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Offing the Offspring
aka: Offing Ones Offspring

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Because Asuka didn't have enough issues already.

Munkus: Well, I'm the ninth of six children.
Nate: Hmmm?
Munkus: We only counted the offsprings that Mother didn't eat immediately after giving birth to them.
The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles
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Some parents would go through Hell and back to protect their kids. Some even take it just a tad too far at times. Sometimes way too far.

And then there are these parents.

They don't love their children. Really. They don't even like them. Truth is, they'd really rather they didn't exist at all. Sometimes, they will actually go so far as to take a personal hand in this. The motto of this sort of parent is "I brought you into this world, and by God, I can take you out of it again." Talk about Parental Issues.

Generally, only one parent of the pair feels this way (otherwise you probably wouldn't exist in the first place, or wouldn't have lived long enough to feel bad about the situation.) But the other parent may be dead, or vanished, or simply not strong enough to offer protection. If the other parent is actually protective, there will likely be major fireworks when he or she finds out what the spouse intends to do with the sprout.

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There are several subtropes a murderous parent may fall into:

  • Evil Parent: The child is blameless (or at least not guilty of anything deserving of death); the parent just wants to dispose of the child for some reason. Maybe there's a prophecy about the kid coming back and killing the parent and the parent figures "It's me or them"; maybe the parent has to keep a pact made with a dark power in which the child's life is the price; maybe the child is The Un-Favourite; maybe the child was born as an unacceptable nonconformist; Whatever the reason, the mother or father is ultimately just a murderer.
  • Evil Offspring: In this scenario, the parent actually does love the child, at least a little, but there's something seriously wrong about that kid. The parent may be the only one who can stop the child or perhaps feels responsible for doing the deed personally.
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  • The Choice of Abraham: The parent loves the child. The child loves the parent. But some other overwhelming force is demanding a sacrifice. Maybe God is testing Abraham. Maybe the Nazis are making Sophie choose. Regardless, no one wants this, but it's going to happen anyway.

In the worst case scenario, your entire species will be like this, in that case, you get Abusive Alien Parents.

Sadly, there have been many cases of real-life parents — both mothers and fathers — who murder their own children. In case you are wondering, the technical term for this kind of murder is "filicide".

For the inversion/opposite of this trope, see Self-Made Orphan, Patricide and Matricide. A subtrope of Murder in the Family.

This trope goes back to Greek Mythology with Hesiod's Theogony, and even further to the Mesopotamian creation story Enûma Eliš. Has nothing to do with The Offspring or Offing the Mouth. Outliving One's Offspring is when the child dies for reasons that are not the parent's fault.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comedy 
  • Often implied in Emo Phillips's routines, such as commenting on hearing his parents arguing ("You know how parents argue, saying things like 'I told you he'd live!'") or outright claiming he'd do a better job of parenting than his parents did and recounting an incident where he almost died from drinking bleach. Turns out his mother had "foolishly decanted it into the floor wax bottle".

    Comic Books 
  • The Villain Dark Opal from the Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld comic managed to off many almost all of his offspring when they came to exact revenge on him for his poor parenting skills. In the end, only his adopted son Carnelin survived the entire original series.
  • Hide: On the day after Kevin's birthday, the next time he sees his family, they try to kill him.
  • In Immortal Iron Fist, Fat Cobra was forced to kill the hundreds of children he had over the years who got together and tried to kill him, and was horrified finding out (years of booze and fighting also made him forget about most of his past so there was a chance that he didn't know it was his kids at the time). Upon learning this, he burned the biography that he'd commissioned.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes villain Universo got tired of having his evil plots thwarted by his son Rond (who was possessed of natural immunity to Universo's hypnotic mind control) and arranged for Rond to die quietly in the hospital after suffering an "accident." Only Rond's secret possession of a Green Lantern Ring kept the plan from working.
  • The Young Justice villain Will Harm was such a vicious kid that he was responsible for killing Secret, his own sister. His parents lived in fear of their lives until his father snapped and shot him. Unfortunately for them, this was part of Harm's Batman Gambit to be a major baddie.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: the unnamed mother of wicked moneylender Atsuo. Finally unable to tolerate her son's evil, she tricks him into sending his bodyguards away and stabs him in the back. She then begs Usagi to kill her in turn.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Curt Connor's Super-Powered Evil Side The Lizard kills Curt's son Billy. The Kravinoff family arranged the whole awful situation in order to "kill" Curt Connor and put The Lizard in control for good. And it worked.
    • During Dark Reign, Norman Osborn brought his son Harry, Peter Parker's best friend, into his Dark Avengers... so he could later have him killed to gain public sympathy, and by extension, support, hitting an all-new low.
    • In Spider-Man: Life Story, an AU Series, Norman Osborn rigs an entire bar with pumpkin bombs to blackmail Peter to follow his instructions, noting that while Spider-Man and Green Goblin would survive such an explosion, the same would not be true of the other patrons. Peter points to Norman that his own son Harry is in the bar, but Norman merely smirks proving he doesn't care one bit about using his own son as hostage.
  • Incredible Hulk:
    • The Hulk's Greenscar persona - that is, the one that first appeared during Planet Hulk and World War Hulk - really, really, really wants to kill his son Skaar as he blames Skaar for feeding his mother's spirit to Galactus, killing her off for real (it looks like, anyway). Skaar is equally intent on killing him for abandoning him on a savage planet (Hulk thought he was dead). In the end, they manage to settle things without killing each other.
    • Bruce's father Brian was a nasty piece of work who murdered Bruce's mom and tried to kill him too — while they were visiting her grave no less. Bruce killed him in self-defense. Brian would later briefly come back from the dead in the form of Guilt Hulk — the worst of Bruce's various Hulk personas — to try again. The Greenscar being reminded of Brian during his decisive fight with Skaar, realizing that he's acting Not So Different from his awful father is what causes Greenscar to stop fighting.
  • Marvel Comics' Legacy Character Genis- Vell was once under attack by the incorporeal body of the Magus, Adam Warlock's Super-Powered Evil Side. In a plan to take over Marvel's body (who could only see him because of his Cosmic Awareness, he employed Marvel's son from the future, who had turned into an Enfant Terrible. Genis at one point in the fight made a horrible decision. This made his son fade away from existence (A la Back to the Future). We're later shown with the gut-wrenching action he had to perform hanging above his son's cradle.
  • Wolverine:
    • In one issue a group of former victims or friends and families of some of Wolverine's Mook Horror Show battles, collected and trained a group of his unknown offspring to be used as enforcers, the Mongrels. He is then informed of their lineage after he had already killed them and the entire group was dead.
    • In X-Force, Wolverine kills his son Daken by drowning him. This is arguably worse than the above since the father knew he was killing his son but was forced to do it anyway. He then starts cradling his dead son, weeping and blaming himself for not being able to save his son from going down the wrong path. Just to twist the knife even further, Sabretooth shows up and gloats that he manipulated Daken into forming the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants just to force Wolverine to kill him, knowing that this would hurt Wolverine worse than anything else Sabretooth had done to him.
    • His Age of Apocalypse counterpart, Weapon X, kills his daughter Kiriko with his arm cannon, reducing her body to a withered husk. He knew she was his daughter this time, he was just a massive asshole.
  • In The Sandman Morpheus kills his son Orpheus (now a disembodied head) at the latter's insistence. This is after he coldly abandoned him to his fate for millennia. His guilt over this and for the killing is one of the reasons Morpheus subconsciously chooses to die in the end.
  • Invoked and subverted in the Villains United miniseries. Psycho for Hire Cheshire is blackmailed into joining the Secret Six via threats made against her daughter Lian. The mastermind behind the Six, Mockingbird, has informed her that there is a small bomb implanted in the back of Lian's neck, and if detonated, she would either be killed or left severely brain damaged. Because Cheshire refuses to let anyone control her, and because she's a sociopath with the maternal capabilities of a lizard, she seduces Catman and gets pregnant. This way, not only will she be able to leave the Six regardless of Lian's life because she'll have a replacement baby, it gives a hold on Catman. It isn't until after Cheshire sells the Six out to the Secret Society and gets shot in the chest by Deathstroke that we learn Lian's life was never in danger because Mockingbird lied. Cheshire never found out.
    Cheshire: [Mockingbird] may kill my beloved child. So isn't it fortunate that I'll soon have a replacement?
  • New Teen Titans: The mother of supporting character Frances Kane, driven insane by the recent deaths of her husband and son, decides that Fran is demonically possessed and tries to stab her to death. Since what's actually happened to Fran is that she's developed powerful magnetic abilities, this doesn't work very well.
  • In the thirteenth issue of Artifacts the old universe ends and in order to restore the universe Sara tries to kill Hope but was stop by Jackie leading Jackie to create a new universe in which Sara isn't Hope's mother. When Sara finds this out in the new universe Sara suffers from a Heroic BSoD and goes catatonic.
  • Subverted with Lady Shiva, who is twice responsible for the death of her own daughter, Cassandra, but both times brings her Back from the Dead, since she has her own agenda for her.
  • The Ultimates: Thor kills Modi, his son with Hela. Tragically, he tells Modi to his face that he is a disgrace and is happy to kill him, but this is a lie and he is close to tears while he holds his charred corpse.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): The renegade Amazon Astarte ordered her daughter Theana executed when Diana started getting through to Theana with her message about love.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In the first edition of Grimms' Fairy Tales, Snow White's and Hansel and Gretel's own mothers tried to have them killed. This was Bowdlerised to a Wicked Stepmother in the second edition, but the father still (reluctantly) cooperates in Hansel and Gretel.
  • Evil Mothers-in-law are fond of accusing their daughters in law of this, as in "The Six Swans" and "The Twelve Wild Ducks". The heroines are almost executed by being burned at the stake for it, but they're saved by the titular Ducks/Swans (or better said, their baleful polymorph brothers) and the mothers-in-law either fall dead right there (Six Swans) or is executed (Wild Ducks)
  • In "The Lassie and Her Godmother" and "Our Lady's Child/ "Mary's Child", this is regarded as the most plausible explanation for the heroine's newborns disappearing. Both accusations turn out to be wrong, the heroine is saved by divine intervention (since a big, yet babies-unrelated mistake/sin was the cause for the newborns being taken away by the Virgin Mary in the first place) and gets to be reunited with her kids. Also, in the first tale, a mother-in-law is involved, but in that case it's more about her also believing said rumors rather than spreading them, and she repents once the girl turns out to be innocent.
  • In "Daughter of the Skies", the heroine's father threatens her life if she doesn't tell what happened to her children because he is afraid she is doing this.
  • In the Slavic fairytale "The Twelve Months", a mother tries to get rid of her stepdaughter by sending her to find flowers or fruits in the winter. She discovers the twelve-month brothers, who can change the seasons. When the mother and daughter try to find what she found, January turns the weather against them, with fatal results.
  • The Arabian Nights stories have some examples of fathers offing (or trying to off) their female offspring after said offspring has been (falsely) accused of premarital sex.

