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Monster Is a Mommy

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Mother's Child, Boris Vallejo.

"Guess we know why that Deathclaw tracked us all the way from Lynn Woods now. We stole her damn kids. Christ, maybe, maybe if we'd just returned the eggs... [offscreen snarling can be heard]"
Sergeant Lee's log, Fallout 4

Some kind of monster is terrorizing folks. After defeating or almost killing it, the cast follows the menace's trail back to its lair.

There it turns out the hostile critter has a very good reason for its actions, such as it was just protecting its cubs/litter. Extra points if they're cute.

Typically, the heroes inform the harassed populace about the creature's motivations, which may involve Shaming the Mob, and a suitable arrangement is arrived at to resolve the situation peacefully. Woe betide the townie or hero who took one of its litter as a Pet Baby Wild Animal, unless it's somehow become attached to them and convinces mommy to spare their life. Nursing a wounded fledgling back to health generally grants you a reprieve from momma's wrath, whether via karma, or because mom's smart enough to understand that you healed her child and grateful that you did (Warning: The vast majority of real life animals are not in fact smart enough to realize this). Sometimes the mom will be grateful enough to help out the person who helped her child(ren). They will almost always exhibit Villainous Parental Instinct.

This trope can be expanded to cover any noble, maternal or protective behavior by an alien or monster that is misunderstood as predatory and/or aggressive.

There's also a fairly common inversion where the heroes battle one or more monsters before discovering the Insect Queen or Monster Progenitor, who is several steps up the Sorting Algorithm of Evil from her offspring — and is now out for revenge...

Compare with It Can Think, when a monster is more intelligent than they seem.

For highly dangerous human parents, see Mama Bear and Papa Wolf. For more mundane animals Cub Cues Protective Parent. For creatures that merely exist to spawn more hostile creatures, see Weaponized Offspring.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Diva from Blood+, although if you consider what she did to become pregnant...
  • The Detective Boys in Case Closed were imperiled by a monstrous bear when they went hiking in the mountains for mushrooms. (Turns out the bear was already quite pissed due to an overeager hunter who killed one of her cubs and hung its corpse in an attempt to lure her out in the open.)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Gohan (as the Great Saiyaman) tried to take a baby dinosaur away from Satan City before its parents showed up.
  • The first bear that Gin and Daisuke kill in Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin (and had given Gin his signature three scars on his forehead) turns out to have been a mother bear, who has had cubs nearby. Despite the cubs also being the children of Akakabuto, Gin tries to protect them from John the German shepherd, but the latter ends up killing them anyway.
  • In Heroic Age, the Iron Tribe's forces realize too late that the Bronze Race's (a race of giant space bugs that the Silver Tribe uses as mooks) homeworld is a lightly defended nursery planet. In other words, they carpet bombed alien babies.
  • The chimera ants of Hunter × Hunter fit this trope in several ways. Most of them kill humans simply to feed and protect their Queen Mother, who in turn is doing it all for the wellbeing of her progeny. After the King is born, the more noble ants protect and nurture him in the same way, even organizing a sort of country-wide Battle Royale to find him worthy prey.
    • Although it had nothing to do with the reason the lead character was tracking it down, he stumbles upon the ant he wanted to kill while it was busy treating the critical wounds of a 10 year old girl (accidentally injured by the protagonists) because she was important to the King (and the ant, by extension.) One of the characters notices that the ant acts just like a mother with her cub.
    • The beginning of the series has a flashback showing the origin of Gon's foxbear friend. As a child, Gon wandered into the forest and encountered an angry mother foxbear. Kite killed the foxbear to save Gon, then berated him for not noticing the telltale signs of the mother foxbear's presence. When he sees the foxbear's cub, he decides to kill it, since its resentment towards humans for killing its mother means it will likely grow up to be a maneater. Gon immediately embraced the cub and pleaded with Kite to let him raise it even as it scratched and bit him. This powerful demonstration of Gon's Friend to All Living Things nature convinces Kite that Gon could be a great Hunter someday.
  • In the anime Naruto a flashback to the character Haku's childhood shows him threatened by a stray dog for food. After he defeats it, you see the cubs growling at him, as it turned out it was trying to get food for its babies.
  • Pretty much all the insects in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, in the manga more so than the film. They only attack Asbel because he crash-lands into a nest, and the scene in the well in a Dorok village, with Nausicaa petting a giant insect and leaving it under its eggs is quite touching. And not to forget that the Crypt of Shuwa is itself a mommy of sorts, containing in itself seeds for the post-purification world and a new race of humans.
  • Pokémon:
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero the dragon killed by Ren adopted a young demi-human named Wyndia several years earlier. After his death Ren didn't find out, but the villagers who incited him to kill the dragon stole its treasures and enslaved Wyndia. When Ren finds out he's devastated.
  • Minor subversion in Saber Marionette J: We meet the cute cub first, then the scary parent.
  • The☆Ultraman has the Tough Gillan and Tough Gillas, a pair of monsters in the mountains, which Ultraman Joneus destroys at the end of the episode... only to realize they have a brood of baby monsters, called Tough Gillacos. Unable to execute these infants, Joneus instead shrinks them before re-releasing them into the wild, where they're presumably unable to grow kaiju-sized.

