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Offing the 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

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.


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.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pictured above: In all continuities of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka's mother Kyouko, driven by grief (and highly insane by other motives) over her husband cheating on her with her doctor, as well as her soul being contained in EVA Unit-02, hangs herself and what she believes to be Asuka, a red-haired doll. The scene above, with Kyoko directly trying to strangle a little Asuka, seems to only have happened in the manga's continuity and is absent in the franchise's other iterations. Oddly, despite the fact that all main characters have parental issues, this is the only example of a parent that is actively trying to kill their kid.
  • The protagonist of The SoulTaker, Kyōusuke Date dies in the very first scene of the anime. Killed by his dying mother, for essentially no reason.
  • Naruto:
    • Gaara's father the Kazekage ordered several assassination attempts on the kid. This is a rather warped form of a Bad Seed strike, as it was due to Gaara's having a monster inside him which was his father's fault in the first place (he suddenly decided Gaara was too dangerous). Gaara himself was a relatively nice kid, though lacking self-control until people started trying to kill him and one of them was his caretaker and the only one who showed some degree of caring towards him, his uncle Yashamaru. Who, again, did it on orders of the Kazekage. That last one is what sent him off the deep end, and it was only after meeting Naruto did Gaara get any better. And once the Kazekage is revived by Kabuto and his Edo Tensei, Gaara doesn't forget to call him out. And his dad takes it.
    • Also, Haku's father wanted to kill him (and did kill his wife) because he found out about their Superpowerful Genetics. Haku killed him in self-defense and then ran away.
    • Itachi claims that the Uchiha clan has, for years, killed off their best friends to activate the Mangekyo Sharingan then their parent/sibling/child (whoever is most suitable at the time) to gain the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan. Ironically enough, Itachi gaining the Mangekyo Sharingan was completely in protest. He only did it as a Mercy Kill and last favor to his best friend Shisui, who wanted to die giving Itachi the abilities to ensure that Konoha was in safe hands.
  • Pacifica's father in Scrapped Princess tried to kill her because of a prophecy that she would destroy the world. It didn't work.
  • Baccano!:
  • As part of the Wham Episode in Ayashi no Ceres Aya's mother suddenly turns on her out of equal parts belief that it was Aya's fault that her husband was dead and her son Aki was gravely injured (due to Aya's Dangerous 16th Birthday unlocking powers that targeted her for assassination) and manipulation on the part of the family head. She ends up seriously injured and in a coma.
  • Elfen Lied contains a subplot of Chief Kurama feeling conflicted about his daughter Mariko and her massively destructive powers, repeatedly attempting to end her life but never really succeeding. In the anime series he ends up blowing them both up, using the bombs implanted in Mariko's body, while in the manga he survives until the end and manages to more or less move on.
  • Appears in Death Note, when Chief Yagami decides that if his son Light is Kira, he'll kill him, and then commit suicide. But it was all an act, arranged by L, to prove both Light and Misa's innocence - L had calculated that Kira would be willing to kill his own father to survive and that Misa would be willing to kill anyone to save Light... the only reason it doesn't work is that neither of them are actually Kira at the time. Later that same incident is used by Near to deduce Kira's identity to be Chief Soichiro's son, Light—because why else would the Chief kill himself after killing the suspect?
  • In the Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan, Paragus tries to do this to Brolly when the Restraining Bolt he put on him stops working. Alas, it doesn't work and Brolly becomes a Self-Made Orphan after getting revenge on his old man.
  • Slayers:
    • The assassin Zuuma murders Abel, his son, when the latter discovers that he is actually his father, Radok. In the original novel version of this, Abel actually gives his father a brief eulogy before he kills him. Zuuma himself then dies; in the novel, Lina finishes him off with the Ragna Blade; in the anime, Xellos kills him.
    • In the novels, Alfred, Amelia's cousin, is killed by his father Christopher after word gets out that it was he who tried to kill Amelia's father, Prince Philionel, in the first place via a contract with the Mazoku Kanzel. In the anime, Alfred is killed by the Mazoku Mazenda instead.
  • Code Geass:
    • It's hinted that Empress Marianne's murder was planned by either the Emperor of Britannia or one of his consorts trying to kill Lelouch and Nunnally. In the end, the culprit was the Emperor's older brother, who tried to kill only his sister-in-law. The rest was a part of a Gambit Roulette from both of the Royal Couple.