    Fan Works 
  • Doing It Right This Time: In this story Rei was Naoko's daughter. Even so she still choked her first incarnation with her own hands for badmouthing her, right like in canon.
  • Higher Learning: Done indirectly. In the original timeline Shinji locked his son into the Geofront after the latter murdered his wife Asuka. Since they never saw him again Kaoru thinks that he probably died down there.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Maternal Instinct, in a fit of unbridled rage, Queen Chrysalis exploded in a vicious tirade against her heavily mentally and physically disabled daughter and heir, Princess Pupa and proceeded to beat her. Savagely. But when Chrysalis came to her senses and saw her daughter on the floor, barely conscious and with blooding oozing out from wounds on her crown and temple, the aghast and repentant Queen immediately threw herself at her daughter's mangled form, kissing her face and trying to stop the bleeding, mentally crying, ‘Kami above, forgive me! Please, forgive me!’
  • In The Immortal Game, Titan casually kills his son Empyrean after he was forcibly depowered, justifying it by claiming that without his divine power he was weak and unworthy of existence.
  • In the Pony POV Series, Diamond Tiara's mother Golden Tiara aka Screwball tried to strangle her own daughter for going through her jewelry. The pressures of living in high society had done a number on her sanity, and her daughter's "crime" was the straw that broke the camel's back. Only the intervention of her husband saved their child's life. Discord breaks Diamond's mind by recovering her suppressed memories of the incident and blaming her for it. It's so traumatizing that she becomes a Nightmare.
    • Discord's Mother, Entropy, erased her eldest child from existence because ____ talked back to her.
  • Hivefled: One of the many trolls who ended up being killed by the Condesce and Grand Highblood (after a variety of other activities) was Laneen, who was probably Condesce's daughter. They also have some interesting plans for their confirmed offspring, Gamzee and Feferi, though death may be the least of their worries.
  • Not actually involving parents but relatives: in A Sad Story, Uncle Vernon's abuse eventually leads to Harry's death.
  • A subversion occurs in Gensokyo 20XX, with a then mentally ill Ran and Reimu, in that the latter is a child she does look after, but she does attempt to kill her in a murder-suicide, through via leaving her where danger can get her. To worsen this, Reimu would not have seen it coming.
  • After the reveal in Chapter 13 of the MCU fanfic Canid, this applies to Loki's murder of Coulson, who is actually his son Fenrir bound in human form.
  • In The Second Try Asuka attempts to induce a miscarriage via starvation after she gets pregnant (something that Shinji notes is more dangerous to her than the baby), but she changes her tune after the first ultrasound. This comes back to haunt her during the Mind Rape scene.
  • The Racket-Rotter Chronicles: In a late chapter of Arc 1, an inebriated Silver attempts to do this to Shark.
  • In one of the last chapters of the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples, the former Queen Allora murders her daughter Queen Weira — who has just given birth to Elyon — so that she can retake Meridian's throne, get rid of Prince Phobos, and later make the newborn princess her Puppet Queen.
  • At the end of the Reylo Star Wars fanfic Fulcrum, Kylo Ren kills his son Sheev to resurrect his wife, Rey.
  • The Hands of Fate:Invasion: On Earth-2, Robert Queen and Oliver both survived the sinking of the Queen's Gambit. Unlike Earth-1, here Robert explained to Oliver why it was sunk and what they had to do, but Oliver only cared about getting home to Laurel. So Robert killed him, deeming him too weak to do what was necessary. Telling, he uses this as an example of how he does know the meaning of sacrifice, instead of seeing as a horrific thing to do.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Iris' father decided to leave her in the woods to die, and browbeat his wife into helping him. Fortunately, Iris survived and was taken in by a family of Dragon-type Pokémon.
  • In Bubbles, Derpy's mother tries to poison her daughter because she's disabled. Derpy's dad takes her to the hospital when he comes from work and her. No one connects the incident to Derpy's mother, so several days later Derpy's mom opts to abandon her in a forest.
  • This doesn't actually appear in Little Fires, but it is referenced. A cat teases another with "Your mother should have eaten you when she had the chance". This references the rare occurrence where mother cats eat their own young. It only occurs in extreme, high-stress circumstances, so Clan cats don't shame the mother for doing so and it doesn't break the Warrior Code's rule on not killing unless needed.
  • A variant appears in The Myamoto Project. Giovanni sends Myamoto's clone to kill Jessie and her teammates. The original Myamoto was Jessie's deceased mother.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: During the battle between the Earth's heroes and Darkseid's forces, Trigon attempts to kill his daughter Raven after torturing her.
    Trigon looked out upon an astonished sea of heroes, picked out his daughter Raven, and smiled.
    He would save her for last. The rest would not take that long.
  • The Female Of The Species has something between the "Evil Parent" and "Choice of Abraham" variants. There is a ceremony where new kings kill off the cubs of rival males. The problem for Scar's ex-mate Sarafina is that only the youngest of her two cubs is Scar's. Sarabi convinces Scar to kill his flesh and blood son Mheetu in exchange for letting Nala live. She reminds him about how sickly Mheetu is, how it's unlikely that he'll survive to adulthood, and how, even if he did, he'd likely always be weak. Nala may not be Scar's actual daughter but at least she's strong. Scar agrees to kill Mheetu with the same ease that he (unknowing to Sarabi) also killed off his own brother.
  • A flashback in RWBY: Scars shows that Winter's mother tried to strangle her as a young child. Willow wasn't in the right mind and didn't even remember the incident until her daughter told her years later. Winter always held onto that moment, not understanding her mother had been hallucinating at the time.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: As said in regards to Keeper Malleus in Moving On:
    he sired children for the sole purpose of sa-sacrificing them!