    Comic Books 
  • One version of the purpose of the Celestials (cosmic energy beings encased in 2000 foot tall suits of armor) in Marvel comics is that they 'lay' an 'egg' in suitable planets. Their experiments on the sentient life on those planets tend to produce super-beings... to more effectively protect the planet until the egg is ready to hatch and consume it. note 
  • The Thing in Fantastic Four faced this when a cosmic entity suppressed the elements of the Fantastic Four's personalities that supposedly made them effective (Mr. Fantastic's genius, Invisible Woman's compassion, The Human Torch's decisiveness, The Thing's courage) and he had to face a "monster". Trying to creep up on it and get the advantage of surprise, he finds out it was only trying to protect its child...and impresses the entity by showing compassion.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): When (a very young) Diana is about to use a spear rather than a lasso on a Mare of Diomedes Alcippe grabs her weapon, and shows her the error of thinking that just because it's a predator and that some of the mares have attacked humans in the past that makes it just a monster by showing her the Mare returning to its young.
  • This is one of three tests given to The Mighty Thor in the arc leading up to "The Reigning". He passes it handily, proving that he's not just Dumb Muscle.
  • During the Plunder Island arc in Thumble Theater, Popeye learns the gender of Alice the goon when, just as he's about to finish the fight, a smaller goon runs up and cries out, "Mama!" Popeye, being who he is, ends the fight right then and there.
    Popeye: Mama?!
  • In The Smurfs story "The Great Smurfette", a wild boar terrorizes the village, and Smurfette, who was assigned the village leader role by Papa Smurf for a time, bravely investigates what is causing the boar to do that. She soon finds out that the boar has a piglet that has gotten into the Smurfs' storehouse, and she soon reunites the boar piglet to its mother, and they both leave happily.
  • Emily Carroll's Through the Woods has "The Nesting Place", where "Rebecca" is actually The Worm That Walks inside Rebecca's stolen skin and wants Bell's skin for her children, so they can leave their spawning pool. Bell seizes on this and saves herself by horrifying the monster with stories of the dangers its children would face.

    Films — Animation 
  • Brother Bear has the protagonist find out late in the film that the bear he killed was the mother of the bear cub who's been following him around.
  • Chicken Little: The hero earns a terrible reputation for seemingly Crying Wolf about aliens... only for them to return and begin laying waste to the town. Luckily, Chicken Little manages to communicate with an alien child who was left behind and realizes that the invading aliens are just panicking parents who want their kid back. Once he returns the alien child to the ship and the kid tells his parents the truth, they're deeply apologetic for all the havoc and set about fixing the damage.
  • In Gandahar, a huge reptilian beast attacks the transport in which The Hero and his Love Interest are held captive, then proceeds to fuss over them as if they were her hatchlings.
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010) has dragons continually raiding the Viking village of Berk, but Hiccup and Astrid discover that the dragons are trying to feed a huge Queen Dragon who otherwise would have eaten them. Thus, in the climax, it is only when dragons and humans work together that they are able to end that threat and a new alliance of the species is born.
  • In The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, the heroes (a bunch of young, talking herbivorous dinosaurs) accidentally lose one of Duckie's parents' eggs in a nest in the Mysterious Beyond. They pick one of the eggs, take it back to the Great Valley, and take care of it themselves, but what finally hatches out is a baby Sharptooth (specifically a Tyrannosaurus rex). Sharpteeth have been antagonists since the first movie but they decide to keep him, call him "Chomper", and go on their merry way (they become friends and Chomper inadvertently saves their lives). But they end up getting pursued by not only one full-grown Sharptooth this time, but two — the T. rex mommy and the T. rex daddy. But upon the returning of their baby, they end up not hurting the protagonists and actually save them from "eggnappers", smaller, vicious egg-stealing dinosaurs who had caused the entire mess in the first place when they took Duckie's parents' egg. Both Chomper and his parents return in the fifth movie. While the gang hides from them, another unrelated Sharptooth stumbles across the island and hunts them down. Chomper attempts to aid them and the new Sharptooth turns its attention towards him, just in time for his parents to show up and beat the snot out of it. To round it all off, Littlefoot saves Chomper's life in the process, so his parents do not harm any of them.
  • In Leafie, a Hen into the Wild, a hen who raises an orphaned duckling learns this about the weasel who had killed the duckling's parents and nearly her on one occasion, having accidentally discovered the baby weasels and realizing they are hers when the weasel screams at her to leave them alone. This leads to both mothers reaching an understanding with one another, both protecting their child/children. In the Korean ending, which was deemed too sad for most translations, after the duck leaves with his new flock the hen consents to letting the weasel kill and eat her, as the weasel is starving and cannot nurse her babies without food. The weasel is clearly shocked by this gesture, and is in tears when she kills the hen, having no other choice.
  • LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers opens with Clutch mining for power crystals, where he finds a huge crystal guarded by a giant rock monster. He tries to escape the rock monster with the crystal in hand, but when it turns out the crystal is actually the rock monster's baby, he decides to return it.
  • There's a quick bit in Pocahontas where John Smith is about to shoot a huge, menacing bear. Pocahontas stops him, and the pair follow the bear at a discreet distance to a cave, where they see it is a mother with two cubs.
  • The Goose that lays the Golden Eggs in Puss in Boots (2011) turns out to be the gosling of a very large goose. Humpty Dumpty's plan is to let Mama thrash the town while he absconds with the baby and the eggs.
  • Used to provide the sucker punch in Sintel.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Antlers: Lucas Weaver's father Frank becomes a gender inverted example when he is infected by a Wendigo during an attack in the opening scene. He slowly transforms into another Wendigo over the course of the film.
  • Aliens: The theme of the film is mother vs. mother. (Ripley vs. the Alien Queen.)
  • Sets up the plot of Born Free. After George Adamson's game warden team kills a predatory lion, the lion's mate comes running out of the den and they shoot her too, only to realize too late that she was just trying to protect the young cubs she had in her den from what she perceived as a threat. Unwilling to leave the helpless cubs to die, George decides to take them home to his wife in hopes that they can save them. According to the real Joy Adamson's memoir (on which the film was based), this is accurate to how the event played out in real life.
  • According to interviews, the Cloverfield monster is an infant who swam up to the surface and is terrified because he misses his mommy. In the sequel The Cloverfield Paradox the mommy does indeed show up in the end. In her one scene where she stands up and roars, presumably with grief over her dead baby, it's shown that she is large enough to reach her head above the clouds.
  • Cocaine Bear: The bear has a pair of cubs, both as addicted to cocaine as she is.
  • The Dark Crystal: A swamp creature called a nebry emerges from the mud and scares Jen, but Kira reassures him it's harmless. We see two baby nebry emerge beside the adult as the Gelflings move on.
  • Subverted in Dragonslayer: The dragon has a clutch of hatchlings, which are just as vile as the serpent that spawned them, and are accordingly slaughtered by the hero. And then It's Personal.
  • In the mock documentary Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real, the frozen mummified dragon corpse the paleontologists have been studying is revealed three-quarters through to have been immature (despite the 20-foot wingspan), prompting the search for Mama Dragon's corpse (which is found and is the size of a small passenger aircraft).
  • Godzilla:
    • The original Japanese Godzilla is a daddy (though Mrs. Godzilla is out there somewhere). Harming Godzilla's son is a very bad idea.
    • About halfway through Godzilla (1998), Nick finds out that Godzilla is a parthenogenic female and laid eggs. If any one of them get out, they'll start a new disaster. It turns out one did survive, setting up the plot of Godzilla: The Series.
    • The female Muto from Godzilla (2014) has hundreds of glowing orange eggs in her belly, and lays them when she meets up with the male. Their destruction distracts from their double-teaming of Godzilla.
  • Gorgo has fun playing with this one. Gorgo is captured and brought to London pretty early on, and then his mommy shows up, destroys London, rescues her baby, and the two of them swim away.
  • A shark in Jaws 3-D is captured, blamed for the attacks, and then put in the water park as an exhibit, promptly dying from the stress early in the film. Then its gargantuan mother shows up...
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park film has concerned mother AND father T. rexes chasing our heroes all the way round the island, and then around San Diego, all because they have a baby T. rex.
    • In Jurassic Park III, the group is pursued and hunted by Velociraptors as a member of the group has stolen two eggs from their nest. Upon returning the eggs and communicating with them via a replica Velociraptor resonating chamber, the Velociraptors leave without harming the group. The protagonist notes that dinosaurs are not monsters, but are sophisticated and intelligent animals. Man was the real monster, since the egg-thief wanted to sell the eggs for a million bucks.
  • A 2018 Thai horror movie The Pool involves the protagonist trapped in a drained swimming pool with a crocodile which becomes a lot more aggressive after giving birth to a clutch of eggs.
  • In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bright Eyes goes on a rampage when she's hauled from her pen against her will. Only after she's been shot and killed do her keepers realize she'd just given birth and was trying to get back to her newborn.
  • Rogue (2020): When he finds her cubs in a cage, Joey realises that the reason why the rogue lioness stayed around the farm when all the other cats fled was because she was looking for her cubs. The lioness mauls Zalaam to death in the barn and then turns to face Sam. She spares Sam after hearing the cubs meowing outside. She smashes down the door and is reunited with her cubs, and then stalks off into the savanna; leaving the remaining humans alive.
  • In the beginning of the Douglas Fairbanks Sinbad the Sailor, Sinbad tells his audience of his encounter with the Roc, whose nest he invaded. He feared for his life against the giant bird, but "Wondrous, wondrous, this miracle of motherhood!" the Roc came only to warm her egg.
  • Sucker Punch: "Remember; don't wake the mother." They do.