    • It's also hinted that Charles himself has little regard in killing his children, or at least in letting them die or see some of them dead. This is noticed with Clovis, and then Euphie. He gives Lelouch and Nunnally in the hands of the Japanese as hostages and leaves them for dead. What goes around comes around, however, when first Lelouch, then Schneizel, try to kill him.
  • In Princess Tutu, The Raven threatens to eat the heart of his daughter, Princess Kraehe to sustain himself—and it's implied that he actually attempts to, and she barely escapes. It turns out he kidnapped her as a baby, and she isn't his actual daughter. He still raised her abusively and made her believe she was his child.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:
    • This is mixed with Mercy Kill. After Takiko Okuda aka Genbu no Miko returns after being Trapped in Another World, she falls ill and everyone thinks it's either cancer or tuberculosis inherited from her deceased mother... but her dad Einosuke knows that she's being devoured from the inside by Genbu. He kills Takiko with this own hands to spare her from more suffering, and is then Driven to Suicide. This is played differently in the Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden prequel: Takiko had become an Ill Girl due to tuberculosis and would be sacrificed to Genbu if she didn't die of her Incurable Cough of Death, so she ultimately returned to the book... so Einosuke mercy killed the already dying Takiko, who by that point was invoking Genbu and going through quite the Body Horror as a side-effect, through their bloodline as their medium; he killed himself only but was holding the Universe of the four Gods, where the dying Takiko was, in his hands, so Takiko was wounded as well. She managed to make two of her three wishes before dying more or less in peace, telling her remaining Senshi that her dad did it to help her.
    • In Genbu Kaiden there's also Takiko's love interest, Prince Uruki of Hokkan. He was prophesied to kill his father, Emperor Tegiru's brother Lord Temudan, so his mother Ayura sent Uruki away to save her child. Later, Uruki's guardian Soruen was killed by an assassin sent by Temudan, who had completely fallen into despair and wanted Uruki to die; Uruki tried to fulfill the prophecy, but failed and not only he had to flee to Kutou, he was deeply embittered until Takiko came along. Ultimately Uruki confronted Temudan, now the Emperor, but thanks to Takiko he didn't kill him; they were about to reach a sort-of agreement... and then a supporter of Tegiru (who had been executed under Temudan's orders) fatally injured Temudan. In the end, Temudan gave the throne to Uruki and passed away in his son's arms.
  • Rumic Theatre has one tale in which a young girl gets control of a bunch of demonic creatures who want her to feed them meat. Her first kill, which brought them to her, was justified (he was trying to rape her), but then she starts to kill things for less noble reasons — the dog down the street barked at her, for example. Her mother finds out about the creatures and the girl's total lack of remorse over the killings and tries to kill her. Fails, though, as the girl's panic summons the creatures to kill her mother.
  • In The Laughing Target, another girl moves in with her cousin due to her mother's death. Guess how the mother died? And for worse, the girl is a crazy Yandere who wants to fulfill her and her cousin's Childhood Marriage Promise at all costs...
  • Lady Oran/Oreadia of Faeries' Landing does, to some degree, love the children she had with a human man when she was trapped on earth. However, she continued to resent them, as they were a constant reminder of her relations with a human, which was considered taboo in the faerie's world. As the volumes went on, Oran's plan is unraveling, most likely with the desire to kill her daughter Fanta.
  • Angel Sanctuary's Kato might fit the trope, as his father despises him (cause he's not his son, but another man's) His mother doesn't care that much either. They don't try to actively kill him, but at least name him 'tragic accident'. Also, Setsuna's mother despises him. Oh, and Kira tries to make his father hate him, though all effort is in vain. And God hates all his children.
  • Gantz later child member Takeshi is abused and killed by his parents, or at least stepfather, Though, with muscle rider he finds a way better person to look after him.
  • One really over the top version happens in the Mobile Suit Gundam novel Hathaway's Flash. It can't get it worse when a very high-ranked Federation officer condemns a certain rebel leader named "Mafty" to death... and finds out that said Rebel Leader is his eldest son when the death warrant has already been signed and no one can't do anything about it. Holy Diabolus ex Machina, indeed.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In the Vento Aureo arc, Bucciarati's Gang was instructed to bring Trish to the Boss under the assumption that he'd take her someplace safe, away from any of Passione's defectors who could use her to discover the Boss's identity. However, the true reason for the Gang's mission was so that the Boss could kill her himself. This is the main reason the group went on the lam, in order to protect Trish from this fate and to discover and kill the Boss before it happens.