    Films — Animation 
  • In Moana, Maui's parents threw him into the ocean when he was a baby. Fortunately he was brought to the gods and became a demigod instead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien: Resurrection. Ripley considers the Newborn (a murderous abomination) her "son", as well as the other Aliens ("I'm the creature's mother"). She ends up killing both of them.
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Joseph Lynch's plan in 1986 was to kill Cal and Mary at the same time (because both of them carried Aguilar's Genetic Memory) but he backed out at the last second and instead ordered young Cal to run away.
  • In Austin Powers (the first one at least), Dr. Evil reveals that he is actually trying to kill his son Scott, for undisclosed reasons (apparently, he's not evil enough). He reveals this in family therapy nonetheless.
    Scott Evil: I just think, like, he hates me. I really think he wants to kill me.
    Therapist: He doesn't really want to kill you. Sometimes we just say that.
    Dr. Evil: No actually, the boy is quite astute. I really am trying to kill him, but so far unsuccessfully. He's quite wily, like his old man.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: In order to obtain the Soul Stone, Thanos must sacrifice the person he loves the most. Gamora, Thanos' daughter, doesn't believe he cares about anyone other than himself. Thanos tells her that's not true and with a heavy heart, tosses Gamora off a cliff to her death and receives the Soul Stone.
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead strengthens the suspense of the third act through the question of whether or not the father will kill his two sons. The youngest escapes with the father assuming him to be a helpless accomplice, but the father murders the oldest.
  • The Believers: The villains are an evil cult consisting largely of upper-class yuppies who have sacrificed their children in dark rituals in exchange for fame and success. They want to recruit the hero to have him do the same thing to his own son.
  • Broken Blossoms: After catching Lucy at Chen's house, Battling gets so angry that he whips Lucy to death. She ends up dying of her injuries shortly after the beating.
  • Clash of the Titans features Queen Cassiopeia being forced to sacrifice her virgin daughter Andromeda to the Kraken, due to having slighted the goddess Thetis in her own temple.
  • In Cult of Chucky, one of the inmates at the asylum is a woman named Madeline who was committed for smothering her infant son.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower: Says one editor: "If there's something out there that has a higher rank in the fratricide, patricide, and incest scale... I don't want to know."
  • Dark Angel: The Ascent: Veronica's demon father tries to kill her for defying him, justifying it to his wife by stating they can always have more children.
  • The Eagle (2011): The Seal Prince kills his son because the boy lets Esca and Marcus get away instead of waking him.
  • The Eraserhead baby is killed for one of the first two reasons. It's hard to say which.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego callously murders any of his children who did not inherit his powers, as he considers them worthless.
  • Happens in The Good Son, to the audience's sorrow. The "good" son Henry kills his younger brother by drowning him, builds a crossbow with which he shoots at a cat and hits a dog, drops a homemade scarecrow onto the street from an overpass causing a lot of car crashes, throws his sister onto thin ice during a skating trip (she gets away), and pushes his mother off a cliff. And while the mother is holding the two children, the "good" son and his cousin Mark, to prevent them from falling to their deaths, but only has the strength to pull one of them up. She drops her evil son in order to help Mark. More horrific, the "good" son is played by that kid in Home Alone.
  • Lilly in The Grifters, after saving her son Roy's life, likes to remind him "I gave you life twice." But when she gets into an argument with him over money, she smashes a glass in his face and a shard slashes his throat, and he exsanguinates and dies. She cries, but takes the money and runs anyhow.
  • In The Guilty, Iben kills her infant son during a psychotic episode. When she realizes what she has done, she's horrified.
  • Here Again: Ann's accidentally infecting Hailey and the resulting Enfant Terrible makes it necessary, though she does try to do it gently and painlessly.
  • Hold the Dark: Medora Slone says that a wolf carried her son away. When wolf expert Russell Core tracks down the local pack, he sees them eating one of their own cubs, which he says wolves will sometimes do to better prepare the pack for hardship. It's later revealed that Medora killed her own son, possibly to spare him the hardship of his birth by incest.
  • By the end of the 2003 Hulk, David Banner wants to kill his son Bruce so he can absorb Bruce's Hulk powers back into himself to stabilize his mutated body, arguing that he gave him life in the first place and should give it back.
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War: Freya's lover kills their child, though why is not apparent. He's revealed to have been framed near the end.
  • The Initiation: To save Kelly's life, her mother shoots Terry, her other daughter.
  • In It's Alive, new father Frank not only joins but leads the vigilante mob hunting his newborn baby, which is a mutated, murderous monster. Subverted when Frank finally confronts the sobbing infant... and his paternal instincts kick in.
  • Slightly inverted in James and the Giant Peach. Spiker and Sponge try to kill their nephew when he stands up against them in front of a large crowd of people and some police officers.
  • Mama: A failed attempt in the first few scenes. A drunken man, psychologically unstable and unable to cope with severe financial loss, goes on a spree. Fleeing, he takes his two daughters out on an icy highway and drives at reckless speeds. He inevitably crashes, taking shelter with his children in a small cabin. His daughters look out the window. He holds a pistol. He raises the gun barrel to the back of their heads... but something doesn't like that at all.
  • Mom and Dad: An unknown phenomenon causes parents to carry out this trope en masse.
  • Noah: What Noah plans to do to his newborn grandchildren if they were girls. Thankfully, he averts this once he sees them.
  • This is half the entire premise behind the horror film The Omen (1976), since the kid in question is the ultimate Bad Seed, The Anti-Christ, and has to be killed. He survives.
  • In The Quick and the Dead, the Kid, whose entire character arc was about trying to please his father Herod, is heartlessly gunned down when the two of them duel.
  • The Rapture: Sharon murders her daughter to hasten her entry to heaven.
  • The Reaping: In the town of Haven, there is a cult that follows a whole religion based on killing every child born after a couples' firstborn. They then hang their bodies up in mass graves.
  • In The Ring, either the father (Japanese) or the adoptive mother (American remake) kills the child because of the terrible and dangerous power she has. Especially poignant in the latter version, where the Morgans couldn't conceive on their own and desperately wanted to love Samara, who drove them mad with uncontrollable psychic visions.
  • In Shutter Island, it turns out the protagonist's troubled wife killed their children, and he was so traumatized by this that he invented a whole new delusional reality to deal with it.
  • One of the ghosts in The Sixth Sense became a ghost this way. Her mother was poisoning her so she (the mother) could get the attention and sympathy it produced.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader and his son Luke Skywalker, though after learning he's his son he really didn't want to kill him until Return of the Jedi, and his last-minute Heroic Sacrifice was because of Luke. After reading Darth Plagueis and learning that Darth Sidious was involved (albeit not quite as he or Plagueis had hoped) in Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader's creation, his telling Luke in Return of the Jedi to kill his father after defeating Vader can easily be interpreted as this trope.
  • Tales of an Ancient Empire: Oda at the beginning almost killed his child with the vampire Xia, because he didn't want it growing up into a dhampyr. After cutting it out of her womb, however, he couldn't kill the baby. Instead, he gave her to a palace as a servant girl.
  • In the Transformers series, Sentinel Prime was a Parental Substitute to Megatron and Optimus and ended up trying to kill Megatron throughout the war. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he spent most of the movie trying to do this to Optimus.
  • In The Usual Suspects, Verbal tells the "only story he believes" about Kayzer Soze. That coming home and finding his wife and daughters violated by killers from a crime syndicate, he kills all but one of the bad guys and then kills his own family. He lets the last bad guy go to tell the others he's coming for them.
  • Walk Hard: Dewey Cox's father tries to kill him after stewing for decades over Dewey accidentally cutting his brother in half with a machete and repeatedly telling him "the wrong kid died!" This culminates in Dewey's father accidentally cutting HIMSELF in half, causing him to forgive Dewey after discovering just how easy it is to cut someone in half with a machete by accident.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Mystique vehemently tells the FBI interrogator that her parents tried to murder her.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Thomas Logan nearly shoots his son James Howlett when the kid is charging at him with newly sprouted bone claws, but Elizabeth Howlett manages to grab the hunting rifle before Thomas could do so.
    • The Wolverine: Shingen planned to kill his daughter so that he would inherit his father's company.

    Music 
  • Flower of the Plateau, in which Mikulia kills two people, an ex-suitor/client and her own son because they're the only ones who know that she used to be a prostitute. The imagery really doesn't help.
  • "The Rake's Song" by The Decemberists fulfills this trope— if the rake's wife hadn't died giving birth to their fourth child, he'd probably have killed her too, quite happily. As it is, he poisons one child, drowns the second, and possibly beats the third to death. All because he didn't like having to take care of kids, and would have preferred the single, unattached life. And this turns out to be a colossally bad idea, because they come back to haunt him while he's busy trying to abduct Margaret. Sucks to be him.
  • Child Ballad #20, "The Cruel Mother", is about a girl who kills her two babies born out of wedlock, the children's' spectres coming back to haunt her. The song also goes under various names such as "Down by the Greenwood Side" and "Bonny Greenwoodside".
  • The video for Martina McBride's Concrete Angel features a boy who has a crush on his cute next-door neighbor. The girl is heavily abused and later beaten to death by her abusive mother. The "concrete angel" is her grave's marker.
  • GWAR can be described as this, as the band is responsible for the creation of mankind, and thus, all humans are their children, and the band wants them all dead.
  • The first verse of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" restages the Choice of Abraham. God in this version seems much less likely to give Abe the out he got in the Bible.
  • "Down by the Water" from To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey has the speaker drown her daughter for talking back.
  • The Violent Femmes's "Country Death Song" tells the story of a destitute man who takes his youngest child out to the forest and throws her in a well (presumably because he couldn't afford to feed her). Afterwards, in a fit of remorse, he hangs himself in the barn
  • This happens in the music video to Melanie Martinez's "Sippy Cup". A woman kills her husband and his mistress in her house. Her teenage daughter finds the corpses and understandably freaks out. Her mother comes up behind her, drugs her, ties her up while she's knocked out, then feeds her something poisonous when she wakes up. According to the prequel song, "Dollhouse", she has a brother but he's never shown in the music video.
  • The second song on Akiko Shikata's album Utau Oka ~Ar=Ciel Ar=Dor~, which is about the mythology of Ar Ciel, opens with an emperor sacrificing his daughter to ensure victory in a war (not unlike Agamemnon below).

