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My Parents Are Dead

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Someone brings up a potential topic about someone close to them. Another one asks what happened to them, and the former frowns, saying, "They're dead".

Cue awkward silence.

This isn't when a main character's parents are dead. Someone has to say some variation of "My Parents Are Dead". Thus, it is a common subtrope of Parental Abandonment.

It might not stop certain characters from cracking a Your Mom joke anyway, despite (or maybe especially because of) having this knowledge. On the flip side, the target of such a joke may very well use this as a rebuttal, regardless of whether or not it's true.

A Self-Made Orphan may use this as a half-truth to garner undeserved sympathy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Lucky Star episode 4, Kagami and Tsukasa find out that Konata's mother is dead when Kagami asks her if her mother doesn't have a problem with her playing eroge. Konata being Konata, she follows up the revelation with "I've had to do housework since I was little, which is why I'm way better at it than Kagami!"
    Kagami: You can't say things like that when the mood is like this!
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) when a bunch of thugs asks Al about where his brother is, he replies "He's gone" (as in; gone to renew his State Alchemist-license). Everyone assumes he's dead and wonders if they were rude to bring it up.
  • Yotsuba&!:
    • Subverted:
      Asagi: Father... isn't with us.
      Fuuka: No, no, no, Dad is at work. Don't give people the wrong impression.
    • Relatively early on, Mr. Koiwai reveals that Yotsuba isn't his biological daughter, that her "adoption" was basically him finding her and taking her home, and that he has never even seen her parents, implying he thinks her biological parents are dead (Naturally, some fans insist that she's actually an alien who got lost).
  • Early in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Negi wonders why Asuna is working so hard to pay her school fees when her parents could just pay them and Asuna replies matter-of-factly that her parents are dead. Negi freaks out in apology, but Asuna never even knew her parents because she was so young when they died, so she has always just accepted it as a fact of her life.
  • The Gag Dub of Ghost Stories features Satsuki saying this line:
    Hajime: Why do you care so much, it's just a stupid cat!
    Satsuki: Kaya [the cat] showed up the same day our mother left... our dead mother! You feel bad now!?
  • Dragon Ball Z: Played with when Videl asks Gohan where his father is. Gohan replies that Goku isn't with them, and Goten chimes in that they'll see him at the tournament since "the lady is bringing him back from the dead". Videl assumes that the young Goten means that their father divorced and re-married. Later Gohan has to clarify that, no, Goku is literally dead, but is coming back for one day due to the actions of a fortune-teller.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman, to the point of Memetic Mutation. The former title image, contrary to popular belief, is actually a photoshopped rendition of this panel.
  • Batgirl: Barbara Gordon once complained about her father James Gordon being too overprotective and intrusive into her life, then followed it up with "...but you know how weird parents can be about these things." Bruce's response: "I wouldn't know".
  • An issue of Batgirl (2000) has a similar exchange. Things are tense between Bruce and Cassandra, and Barbara points out that everyone hates their parents when they're eighteen. Bruce, again, says he wouldn't know.
  • Happens in Identity Crisis (2004) without the orphaned party being present. Clark is insisting that he be allowed to help pay his parents' bills, while his parents insist they can take care of themselves. Martha then quips "I bet Batman never does this to his parents". Clark immediately goes quiet, and the narration states that he was suddenly reminded of just how fortunate he is.
  • In Buzz!, when Bonnie asks Webster about his parents, he looks sad and mumbles something indistinct; she takes the hint and changes the subject. Webster's parents were actually deported on false charges of fixing a spelling bee. When Bonnie asks why Webster told her they were dead, he looks confused and points out that he didn't.
  • It happens in a Power Girl 2009 issue when Power Girl is asked if she can stay with her parents for a while. She replies they're not around.
  • Batgirl (Rebirth): In a flashback issue, Batgirl gets all steamed up about her father and Robin implies he doesn't know what to have a parent-son argument is like. Barbara asks if his parents aren't around, and Dick answers he's orphaned.
    Robin: Parents! They're are the worst, right? I mean, so I hear.
    Batgirl: Your parents are out of the picture? Are you, like, a foster kid?
    Robin: Kind of. I mean, technically, I'm an orphan.
    Batgirl: What?! Oh God. I'm sorry.
  • In Supergirl 2010 story Death & the Family, Kara -in her civilian identity Linda Lang- is told her "aunt" Lana Lang has passed away. When a doctor asks about the rest of her family, she sobs they aren't around anymore.
    Doctor: —Are counselors on staff if you'd like to talk to someone, and I'm sure the rest of your family is worried about you—
    Kara: No. They're not around. Lana is... was my family here. I have no one else right now.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Peanuts strip, when Peppermint Patty is going to stay at Charlie Brown's house while her father is away, Marcie asks her, "Why can't you just stay home with your mother?" Patty replies, "I don't have a mother, Marcie!"