  • Inversion: The tale of Beowulf, in which the hero slays a very dangerous monster, and its even more dangerous Mommy goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of...:
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens: The protagonist of How I Maybe Saved the World Last Tuesday Before Breakfast sees a couple of giant aliens wandering around by the lake down the street, and initially suspects them of being invaders out to conquer Earth. Then he figures out they're just looking for their child, whom his little sister had found and brought back home with her, and returns the baby to the parents.
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Spine Tinglers: The giant creature at the end of Grendel, who arrives after its child, the title monster of the story, has been killed.
  • Codex Alera: Cursor's Fury centers on the Alerans resisting an invasion by the monstrous Canim. After various hints that the Canim aren’t there willingly, what cements them as Invading Refugees comes at the end, after their main force has been beaten back. Aleran soldiers corner a Canim straggler, but instead of facing another savage warrior they discover it desperately protecting a litter of newborn pups. This being the first time anyone’s ever seen a female Cane, Tavi’s shocked into no longer calling Canim “it”, and after allowing her to flee, he can only wonder at how dire things must be in the Canim homeland that they’d consider their women and children safer here, in a warzone.
  • Brian Lumley applies this trope to some Eldritch Abominations in the short story "Concrete Surroundings".
  • During Dinoverse two characters encounter an immense crocodile who's more than a match for them even working together. They're incapable of doing her much damage, but she lets them go when they make it clear that they'll back away from her and the baby crocodiles crawling all over her.
  • The ending of Dav Pilkey's Dogzilla has the titular monster now accompanied by her puppies.
  • A different subversion seems in order in the short story "Honor is All" — set in the Dragonlance Role-Playing Game 'Verse, it follows a noble knight who tracks and slays a dragon, and discovers that it has a hatchling. Just as he is about to do away with the infant dragon, however, he discovers that the creature he just killed was not a ferocious white dragon, but an albino silver dragon—one of the most powerful servants of Good, branded as a monster because of a tragic mutation.
    • This is a case of artistic license, because not only are white and silver dragons very different physically, but albinism would not change the reflectiveness of its scales.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Invoked in the Triwizard Tournament, where one of the tasks is to retrieve a particular item from beneath a nesting dragon, which is violently protective of its eggs. One player is heavily penalized for doing so in a way that destroys some of the eggs.
  • In Stephen King's IT, the titular monster turns out to be a female, but that actually makes things worse rather than better.
  • This was how I Am Legend ended: Turns out some of the vampires were trying to live their lives, and the last surviving human was the "real" monster.
  • Subverted in both the novel and film versions of Michael Crichton's The Lost World (1995) (one of the few plot points they have in common). The team takes an infant tyrannosaur back to the trailer to fix its broken leg; unfortunately, neither Mommy nor Daddy is very grateful for their saving the baby's life.
  • In Phoenix Rising, the heroine Kyri visits a village that's under attack from giant centipede creatures; it turns out that they're only trying to retrieve their eggs, which one of the villagers gathered up thinking they were interesting rocks. Fortunately for all concerned, Kyri works it out in time to settle the matter before there's major bloodshed.
  • The old picture book Pickle Chiffon Pie involves three (naturally) princes sent on a quest. The geeky-but-nice prince nearly brings back a thoroughly unthreatening monster to make the titular pie for a king (It Makes (More) Sense In Context) until he notices its children, which are even more Ugly Cute than the parent, peeking sadly from behind trees, whereupon he of course lets it go (and gets the king's daughter anyway). Causes some rather dramatic Fridge Logicwhy didn't he just bring the kids too?—but still a good story.
  • Played straight in Reaper's Gale, book seven of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, without the bonus points for cuteness. Onrack tracks an emlava, the story's equivalent of a steroid-using saber-tooth tiger, and kills it, only to realize after the fact that its behavior was not typical of a hunting emlava. It had several cubs and his party takes over stewardship of them. Said cubs are less than cute, requiring that the characters regularly check to ensure no limbs are in range of them.
  • In "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the titular mongoose defends an Anglo-Indian family from a vicious cobra. Upon finding out that she had laid a clutch of eggs, he finds them, kills all the eggs but one, uses the last one to lure the cobra away from his owners and then kills the cobra and, apparently, the last egg as well.
  • In Sinbad, the shipwrecked title character finds a roc's nest. Leaving the egg alone, he is able to tie himself to the roc and get off the inhospitable isle. Later, he's part of a ship that finds another egg; ignoring Sinbad, the crew chop it open and eat the chick. Back at the ship, Mommy (and Daddy) show their displeasure. With dropped boulders.
  • In Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series, the hero makes an ally of an extremely dangerous dragon by helping her save her egg from the bad guy.
  • Happens twice in Warrior Cats: once with a badger and her cubs trying to settle in ThunderClan territory, and once with a dead fox they found which happened to have a den full of cubs.
  • In Eva Ibbotson's Which Witch? there is an adorable subversion. When a witch tries to get the giant kraken to appear, all that turns up is three chubby mermaids who carry something that looks like a gelatinous handbag — turns out it is the kraken baby, who is an orphan since mommy monster was killed, and had been cared for by the mermaids, who are more than happy to get rid of the responsibility.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Inverted/parodied in the Amazing Stories episode "Mummy, Daddy", where an actor trapped in a highly-constricting mummy suit frantically attempts to reach the hospital where his wife is giving birth. His task is further complicated by 1. a hostile band of redneck hicks and 2. a real mummy.