    • In Steel Ball Run, Diego Brando's parents attempted to bury him alive and drown him shortly after his birth, due to their poverty keeping them from supporting a child. Fortunately for Diego, his mother has a change of heart and saves him. His father, however, leaves them both to die.
  • In Kino's Journey, after Sakura/Kino questions the necessity of undergoing an operation to "become an adult", her parents and the community decide it is right and proper to kill her.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler:
    • It's less Offing The Offspring and more Selling The Offspring's Organs To The Yakuza Very Nice People To Pay Off A Gambling Debt. Since the Yaks had no problems taking his heart and other vital organs, it would have ended the same way...
    • They were only going to take one of each organ, though! I mean, he's got two kidneys, two lungs, two hearts...
    Hayate: I don't have two hearts!
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • The Dying head of the Ushiromiya family, Kinzo, decides that no one is fit to succeed him and decides to sacrifice them all in a magical ritual instead. Subverted: Kinzo was already dead, and later events reveal that the riddle he wrote was not part of a magical ritual, but an attempt to contact his lost child, Yasu. The murders were not his intention.
    • Accusations of this fly around a few other times too. In the 3rd arc, Jessica accuses Eva of it, and in the fifth arc, Erika accuses Natsuhi of it. Although there is no confirmation or rejection of the first accusation, the second one has been confirmed to be false. However, while Natsuhi would never kill her own child, she did lash out at the child Kinzo gave her to raise, pushing a servant holding the baby off a cliff in a fit of anger.
  • Berserk:
    • Gambino, Guts' adoptive father and a mercenary captain, hated Guts ever since his lover Shisu died from the plague shortly after picking Guts up from the corpse of his mother, which is considered bad luck. After losing his leg in battle, his hatred for the kid intensified, until one night he came into Guts' tent and tried to murder him, telling him that he should have died. Guts had to kill him in self-defense, and then flee the camp to escape the wrath of Gambino's men.
    • Before that, Gambino rented him for a night to another soldier, without telling anything to Guts, so he was raped with his father's consent at about ten.
    • After the Eclipse, Casca miscarries the child she and Guts made due to the horrible trauma she suffered during their literally hellish ordeal. Seeing that the fetus was corrupted with evil as a result of Casca having been raped by Femto, Guts disowns it and immediately tries to kill it, but Casca intervenes and the child disappears at daybreak.
  • Angelica from Gunslinger Girl was taken in by the Social Welfare Agency after her parents tried to kill her to collect on her life insurance, with her dad running the poor little girl over with his car and trying to make it look like a hit-and-run incident.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Father indulges in this when he captures Greed and melts him down for his Philosopher's Stone.
    • He does it again when Greed resists his attempts to rejoin by inverting the Ultimate Shield given to Greed to weaken him for a death blow.
    • In the 2003 anime version, King Bradley kills his adopted son Selim by first choking him, then snapping his neck. He was a homunculus and only adopted the kid for appearances' sake. Amusing, considering that in the original manga, Selim is one of the homunculi and actually outranks Bradley.
  • While he was still in charge, Lordgenome of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann did this repeatedly when he grew tired of his daughters. Then he'd get new ones. But one of the abandoned girls, Nia Teppelin, was found and taken in by the Gurren Brigade.
  • In Loveless, Ritsuka's mother Misaki is convinced by Nisei posing as Seimei to kill him. This, on top of the fact that Misaki is physically abusive to Ritsuka, has been completely nuts for years already and is so delusional that she believes that Ritsuka's not really her son anymore. She doesn't actually attempt to kill Ritsuka, however - she tells Nisei that she loves both Ritsuka AND Seimei, and she doesn't entirely know is she's willing to kill Ritsuka for the sake of getting Seimei back. Needless to say, while she doesn't kill him, it confuses her already fragile state of mind, and she ends up tying Ritsuka up in the kitchen and preventing him from leaving the house, for his own safety.