    Fan Works 
  • In this Teen Wolf fic, when Stiles mistakenly assumes that Derek's track record when it comes to relationships can't possibly be worse than his own:
    Stiles: I've never had a relationship last more than four months.
    Derek: I've only had one.
    Stiles: Oh...
    Derek: She set my house on fire.
    Stiles: ... oh.
    Derek: My whole family died.
    Stiles: ...awkward.
  • In Supergirl (2015) story Survivors, Alex and her parents ask Kara several times what happened to her parents. Kara changes subjects or looks away until she finally explains she and her cousin are orphans.
    "What happened... Where are... Parents?" she decided, pointing at Kara. Kara looked up and Alex saw the tears threatening to fall were now slowly gliding down her cheeks.
  • From Voldemort Goes Back To School:
    Harry: Why can't you just directly ask your mother or father? You could Fire-Call them, right?
    "Evan"/Voldemort: Oh, the reason I, uh, can't ask them, is uh, because they're both dead.
    Harry: Oh, I'm, er, so sorry. I, er, know what it's like to... not have a family.
    Draco: Nice one, Potter. I think the prize for the Gryffindor's stupidest House-member just got handed over from the Weasel to you.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf novel, Papa Smurf gives his little Smurfs the reminder that their own parents are dead after his revelation that Empath is Papa Smurf's only biological son.
  • Children of an Elder God: In chapter 7, Shinji tells Asuka that his father sent him away. Then he asks her what her parents are like, and she replies "Dead".
    They both laughed. "So what are your parents like?" Shinji asked.
    "Dead". Her voice was a little sharp.
    Shinji looked away. "I'm sorry".
  • In the fourth episode of Evangelion 303, Asuka asks Shinji about his past, and he answers that he barely remembers his homeland or his mother. When she asks if his mother died and Shinji confirms it, she feels embarrassed.
    Asuka: So your mother...
    Shinji: Died.
  • Thousand Shinji: When Shinji asks Asuka why she's always so hurt and angry, she screams that her mother died. Shinji replies that his own mother is dead, too.
    Shinji: And I have such pain Asuka, such pain, but I will keep it for now. For you though, you owe me a favour for my victory. Tell me of your pain Asuka. Tell me honestly, tell me fully.
    Asuka: I... I... never agreed to this.
    Shinji: We rarely agree to the things that hurt us. So either defeat me, prove that you are worthy of keeping your pain secret, or show some honour in defeat and give me that which I ask.
    Asuka: ...
    Shinji: TELL ME!
    Asuka: Momma died!
    Shinji: So? Everyone in our class at school has a dead mother. Including me.
  • Once More with Feeling: In episode 9, Shinji and Asuka talk about their first meeting when they were little kids and Asuka asks if he’ll hide behind his mom again. Shinji replies that his mother is dead, and Asuka feels horrible about herself because she’s an orphan, too.
    Asuka: So, Baka; are you going to run and hide behind mummy again with me here?
    Shinji: My Mother is dead, Asuka. She died when I was Four in an... incident, with Unit One.
    Asuka: I'm... I'm sorry.
  • In this fan comic, Apple Bloom asks Steven Universe if Pearl is his mom. He replies no, explains that his mom gave up her physical form to give birth to him, then asks Apple Bloom about her mom. Apple Bloom awkwardly tries to change the subject, suggesting they talk to someone without a complicated family situation...and immediately turns to Scootaloo (who, at the time the comic was made, had nothing revealed about her family life).
    Scootaloo: Yeah, just keep digging that grave Apple Bloom. Doin' good.