    Myths & Religion 
  • Happened several times among the The Greek Gods:
    • Because Cronus had been prophesied to be overthrown by one of his children, he ate all of his offspring alive, except Zeus who was saved by his mother. Though as they were gods, this didn't kill them. They matured inside his stomach.
    • Cronus' father Ouranos had earlier shoved Cronus' siblings into Tartarus.
    • Zeus himself ate one of his many consorts when she was pregnant, as a male child by her was prophesied to be greater than Zeus himself. That one backfired, tho, thankfully the child born was Athena, who, being a daughter instead of a son was not greater than Zeus, and a total Daddy's Girl.
    • Zeus also killed his son Iason out of anger for sleeping the goddess Demeter (who also had been Zeus's lover... and sister, of course).
  • Quite a few parents of Greek heroes tried to Screw Destiny by having their children killed. Of course, since You Can't Fight Fate, this frequently backfired.
    • Oedipus the King: Oedipus' father, King Laius, pierced his feet and left him on a hill to die, in attempt to prevent him from fulfilling the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. This only resulted in a Meaningful Name for Oedipus (meaning "swollen foot") and the "Laius complex".
    • Perseus' grandfather Acrisius locked the newborn and his mother Danae in a trunk and set them out to sea since it was prophesied that kid would kill him when he grew up. With a little help from the Gods, they were saved by drifting to an island, and Perseus would grow into one of the most famous heroes of Greek myths.
  • Other characters from Classical Mythology killed their own children for vengeance, madness, to appease the gods or just For the Evulz:
    • To bring shame on the gods, Tantalus had his own son Pelops killed and cooked to serve him to the gods (the boy was later restored to life, though).
    • Heracles famously was driven insane by his stepmother, Hera, which led to him killing his first wife Megara and their children. The myths vary on how many children, but the best-known account is that of Euripides's play Heracles which describes three sons.
    • Phaedra, the second wife of Theseus, was attracted to her stepson Hippolytus and after declaring her love to him (or raping him in some versions) she felt so ashamed and fearful that he might tell his father that she accused him of raping her. Theseus believed her and cursed his son, asking Poseidon to kill him. Poseidon was his bud and so he caused Hippolytus' horses to go wild and drag the poor guy to his death. The story is told in Euripides' Hippolytus.
    • When Meleager was born, the Fates predicted he would only live until a brand, burning in the family hearth, was consumed by fire. Overhearing them, his mother Althaea immediately doused and hid the brand. When he grew up, Meleager killed his uncles Iphicles and Eurypylus (Althaea's brothers) in an argument; Althaea was so pissed that ran back to the house, retrieved the brand from it's hiding place, and put it on the fire, killing her son.
    • In his Metamorphoses, Ovid tells the story of Queen Procne of Thracia: Her husband, King Tereus, raped Procne's younger sister, Philomela, and then cut out her tongue so she couldn't tell anyone. Philomela weaved the event onto a tapestry, which she showed to Procne; Procne, in a fit of anger, killed Itys, (her son by Tereus), and served him to his father for dinner.
    • Cepheus and Cassiopeia, who had offended the Nereids, were willing to sacrifice their daughter Andromeda to a sea monster, either their kingdom would be destroyed by it. To the parents' relieve, however, Perseus killed the monster and saved Andromeda.
    • Agamemnon ordered the sacrifice of his own daughter Iphigenia to obtain the Gods' favor on the Greek campaign to Troy. According to Euripides, Iphigenia was spirited away by the Gods to the Taurians at the last minute, but in the older version, the sacrifice was indeed carried out. The sacrifice of Iphigenia is also often given as the original reason for Clytemnestra's grudge against her husband, which later led to her murder of Agamemnon. As The Cartoon History of the Universe put it:
      Narration: Torn between duty to brother, love of daughter, sympathy for wife, and fear of army, Agamemnon tricked Clytemnestra into bringing Iphigenia to the sacrifice.
      Clytemnestra: (visibly angrily walking away) You haven't heard the last of this, boy!
      Agamemnon: (running from the altar, arms open) But Clytemnestra!
    • Ironically, Clytemnestra later treated her other daughter Electra like crap because she would not forget her father. In the tragedy Electra, she gets the poor girl locked away in a cave to die of starvation and thirst.
      • Totally his own fault, too, as he only needed to sacrifice Iphigenia because he had angered the goddess Artemis before. He really should have known better than to insult a goddess. And also he started the war to a certain extent so it's not like he was forced into that situation.
    • According to Euripides' Medea, the eponymous Taurian princess killed her own children by Jason when she learned that Jason planned to leave her for another woman.
  • According to history and myth, Lucius Brutus (Ancestor of the assassin Marcus Junius Brutus) the founder of The Roman Republic did this. Two of his sons worked defected to Tarquin. In order to prove that the Republic played no favorites, Lucius Brutus was forced to Make an Example of Them and ordered the death of his own sons.
  • Examples from The Bible:
    • Subverted in the so-called "Binding of Isaac": God orders Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac; but when Abraham is just about to go through with it, an angel appears and grabs his hand, revealing that it was only a test. It's also a sort of Chekhov's Gun in that God has already explicitly said to Abraham that Isaac will be the son through whom his descendants are counted (Genesis 21:12). Funnily enough, The Qur'an tells the same story...only it's Ishmael who gets trussed up, rather than Isaac. No mention is made of "the son who counts", however.
    • Played straight with Queen Athaliah, except in this case it's Grandchildren Genocide. She tried to kill off all the heirs to her son Ahaziah's throne (in those times the queen was the mother, not the wife of the king) to seize power. Only one, Jehoash survived.
    • Played straight when Jephthah made a promise to God that he would give Him the first thing that came out of his door to greet him as a burnt offering if God would give him the victory over his enemies. And, as it turned out, the first thing that did greet Jephthah when he came home from his victory was his only daughter. "And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year."
    • Endorsed in Deuteronomy 21:18-21: parents are allowed to bring their disobedient children to the elders of the city to stone them to death.
  • Older Than Dirt: The Mesopotamian god / Eldritch Abomination Apsu tries to slaughter all of his descendants, including his immediate offspring, in Enûma Eliš. After they kill him in self-defense, his mate Tiamat picks up where he left off, even though she's the one who tried to stop Apsu and then warned them of his attack. She also ends up killed by the younger gods.
  • An old Welsh tradition about "King" Arthur, related as early as Historia Brittonum, is that he killed a son of his own called Amr. The circumstances are not known, but possibly this is the root for the later tradition that Arthur killed his own son Mo(r)dred (in the process being himself mortally wounded). Note that with Mordred at least this was Type 2.
  • Germanic heroic legend has the story of the hero Hildebrand who returned to his native land after thirty years of exile: When, on a reconnaissance mission, he ran into an enemy warrior, he was challenged to combat. He realized that the hostile warrior was his own son Hadubrand, but Hadubrand, who thought Hildebrand was dead, accused him of being an impostor and forced him to fight for his life. It ended with Hildebrand inflicting a deadly wound on his own son. Hildebrand's tragic fight with Hadubrand is the subject of the oldest surviving piece of German heroic poetry, "Hildebrandslied" ("Lay of Hildebrand"). In the 13th century, an alternate version arose that provided a Happy Ending by letting Hadubrand survive.
  • "La Llorona", the ghost of a woman who murdered her children.
  • Celtic Mythology: Cu Chulainn's illegitimate son Connla had three Geas placed on him. He must never turn back on a journey, must never turn down a challenge, and must never give his name. One day, Connla decided to go on a quest to meet his father for the first time. When he finally met Cu Chulainn, he was challenged to a fight for refusing to introduce himself. Cu Chulainn only figured out who he was fighting after Connla was killed, and was struck with grief.

    Pinball 
  • The randomly-generated murders in WHO dunnit make this a possible result.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Emperor killing Horus in Warhammer 40,000. One of the more justified examples, as Horus at that point had just led a daemon-empowered invasion of Terra, ripped the Imperium apart in civil war that had claimed trillions of lives, corrupted half of his brothers, killed one of his brothers who remained loyal to the Emperor, consorted with daemons, destroyed multiple planets, laid siege to the Emperor's palace and was at that moment trying to eviscerate the Emperor. As with everything, when Warhammer 40,000 justifies a trope, it doesn't do it by halves. It says a lot about how much the Emperor loved Horus that none of that was actually enough to force the Emperor to kill Horus. Even as he was being torn apart, he still hoped that Horus could be redeemed. Then a lone soldier (who prior to retcons, was an ordinary human being with absolutely no chance of hurting Horus) stood before Horus in a futile attempt to defend the Emperor. Horus casually flayed the man alive with a glance. This cold-blooded murder is what finally convinced the Emperor that Horus needed to die. So the mortally wounded Emperor launched a psychic attack of such power that it obliterated Horus and sent the four Chaos gods who had possessed Horus screaming back to the Warp.

    Theatre 
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' The Emperor Constantine, Constantine's wife tricks him into killing his son by his first wife.
  • The Greek play Agamemnon describes the eponymous character's murder by his wife as vengeance for sacrificing their daughter to allow his armies to go to war with Troy. The play contains one of the more horrifying moments in Greek literature, as it describes Iphigenia (Who is typically believed to be twelve to thirteen years old, if that) begging for her life along the lines of "Daddy, please don't!" before being killed.
  • Electra, based on later events of the abovementioned story, has Iphigenia's murder in the background, but more importantly features the threat of Electra being sealed up in a cave to die. Clytemnestra's excuses about Iphigenia ring a little more hollow here.
  • Medea is the Trope Codifier, at least when it comes to women. After being scorned by Jason in favor of a more politically advantageous fiancee, she kills said fiancee and then murders her two sons, both to keep them safe from being abused as fugitives of the law and/or prisoners of the fiancee's father, and as one last spite to Jason.
  • Tamamo-no-Mae Asahi no Tamoto: Washizuka Kintōji, the messenger of the Big Bad Usugumo, is under said prince's order to steal a precious sword from the late Fujiwara Michiharu's family's possession. Kintōji then goes to the family's mansion and demands that they hand over the head of Lady Katsura, the woman Usugumo is lusting after if they want the sword back. Her mother refuses since Katsura was adopted from a temple, meaning she may or may not be under the gods' protection, and suggests that her biological daughter, Lady Hatsuhana, go in her place. Kintōji agrees, but then he goes ahead and hacks Katsura's head off anyway. The catch? Katsura is his biological daughter. He kills her in order to spare the widow's daughter.
  • The protagonist of Titus Andronicus cuts down one of his sons at the beginning of the play in a fit of anger when the latter defies him. Later, Titus kills his daughter Lavinia in what he believes to be an act of mercy after she is raped and mutilated.

