince Thomas at least imagines that his father and everyone else in the kingdom feels this way. Possibly Subverted—while it's true that Peter is King Roland's favorite son, this trope doesn't actually seem to be the reason behind it.note  Also, as a twist, Queen Sasha was actually murdered by the midwife during Thomas's birth, on Flagg's orders.
  • In the Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs prequel Fairest of All: A Tale of... the Wicked Queen, this is part of the Queen's backstory. Her father, the finest mirror maker in the kingdom, resented her as she grew up and continued that abuse after his death in the form of the Spirit of the Magic Mirror.
  • The Faraway Paladin: Meneldor's mother died shortly after giving birth to him, which was part of the reason why he was ostracized by his village and in turn eventually left it to become an adventurer.
  • Ghost Girl (2021): Though Zee's family doesn't blame her for her mother's death, Zee herself does harbor some feelings of responsibility for it. Scratch actively preys on this in the climax, conjuring illusions of Zee's sister and father blaming her and calling her a murderer.
  • The Great Alta Saga starts off with the heroine's mother dying in childbirth and the father handing the new baby over to the midwife to be fostered, because he can't love the child who killed his wife.
  • Played With unusually in Harry Potter in that the mother didn't die in childbirth, and that the one hating the child isn't related to them. One of the reasons Severus Snape hates Harry so much is because he blames the boy for the death of Lily, Harry's mother, with whom Snape was in love. If Harry hadn't been born or if Lily had stepped aside and let her son die like Voldemort offered, then she would probably still be alive.
  • Reggie Owens in Heretical Edge blames his daughter Hannah for the death of his wife. After Hannah becomes a Heretic named Avalon and Reggie becomes a vampire, the two become mortal enemies. It turns out Avalon's mother was actually poisoned in an attempt to kill both her and the child as part of an Inheritance Murder, and when Avalon survived, the conspirators encouraged Reggie toward this conclusion in the hope that he would finish the job.
  • Discussed in I Heard That Song Before; Kay wonders if her father secretly blamed her for her mother's death, she having died of an embolism while nursing a newborn Kay. However, Jonathan never showed any sign of this and it's indicated to be Kay's way of trying to make sense of her father's drinking and suicide.
  • Downplayed in InCryptid. James Smith's mother didn't die until years after he was born, but his father still blames him because of the Hereditary Curse passed down James's mother's line, that makes the holder die once they have a child to carry on their sorcerous lineage. (Plus there's other reasons he mistreats him, like homophobia)
  • The Kite Runner: Baba blames his son Amir for the death of his wife.
  • This is the entire point of Juan Rulfo's short story 'La Herencia de Matilde Arcangel' (The Legacy of Matilde Arcangel).
  • In Language Arts, Sister Georgia's mother died in childbirth, depriving her father of the son he wanted. Her father never forgave her, especially after she turned out to be "backwards."
  • In The Legend of the Ice People Tengel, the hero of the first few books, was repeatedly told as a child that he'd killed his mother.
  • In Nightrunner, protagonist Seregil's father Korit blamed him for his wife Ilia dying in childbirth. Also a case of Never My Fault. Korit had wanted a son and Ilia had been producing daughters, so they kept trying until Seregil was born, at the cost of his mother's life.
  • Averted in Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy. For most of the first two books, it is universally accepted that a mother is incapable of surviving childbirth (which involves fission) — so Death by Childbirth always applies. This is almost universally accepted as a fact of life.
  • In Son, Einar's mother died when he was born, and his father blames him for it.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Tywin Lannister loathes his son Tyrion because Tywin's wife Joanna (who was pretty much Tywin's Morality Chain) died giving birth to Tyrion. The fact that Tyrion was born with dwarfism and deformities adds insult to injury. Tywin only acknowledges Tyrion as his son to the extent necessary under social norms, and openly tells Tyrion that if it weren't for the love Tywin bore his mother, Tywin would have left him to die at birth. His older sister Cersei also treats him this way. This really comes back to bite them, since Tyrion is actually one of the more competent Lannisters. When Tyrion discovers that Tywin not only framed him for Joffrey's murder but convinced him that his legitimate wife was nothing more than a whore, Tyrion kills him.