    Films — Animation 
  • With its penchant for the Missing Mom and Disappeared Dad tropes, the Disney Animated Canon has some notable examples:
    • The Great Mouse Detective: Basil, depressed about failing to catch Ratigan yet again and playing the violin to console himself, dismisses Olivia's request that he find her father with "Surely your mother knows where he is". Olivia responds, "I don't have a mother", and Basil's playing comes to a screeching halt.
    • The Rescuers Down Under: After Marahute shows Cody her egg, Cody asks "Where's the daddy eagle?" Marahute just lowers her head. Cody understands and responds, "My dad's gone too".
    • In Big Hero 6, just as Hiro is about to go off to bot fight illegally again just after getting bailed out of jail for it, Tadashi laments, "What would mom and dad say?" Hiro says he wouldn't know and reminds him that they died when he was three.
    • Played for Laughs in Ralph Breaks the Internet. Vanellope meets the Disney Princesses and they pepper her with questions to decipher if she's a true princess too. They're unsure until Vanellope reveals she also doesn't have a mother.
    Jasmine: Do you have daddy issues?
    Vanellope: I don't even have a mom!
    Jasmine, Belle, Pocahontas, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Elsa and Anna: Neither do we!
  • In Ratatouille, Linguini is asked how his sick mother is doing. After Linguini stammers for a few seconds that she is getting better, another character responds, "She died", in a monotone voice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aliens has this conversation:
    Ripley: Is Timmy around here, too? Maybe hiding like you were? Any sisters? Mom and Dad? Newt, look at me. Where are they?
    Newt: They're dead, all right? Can I go now?
  • In Hanna, Hanna is eating dinner with a nice (If slightly weird) family that are not aware of her history as a trained killer and current status as a fugitive from the CIA. When they ask her why she is on her own she explains that her father encourages independence and that her mother is dead. There is a bit of an awkward silence before the father asks how she died, to which Hanna calmly replies "Three bullets". There is a suitably hilarious Spit Take in response.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night:
    Mr. Sims: Hey, what'cha doin', huh?
    Billy: I was, uh, thinking about my parents.
    Mr. Sims: Oh, good! Good! Good, that's fine. That's fine. A boy should think about his parents at Christmas. Good boy.
    Billy: They're dead.
    Mr. Sims: Oh, God.
  • In an outtake for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter begins telling Liz how great it is that her parents let her throw a party in her house when actor Tom Holland starts to ad-lib, "My parents...". There's a moment of realization on Holland's face before he finishes the sentence, "...are dead" and all the actors and extras crack up.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The Terminator is on the phone (using John Connor's voice) to check out his foster mother. After using the wrong name for John's dog (proving his foster mother is actually the T-1000), he hangs up the pay phone, and says to John, "Your foster parents are dead",
  • In Wanda Nevada, Beau tells Wanda, "Your parents must be worried sick about you". Wanda replies, "My parents died".
  • In Dancing Trees, Martha starts chatting with one of the customers at Nicky's bookstore about mystery novels. Then she abruptly says, "My mom was murdered", to the customer's shock. She then resumes talking about Patricia Cornwell.