    Video Games 
  • Off: The Batter does this to Hugo. This prompts The Judge to ask "What the Hell, Player?" after you let this happen.
  • Pokémon Black and White:
    • Ghetsis implies that he was planning to do this to N once the whole Team Plasma goal is realized.
    • There's also the fact his signature Pokemon seems raised in order to defeat the Legendary Dragons. He certainly didn't expect you to get one but planned on having N get one. Why else other than this trope would he need such a Pokemon?
    • Not just his signature Pokemon. He leads with Cofagrigus because he's baiting for disguised Zoroark. His entire team is designed to counter N's.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon features another attempt at this in the form of Mother Beast Lusamine attempting to kill Lillie in Ultra Space. Fortunately, Nebby intervenes before she can get close enough to actually hurt her daughter.
  • The John Woo game Stranglehold had Wong ordering Tequila's partner Jerry to kill Tequila and Wong's daughter Billie, whom Tequila loved. He did it both because Damon Zakarov threatened to force Billie to reveal everyone connected to her father's Dragon Claw syndicate in a court of law to keep her daughter Teko alive if Wong wouldn't hand over Hong Kong to him, and because Wong would rather see his daughter dead than with the cop who gunned down his messed-up son Johnny Wong from Hard-Boiled. As if intimidating his daughter into breaking up with Tequila on pain of death eighteen years ago while she was still pregnant with Teko wasn't reason enough to hate Wong, this cold-hearted betrayal lays bare Wong's evil in a serious way, and leads not only to a showdown between Tequila and Jerry but also sets the stage for the final showdown with Wong himself.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • The power-hungry Queen Brahne, who didn't love her daughter Garnet and only wanted the powers of the eidolons that Garnet had, even going as far as to try to kill her once she had them (the fact that Brahne had been manipulated by the evil Kuja towards this end didn't do much for poor Garnet's state of mind after the battle with her). It is later revealed that Garnet is Brahne's adopted daughter after the real princess died very young.
    • Honorable mention goes to Garland attempting to repossess his creation, Zidane's SOUL once it becomes clear Zidane is no longer willing of carrying out his original purpose.
  • Toni Ciprani's mother orders a hit on Toni in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, though she eventually rescinds. Given allegations that Toni is an Expy of Tony Soprano, this may be a Shout-Out. This relationship was shown in Grand Theft Auto III, with Toni going on Chatterbox and whining that his mother never seems to appreciate him. And when he's out, his mother tells the main character how worthless he is, even though the man is a capo to the Leone family.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, King Desmond tries to kill his own son Zephiel by hiring assassins (which you have to stop). Aside from jealousy and just being Royally Screwed Up, Desmond hates Zephiel for being a child from an unhappy Arranged Marriage and the one to inherit his throne. He would rather have his beloved child with a mistress inherit, but little cute Princess Guinevere is both younger and, well, a girl. Zephiel's mother Hellene doesn't help the situation by using this as a big Take That! against her husband.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, which takes place twenty years after Blazing Blade, the players find out that Desmond got what was coming to him. After barely surviving his father's attempt to poison him, Zephiel faked his death and stabbed Desmond as he looked into his coffin. This was lampshaded in the epilogue of the prequel when Eliwood and Hector are discussing the news of Desmond's death, along with their suspicions when they had heard that Zephiel had been the one to die only days earlier.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, it's said that the Big Bad King Garon would kill his children if it served him. At very least, he's sent his adoptive kid the Avatar in missions that would end up in his/her death. It turns out Garon has been Dead All Along, his body being "animated" by the Greater-Scope Villain and the Avatar's actual father, Anankos.
      • Subverted by the Avatar's mother/Azura and the Hoshidan siblings' Parental Substitute, Queen Mikoto, in the Golden Path: she says she wants her kids to die with her, but in reality she Came Back Wrong thanks to Anankos. The real Mikoto died in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Avatar, and once she's defeated in battle she passes on in peace.
  • There's a lot of this going around in Odin Sphere:
    • King Odin allowed his scheming top general to arrange for the execution of Velvet, his daughter by a deceased mother and the one child he is implied to actually love. Velvet had single-handedly rendered their victory in a war pointless, and the general threatened to call his leadership into question if he did not punish her. Also, the news that he'd had a daughter with the princess of their nation's greatest enemy wouldn't have gone over well with his subjects. He's perfectly okay with punishing Gwendolyn for giving him an out, though; but he does come to realize a little bit just what kind of a daughter he's been ignoring the whole time.
    • In the final episode of, it is discovered that King Gallon arranged for the murder of the son whom he exiled for marrying a common woman. As a royal secret, there was a prophecy that Gallon would be killed by someone of royal blood, presumably of his own family. His exiled son left resenting Gallon, and thus Gallon feared he would return to kill him one day, so he had him killed first. Karma got him in the end when his grandson Oswald destroyed him with the Belderiver.
    • The worst is probably King Valentine, who strangled his own daughter Ariel to death with his bare hands when he found out she had given birth to his enemy Odin's children, the aforementioned Velvet and her brother Inwald.
  • This is Gau's backstory in Final Fantasy VI. His mother died in childbirth, and his father, driven mad by the accident, threw him out on the Veldt to be eaten by the monsters. They didn't.
  • Metal Gear:
    • When Metal Gear Solid's Psycho Mantis first developed his psychic powers, he read his father's mind and realized that his father wanted to kill him. He responded in a reasonable and mature fashion by destroying him and burning the entire village to the ground.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: As children, Liquid and Psycho Mantis were even stronger than they were as adults. After all the shit Liquid Snake pulled up to and including piloting a Metal Gear using Psycho Mantis' powers to assist in mobility, Big Boss accidentally shot him during one of his crazy boss fights. He survived, but then he was diagnosed with an incurable disease, so Big Boss gave him a pistol with one bullet and told him to hate the father, not the gun. Psycho Mantis used telekinesis to literally rip the disease right out of his lungs when Big Boss' back was turned, they went into the military under false identities to prepare for revenge, and the rest is history.
  • Castlevania:
    • In Castlevania 64, an evil witch named Actrise sacrificed her own child in a ritual to obtain eternal life.
    • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Dracula is doomed to battle his own descendants. And this is especially true of the alternate universe's Trevor Belmont, Dracula didn't know he had a child until he's already impaled Trevor with his own combat cross and gave him his blood, which would eventually turn him into Alucard. The shock that the brotherhood knowingly sent Trevor to kill him causes him to extend his vendetta from God to the whole of humanity.
  • Silent Hill:
  • It's an odd version, but in System Shock 2, SHODAN calls the annelid horror that she created her "children", which became disobedient and rebelled against her. Eventually, she does succeed through her "avatar".
  • One of the more convoluted and fucked-up examples on this page would belong to [PROTOTYPE]. Long story short, the Supreme Hunter was created when Alex Mercer injected fellow Plaguemaster Elizabeth Greene with a combination of a sentient cancer he had earlier been infected with and his own DNA. In a metaphorical birthing scene, she immediately spits it out for a boss fight so she can get away. The result is after Alex finally kills Greene later in the game, the Supreme Hunter tries to kill and absorb him. Alex ends up hacking it to death with the Blade.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • High Overlord Saurfang trying to kill his son, who has been raised by the Lich King as a death knight. Deathbringer Saurfang merely laughs at his father's attempt and begins choking him with his death knight powers.
    • Going back further in the Warcraft mythos, Kilrogg Deadeye, chieftain of the Bleeding Hollow orc clan, was known for having killed several of his sons and a couple of grandsons who challenged him for control of his clan. He's still painted as one of the more sympathetic members of the old horde, which says something.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • Your asari companion Samara has spent hundreds of years hunting her daughter Morinth, an Ardat-Yakshi Serial Killer. With your help, she can finally catch up to her and finish the job.
      • Miranda's father is implied to have done this to her older sisters and in the third game tries to kill Miranda, and depending on your choices may or may not succeed.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Samara is once again forced to kill one of her daughters after they escape from the destruction of the Ardat-Yakshi temple. Her code states that an Ardat-Yakshi cannot be allowed to survive outside the temple even though Falere is not evil like Morinth. This time, however, she is unable to go through with it and unless Shepard steps in, she will Take a Third Option: Suicide.
  • In Legacy of Kain, Kain has Raziel, his eldest vampiric son executed for a seemingly petty and pointless reason. When Raziel gets better, he hunts down Kain's other five children and kills them. It turns out that Kain planned all of this in order to make Raziel strong enough to complete his destiny. So he killed one son and used that son to kill the others.