    • This is a part of Daenerys's backstory; her mother also died giving birth to her while her mother and brother were on the run from assassins. For that, her narration states, her older brother Viserys had never forgiven her, although he continued to take care of her until his Start of Darkness.
  • In the prologue to Unnatural Issue, Richard Whitestone's wife dies giving birth to Suzanne. Richard immediately blames Suzanne:
    No, it was this interloper that had murdered his beloved.
  • Shadarii suffers from this in A Whisper Of Wings by Paul Kidd, although it's more a case of her mother dying in egg-laying (the anthropomorphic butterfly-winged fox race lay eggs) and suffering mostly hate from her older sister and indifference from her father.
  • In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff tells Cathy Linton that he cursed her when she came into the world because her birth killed her mother, his soulmate Catherine Earnshaw. This, combined with the fact that her father is Edgar Linton, making her the living symbol of her mother's rejection of Heathcliff for the wealthier man, makes her one of the central targets of Heathcliff's schemes for revenge.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel has possibly the only case where this is justified: season 4's Big Bad, Jasmine, is one of the Powers That Be who possesses Angel's Love Interest, Cordelia, uses her to have sex with Angel's son Connor, and then gives birth to herself as a Physical Goddess. After giving birth, Cordelia is in a coma, and Angel is naturally pissed. (At least, once he shakes off Jasmine's Mind Control.)
  • A combination of this trope and Child by Rape led to the most prolific (non-Canon Discontinuity) serial killer on Criminal Minds. Tommy Yates's mother was raped as a teenager and then died giving birth to him, leaving him in the care of his abusive grandmother. Her treatment of him (particularly telling him "My daughter's womb was cursed") made him a violent misogynist who abducted, starved, and mutilated over one hundred women.
  • One episode of Dollhouse has a client hire the Dollhouse to program a mother for his newborn, whose actual mother died in childbirth. He blamed the baby and could not give him the love he needed. In a rare subversion, the client knew it was irrational and still wanted the child to be loved, which was why he had them program Echo to think she was his mother. By the end of the episode, he's gotten over his issues and takes care of his son on his own.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Like the books, Tywin Lannister makes no effort to hide the fact that he blames his dwarf son for his wife's Death by Childbirth. Cersei also blames Tyrion for their mother's death, even when they were both kids, and wishes death upon him for his "murder". After Tyrion makes a joke about her hidden relationship with Jaime she makes an even crueler taunt that Joanna died for his sake, which should be Tyrion's greatest joke. Jaime is, in fact, Tyrion's only immediate relative who loves him unconditionally.
    • One of the many reasons Viserys came to both hate and love his little sister in the same breath. Never having a mother of her own is quite critical to Dany's burgeoning maternal feelings to her own adopted 'children', both the draconian kind and the followers who worship her.
  • Could be the case on Gossip Girl (2007). Chuck Bass spends the first two seasons believing his father hates him because Mama Bass died giving birth to him. Then season three features a woman who claims to be Chuck's mother and that Bart simply told him she was dead because she ran out on them when Chuck was a baby. Said woman then proceeds to con him out of his hotel and leave town and the show never bothers to make it clear whether or not she was his mother or a con artist who knew the Basses back when Chuck was little. To make matters more confusing, in season two Bart talks to Chuck about his mother and claims he doesn't blame him for her death but has a hard time connecting to his son because he looks so much like the wife Bart lost. Then in season six Bart is pretty much plain evil and hates Chuck for no apparent reason.
  • A good portion of Ben Linus' Freudian Excuse on Lost was the ill-feeling his father Roger Linus seemed to have for him due to his mother's death in childbirth.