  • In Louise Penny's novel A Fatal Grace, a group of people at dinner are talking about things they used to dream of when they were children. It's gotten real enough for the gay man among them to say that he dreamed of being straight. When series detective Inspector Armand Gamache is asked he says, "That I saved my parents".
  • One of The Hardy Boys books had this: A guy randomly asks Frank what became of his girlfriend, he replies that she died in a terrorist bombing.
  • In Harry Potter, even though everyone knows that the titular character's parents are dead, uncomfortable topics might come up.
    • Philosopher's Stone: When Harry meets Draco Malfoy for the first time (in Diagon Alley while they're being fitted for their uniforms), albeit without knowing each other's name:
      "Why's he [Hagrid] with you?" he sneered, "Where are your parents?"
      "They're dead."
      "Oh, sorry", he said, not sounding very. "But they were our sort, weren't they?".
    • Prisoner of Azkaban: Harry says that he'll never know what his parents would want him to do because he's never spoken to them.
    • The Order of the Phoenix: When Hermione wishes aloud she could see Thestrals, which can only be seen by those who have seen death, and Harry replies, "Do you?".
    • Deathly Hallows: When Ron was worried about his family's safety, he told his friends that "It's all right for you two, isn't it, with your parents safely out of the way?". It was probably supposed to be addressed at Hermione only, since he was directly talking to her, but Harry was not amused about the accidental wording.
  • Old Kingdom: In Lirael the book opens with her saying that her internal mantra ever year on her birthday is "No mother, no father, no Sight" and her mother's abandonment is not infrequently commented on by her aunt.
  • In Ari Bach's novel Valhalla, the main character's parents die within the first few pages. Additionally, most of the residents of Valhalla have similar origins.
  • Subverted in Soul Music. Someone tries to console Susan for losing her grandfather only for her to have to explain that she didn't say he was dead. She said he was Death.
  • In When My Heart Joins the Thousand, Stanley tells Alvie that his mom homeschooled him for a few years and asks if her parents homeschooled her. Alvie replies, "I don't have parents".
  • In The Speed of Sound, cafeteria worker Jerome tells Eddie, "Your mama done raise you right". Eddie says, "No, she didn't. She died when I was born".
  • The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly: When Cody tells Ana and Charlie about his attempted shoplifting, Ana says, "Your parents must have freaked". Cody says, "I don't have parents."// He explained that he never knew his dad, and his mom died in a drunk driving accident when he was six, leaving him to be raised by his grandma.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Colonel Tigh manages to put his foot firmly (and predictably, since they are a "rag-tag fugitive fleet" of refugees of a multi-planet genocidal nuclear apocalypse) in his mouth while dealing with a kid he finds hanging out with the Viper pilots.
    Tigh: Where's your mommy?
    Boxey: Dead. Where's yours?
  • A Season 6 episode of Community has the Save Greendale Committee's e-mails all get hacked and released publically. A night of promising not to read each other's secrets obviously does not work, and the next day, they begin calling each other out on the weird and disturbing things they found (Jeff sends e-mails to astronauts, Chang ranks Annie and Britta by physical attractiveness every day, Elroy has been making 3D models of the entire female cast, allegedly for a computer game, et cetera). It's Played for Laughs until Jeff makes fun of Frankie for sending messages to her sister even though she never writes back.
    Frankie: [tearing up] She's dead. I send her e-mails as a journaling device.
  • On El Chavo del ocho, El Chavo doesn't have parents and has never known any kind of filial love, but since he rarely brought it up the rest of the cast simply doesn't bring it up either or just ignore it for the sake of keeping the series funny.
    El Chavo: [after hearing Kiko complaining about his mom not buying him a toy] Well, I'd be just happy if I ever had a mom, even if she never give me toys...
  • Doctor Who: In "The Eleventh Hour", young Amy Pond says "I don't have a mum and dad". (Which is true, but strictly speaking, they're not dead...).
  • Kurt on Glee answers the phone this way:
  • Happens in a Last Comic Standing challenge where one comedian performs their act and the other heckles them. When Chris Porter, in the role of the heckler, cracks an I Banged Your Mom joke at Josh Blue, Blue responds with this trope. Later, when their places are reversed, Porter makes the same joke in response to one of Blue's heckles, except with "sister" in place of "mom". Blue again says she's dead, but this time Porter's ready with the comeback "No, she just doesn't call you anymore".
  • Parodied on MADtv (1995)'s alternative ending of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy screams this at Glinda.
  • In the 2007 adaptation of Northanger Abbey, there's this exchange between Catherine (protagonist) and her new friend Eleanor:
    Catherine: And is your mother in Bath with you as well?
    Eleanor: Our mother is dead.
    [awkward pause]
    Eleanor: So this is your first time in Bath?
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: The reason Scylla joined the Spree (they were killed by the Army, and she wanted revenge).
  • In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Usagi tells Makoto is must be hard to be transferring school. Makoto brings up the topic, saying it's even harder as she lives on her own since her parents' death.
  • During an episode of Supergirl, Cat Grant asks Kara about her parents. Kara tells her that they died "in a fire" (Actually, a planet-wide apocalypse, but, technically, yes, a "fire").
  • In the Supernatural episode "Croatoan" (S02, Ep09), this is an Inverted Trope, where everyone in the room knows that Duane is now an orphan because of Dean's actions except for Duane.
    Duane Tanner: Has anybody seen my mom and dad?
    Dean: [quietly] Awkward.
    • This trope, or a version, can come from the Winchesters, too. In episode 10.20, Angel Heart, we get this gem of a conversation between Sam and Claire Novak:
    Sam: You came all the way to tell her off?
    Claire: You always get along with your mom?
    Sam: Never got the chance to find out. She died when I was a baby.
    Claire: I'm... I'm sorry. I didn't...
    Sam: Oh, no, it's okay. I-I got to know her later in life. And, yeah, I suppose we got along okay.
    Claire: What?
    Sam: In this line of work, death isn't always good-bye.
  • Said disbelievingly by Rick on The Young Ones, when Mike informs him that his parents had died that morning. Subverted in that, rather than an awkward silence commencing, Rick immediately starts ranting about how selfish they were to die and leave him with nobody to stay with for the summer holidays.
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Milked to the extreme in the sketch "Seth Brings Jon Snow to a Dinner Party". Jon Snow, a hero from Game of Thrones, is unable to make small talk with New Yorkers. Whatever the other guests bring up, Jon has something very bleak to say about himself ("I'm a bastard, so I never knew my mother" & "My father's head was chopped off" & "My brother was stabbed to death at his own wedding" & "[My first love] Ygritte shot me with three arrows and then a child murdered her in cold blood").