  • In The House 2, it turns out that the family that lived in the house had a daughter by the name of Alrena. Alrena was born severely disabled, and the couple poisoned her and stuffed her body in the safe because they didn't want to see her suffering anymore (see Real Life notes — families actually did this in the past). Alrena wanted to live, no matter what, and she was not happy about what her parents had done to her. After trying to "start over" with an adoptive daughter and killing the maid that they hired because she had found out too much, they eventually couldn't deal with the guilt of what they had done any longer and killed themselves.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • An option that, if you choose to fight the Connor-inhabited abomination directly, you can have his mother Isolde put him out of his misery.
    • There is also Flemeth, of whom the local barbarians say that she eventually hunts down every one of her daughters to eat their hearts. She actually has a new daughter every couple of decades only for the single purpose of stealing their bodies when her own grows too old. By the time she gets to Morrigan, she should be through one or two dozens of them.
  • In Gungnir, there was a prophecy that Emperor Wolfgang III's successor would kill him, and so he ordered all of his children murdered. As these things tend to go, it didn't work: His wife, who was pregnant at the time, didn't tell him and had her daughter Alessandra raised in secret. Rumors also popped up about one of Wolfgang's sons escaping into the ghettoes, and so he had all children that age in the ghetto massacred — which still didn't work, as the general he sent to do this had ulterior motives and spared the boy.
  • The Witch's House has a particularly evil one. Viola's father runs towards the titular house and sees his daughter leaving it, with the witch right behind her. Wanting to protect her, he shoots the witch twice and runs home with his daughter... only, the True Ending reveals that the bodies have long been switched. Viola's father shot his own daughter, in the witch's body. And he doesn't even know.
  • In Diablo III, Adria, in the cruelest betrayal of the entire series, kills her own daughter Leah by shoving the Black Soulstone into her chest and using her as a vessel for Diablo's rebirth as the Prime Evil. Even worse, the only reason that Adria even had the poor girl was for this exact purpose — Leah's true father was none other than Diablo himself by way of the possessed Dark Wanderer, and Adria had her with him in order to put her master in control of the other six Evils upon the realization of this horrible plan.
  • During Carl's Story in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, he finds his father, Relius, who instantly tries to kill Carl because he asked why he turned Ada into Nirvana. Relius then shows Carl he did the same to his wife, Ignis. Due to him not being Playable yet, he wasn't actually fought, but in Extend, Relius is made playable, yet Carl's story remains the same.
  • In StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, any lingering doubts that Arcturus Mengsk is a bastard die a nasty death when he demonstrates that he's perfectly willing to let his own son Valerian die if it means killing Kerrigan too. Valerian isn't at all surprised by this.
  • The Binding of Isaac is a direct nod to the original Choice of Abraham, with poor Isaac having to escape a mother who wants to murder him on God's command. Except it turns out, after a very, very convoluted bit of Mind Screw, that this is not the case — Isaac is suicidal because of massive self-loathing brought on by his father's leaving the family, which he blames himself for, to the point of believing himself to be the Devil. The entire game is essentially a Dying Dream, with Isaac locking himself inside a toy chest and slowly suffocating to death.
  • Twisted Metal:
    • In the reboot, the "one who got away" as described by Sweet Tooth is his daughter, who escaped from the Pater Familicide he just committed on his family, and he wishes to correct that. It does not go well for him.
    • As far back as the first Twisted Metal, this trope is played straight in Yellow Jacket's ending; a father looking for his son. Who turns out to be Sweet Tooth, who he just unknowingly killed in the tournament. Ouch.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Lady Tremaine and her daughters, out of hatred towards Cinderella, attempt to murder her with an Unversed called the Cursed Coach. They fail, and are executed by their own monster as a result before Aqua could even fight them.
  • The royal family in Radiant Historia already had this happen once before the beginning of the game. The crown prince was executed on false charges because he was making his dad look bad, and Queen Protea has been using this fact to threaten Princess Eruca pretty much ever since. True to the Wicked Stepmother trope, it doesn't take much to tip Protea into actively trying to murder Eruca, either; there's even one bad end where she has her assassinated and blames it on a foreign power.
  • In the good ending of Myst, Atrus, deciding that the various pillages and genocides committed by his two sons Sirrus and Achenar are unforgivable (and that both of them were responsible, not just one of them), destroys the books that are the only way out of their prison Ages, dooming them to spend the rest of their lives in separate featureless black voids alone. Later games would Retcon their prisons to actual places, but in 1993 it looked like Atrus effectively executed his sons.
  • Tekken: Heihachi tries to kill his son Kazuya multiple times, and Kazuya later himself plans on trying to kill his son Jin (who Heihachi also tries to kill in Tekken 3). In Tekken 5, it's revealed even Heihachi's father Jinpachi held a certain mutual animosity for him. In Tekken 7 it turns out Kazumi Mishima, wife of Heihachi and mother of Kazuya had the Devil Gene and intended to kill her husband and son forcing Heihachi to kill her... though the act deeply saddened him. Kayzua angry at the death of his mother attacks Heihachi, who instead of explaining the whole situation tosses him off a cliff in hopes getting rid of the Devil Gene and but ironically this act activated the Gene in Kazuya's body in the first place. Years later Heihachi's actions come back to bite in the ass since in the climax to Tekken 7, Kazuya kills Heihachi and throws his body into a burning volcano.
  • In Fallout 4, three of the four major endings require you to do this to your son Shaun, who you have spent the better part of the game trying to reach, due to him having become Father, the director of the Institute and the game's primary Big Bad, during the course of the sixty years between his kidnapping from Vault 111 and your release from that same Vault, in one of the more tragic examples of The Bad Seed. If you're feeling especially cruel, you can also do this to Synth Shaun by leaving him to die when the Institute goes kaboom, but virtually every one of the good companions and NPCs with you will hate this decision.
  • Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll begins with the Evil Overlord hearing a prophecy from his trusted oracle that he would be killed by his own grandson. The Evil Overlord responds by immediately having his pregnant daughter killed. Not long afterward though, he finds out that his son fathered two half-elven children in secret, and he leads his troops to attack the village of the elves and kill everyone there just to be sure. When his son, upon hearing his father's plans, rebels and attempts to rescue his wife and children, the Evil Overlord personally kills him and then spends the next decade desperately searching for the two grandsons who got away. Naturally, one of the grandsons swears revenge and endures Training from Hell so that he can one day fulfill that prophecy.
  • POPGOES has a big reveal concerning the origin of the Blackrabbit, namely that Frtiz is trying to bring his daughter — whom he had chopped into pieces in a PTSD fit — back to life by having her possess it.
  • In the climax of The Park, Lorraine stabs Callum in the chest with an ice pick while under Nathaniel Winter's influence.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In the series' lore, Ruptga, aka "Tall Papa", is the chief deity of the Yokudan/Redguard pantheon. He was the first deity to discover a means to survive Satakal's cyclical devouring of the worlds, known as the "Walkabout", where he would reach the Far Shores which Satakal could not consume. He helped other spirits to accomplish this as well, but soon, there were too many spirits for he alone to save. He created a helper in Sep, the serpentine Yokudan version of Lorkhan, out of the "worldskins" that Satakal left behind. However, Sep convinced other spirits to help him build an easier alternative to the Walkabout, even though Ruptga did not participate or approve. When the plan proved to be a failure, leaving many spirits stranded on a dying patchwork worldskin, Ruptga punished Sep by "squashing him with a big stick". Sep could then only slink around in a dead skin or swim about harmlessly in the sky.
    • According to the 16 Accords of Madness, Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, once tricked Malacath, the Daedric Prince of Spurned and Ostracized, into killing one of his own 'sons', a noble Orc who would have otherwise been destined to be a great hero. For a double whammy, Malacath killed the Orc with a special blade given to him by Sheogorath, which doomed the Orc's soul to an eternity in Sheogorath's realm.
    • The Night Mother is a mysterious figure who leads the Dark Brotherhood, an illegal assassins guild whose members typically take a sadistic glee in killing and who practice a Religion of Evil, worshiping the "Dread Father" Sithis, the primordial "Is-Not" antithesis of creation represented by a great void. According to legend, the Night Mother was once a mortal woman who sacrificed her five children in the name of Sithis and became the wife of Sithis after her death.
  • At one point in Dead Space 2, you can find an audio log of a woman screaming at her husband in grief-stricken rage for convincing them to come to the Sprawl with him. Because she just had to kill her own daughter, who had turned into a necromorph.