  • Speed Grapher: Miharu Shirumaku's Freudian Excuse. It happened repeatedly, as her Stage Mom tried to kill her and herself more than once. The last one was a drowning attempt that got Mrs. Shirumaku dead and left Miharu both mute and traumatized.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Discussed, when Sakura is attacked by what seems to be her Missing Mom Nadeshiko's ghost. The methods said apparition uses are different: in the manga she tries to drown Sakura in a nearby lake, and in the anime she drives her to the edge of a cliff and makes her fall off it. In both circumstances Yukito rescues her. She tries to confront the ghost to learn why is her "mother" doing this, it tries to kill her again, and it turns out it's The Illusion Clow Card - it takes Nadeshiko's form because Sakura had been missing her. During said confrontation, Sakura recalls something Yukito told her ("if it was your mother, she wouldn't put you in danger") and sees through the Card's tricks, then seals it away. And Sakura's real mother? Her spirit actually SAVED Sakura in the first encounter, and is seen watching over her later..
  • Shaman King:
    • Yoh's mother Keiko gave birth to both Yoh and Hao, his father Mikihisa immediately tries to kill him, but Hao was able to escape when he had full control over the Spirit of Fire.
    • Played differently in the anime. The one who was about to kill baby!Hao was the grandfather Yohmei, but deep down he really didn't want to kill either of the babies (and the others weren't happy either) and hesitated for a second. That allowed Hao to take control of the Spirit of Fire, almost kill everyone, and run away with said spirit.
  • In Area 88, Prince Saki and his father, Prince Abdael, are on opposite sides of Asran's civil war. Abdael has tried and failed to have Saki assassinated.
  • In the Valentine Murder Case in Detective Conan, Katsuhiko Minagawa's adoptive mother/aunt kills him by putting poison in his coffee in order to save the family business by collecting his life insurance. In the process, she also frames his crush Yoshimi because she looks like his deceased biological mother and she gave him chocolate — Mrs. Minagawa knows that Katsuhiko doesn't like sweets, so she frames the other person by switching the one Yoshimi gave to him a poisoned one.
  • Misono from Narutaru tried to strangle a young Shiina once, having almost gone insane by the very strange death of her older daughter Mishou. Understandably, their relationship is very strained for the rest of the story. And ironically, after it's more or less mended towards the end, Misono dies while trying to protect Shiina from a mob that wants to kill her, which is one of the reasons Shiina ultimately goes off the deep end.
  • In Legend of Galactic Heroes, Adrian Rubinsky ordered the death of his illegitimate son and personal aide Rupert Kesselring before the latter could succeed in his own Patricide plot.
  • In Aura Battler Dunbine, the wife of the main villain, Louser Luft, shoots her daughter Riml Luft in the head during the final battle when Riml comes after her with a knife.
  • In the Soul Eater anime, Medusa comes very close to killing her child Crona when zhe pulls hir permanent Heel–Face Turn and fights her, but Maka jumps in at the last second and saves Crona. Later in the fight, she nearly does this accidentally when Crona jumps in front of a Vector Arrow meant to kill Maka and is impaled on it and appears to die. Zhe survives, though.
  • In Attack on Titan, Historia Reiss's abusive mother repeatedly expressed the desire to murder her child. The girl's Mysterious Parent Lord Reiss, however, changed his mind at the very last moment and spared his daughter from being murdered along with her mother. He instead forced her to go into hiding, giving her the name "Krista Renz" and sending her to live as a refugee.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Ren Gyokuen is apparently responsible for the deaths of her two eldest sons. Hakuryu despises his mother for this and wants her dead no matter the cost. She later off-handedly threatens to kill her own daughter Hakuei as well. Hakuryu immediately tries (and fails) to kill her.
  • A very tragic example can be found in The Legend of Mother Sarah where the title character has no other choice but to smother her own infant so that she and the family she's hiding with (including another young child) don't get noticed by the armed mercenaries who are exterminating the refugees she's a part of. Poor Sarah is silently weeping as she does so, and later punishes herself by mutilating her breast.
  • Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai:
    • The series ends with Nagisa's best friend Mokuzu Umino, who had been abused by her father Masachika since infancy, being beaten to death by him. When Masachika realizes that he's murdered Mokuzu, he dismembers her corpse and hides the parts; Nagisa and her older brother Tomohiko find them and alter the police, and Masachika is apprehended sometime later. It's implied that the victim had been so damaged by such experiences that she realized this would probably be her ultimate fate, and had completely resigned herself to it.