  • During the song "Freeze Your Brain" in Heathers, Veronica makes a snarky remark on how J.D.'s mom feels about him consuming so much 7/11, to which J.D. quickly mentions that his mom is dead. The Oh, Crap! faces the actors who've played Veronica pull makes the moment even more darkly humorous.
    Veronica: Does your mommy know you eat all this crap?
    J.D.: Not anymore!
    When mom was alive
    we lived halfway normal.
    Now it's just me and my dad
    we're less formal.
  • In Thoroughly Modern Millie, the landlady Mrs. Meers wishes her tenant Ethel's family condolences after receiving notice that Ethel's uncle died recently. Ethel then informs Meers that she is an orphan and has no other family, which Meers exploits to sell Ethel into white slavery without being caught.

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, a Warden with the Human Noble background has the option of telling Alistair that their entire family was murdered recently when he asks if they’ve ever lost anyone close to them.
  • Parodied in No More Heroes. When the fourth ranked assassin Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii invites Travis on stage as part of his magic show, Harvey compliments Travis on his name and his parents on choosing the name. Travis, smiling and cheerful, simply says, "My parents are dead!" At this point, Harvey regrets what he said, but Travis forgives him. It's actually a really important plot point. Along with money and, later on, "doing it" with Sylvia, this is why Travis became an assassin, with the final boss being the one who killed his parents.
  • Persona 4 has the protagonist and the Investigation Team taking Nanako to the food court at Junes after Dojima's job forces him to break his promise to her about going on a vacation together. While discussing making boxed lunches, the team suggests a "cook-off" and Yosuke says that maybe they'll whip up something as good as her mom's cooking. Nanako's response is that she doesn't have a mom, and that she died in an accident. This is the first inkling of just how sad Nanako is under her adorable exterior.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, one Mages Guild quest has you rooting out a Telvanni spy. When turning in the quest, you can choose to lie and say that Balmora Guild Hall Stewardess Ranis Athrys is the spy. If you do, the quest giver is surprised, mentioning that Ranis' parents were killed by the Telvanni (Don't feel too bad for her though, as she is rather aggressive when it comes to convincing independent mages to join the Guild, so this may just be karma catching up to her).