    Visual Novels 
  • Mamiya Shinzo kills his son and then commits suicide in one ending of Kara no Shoujo. Type two, but kind of his own fault.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, it's revealed in the Bad Boys Love route that Yuuya's stepfather ordered him to smash Sakuya's egg, due it being laid between Yuuya's mother and father. Instead of doing that, Yuuya hid Sakuya's egg until his mother and stepfather had an egg together, then switched that egg with Sakuya's, smashing the other one.
  • From the Shall We Date? franchise:
    • Destiny Ninja 2 has a Type 3: the heroine is cursed so that Yamato Island will be destroyed unless she dies. Her parents knew about the curse but were unable to break it and so had to send her on the journey that would ultimately kill her. Luckily, in the good endings her curse is broken.
      • Kikyo's father is a Type 1, who planned his son's death as part of a plot to take over all of Yamato Island.

    Webcomics 
  • Unicorn Jelly - Chou's father forms an anti-nonhuman cult and tried to kill his daughter after she is transformed into a crystalline-human hybrid.
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • The first major story arc involves Croona Travoria's gamble on driving her youngest daughter Luna to suicide while a royal knight is visiting since a generous compensation package is given to the family should a family member die while a knight is visiting. Instead, Croona is killed by said knight. She does get some measure of revenge from beyond the grave, as she leaves Luna nothing in her will.
    • It's later revealed that some of the other children in Callan born with tusks due to an Orc curse were killed when they were born as well.
  • YU+ME: dream - as part of the huge reveal halfway through the story, Fiona finds out that her mother not only killed herself, but tried to take Fiona with her instead of letting her be raised by the woman who stole her husband.
  • The Order of the Stick - Tarquin kills his son Nale after the latter confesses to murdering the former's best friend. Take note of how similar the situation is to Elan and Nale's first meeting. "You don't want to be with me? *stab stab*".
  • Girl Genius
    • In the backstory, Prince Aaronev Sturmvoraus put his own daughter in a machine that, if it had worked, would have completely overwritten her mind with the one of the woman he was madly in love with. Instead, it grievously injured her.
      Tarvek: After Father put Anevka through that damn machine, it was clear she was dying. Of course, only then was he sorry.
    • Lucrezia/The Other has tried to off Agatha several times, and was responsible for the death of Agatha's older brother, who died as a child during the Other's attack on Castle Heterodyne. (Although there's still a great deal that's not clear about that attack and The Other's exact nature and identity.)
  • Homestuck: While she didn't do the deed personally, Betty Crocker, aka Her Imperious Condescension did order her great-granddaughter Jane's dream self to be killed, and is heavily implied to be behind the multiple assassination attempts in the real world. Luckily, thanks to Jane's Life powers and GCAT respectively neither works.
  • Drowtales:
    • Though the child is adopted, Quain'tana Val'Sarghress winds up doing this to Syphile. While the threat had certainly been there before, it's only once Syphile tries to pull the Self-Made Orphan routine (and promptly gets curb stomped) that Quain finishes her off. Also subverted in that Quain actually seems proud for the first time that she actually had the guts to try and kill her, even though she failed.
    • Zala'ess Vel'Sharen wanted to do this after Yaeminira the adopted "protector twin" of her daughter Vy'chriel killed Vy'chriel, but Zala's own sister instead forced Zala'ess to adopt her and take Vy'chriel's place. Zala later gets her wish when she has Yaeminira killed via a Uriah Gambit.
    • And a subversion occurred with Val'Sharess Diva'ratrika, who was extremely angry at three of her daughters for willingly tainting themselves and says that she seriously considered killing them, but ultimately couldn't do it. Considering that said daughters later betrayed her and had her killed, she probably wishes she'd just done it.
    • A Commoner woman is seen in one chapter crying by the riverbank. The reason? She was just forced to drown her infant son because she couldn't afford to feed him and the only other possible outcomes were death by starvation, death by sickness, or join a group of Mad Scientist bioengineers and go insane with mutation. It's presented in-story as a Mercy Kill.
    • Snadhya'rune later shows that she's not like her mother when she kills Kalki after the latter proves to be a Wild Card she cannot control who seriously disrupted her plans. She does this with all the emotion of discarding a faulty toaster and declares that her daughter has always just been a tool for her.
    • Out of spite against Quain'tana, Mel'arnach shoots her brother with a crossbow and tries to do the same to her daughter, Ariel, due to Ariel becoming Quain'tana's heir. She ends up missing Ariel's head by inches and quickly gives up, deciding to wish Ariel luck in dealing with the Sarghress clan's coup.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Cell killed his Cell Jr in order to create a more powerful kid.
  • An interesting example involving time travel in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella: Wonderella's future daughter traveled back in time to kill Wonderella in revenge for her piss-poor parenting. Wonderella negates her daughter's entire existence by going back on the pill. (Queen Beetle points out that even had her daughter succeeded in killing her, she would have negated her own existence through Grandfather Paradox.)
  • Slightly Damned: Rhea's mysterious murderer is revealed to be Moonshade, her own father. His plan to "inherit" the power of his family's divine ancestor Moku the Snake Guardian of Earth required him to be Moku's sole living descendant, so he murdered all others, daughter included. When Moonshade finds out she's Back from the Dead he fully intends to kill her a second time. It's telling that one of his cohorts, the demon Azurai seems disgusted that he's so willing to murder his own flesh and blood.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, every Distreyd Thanadar tries to kill his children when they're about to come of age; if he doesn't, said children will kill him to take his place as the high cleric of Mardük. This is also a twisted way for every Distreyd to ensure that only the strongest of his children survive and kill him off to carry on his legacy as the next person to hold the name of Distreyd Thanadar.
  • Quipped about in The Nostalgia Critic's Let's Play of Bart's Nightmare, as he mutters that he's not surprised his own mother (established to be a horror) would try to kill him.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Fire Lord Ozai tries to flash-fry his teenage son Zuko when the boy starts mouthing off to him. Granted, it was treasonous talk of the worst kind, but Ozai seemed tickled pink that he finally had a good excuse to just kill the boy, who he never seemed to like much anyway.
    • The fact that Ozai was prepared to kill off his then 10-year-old son on his father's command in order to remain in Azulon's good graces fits the trope even better. Ozai's wife Ursa got wind of it and Ozai ended up Fire Lord the next morning, but that is beside the point.
    • The fact that Azulon ordered his grandson's death in the first place (so Ozai would know what it feels like to lose a kid, no less after he made unsavory comments about his older brother Iroh's loss of his son and heir) fits this as well.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Hiroshi Sato ends up trying to kill his daughter. He is a horrible father indeed.
  • Family Guy:
  • This was the last thing Trigon tried to do in Teen Titans.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Little Miss Interprets", a series of miscommunications leave Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup thinking the Professor wants to kill them with a knife and throw them in the garbage can then replace them with new Powerpuff Girls. Subverted: He was only preparing a surprise party for them. Whoops.
  • Subverted in W.I.T.C.H.. Despite being the Big Bad, Caleb's mother, Nerissa, deliberately spares him and tries to keep him out of battles.
  • South Park: In "Butters Very Own Episode" Butters' mother learns her husband is going to gay movies and bathhouses. She tries to drown her son by driving the car into a lake while explaining to him "If a mommy has to end her life, she can't let her baby alone in the world to be raised by a sick pervert". His Abusive Parents haven't attempted to kill him since and just settle for grounding him all the time.
  • Spanky Ham did this twice in Drawn Together. In "Unrestrainable Trainable", Captain Hero lamenting that he is a worse father than Spanky is followed by Spanky's wife giving birth and Spanky grinding his newborn son into sausage. The later episode "Charlotte's Web of Lies" has him eliminate the spider Charlotte and the children they had together by squishing them with a restaurant menu.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Copycats" it's implied that the knock-off versions of the Wattersons killed or at least abandoned their version of Anais, due to their website having her entry replaced with "Women no right to celebrate in republic of people." It's a jab at both Miracle Star'snote  lack of an Anais clone as well as China's One-Child Policy.
  • Final Space:
    • In Episode 6, Avocato reveals to Gary that the Lord Commander once made all his generals (of whom Avocato himself was one) prove their loyalty to him by killing their own first born child. It was this act that made Avocato rebel against the Lord Commander.
    • Another example is with Sheryl Goodspeed in “Descent Into Darkness”. She teams up with Todd Watson to help get revenge on her son, Gary, in exchange for Todd helping her find dimensional keys. This is especially despicable because even though she successfully steals the key, her primary goal, she still tries to appease Todd and capture Gary anyway, threatening him and Nightfall with a laser blade. This really says a lot, considering all the things Sheryl did not keep her word on... [[spoiler: Fortunately, she is defeated in both of her objectives, and even later reforms in the S2 finale.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Eclipsa is ultimately forced to do this to her own daughter. The whole scene was milked for all its Tear Jerker value; the daughter crying out in fear of what her mother is about to do, and the mother shedding tears and breaking down.