    • As Nagisa falls into an Heroic BSoD upon realizing that Mokuzu has been killed, she begins to babble in front of Mokuzu's murderous father about a quiz that Tomohiko once told her about, which is about the trope. It's about a woman whose husband died suddenly, then met one of said hubby's workmates in the funeral, and then killed her son. The quiz finishes with "why did she kill her son?". The reply is "Because she missed him" - the widow thought that since the man came into her life during the husband's funeral, killing her son would make him come again.
  • Fairy Tail: Zeref murders his and Mavis' son Larcade for interfering in his fight with Natsu. Averted when we find out Larcade isn't really his son - August is.
  • Goodnight Punpun:
    • Aiko's mom tries to kill her after she says she's going to move out. She's unable to walk and sees it as her daughter abandoning her. Punpun kills her, though it's later revealed she survived but Aiko dealt the final blow.
    • It's revealed late into the series that Punpun's mother wanted to commit Murder-Suicide with him however his dad stopped her. That's what caused the 'domestic abuse' part of the start of the manga where he went to jail.
  • In the World War II manga Adolf, Colonel Honda kills his son Yoshio when he discovers his son is a spy working against the Japanese military regime.
  • Ragyo Kiryuin from Kill la Kill has one of the more strange cases of this trope, as when she's not trying to kill her children Satsuki and Ryuuko, along with the rest of the world, she is molesting and at points just having sex with them.
  • Tokugawa Harusada in Ooku: The Inner Chambers has taken to poisoning her own numerous grandchildren and pitting the mothers of said grandchildren against each other just because she was bored.
  • Attempted at least twice in RG Veda:
    • Ashura's Evil Matriarch Shashi tried to kill him/her after birth, to hide that they're the son of Ashura-ou, not Taishaku-ten and to make sure their brother Tenou aka Taishaku-ten's actual son would eventually be the King.
    • When Kujaku was born from the incestuous union between the siblings Tentei and Sonseiou, Tentei locked Sonseiou and Kujaku away and completely abandoned them to hide such a sing. Sonseiou eventually ended up losing her mind and tried to kill her son, but in a flash of lucidity killed herself to avert murdering him.
  • A side-story from the Tokyo Babylon manga has post!Sakurazukamori revelation Subaru befriending a young girl who alerts him about a baby who's being abused by his mentally-unstable mother and in serious risk of being at the receiving end of this trope. Subaru manages to save the baby and get help for both him and his Empty Shell mom, and then it turns out the girl is a Cute Ghost Girl whose mother killed her and then herself after the death of her (the girl)'s father. After explaining her backstory, the girl is able to go to Heaven.
    • In the sequel, X/1999, it's revealed that Subaru's nemesis Seishirou Sakurazuka became the Sakurazukamori by killing his mother and the previous one, Setsuka. Before dying, she explains that this is because the only one able to kill a Sakurazukamori and inherit the spot is the person they love the most; in her case, it's her son... and ultimately, in Seishirou's case, it's Subaru.
  • In One Piece, when Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin went in one of her hunger-induced rampages, her 16th son Moscato tried to calm her down even when she was unable to recognize him. When he hesitated out of fear, he got his entire lifespan yanked out of him for his trouble. More recently, she also did this to her fifth son Opera, during yet another hungry rampage that followed the collapse of Whole Cake Chateau and the crashing of Sanji and Pudding's wedding.
  • The Monstrer Duchess and Contract Princess:
    • It opens with the youngest daughter of the Sperado family, Leslie, at the age of eight being thrown into a pyre so any magical talents she has may be passed into her elder sister Eli. This is after years of traumatic abuse and torment delivered to Leslie by her own family. Leslie is saved by a mysterious force, resulting in a delay for six months until her family will try again.
    • Leslie researches her family history to discover dozens if not hundreds of deaths recorded as "accidents" for many second or third born children, all of whom died before adulthood when their powers awakened too, for the benefit of enhancing the elder sibling's strength.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • 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.