    Visual Novels 
  • Little Busters!:
    • At one point in the common route, Mio nonchalantly and snarkily asks Riki if his parents taught him any manners, and he responds just as nonchalantly by saying he doesn't have any. She is genuinely sorry about her remark, making it quite possibly the first time Riki is able to break through her stoic facade.
    • He also ends up telling Sasami during her route. As the two are talking about why they applied to the Boarding School they attend, she assumes his parents were lenient in letting him apply because it was the school his friend Kyousuke attended. This causes him to clarify they died in a car accident when he was a kid, and ends with Sasami apologetic about her assumption and in tears over what Riki had to endure.
  • In the Ace Attorney case "Rise From The Ashes" Phoenix asks Ema Skye, who's older sister is a defendant, about their parents. Ema explains (with a calm smile on her face surprisingly) that they died in a car crash when she was little.


    Web Original 
  • The infamous "THEN WHO WAS PHONE" creepypasta:
    So ur with ur honey and yur making out wen the phone rigns. U anser it n the vioce is "wut r u doing wit my daughter?" U tell ur girl n she say "my dad is ded". THEN WHO WAS PHONE?
  • The musical parody A Very Potter Sequel makes fun of the way Harry is treated like the only orphan in the wizarding world with the following quote (about his invisibility cloak):
    "It was left to me by my dad, my dad that's dead. My father is dead. I have a dead father".
  • Deirdre Rees's parents killed in a drive-by when she was seven in Night Hunters
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), Near gets fed up with some of the insensitive comments of his colleagues.
    Halle Naomi: When I was a young orphan my parents took me to Disneyland.
    Near: Go buy a dictionary and look up the word orphan!
  • This is the core joke of the Olde English sketch "Arthur Got a Haircut."
    Diner: Mentally disabled children, huh? Did one of them give Arthur his new haircut? Heh.
    Arthur: My mom gave me this haircut. And then she died.
  • A variation is Played for Laughs in the Yule Ball installment of Potter Puppet Pals:
    Voldemort: You kids know about the killing curse, right?
    Harry: Uh, no, my parents died of old age. OF COURSE I KNOW!!
  • As archived on their site, the following reply to a message that the website Wipeout Homophobia received on their original Facebook page:
    Hater: If you don't remove STOP Homophobia from Facebook I will make it my life's crusade to track you down and kill you. I have investigated you and I know who your mother is, she will be first on my list. You have 1 hour.
    Reply: Well done on your investigative work, please remember to bring a shovel with you as my mother has been dead for 23 years.
    Web Animation 
  • In Helluva Boss, In "Truth Seekers", Blitzo makes a mom joke on Agent One only to be told that his mom is dead. This doesn't stop him from doing it later.
    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball attempts to make a "your mom" joke to Rob. After being told that Rob doesn't have a mom, Gumball does quite a bit more backtracking, only to arrive on various other familial topics of discussion.
    Gumball: Oh, you know what else is thick? Your mom's chin!
    Rob: I don't have a mom.
    • This provides an extra bit of Fridge Horror when you realize that Rob's parents are probably trapped in the Void and Rob was the only one to escape.
  • Brought up quite a bit in Avatar: The Last Airbender, since a hundred years of war isn't without its casualties. Quite often it gives a chance for bonding.
    Katara: The Fire Nation took my mother away from me!
    Zuko: That's something we have in common.
    • In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra episode "The Revelation", Mako snaps at Korra when she comments she has people to take care of her, and his brother Bolin explains to Korra that they've been orphaned for quite some time. Later, Mako elaborates further, revealing to Korra that at age eight, he witnessed his parents' murder during a mugging by a firebender.
      • Amon's (the leader of the Equalists) parents were killed by a firebender, but that may be a case of Unreliable Narrator. Also, Asami Sato's mother was killed by a firebender as well. It's a pretty strange coincidence.