    Real Life 
  • There are numerous instances of untreated post-partum psychological issues leading to infanticide. The condition can be used as a legal defense in some countries and states. One of the best-known modern cases in the US was Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children (the youngest of whom was seven months old, the eldest seven years old). She had schizophrenia and post-partum psychosis, and also claimed she was saving them from going to hell.
  • Marie Noe, a Philadelphia housewife, smothered eight of her infant children over a nearly two-decade period from 1949 to 1968, and got away with it until the late 1990s. She ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was given 20 years probation.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Queen Athaliah of Judah, who almost succeeded in snuffing out the whole line of David.
  • Before committing suicide, Joseph Goebbels, German minister of propaganda from 1933 to 1945, and his wife Magda had their six children (five daughters and one son) poisoned with cyanide shortly before Soviet troops took control of Berlin in 1945.
  • Many children with disabilities (most commonly autism and cerebral palsy) or fatal illness have been not only been killed by their parents, but in many cases the parents themselves are seen in the media and by supporters as sympathetic and admirable for their actions, as they claim to do this after crossing the Despair Event Horizon and because they want to spare their kid from more suffering or don't believe that they can get the kid the proper care to live a comfortable life. Examples include Robert Latimer, Danielle Blais, Karen McCarron and Dorothy Spourdalakis. Often the parents kill themselves as well to not leave their kids alone in death.
  • Mary Ann Cotton, a particularly malignant Black Widow, did this for nearly her entire life. She'd get married, kill her husband and children, then collect the insurance money. Then find some other guy. Rinse, lather, repeat.
  • Although the son was already an adult, Marvin Gaye died after being shot by his father, Reverend Marvin Gay, Sr. after a fight.note 
  • In Chile, a hairstylist named Jeannette Hernandez killed one of her two kids and seriously injured the other with a hammer...to "punish" her husband (who also was her Victorious Childhood Friend until then) over supposed infidelity.
  • Mary Ann Brough's motivation was to "punish" the husband, too. He accused his wife of cheating. She slit the throats of their six children, then tried to kill herself.
  • Susan Eubanks, Sandi Nieves, and Theresa Riggi all murdered their children to get revenge on their exes for leaving them (in each case, on account of their wives controlling and aggressive treatments of them), by way of gun, smoke inhalation and stabbing respectively. Nieves pushed this even further by attempting to frame her surviving son for the murders in court, but the jury did not buy it.
  • Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, aka Guzmán "El Bueno" ("The Good One"). While defending the city of Tarifa, which was under siege, his son, Pedro Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, was kidnapped by their enemies. They told him they would spare the life of the kid if he submitted the city. He answered by sending his own dagger, thus winning that epithet from the inhabitants of the city.
  • Isabella Nardoni was choked by her stepmother, and then thrown out a window by her father. One of the biggest media circuses ever seen in Brazil.
  • Marybeth Tinning, Waneta Hoyt and Wendi Scott, all affected by Münchausen syndrome by proxy. Meaning, they either killed or tried to kill their children (adopted or biological) to gather attention and sympathy to themselves and the kids. Scott killed one of her two children. Hoyt killed all five of her biological children; she also had an adopted son, who stayed alive. Tinning is suspected in the deaths of seven of her eight biological children (one died from meningitis) and one she adopted, but she was only convicted of murdering the last one.
  • Darlie Routier was convicted as the murderer of her two young sons Damond and Devon, but a lack of any clear motive and numerous errors discovered in the evidence used against her in court has led many people to believe that she is innocent. The answer remains unknown.
  • Judith Barsi, the original voice of Ducky (The Land Before Time) and Anne Marie (All Dogs Go to Heaven), was killed by her father three months before the former film's release.
  • Jennifer Hudson's nephew, Julian King, was found shot to death in a white SUV days after his grandma and uncle were murdered. Julian's stepfather, William "Flex" Balfour, has been charged with the crime.
  • John List claimed to have killed his mother, wife, and children because he 'didn't want to see them go to Hell' when he was eventually found.
  • Ivan IV of Russia, popularly known as Ivan the Terrible, struck his son Ivan Ivanovich on the head with his scepter during a heated argument, accidentally killing him. This also had a nasty side-effect of ending the Rurik dynasty's 700+ years rule in Russia, since his second son and successor Feodor died childless and his last son Dimitri was killed soon after his father's death.
  • Also in Russia, Peter I (Peter the Great) had his eldest son Alexei tortured and killed
  • A man in Michigan took it upon himself to "execute" his teenage son after the boy confessed to molesting a small girl (note that Michigan has not had an actual death penalty since 1846).
  • Deborah and Timothy Nicholls are a rare instance of both parents doing this. They were drug addicts in severe debt to a drug-dealing motorcycle gang, so set their house on fire with their three kids inside (whom they had doused gasoline onto) to collect on their life insurance...only to learn afterward that they had never purchased insurance for the kids in the first place. Initially, only Timothy was charged for the murders, but Deborah was also convicted a few years later when evidence popped up. Both received life sentences.
  • Both Diane Downs and Susan Smith killed their childrennote  so they could pursue romances with men who didn't want to be fathers. It's not clear why neither woman chose to simply allow their children's fathers to have the kids; both fathers expressed the wish to have gotten custody rather than dead children.
    • Penny Boudreau killed her twelve-year-old daughter Karrisa because her boyfriend did not want to be a father specifically to her, as the strained relationship she and her mother had irritated him greatly. Again, it is unclear why she simply did not give her daughter to her ex.
  • Julie Schnecker, who shot her 13 and 16-year-old children for "being mouthy kids."
  • Chhouy Harm, a Cambodian immigrant living in Seattle, attempted to kill her daughter and succeeded in killing her son-in-law and two granddaughters before killing herself.
  • Shantaniqua Nykole Scott, the teen mom who tried to smother her son to "make her life easier."
  • Anjette Lyles killed not only her eldest daughter Marcia, but also two husbands and a mother-in-law, and apparently was willing to kill her other daughter Carla. All for the life insurance money she got each time.
  • Margaret Garner was an escaped slave who, in 1856, murdered her two-year-old daughter and attempted to murder her other children to prevent them from being returned to slavery. Dubbed "The Modern Medea", there was a debate, then and now, over whether or not she was justified in mercy-killing her child. Her case served as the inspiration for a major plot point in the novel Beloved.
  • Dr. Debora Green was convicted of setting fire to her house, killing two of her three children (the other escaped unharmed), as well as poisoning her estranged husband several times with ricin (he survived—barely).
  • During the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe brought on by an unofficial crusade (led by a monk between Urban II's call to crusade and the sanctioned departure time of the First Crusade), there were stories of Jewish women killing their children to avoid their dying a worse death or being forcibly converted.
  • In Oregon, Angela McAnulty tortured and starved her teenage daughter, Jeanette, to death in 2009. She was sentenced to death.
  • During the early 1980s, California single mom Theresa Knorr tortured and starved her teenage daughters Suesan and Sheila to death, then dumped the bodies in remote locations. Suesan's death was particularly bizarre: she'd been shot in the chest by her mother but recovered, and some time later developed sepsis when Knorr tried to remove the bullet and was subsequently burned alive. The girls' bodies remained unidentified for nearly a decade until their surviving sister came forward with the bizarre stories of their deaths. Theresa Knorr was subsequently sentenced to two consecutive life terms. The story has been profiled on TV series such as Cold Case Files and Deadly Women and in a best-selling book, Mother's Day, by Dennis McDougal.
  • Julia Maesa, the grandmother of the Roman emperors Elagabal and Alexander Severus, had the former and his mother - that is, her daughter - killed. This may have been done for the good of the empire and the dynasty: Elagabal was both a religious fanatic and a heedless hedonist (not contradictory in ancient times!), and his mother was enabling him. By contrast, Alexander Severus was a serious boy who seemed cut out for rulership, even if he would need a regency (led, of course, by Julia Maesa). It didn't work out—serious boy or no, he was dominated by his grandmother and then his own mother, which made him unpopular with the legions, and when it came time for him to go to war, he was assassinated by a military conspiracy. This not only ended the Severan dynasty but brought on the Crisis of the Third Century (the darkest time in Roman imperial history before the collapse of the Western Empire).
  • One of the disappeared children shown in the Runaway Train video by Soul Asylum was a young girl who turned out to be a victim of this. Her parents were in a bitter custody dispute, and her mother preferred to kill and then bury the girl in her backyard rather than to risk "losing" her.
  • Date Masamune nearly became a victim of this. His mother hated him because he lost one eye due to smallpox. When he was 23-25 years old, after he had succeeded as the daimyo, he was nearly poisoned to death by said mother, who wanted to put his little brother to the position instead.
  • Liu Bei did this to his adopted son Liu Feng, after the latter both failed to aid the general Guan Yu and was unable to hold on to his newly conquered territory. To be fair to Liu Feng, he didn't have the forces necessary to aid Guan Yu, and he was both outnumbered and betrayed from within when he tried to defend his territory. Liu Feng was also a potential future rival to Liu Bei's blood-related son Liu Shan (he had gained a reputation for being a reliable and capable military commander, while Shan had no real accomplishments to his name), and so there is a strong argument that Liu Bei decided to take Feng's failures as an opportunity to nip a potential succession crisis in the bud.
  • Herod the Great had no fewer than three of his own sons put to death for allegedly plotting against him.
  • Constantin the Great put his sons to death for plotting against him.
  • Practiced in a roundabout way by the Ottoman Royalty: In order to prevent Succession Crises, the crown prince was allowed (indeed, encouraged) to off his brothers, and the whole practice was very strictly codified in the legal system. In essence, though he did not do the actual killing, the Sultan knew that There Can Be Only One and implicitly agreed for his other sons to be killed when he picked his successor. In an ironic twist of fate, the abolishment of the system and the subsequent measures to prevent the princes from killing each other by placing them under strict security led to a string of Sultans who had grown up out of touch with the world and drove the empire to the ground at a time it was facing new challenge from Europe and desperately needed strong, experienced leaders.
  • Probable in the case of many child victims of the mass murder/suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. Additionally, high-ranking People's Temple member Sharon Amos and her three children died in Georgetown that same day by the same knife. Available evidence indicates that Amos killed her two younger children, ages 11 and 10, by herself. Then, 21-year-old daughter Liane assisted Mom's suicide before killing herself.
  • Supposedly, the ruling families of Carthagenote  sacrificed their own children to their god Milkqart ("King of the City") in times of extreme crisis. The symbolism was that all families lost equally.
  • The Byzantine Empress Irene did this to her son, Constantine VI, in 797 in order to get an exclusive hold on power.
  • For further proof of how cruel Mother Nature herself can be, many animals have been known to participate in killing their own children. Oddly enough, with animals it's often more of a necessary evil than an act of malice—it's no coincidence that this behavior is more common among animals who tend to have more than one offspring at a time and not enough food to feed all of them, let alone themselves. For these animals, killing or abandoning one baby is a small price to pay if it means that the other baby (or babies) survives to adulthood.
  • Donna Scrivo drugged her 32-year-old son Ramsey with Xanax and then strangled him to death. After that, she dismembered him and disposed the parts on the side of a road. She is sentenced to life in prison. [1].
  • Queen Fredegunda of Neustrian Franks choked her daughter Rigunth between a chest and its lid.
  • William Brad Jackson murdered his 9-year old daughter Valerie so as to get back together with his girlfriend, with whom she didn't get along. Even worse, the girl's mother disappeared 9 years earlier and he is strongly suspected of having murdered her as well.
  • In February 2012, Joshua Powell, the main suspect on the disappearance and probable murder of his wife Susan Cox, grabbed his estranged sons from a social worker during a supervised visit and blew up his house in a murder-suicide; autopsies on the boys revealed they were attacked with a hatchet before the house exploded. It is believed that the reason he murdered his sons was to prevent them from revealing the location of their mother's body, and keep him from getting a death sentence. The police have since stated that they believe Joshua killed Susan and appeals to declare her dead have begun.
  • On one tragic Father's Day in Australia, Robert Farquharson drove his car with his three sons in the back seat into a dam and left them there to drown, all because he hated them. He got three life sentences. His ex-wife (and the mother of the boys) became an activist against domestic violence.
  • In another Australian example, John Edwards shot his two teenage children after years of Domestic Abuse towards them and their mother in July 2018, before turning the gun on himself. His devastated ex-wife eventually committed suicide out of grief.
  • A few of the above Classical Mythology examples are based on the real-life practice of infant exposure. While directly murdering a child was considered barbarous, leaving the infant exposed to the elements would leave their ultimate fate to the gods and thus was used to get rid of unwanted children. Passerby could and did adopt exposed infants, but many others would pick up exposed children to be used as slaves.
  • In the U.S. there is considerable effort made toward warning parents how quickly the temperature in a parked car can reach lethal levels, especially in summer. This comes after a rash of incidents in which parents would leave their kids in the car while buying groceries or whatever, and come back to a hot car and a dead kid. A few such cases have even been prosecuted as intentional murder.

Alternative Title(s): Offing Ones Offspring, Filicide

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