  • Averted in The Bad Seed: Christine Penmark discovers that her seemingly perfect young daughter Rhoda is a sociopath, and knows that if Rhoda isn't killed, she will grow up to be a very effective murderess. After witnessing Rhoda killing a man firsthand, Christine finally gets the resolve to attempt a murder-suicide with her daughter... except Rhoda survives. Christine, the only person in the world who knew Rhoda's true nature, doesn't. This was bowdlerised in the movie by having both Christine and Rhoda survive the attempt, but with Rhoda dying soon after by being struck by lightning while attempting to hide further evidence of her true nature.
  • In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, a knight kills his daughter because men who intend to rape her have got her declared the maidservant of one of them. This is based on the legend of how the office of tribune was established in Rome: after a patrician had a beautiful plebian girl falsely declared his slave so that a friend of his could rape her, her father stabbed her to death, roused the army to overthrow the patricians involved, and instituted the office of tribune, and then went to her grave to stab himself to death.
  • Orson Scott Card:
    • Averted in The Tales of Alvin Maker. Alvin's father confesses to Talespinner that he's been having compulsions to try and kill Alvin (Talespinner walked in on a scene where Alvin's father was clearly getting ready to run his young son through with a pitchfork, for no reason whatsoever, and interrupted it.) Alvin's father admits he has no idea why he would be having urges to kill Alvin, whom he loves, but he can't seem to stop them. Talespinner counsels him to arrange for an apprenticeship for Alvin in a town quite a ways away from home because he thinks it's likely that Alvin's Dad will eventually lose control and try to kill the boy. Alvin's Dad takes this advice and Alvin survives.
    • Hart's Hope, plays the trope straight. The evil Queen Beauty kills her infant child in order to acquire enough power to wreak havoc on the resident gods, and she conceives a second child in order to kill him and get more power.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Chessman of Mars, the jeddak O-Tar — a Royal Brat and Dirty Coward — has clearly evil intentions toward his son A-Kor, imprisoning him. One of his men, under orders, repeats rumors, among which
    they blame you for your treatment of A-Kor, whom they all believe to have been murdered at your command.
  • Agatha Christie:
  • In City of Heavenly Fire, Asmodeus wants to take his son Magnus's immortality to use as an energy source to repair all the damage Sebastian did to Edom.
  • Amber from Demon Road discovers that her only reason for being is to be killed by her parents and eaten as part of a demonic sacrifice. The novel's plot is a quest to prevent this.
  • This is mentioned from time to time in the Deryni books. Kelson recounts a tale about two princes executed by their father (an ancestor of his); he says his nurse told him the story and pointed out their graves on a visit to the family crypt in an effort to ensure his good behavior in the crypt. According to her backstory, Charissa was once wed to a king of Torenth (Wencit's older brother); he beat her in a fit of rage while she was pregnant with his offspring, causing a miscarriage and leaving her sterile.
  • As is common with dogs, the protagonist's mother in A Dog's Life abandoned a deformed puppy soon after it was born.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Lord Raith, the Incubus head of the White Court vampires, adopts this attitude toward all of his male children: once they get old enough to be a threat, he kills them. The girl children he forces into sexual slavery to him. Not a nice guy. He meets his match when he tries to kill off his youngest adult son, Thomas, who happens to be the half-brother (on the mother's side, obviously) of Harry Dresden, the hero of the series. Thomas enlists Harry's help in bringing his father down, and then control of the White Court is handed off to Thomas' big sister Lara, who turns the tables on Daddy by seducing HIM into sexual slavery to HER instead.
    • In Cold Days the first order the new Winter Knight Harry Dresden receives from his Queen Mab is to kill Maeve. It is eventually revealed to be a Bad Seed option. Maeve is possessed by an ancient powerful force known only as Nemesis. With its power, it has given Maeve apparent freedom from her mother and Maeve now seeks to screw with her mother every possible way, from openly disrespecting her in front of the Winter Court and visiting delegates to trying to unleash ancient evil demi-gods. Maeve must be stopped at all cost. And in the end, Maeve is stopped. But despite all the evil Maeve did and tried to do, Mab couldn't bring herself to kill her because she loved her daughter.
  • The Elminster Series: In Making of a Mage Farl's father, the head magelord, tried to do this after learning about him (he also killed Farl's mother). The reason isn't revealed, though he presumably thought Farl was a threat somehow.
  • In False Memory, Dusty accuses his mother Claudette of murdering firstborn child Dominique (officially a "crib death") for having Down's Syndrome and later at least seriously considering murdering Dusty's prematurely born younger brother Skeet as an infant (another "crib death", it would seem), an event Dusty himself witnessed as a child. Claudette does not deny either accusation.
  • Rose frequently tries to kill Charlie throughout most of Flowers for Algernon. She says it is mercy upon him, and she doesn't want his sister to suffer. This certainly justifies constant attempts on his life and limb whenever he makes a minor infraction (going in his pants). Let us remember he has an I.Q. of about 50, meaning he doesn't know any better. She even stabs him in the neck for accidentally seeing his baby sister naked. Had it not been for his father, Matt, he'd be dead or in Warren State (which he eventually ended up in) a long time ago. She lunges at him with a knife when he was 30 just because he looked at his sister. Shockingly, no attempts to return the favor were made.
  • In the V. C. Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic, Corrine tries to poison her four children when her father's will states that if she had any children with her first husband who was her half-brother, then her inheritance would be forfeit. She manages to kill her son, Cory, and hide his body in the attic before her other children escape. She later claims that she was poisoning them in an attempt to make them sick, so she'd have an excuse to remove them from the attic one by one. Yeah, right.
  • In Pearl S Buck's The Good Earth it is strongly implied that O-lan killed her second daughter at birth during a terrible famine and drought then the family was desperately starving.
  • The YA novel The Grounding of Group 6 concerns a school that offers parents the service of quietly...disposing of their unwanted offspring.
  • In the Hurog duology, Ward thinks about how he will inherit Hurog - if he manages to not be killed by his father beforehand. The father is shown to be an extremely violent man, so that is a very realistic fear. It is implied that there have been cases of this in their family before.
  • I Am Mordred: Arthur tries to do this after Mordred is born at Merlin's urging, so he won't be killed by him in the future.
  • I, Claudius: Livia, who poisoned her husband, grandson, and everyone else who got in her way. She also arranged the death of her son Drusus, who was politically opposed to her.
  • Defied in The Inheritance Cycle—Arya once mentions the historical case of an elf who learned through prophecy that he would kill his own son, and managed to avert it by killing himself instead.
  • Stephen King:
    • In Carrie, the title character's mother was a religious fanatic who believed that her daughter was the spawn of the devil because of her telekinetic powers, and tried to kill Carrie once when she was a baby (the fact that Carrie may also have been a child by marital rape may have also contributed to this). When Carrie comes home to confront her mother during her telekinetic rampage after being pushed too far at her prom, she tries to kill Carrie once more, putting a knife into her daughter's shoulder before Carrie telekinetically stops her heart.
    • In It, Beverly's abusive father tries to kill her and chases her halfway around town in order to do so. Of course, IT was using him, but IT didn't put all of the thoughts in his head. Some of them were always there. "I worry about you, Bevvy. I worry a lot."
    • In The Dark Tower book The Gunslinger, Roland must choose between his goal of The Dark Tower and a child he loves as a son, Jake. Roland chooses his obsession, the tower. It's OK though, Jake will come back. To be fair, Roland was completely torn between the two, not being able to choose, until Jake tells him to let go because the Tower was more important. But then again, Roland didn't hesitate after being told this... In the final book, The Dark Tower, Roland kills his half-demon son, Mordred, in his final battle before reaching the Tower.
  • The Legend of Drizzt:
    • In the books (indeed, in Dungeons & Dragons in general), the Drow elves traditionally sacrifice their third-born sons to their goddess, Lloth. The superfluous ones seem to be sold into slavery. Drizzt himself was going to meet this fate until one of his brothers died in battle around the time he was born, thus fulfilling the sacrifice requirement and allowing Drizzt to live.
    • Moreover, Drow consider the killing of physically imperfect offspring to be their duty. Because they so proud and love beauty. So it's a case of "demerits as an extension of merits". Drizzt's purple eyes nearly got him killed for this reason until his family confirmed that they weren't a sign of blindness.
    • And if you think Lolth or her Drow are nasty... Mad beholders in Dungeons & Dragons are extremely xenophobic: each considers its phenotype ideal and "pure" and destroys others for any difference. Their own offspring as well as strangers. This also means the whole race is embroiled in a constant war between different breeds, as beholders are very flexible species, they are very capable of spotting minor differences and most are mad (thanks to crazy matriarch deity).