      • In the first season finale, it's explained that Amon's whole story is a lie—his father was a waterbending gangster and neither of his parents were killed by a firebender. He probably made the story up because of the firebender's bad reputation from both the original series and the sequel.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: When Chip, Dale, and Monty go looking for Geegaw Hackwrench, they find his daughter, Gadget, instead. When they ask about him, her words are ambiguous, but her tone is not; only Dale doesn't get it, so she has to be more clear. When Monty says he'll be missed, she says, "He already is".
  • In The Dragon Prince, Rayna gives this answer when Callum asks about her parents. Later in the episode, she reveals that she lied; she wishes that they were dead, because they actually abandoned their post protecting the dragon egg and thus dishonored the family.
  • Played for Laughs in Frisky Dingo, where every mention of Xander's parents refers to them as "[his] murdered parents", regardless of the context.
    Xander: My murdered parents were murdered, Stan!
    Stan: Nobody cares about your dead-ass murdered parents.
  • In Futurama, when Leela's former Orphanarium declared her "Orphan of the Year" for successfully holding a normal blue collar job, her Spoiled Sweet Asian Airhead friend Amy Wong says "Your parents must be so proud... oops". It turns out her parents are still alive, and they are very proud of Leela.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: It's pretty much common knowledge in the fan community that the parents of Applejack, Big Mac, and Apple Bloom are dead. The show has VERY carefully avoided any mention of this, but as of season 7 it's EXTREMELY heavily implied, and as close to confirming it as the show can come without outright saying it.
  • In the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad", a bully named Chameleon Jr. tells K.O. the titular taunt; K.O. tries to respond in kind, before remembering that he doesn't have a dad. He quickly recovers by saying that his mom can beat up anyone.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Little Orphan Millie", Milhouse is staying with the family while his parents are out on their second honeymoon. Just after he discovers that they were lost at sea, Bart comes in and sprays him with a hose, as a prank.
      Bart: (laughter dies as he notices everyone's expressions) Hey, who died?
      Milhouse: My parents, probably.
    • In "The Great Louse Detective", when Homer finds out that the person trying to kill him is the son of Frank Grimes, Homer asks "How is Grimey?", to which his son replies "He's dead". Made worse by the fact that Grimes died after going crazy because of Homer, Homer saw him die and was at the funeral, and that was the reason Frank Grimes Jr. wanted to kill Homer.
  • Played with in the South Park episode "The Jeffersons", where Michael Jefferson's son Blanket is asked about his mom. Because Blanket was "made in a laboratory" (via in vitro fertilization) and born from a surrogate, he doesn't consider himself to have any mother, living or dead.
  • Star Wars Rebels: From "Spark of Rebellion":
    Hera: We'll get you home now. Your parents must be worried sick.
    Ezra: I don't have parents.
    • His parents were arrested for making anti-Imperial broadcasts. "Legacy" reveals that at the time, they weren't dead. They were killed shortly before "Legacy" begins leading a successful prison break.
  • Happens a couple of times on Steven Universe in regards to the title character's Missing Mom:
    • In the episode "Fusion Cuisine", Connie's mother asks to speak to Steven's mother over the phone.
      Connie: Hi, Mother. It's Connie. Mm-hmm. Yes, ma'am. I'm at the home of Steven Universe. Mm-hmm. Yes, ma'am. We're—we're just hanging out. Oh... Steven's parents. They're, uh—they're in the other room. You would like to talk to Steven's mom? Oh, okay. Hold on a moment.
      Steven: That's gonna be pretty hard since my mom gave up her physical form to make me.
    • In the episode "Gem Harvest", when Andy De Mayo finds out that his cousin Greg has a son (Steven), he starts teasing Greg about his wife. It gets even more awkward when the conservative Andy finds out that Greg and Rose Quartz weren't even married.
      Andy: Oh, sorry, Steven. I ain't used to holdin' nephews. 'Cause I didn't know I had one! So, uh, which one of these girls is the wife? I gotta give her my condolences, right? Hey, come on. What, I gotta guess, here? It's gotta be you. I bet this useless lump needs a big girl to keep him in line. You're not big, I'm just saying. You're tall, not, you know.
      Greg: Rose is... no longer with us.
      Andy: Uh, wow. I'm sorry. I didn't know.


Video Example(s):


Cody makes fun of Junior's mom

Cody finally makes a mom joke back at Junior but because Junior doesn't have a mom it's a lot sadder than he expected.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DudeNotFunny

Media sources: