Abe: What do you expect?! You left me to raise the boy on my own!
Mona: I had to leave, but you didn't have to tell Homer I was dead!
Abe: It was either that, or tell him his mother was a wanted criminal!
So, you want to know who your mother and/or father is/are? You want to know why they left you behind with your single parent, your aunt and uncle, their friends, in a foster home, or in the streets? Do you think they had a good reason for leaving you? You probably think they're heroes like you, right? They were probably trying to protect you from danger. Like Father, Like Son, right? That has to be the right answer! Well, kiddo, you couldn't be more wrong, for the real answer is going to come as a shock to you...
The truth is that they are not great heroes, but the most wanted person in the state, the country, the world, or the entire universe! They are probably pirates, Terrorists, serial killers, mad scientists, assassins, thieves and cat burglars, smugglers, outlaws, bandits, or mobsters. And like it or not, they're your parent/s. It's probably for the best that you don't meet them.
If the character's parent is an Archnemesis Dad or Evil Matriarch, chances are the kid indeed knows this and is trying to end their evil or bring them to justice. If the character becomes a criminal themselves, then it's In the Blood. Compare Antagonistic Offspring.
- One Piece:
- Monkey D. Luffy's father, Monkey D. Dragon, is known as "the most wanted criminal for the world", because he's the head of the Revolutionary Army whose influence is slowly growing across the whole world.
- The Marineford arc reveals that Portgas D. Ace is the son of the Pirate King himself, Gold Roger. Played with in that Roger was dead before Ace was born, but this fact still makes the Marines want to hunt and execute him (though he's also a pirate himself so it helps) even as an unborn child. Ace's mother Portgas D. Rogue keeps her unborn son safe from this by keeping him inside of her for twenty months to make it seem like he was conceived well after Roger's death. The strain of this results in her death soon after Ace is born.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency: Lisa Lisa, Josephs hamon teacher, is revealed to be his mother, Elisabeth Joestar. The reason she became a criminal was because she killed one of Dios minions, who disguised himself as a pilot and killed Josephs father, George II. But to the eyes of everyone, she just randomly killed an innocent pilot. She then became an infamous criminal and had to leave Joseph in his grandmother Erinas care and go into hiding on Air Supplena Island.
- In From Muddy Waters, Izuku Midoriya's father is All For One, a supervillain most wanted and most feared.
- In Remnants, Yang was raised by her father and deceased step-mom, but she's curious about the biological mother she's never known. She learns that her mother, Raven Branwen, is the most renowned female criminal on the planet. Seeing as how her younger half-sister Ruby follows a Heroic Lineage, Yang worries that she's destined to follow in Raven's footsteps.
- A few examples from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
- Will Turner's dad is Bootstrap Bill Turner, who participated in the mutiny against Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Jack's own father is Captain Teague, a serial murderer whose record stands out even among the other pirates.
- Carina Smyth's father is Captain Barbossa, who also has many dead bodies on his hands.
- Warren Peace from Sky High (2005) is the son of a heroine and notorious supervillian Barron Battle who was sentenced to a "quadruple life sentence." Because of this, he is ostracized at school, but later became the Bully Turned Buddy of the protagonist, Will.
- Luke Skywalker from Star Wars grew up on Tatooine with his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru while wanting to know about his father. Obi-Wan Kenobi tells him that Anakin Skywalker was a Jedi Knight, a pilot, and a good friend — but leaves out the part where Anakin falls to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. When Luke finds out (from Vader himself), he does not take it well.
- In The Lost Redeemer, Nahlia finds out that her father deserted the Templar Order (the very faction that's currently hunting her.)
- In The Dark Profit Saga Jynn is the son of the infamous necromancer Detarr Ur'Mayan, and he's been living under an alias since his father's death. In the first book, the Temple of Al'Matra uses his parentage to blackmail him into joining their "Seventh Hero" quest, but the rest of the party figures it out when they run into a liche who recognizes him (hence the second book's title, Son of a Liche).
- In Arrested Development, the Bluth family patriarch, George Sr., committed a host of financial crimes as the head of the Bluth Company, and also somehow blundered his way into committing treason when he built houses in Iraq during the sanctions when American businesses were forbidden from operating in Iraq. His kids spend much of the series having to live down their family's terrible reputation. However, matriarch Lucille was actually the mastermind behind the crimes, and used George Sr. as a puppet to carry out the dirty work.
- In Arrow, Felicity Smoak's father is Noah Kuttler, The Calculator, a fugitive cyber-criminal. In early series, all Felicity knew was that her mother forbade her having a relationship with Noah. It's not until Felicity meets Noah as an adult that she realizes it was for good reason. However, this realization comes only after Noah tries to woo her into a father-daughter relationship only to hurt her by returning to his criminal ways.
- In Once Upon a Time, Hook's backstory includes having a criminal father who not only ran away to avoid capture, leaving young Hook and his brother behind, he also traded both his sons into servitude in exchange for a rowboat to escape with.
- In Baldur's Gate, neither parent of Gorion's Ward is someone you'd want for parents. Your father is Bhaal, the dead God of Murder, and your mother was a priestess dedicated to him and just as willing to sacrifice you for his will. The first game is all about learning this fact while the second is trying to bear with your lineage.
- In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Lonato, rebels against the Church of Seiros, leaving his adoptive son Ashe devastated and confused.
- John Marston from Red Dead Redemption was a gun-slinging outlaw in the Wild West who ran with the Van Der Linde gang (as seen in Red Dead Redemption II). Unfortunately, he is also a father to Jack Marston, which makes it hard for John to be a good father due to having the law (and his past) creep up on him a lot. Eventually, his criminal life is what caused his death.
- In the Adventure Time episode "Escape From the Citadel", Finn's father is finally revealed! Although, he's not very nice and heroic like his son; instead, he's an unscrupulous, irreverent, and selfish cosmic criminal who was arrested for reasons unknown and got thrown in the Citadel, a space version of The Alcatraz full of dangerous criminals wanted across the universe!
- In American Dad!, Stan Smith's father, Jack, is a master thief and was known to never get busted.
- In Final Space, protagonist Gary Goodspeed's mother, Sheryl Goodspeed, is a criminal who is under death sentence. On the other hand, his father gave his life to close the rift to Final Space. What did a man so heroic see in a woman so notorious?
- In The Simpsons, Homer's mother, Mona Simpson, has been on the run from the law for most of her adult life after being fingered as one of the culprits behind the tampering of Mr. Burn's pathology lab in the 1960s. Most of her appearances on the show up until her death were trying to reconnect with Homer while staying one step ahead of the police.
- Steven Universe: Steven's deceased mother Rose Quartz started a 1000 year war against Homeworld to protect the Earth, ending when she shattered the owner of the planet and one of Homeworld's matriarchs, Pink Diamond. She's considered a monstrous war criminal by Homeworld, and any Gem who realizes she's alive immediately tries to capture her; however, because Gems don't understand human reproduction, they wrongfully assume Steven is Rose with a new form, and try to capture him instead.
Boy, Parent-Teacher night is gonna be awkward.