  • Angel had "Fredless" where a giant bug demon was terrorizing the crew, and after Fred chopped off the head of another demon that had been attacking as well, it was discovered that the bug demon simply wanted its hatchlings, which had been inside the other demon's head.
  • Halfway through the Mini Series The Beast, fishermen capture what they think is the giant squid that's been terrorizing the Pacific Northwest island community. Only for its very angry mother to come looking for it and increase her attacks even more.
  • Charmed has a variation in "Little Monsters", in that "Monster is a Daddy", and is really a human who inadvertently disfigured himself while trying to use magic in order to make himself strong enough to take back his Half-Human Hybrid son from a group of manticores.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Partners in Crime": Miss Foster is technically a foster mother for the baby Adipose she's breeding for her employers, the real parents. That distinction proves fatal for her when they kill her to eliminate a piece of evidence connecting them to a crime.
    • "Hide" has a variation, where the monster that has been chasing them in a pocket universe merely wants to reach the main universe where its mate had accidentally wound up. Once the Doctor deduces this, he's more than happy to help out.
      The Doctor: It's not a monster story, it's a love story!
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys approached this from a different angle. Herc goes about Greece slaying beasts and whatnot, and only after that he meets Echidna, the Mother of All Monsters, a gigantic tentacle-armed Lamia. Later he finds and rescues her husband Typhon, Father of All Monsters, a giant played by Glenn Shadix who was trapped by Hera so that Echidna would go evil and be willing to send her children after Herc. When they reunite, the two ... erm... Squicky.
  • The Hexer: During his Trial of Mountains, Geralt faces one in the form of a wounded wolf, ready to attack whenever he gets into a specific part of the woods. The wolf is later revealed as simply defending its litter.
  • 1970's Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode "The Sentry". Kolchak investigates a rampaging monster in an underground facility. He discovers that during the drilling of a tunnel the creature's eggs were taken. When the creature gets its eggs back, it leaves peacefully.
  • Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger had Goda, a legendary monster that lived underground. She was initially seen terrorizing some hunters and then attacking the heroes, but it turns out that she was just protecting her eggs. After Bandora makes her think that the Zyurangers destroyed her eggs, tricking her into selling her soul, the heroes are reluctantly forced to kill her.
  • Not quite a monster, but the weasel that infests the school and makes the janitor miserable in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide turns out to be "a girl weasel!" and to have been looking for a nest all along. She is subsequently adopted with her young as secondary mascots.
  • Parodied in Outnumbered; 6-year-old Karen invokes this trope to heap guilt on her mother for setting out a mouse-trap, arguing that the dead mouse was probably a mummy and all its babies will now starve.
  • Star Trek:
    • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Devil in the Dark" uses this plot. While the Horta are neither cute nor cuddly (they look kind of like living lava flowsnote , and the children are still unhatched eggs at that point in the episode), Spock's relaying of the mother/broodwatcher's emotions is one of the most powerful moments in Star Trek history and the civilized resolution to the conflict is one of the happiest ones. (As a side note, the creature remarked that it found humans' appearance "revolting".)
    • Similarly, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Galaxy's Child", a huge interstellar alien attacks the ship. When the crew retaliate, accidentally killing the alien despite using minimal force, they discover that it attacked because it was pregnant and about to give birth. Then the baby (which they help deliver by phaser C-section) gloms onto the ship and starts to nurse. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Supernatural had Eve, the Mother of Monsters come back to Earth and freak major damage when Crowley and Castiel start kidnapping her children (i.e. monsters like vampires and werewolves) and torturing them for information.
  • In The Tick, it turns out that not only is Lobstercules female, but the only reason that she's robbing banks is because her children are being held hostage.
  • A crocodile is this in Serengeti. For the whole episode she is painted as a threat to anyone who comes near the river, especially Shani and Bakari, but in the end she was only doing what was necessary to survive and protect her nest and hatchlings.
  • Courtesy of the Ultra Series:
    • Ultra Q had a seemingly-hostile Ragon attacking a village, which later turns out to be seeking her eggs, stolen by humans.
    • Ultraman Taro uses this as a major plot point in the "Giant Sea Turtle Monsters Attack Tokyo" two-parter, where a pair of rampaging tortoise kaiju are actually seeking new mating grounds, rather than attacking humans with hostile intent. The ZAT decide to assist by transporting the tortoises and their eggs to an uninhabited island, which works well enough, until their higher-ups in the JSDF decide to launch a missile attack at the wrong time, destroying the eggs and enraging the tortoises.
    • Ultraman 80 has a rampaging catfish kaiju terrorizing the waters outside Japan... because her child was fished off by some children and is kept in an aquarium. The episode's finale ends with the child who fished Angoras' baby quickly releasing it into the water, eventually pacifying Angoras where both mother and child fish monsters then leaves, never to return.
    • Ultraman Cosmos has the monster, Spittle, terrorizing an airport's construction where it's nest is located, because she had an egg underground. There's also the fossil kaiju, Mudon, who awakens in an archeological site because it seeks its child. Both incidents end without any deaths as Cosmos uses his Luna Mode to pacify the monsters into peace.
    • Ultraman X has a variation with Birdon, which was terrorizing towns because she was pregnant with a new egg, and was gathering materials to make a proper nest.
    • Ultraman Z had Z take down a male Red King, only for a female to appear. He and Haruki are about to kill that one as well when they discover that the two were mates trying to protect their egg. Haruki takes a couple episodes to recover. Even worse, a later episode has Ultroid Zero kill the mother, but thankfully Ultraman Z manages to save the egg.