    Music 
  • The subject of the song, "You Gave Me A Mountain" written by Marty Robbins, made famous by Elvis Presley.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Older Than Feudalism: In Japanese Mythology, Izanami is burned and dies while giving birth to the fire god Kagutsuchi, leading the father, Izanagi, to cut him into pieces (which become the various volcanoes of Japan).
  • Inverted in The Bible: Jacob's favorite wife, Rachel, dies in childbirth with her second child, Benjamin. He and Rachel's other son, Joseph, are Jacob's favorite children, and Jacob becomes especially protective of Benjamin after Joseph's "death." Rachel named him Ben-Oni, which means "son of my pain." Jacob opted for Benjamin, "son (born in) the wilderness."

    Theatre 
  • Cruelly twisted in the play Long Day's Journey Into Night: The mother didn't die, but was injured during the youngest son, Edmund's, birth and got addicted to morphine to ease her physical pain. This is one of the many cruel, final insults the father hurls at Edmund before the end of the play, and even he realizes he has gone too far in blaming him for that.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: This comes up concerning Tyrion:
    • He mentions this as one of the reasons he needs to prove himself to the rest of his family in "Hand of the King".
    • When Cersei fears that Tyrion's methods will get the entire rest of the Lannister family killed, she speaks of their mother as if she's Tyrion's current record of getting family members killed.
  • In the musical of Wicked, Elphaba is blamed for her mother's death even though her mother died after giving birth to her younger sister, Nessarose. Their father wanted to make sure there were no more green kids in the family, so he made the mother chew milkweed pods. The result was a fair-skinned but crippled daughter and the mother died soon afterward. The father blames Elphaba for causing this by being green in the first place.

    Video Games 
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs' Oswald Mandus has a conflicted mindset towards his twin sons, seeing them simultaneously as this and Someone to Remember Him By.
  • This is part of the backstory of Roger Samms, the protagonist of Bad Mojo. Though the truth is complicated. It was mostly his father, Eddie his landlord, being unable to care for Roger due to his own situation and mental health and willingly turned him over to what turned out to be a Orphanage of Fear.
  • Chzo Mythos has Sir Roderick DeFoe blame the death of his wife entirely on John DeFoe and locks him in the basement for 15 years, physically attacking him until he tries to kill him.
  • In Cyberpunk 2077 the Memory Jar of the Serial Killer known as "Peter Pan" showed that his Freudian Excuse stemmed from this. His father blamed him for his mother's death and reminded him of this when he forgot to look after one of their sick cows before leaving for school, saying that he killed it as he killed her.
  • When Alistair "reunites" with his older half-sister Goldanna in Dragon Age: Origins, she accuses him of killing their mother in childbirth. According to tie-in canon, his mother is someone else entirely and they're not actually related. However, at the time they have this conversation, neither of them is aware of that due to some heavily edited historical documents.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Lemkil of Rorikstead openly blames his twin daughters for his wife's death.
  • Final Fantasy VI: After Gau's mother died giving birth to him, his father was driven to insanity, thought he was a demon, and threw him out into the wild.
  • Metal Gear Solid has Psycho Mantis. His father held a great deal of resentment towards him for his whole life and then tried to kill him when his psychic powers emerged.
  • A variant occurs in Persona 5, where Futaba's mother is murdered by the Government Conspiracy, who then leave a fake suicide note blaming the incident on the stress of raising her. Rather than act like rational adults and write it off as mental illness, Futaba's adult relatives instead surround the innocent 12-year-old girl and scream at her, calling her a murderer and refuse to take her in despite her having nobody.
  • Heihachi Mishima, the Big Bad of Tekken, was a very nice man who loved his wife. Then she died while giving birth to his son, so he threw said son off a cliff and set about building an army to conquer the world. Then it turns out Heihachi killed Kazumi because she tried to kill him, and his son surviving being tossed off the cliff confirmed his suspicions of inheriting the Devil Gene from her.

    Web Comics 
  • 180 Angel: Paymon blames Lilith for the death of their mother while giving birth to her, to the point of trying to murder her for her "crime." Even more tragic, due to him being shown to be very kind to Lilith until her powers awakened.
  • In Megan Kearney's Beauty and the Beast, Temperance used to be a Big Sister Bully to Beauty because she blamed her for the loss of their mother Elise, although she eventually outgrew it and the two are now very close. Beauty thinks this was because her birth weakened Elise's health, leading indirectly to her death. Actually, Temperance probably realized that Elise had sacrificed herself in a magical bargain to save Beauty when the latter was gravely ill as a little girl.
  • It's implied in Gunnerkrigg Court that Anthony Carver may have some feeling of this towards his daughter Antimony, given the way he disappeared on her and her mother's statement in flashback "he still loves you very much" (emphasis added), but given his total lack of contact, it's hard to say for sure. The reason is that Surma was part fire-elemental and passed that on to Annie, which means Annie literally took her mother's life force as she grew older. And when Anthony does turn up as a teacher, his behavior towards Annie is rather heartless. When she is given an opportunity to spy on him during a vulnerable moment, it's revealed that Anthony really blames himself for not being able to find a way to save Surma. His cold behavior towards Annie was an unhealthy reaction to her startling resemblance to Surma (which is why he insisted on her removing her makeup), and he expresses great shame about it later in private.
  • Sister Claire: Claire's mother, Clementine, was born with a very strange mutation of horns. Horns that penetrated her mother while she was being born, killing her. Clementine's father never forgave her for this, and eventually, her older sister decided they had to run away before he did something drastic.
  • Sleepless Domain: While magical girl Mitsuki Watanabe didn't die as a direct result of having her daughter Kokoro, she did lose her powers as a result of the pregnancy — which left her defenseless during a monster attack not long after Kokoro was born. Kokoro would later blame herself for her mother's death — acknowledging that even if she knows that she was only an infant at the time, this is far easier to understand intellectually than it is to process emotionally.
  • Unsounded: Lemuel's mother died giving birth to him and his guilt over it manifested in nightmares where other kids would bully him over it saying he'd killed her.

    Western Animation 
  • A variation occurs in Moral Orel: Orel's father, Clay, was his parents' only living child after his mother, Angela, suffered ten miscarriages due to her excessive drinking, smoking, and overall recklessness while pregnant (Clay survived because Angela spent most of that pregnancy praying for his safety instead). After Angela finally tells Clay about his unborn siblings, he responds by faking suicide with his dad's gun as a prank; unfortunately, this is too much for Angela's weak heart, and she collapses and dies in her husband's arms. Arthur (Clay's dad) openly blames Clay for killing Angela, but also decides that Clay is not worth hitting after Clay intentionally tries to antagonize him (which results in Clay associating abuse with affection and attention).
  • Robot Chicken: In their spoof of The Sound of Music, Bitch Pudding replaces Maria and, rather than bother to learn their names, gives them insulting nicknames. The name she gives the youngest is "Mommy Killer," and their father sighs and concedes that it's close enough.
  • Steven Universe: The second season reveals that Steven worries that the Crystal Gems may secretly blame him regarding the death of their leader, his mother Rose Quartz. He likely developed the notion after season one's "Rose's Scabbard", in which Pearl yells at him for even suggesting that he could understand his mother's actions, doesn't come to his aid when he nearly dies trying to chase after her following said outburst, and openly wonders how much of her was left behind in him. Though in Pearl's case, her extreme reactions are partially because Rose was her Love Interest and said death was just salt on the wound of losing her to Greg, whom she openly treats with disdain until the third season.
  • While it's left ambiguous, Tygra of the Thunder Cats 2011 series may blame Lion-O for the death of his adoptive mother, the queen. Of course, her being a delicate waif at the time of Lion-O's birth has probably never occurred to him. To complicate matters further, the king treated Tygra like a son up until then, but their relationship changed with the birth of Lion-O, who was pretty much guaranteed to inherit the throne by virtue of being a biological heir, no matter what the older Tygra may have done to be more deserving of the throne.

    Real Life 
  • In her autobiography, Adeline Yen Mah states that her birth mother died shortly after her birth, causing her siblings and father to resent her, but their resentment doesn't fully come to a head until she gains a Wicked Stepmother, leading to their awful treatment of her, up to abandoning her at a school in a war zone.

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