  • Occurs at the end of the Cool Kids Table game Small Magic Part 2. After hunting some furkeys (fantasy turkeys), the party discovers they were actually infant Cockatrices. And their mother is nearby.
    • In The Fallen Gods, after defeating the Boss Baby Dragon, the party quickly surmises that it probably had a mother somewhere nearby. Sure enough, they encounter it at the end of episode 8.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Gargantuas are overwhelmingly large monsters found in the Kara-Tur setting of the Forgotten Realms. They dwell on remote islands and rarely bother humans, but one way to ensure they do is threaten their offspring. Gargantua have been known to swim thousands of miles if they have to if their hatchlings are kidnapped, coming after the abductors in a fury resembling a force of nature. (Which they are.)
  • Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA System) Adventure 3 Fantastic Four: Fantastic Voyages. In the adventure "Wild at Heart", a monster emerges from the earth in a small town and starts destroying the place. If the heroes don't send the creature back home quickly enough, a much larger monster appears and starts searching for the smaller one — it's the smaller monster's mother, and it won't like it if the heroes have hurt its child.
  • The main book of Space 1889 has an illustration showing just this.

    Video Games 
  • The Nue, the first major boss in Breath of Fire III, is only attacking people to get food for its cubs (it's a really bad season). In an expansion on the trope, the cubs are all dead, but the Nue couldn't tell, being driven mad with grief, and refused to accept that they were dead, to further emphasize the sadness that the vicious beast was really a grieving parent.
  • The order is reversed in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, where after meeting the cute (if creepy) little girl, you meet her mother, a savage purebred Deep One locked in the attic, who proceeds to break out, maul you, and then kill the little girl.
  • Chrono Cross actually uses this in a positive way: After having to kill a monster that's the Last of His Kind, they find that its last act was to give birth (hopefully to a self-sufficient brood), and continue the species. Oddly, you only discover this if you have a certain character in the party, and doing so deprives them of their Last Disc Magic.
  • Played for horror instead of sympathy in Chrono Trigger. Discovering that Lavos is sending its children out to consume even more worlds after consuming the protagonists' only underscores how urgently you need to kill them.
  • The whole premise and playstyle of Dota 2's Broodmother is centered around this trope, injecting her spiderling spawn into enemies and using them to fight for her.
  • A minor side quest in the Emerald Graves, in Dragon Age: Inquisition, has a soldier ask the Inquisitor to please deal with an extremely aggressive great bear which has been marauding and attacking the camps. When the bear is tracked to its cave... sure enough, it's got three cubs. Notably, the cubs are almost as large as regular great bears, and the mother is huge. Unfortunately, the only way to resolve the quest is to kill all four of them.
  • In Dragon Quest VIII, when you're helping Prince Charmless acquire an Argon Heart for his rite of passage, you eventually come across a Great Argon Lizard that's heavily implied to be the parent of all the regular Argon Lizards. Charmless, of course, orders you to slaughter it because he's not satisfied with the regular Argon Hearts you've found.
  • In E.V.O.: Search for Eden, the final boss of Chapter 4, the Yeti, turns out to have a wife (who tries to take her revenge) and a child (whose descendant tries to get even with you in Chapter 5).
  • Comes up in a quest in Fallout 4. If you go to the Museum off Witchcraft, you happen upon the dismembered remains of a Gunner private just outside with an Apocalyptic Log, recalling how her squad was attacked by... something and they were forced to flee inside. Inside the Museum is a gigantic Deathclaw who serves as a boss. After killing it, you find out that the giant monster followed the squad all the way from Lynn's Wood (several miles away) because the squad stole the Deathclaw mother's eggs, and of the egg cluster, only one is left intact. You can hand it in to the Gunner's client for a hefty sum, or return it to the Deathclaw nest. If you choose the latter, a slightly smaller Deathclaw (presumably her mate) pops out just as you go to put it back, and he leaves you alone, knowing you're just trying to return her baby. If you try to take it back, however...
  • Final Fantasy VII allows you to examine a nest of chicks with treasure inside. Attempting to take the treasure forces you into an easy fight with the chicks' mother, after which you can steal it freely. However, even Cloud is guilty about doing it, and he becomes a lot less popular with his team-mates afterwards. Hacking into the relationship mechanics shows that this scene has no effect on anything driven by relationship points.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, there is a quest sequence concerning endangered monster species. One of the missions has you protect an attacking Mamatrice and her chicks in a bar fight from the corrupt bar-owner.
  • One of the minibosses of Kingdom of Loathing's Nemesis Quest is Argarggagarg the Dire Hellseal. After you beat him, you find out that he's actually female and has a child. Because of the general tone of the game, your character's response is roughly "Score! A new familiar!"
  • The Dyna Blade segment of Kirby Super Star uses this plot. The titular giant bird, Dyna Blade, has been razing Dream Land's crops, prompting Kirby to set out to stop her. After he defeats her, however, he discovers her nest and the chicks she was trying to feed. He then helps feed them by taking them to Whispy Woods, who produces an endless supply of apples. Dyna Blade later pays Kirby back by helping him in the Revenge of Meta Knight segment.
  • In the third chapter of La Pucelle, you may end up killing the guardian of the forest. If you return there in the next chapter, Prier finds the monster's child, a cute bear cub, and chooses to take care of it to make amends. If she returns the cub to the forest after leveling it up some, it'll leave the party to become the new Forest Lord, but in return she'll gain a new skill, which involves summoning it to attack enemies.
  • At the end of the First Chapter of Mother 3 Flint goes to kill the Drago that killed Hinawa, only to be stopped at the last second by its baby.
  • The Movie Monster Game for the Commodore 64 has this as one of the objectives. As soon as the parent finds the baby, the Instant-Win Condition has the closing scene where everyone realizes the monster just wanted to recover the baby. Available to all characters, even the marauding military robot and pollution-spawned blob creature.
  • In Panzer Dragoon Orta, Orta is attacked by what is known as an Els-Enora, a large flying creature. After defeating it, its young fly up to it, shrieking in what's most likely despair; Orta, realizing the "monster" was just hunting her for food, immediately regrets what she has done. Then Abadd flies in and finishes off the mother, as well as murdering her children.
  • A rather... uncommon example of this trope is in Parasite Eve, where Aya points her gun at Eve, then smiles and points it away once Eve points out she's pregnant. A twisted Eldritch Abomination-to-be with the game's Final Boss inside her, but still a mama.
  • As a Brick Joke in the Portal 2 DLC, the bird that Atlas and P-body fight lays three eggs. GLaDOS then 'adopts' them, to make them killing machines.
  • Darkly subverted in Resident Evil 2. G, the constantly mutating creature that's chasing you, is revealed to be doing it because he's actually Mad Scientist William Birkin, and you are travelling with his daughter, Sherry. However, the only reason he wants her is because he needs a compatible host for the G-virus to reproduce, and Sherry is the only one available.
  • In one of Shara's later requests in Rune Factory 3, she takes an injured Wooly home with her. In the next request, you discover that the Wooly's mother is searching for her baby, and when Shara and baby run into Mommy, your character barely manages to avert an all-out brawl.
  • The arcade game Savage Quest has a T. rex mother whose clutch of eggs were stolen by a shaman (Karn) and his fellow cavepeople. An interesting twist is you play as the T. rex and beat the living hell out of everything in your path to try to get those eggs back.
  • The Stinger in the game Shelter reveals that the monstrous white eagle who's been pursuing you and your cubs has only been doing this to feed her own babies.
  • Early in disc 2 of Star Ocean: The Second Story, the party has to hunt down and tame a Psynard to use as the Global Airship. When they discover it has young to care for, they decide to leave it be and find another way, but the Psynard, whom they saved just before this discovery, agrees to let them ride it around anyway. She just takes her kids with her.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, one of the first bosses you face is a Lyger, who turns out to be female and protecting a clutch of eggs. Although the party still kills her, doing so is treated with some moral weight, unlike the other monsters they cut down in spades, due to the Queen just trying to raise and feed her young. To make matters worse, the Queen also happened to be the adoptive mother of Arietta the Wild, who spends the rest of the game in a tragic quest to avenge her "mommy."
  • WarioWare: Smooth Moves: Kat and Ana's chapter shows the giant rampaging oni trying to get his son back.
  • In World of Warcraft's Howling Fjord, there's quest named "We Call Him Steelfeather" which features you being tasked with learning why a hippogryph, Steelfeather, has been attacking Fort Wildervar for food. You learn that Steelfeather has a nest and is in fact a "she". The questgiver acknowledges that he wouldn't want to move a nest over a new neighbor, either, and tells the trapper next to him that he won't be getting a Steelfeather trophy after all.
  • One sidequest in Xenoblade Chronicles X is to deal with a beast that's been attacking NLA soldiers; upon its defeat, you find its children inside a nearby cave, and the questgiver will understand if you're unsettled by exterminating them. If you choose to spare them, they kill some NLA soldiers when they grow up, necessitating another sidequest and fight.
  • Done with typical cuteness in Yoshi's Crafted World. In the first stage of Rumble Jungle, an angry Rhinono chases you everywhere. In the last part of the stage, you see she's just worried about her baby, who's trapped on the other side of a broken bridge. Fix the bridge, and not only does she stop chasing you, she and her baby team up to break a giant balloon/boulder that's blocking your way.

    Web Comics 
  • In Awful Hospital:
    • After Ms. Green helps Nobody Nose to get rid of his kidney stones, they are both attacked by the Kidney Stone Mother who wants revenge for the death of her children. Trying to politely inform her that kidney stones usually aren't living creatures does nothing to cool her down.
    • Which then angers Mrs. Green to the point that she seems eldritch herself. Cue Curbstomp Battle.
  • This trope fuels a continent-wide Cycle of Revenge in Draconia Chronicles. Dragon kills tiger warrior who had kids who murder dragon who had kids and on and on since time immemorial.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Jean is kidnapped by Bigfeet because they think she knows the location of their missing child. Their hairless child is the strip's resident Gentle Giant, Rocko.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Inverted when Vaarsuvius failed to consider that the dragon (s)he was killing might be a son. Several hundred comics later, his mom hunts him/her down... and she is pissed.
    • And then the dragon targets Vaarsuvius's partner and children for revenge, and this trope is played horribly straight from the dragon's point of view. And all of its relatives.
  • Sluggy Freelance plays with this in the Bizarro Episode. A father bear takes his cub with him while roaming camp sites so people won't touch him believing he's a momma bear protecting her cub. Then Bun Bun takes the baby bear hostage (leaving it in the care of Kiki's chipmunks), to force the bear to rob a bank, with a teddy bear, to make the security guards think he's just a momma bear protecting her cub. Then he lets the baby bear go, just in time for the real momma bear to show up.
  • The White Steel Eels from Tower of God are said to be usually docile. But they are only ever seen during their mating and breeding season, and therefore stay in mind as highly aggressive beings.

    Web Original 
  • In several of Fredrik K. T. Andersson's (often Not Safe for Work) artworks, a human adventurer is surprised to see the unholy child of some (still alive) creature. With the added twist that he's the father. Links here and here.
  • Critical Role Campaign 2: The manticore allied with the gnolls early in the campaign turns out to be a mother, and has a blind manticore cub in the deepest chamber of her lair. Nott stabs it during the fight against her, and her Mama Bear instincts immediately send her into a Berserker Rage.
  • Looming Gaia: In "Six Lessons", it turns out that the wolf that the Freelance Good Guys have been hired to kill has cubs, which leads to the crew deciding to transport them far away instead.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-2141 ("Primordial Wyrm"). SCP-2141 is a mother, and it's using the body of a human woman to gestate its young.
    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends In "Cubtron Z", there's a fish-like kaiju monster that acts motherly towards Cubtron upon meeting him. Later in the end of the episode, it makes cookies for both him and Pop.
    Western Animation 
  • Discussed in American Dad!, when Stan speculates that this may be going on with a recently killed bear, elaborating right up until the moment that he spots testicles. "There's no room for you in our stories!"
  • In one episode of Arthur, Mrs. Woods’s dog, Perky, is known for being aggressive. She's apparently so scary that the mailman calls her "Jaws". It turns out that Perky was only angry because she was pregnant. Arthur takes home one of the puppies, who turns out to be his beloved pet, Pal. In a later episode, Sue Ellen thinks there is a monster in the woods. It takes some investigating by her and her friends to find out that it’s just a runaway Perky, who has become significantly less vicious.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka adopts a cute little critter called "Foo Foo Cuddlypoops", who turns out to be a baby Saber-Toothed Moose lion. He is harmless — his mother isn't.
  • Ben 10:
    • In the original series episode "The Krakken", the monster was protecting its eggs. Milked a bit when, after the eggs are recovered, the hero prevents the monster from finishing off the poacher that had stolen them, and she relents and leaves peacefully.
    • In an Alien Force episode, the monster mommy is BEN HIMSELF via a mix of his alien transformations with that species's asexual reproduction.
    • In another Alien Force episode, the massive dragon that's escaped a thousand years of imprisonment by the Forever Knights is revealed to be an intelligent alien that has a family (making this an uncommon case of "Monster is a Daddy"), and during his ranting about how he's been mistreated he goes morose for a moment as he muses that "the baby's probably flying by now..." While he initially plans on going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Ben convinces him to just leave the planet and go back to his family while they fend off the Knights.
  • Played for ironic laughs in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. An animal loving doctor saves the life of a young worm creature in front of its man-eating mother. Buzz expects that the mother will now be indebted to them and spare their lives. However, the worm does not share his point of view and still tries to eat the pair. Later, the doctor rebukes him for his way of thinking: "They still only see us as prey!"
  • In one episode of Cyberchase, the Monster of the Week Choocrocca turns out to be a mother protecting her baby. They use the baby's body proportions to figure out how tall the mother is from her footprint, and use that to narrow down which cave she's hiding in.
  • The Deep: In "The Fossil", a baby dinosaur hatches out of its egg and immediately imprints on Ant as the only moving thing in sight. Unfortunately, the baby's massive mother later shows up in search of her baby, and as Snappy (the name Ant gave to the baby) won't leave Ant's side, she starts pusuing him in an effort to retrieve her baby.
  • DuckTales (2017): Della spends much of an episode fighting a moon creature who keeps trying to steal the metal she has on hand for seemingly no reason. At the end, she discovers that it was just trying to feed its child, and — being a mother herself — comes to sympathize with it.
  • In Franklin and the Green Knight, Franklin and Snail find the "magic cherry tree" and then start getting pecked like crazy by a seemingly vicious warbler bird. It turns out that she's just protecting her eggs, though once Franklin and Snail state that they don't want her eggs, she becomes positively pleasant. The same is also true of Eagle beforehand, which Franklin equates with the monster from the Green Knight story and draws his paper sword as if to fight her. She tells him that she has no interest in fighting him, gives both him and Snail a ride, and later says she has to go because she needs to take care of her eaglets. This also happens with a bird dubbed the Wily Winged Beast in the stage show Franklin and the Adventures of the Noble Knights, who is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood and gets her own song about it titled "Misunderstood".
  • One episode of Godzilla: The Series had HEAT visit a scientific station at Loch Ness to investigate reports of the Loch Ness monster attacking the station. The monster turns out to be all too real and on the rampage, and not even Zilla Jr. is able to drive her off for long. It turns out that the head scientist had captured Nessie's baby, and when he tries to escape with it Zilla Jr. and Nessie work together to capture him and free her child.
  • Hilda: In "The Troll Rock" the latest addition to David's rock collection turns out to be a baby troll, prompting its' mother to dig under the city wall and come to retrive it.
  • One episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee had a gigantic stone eating lizard rampaging around the park eating statues. After June tries to take it on and is beaten and knocked unconscious, the monster thinks she's the baby because earlier in the episode, June had gotten the baby's scent on herself. This resulted in the mother trying to feed June rocks that were chewed up in her mouth (similarly to a mother bird), and cleaning her by licking June with her massive purple tongue.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Boast Busters" inverts the trope: That big, scary star-bear is really just a very young cub in need of a bottle of milk and a nap. We see Mama only in an Answer Cut; it's a good thing she didn't show up.
  • Filmation's Superboy (which appeared as part of The New Adventures of Superman) did this twice in its first season.
    • "The Deep Sea Dragon". A diver exploring a shipwreck finds a pearl in a chest. After he removes it and takes it to his ship on the surface, the ship is attacked by a seagoing dragon. It turns out that the dragon was genetically engineered, and she left her egg in the wreck for safe keeping.
    • "Visitor From The Earth's Core". While Superboy and Krypto the Superdog are on an expedition to the Earth's core, Krypto finds a glowing black rock and Superboy takes it back to the surface to be analyzed. Later a giant crystalline snake comes out of the hole that Superboy dug and starts rampaging around. Krypto figures out that the rock is the creature's egg and alerts Superboy. They hatch the egg with their heat vision and return the baby creature to its mother.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • An episode had the main characters deal with a monster who was just looking for his pet kitty. Monster is a Pet Owner?
    • In "That's Not My Baby", a giant monster rampages through Townsville and the girls beat it up. Later in the episode, they find the same monster sitting on a building dejectedly, which is then revealed to just be a mother missing her child; the same one the Powerpuff Girls took from her, thinking it was a human baby before it molted and moved on from its "ugly larval stage" as the mother puts it.
  • The first episode of Primal has Spear the caveman stalking Fang the Tyrannosaurus rex due to her being somewhat similar to a tyrannosaur that ate his family (difference being that they are red and horned while she is blue and not horned). He realizes that she has children of her own and, although willing to kill all three of them at first, his heart warms up to them. When her hatchlings are threatened by the rival tyrannosaurs, she turns vicious and fights with every ounce of her strength, Spear joining her.
  • South Park:
    • Played with in the "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode. One of the adorable (but annoying) woodland critters is pregnant with their Savior, but a terrifying mountain lion is trying to kill the mother. Stan is enlisted to kill the mountain lion, and succeeds, only to be horrified when her three cubs come out to mourn her. It gets even worse, since the critters' Savior is actually The Antichrist.
    • Further played with in the "Jewbilee" episode. A bear is seen dragging off several Squirts (Jewish Cub Scouts). The beast turns out to be a literal Mama Bear, who took the children back to her den for a birthday party for her cub.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "Bibo", Neeku's adoption of the titular creature as a pet after finding it in a piece of recovered salvage leads to its much larger mother attacking the Colossus in search of her baby. Due to the dramatic size difference between parent and child, it takes the characters a while to realize this, with Neeku and Tam initially assuming the mother wanted to eat Bibo. Not until Neeku notices the Family Eye Resemblance does he realize the truth.
  • In Superfriends, Superman and Green Lantern are called to India to stop a rampaging elephant. After dealing with the damage it was causing, they decide to follow it and found that her calf is trapped in a hole and she cannot get her child out. Of course, doing that is a simple matter for two of the big guns of the Super Friends and the elephant immediately calms down.
  • In episode "The Egg" of Wander over Yonder, Wander thinks a big, mean monster on a rampage is upset because its egg has fallen out of its nest. The egg belongs to an entirely different species, and it is just a big, mean monster. The egg's actual mother, however, is bigger, meaner, and very grateful to Wander and Sylvia for helping its baby.
  • In an episode of W.I.T.C.H., the girls need to capture a young boar-looking animal who can turn invisible. Once they capture it and try to send it back to its own world, suddenly its very angry mother appears. She is less than happy about the girls touching her baby.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Monster Is A Mummy


Sea Monster Is a Daddy

The sea monster in Beef's story is actually trying to get to its baby on the other side of the cove. Delmer, however, points out that it's actually a daddy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / MonsterIsAMommy

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