  • Perfume: Grenouille's mother was a fish lady who used to immediately kill all of her newborn offspring. Grenouille was loud enough to attract the attention of a customer, thus saving his life. His mother was executed for multiple counts of infanticide after the Parisian police investigated the matter.
  • In The Satanic Verses, Rekha Merchant pushes her children ahead of her when she commits suicide by jumping off a building.
  • In Septimus Heap, Queen Etheldredda killed her own daughters so that she may be queen forever. Subverted, since she doesn't manage to kill Esmeralda, who eventually succeeds her after her disappearance in Physik.
  • In The Shahnameh, the "holy" Shah Goshtasp has spread the Zoroastrian faith by the sword all over Iran and declared himself the sacred ruler of the Empire. However, he does have one problem: His Crown Prince Esfandyar in addition to being immensely popular with the warriors, the newly established clergy and the commoners was raised by Zoroaster himself, and blessed by him with invincibility. Unlike his father, Esfandyar is a genuine Nice Guy and everybody thinks he would make a much better ruler. Goshtasp is getting old, by law, he should retire from the throne but he doesn't want to. He is both jealous and afraid of his son, so he tries to kill him in some way that doesn't ruin publicity (Also, Esfandyar being as sacred as he is, whoever spills his blood will be cursed and Goshtasp wants to avoid that). So, Esfandyar's life is basically a series of impossible missions designed to get him killed which he keeps actually completing. He slays gigantic wolves, gigantic lions, a dragon, an evil witch, a Simurgh, and its two offsprings, he survives a desert and a storm, captures an impregnable castle, but is finally (barely) defeated by his best friend, who Goshtasp had manipulated Esfandyar into starting a Civil War with. On his last breath, Esfandyar tells Rostam not to worry about the curse as the true killer was none other than Goshtasp.
  • In The Shattered Kingdoms, the Norlanders have a rule of abandoning the physically impure, and it extends to children. The governor appointed to rule the Shadari had one case in his family - a daughter with burn marks on her arm. The mother, Eleana, refused to follow tradition and hid the daughter, but her husband eventually found out and applied it anyway. It was on an attempt to find and rescue her daughter that Eleana died. The daughter did not die as expected, however, and subsequently returned.
  • In Ship Breaker, alcoholic drug-addict and Archnemesis Dad Richard Lopez attempts to kill his son, Nailer, in a Knife Fight when the latter opposes his decision to sell Nita's organs on the black market. Luckily the fight goes against him, and it's Richard who ends up dead.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, Eöl attempts to kill his own son Maeglin for running away from home, and ends up slaying his wife instead. When his brother-in-law Turgon sentences him to death by being thrown from the walls of Gondolin Eöl says Maeglin will die in the same way. They do. In an earlier draft, published as "The Shibboleth of Fëanor" in The Peoples of Middle-Earth, Fëanor accidentally killed one of his sons.
  • Six of Crows: Jan Van Eck tried. Twice.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Samwell Tarly's father is so disgusted with his fat, timid son, that he takes the boy out into the woods and threatens to cut out his heart unless he "takes the black" (vowing to serve as a soldier at a distant post and renounce all claim to family, land, and title) and clears the way for the favored son, Dickon, to inherit the Tarly name and lands.
    • Also, Craster sacrifices all of his infant sons to the Others.
    • In the second book, Tywin puts Tyrion - who has no fighting experience - on the front lines of a battle in the weakest position on the field, knowing he will likely die there. When that fails, he ignores the problem for a while until Tyrion is accused of kinslaying. Tywin pulls out all the stops and drums up as many lies and circumstantial evidence as he can to hopefully get his son executed. This backfires when Tyrion becomes an actual kinslayer.
    • In the North, Old Nan tells the Stark children the tale of the Rat Cook. He was a cook of the Night's Watch, who killed a king's son, cooked him into a pie, and fed him to the king. For this violation of Sacred Hospitality, the gods transformed him into a massive rat who could not eat anything but his own offspring.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • In one of Shallan's flashbacks in Words of Radiance, we see her father beating his son Balat with a fireplace poker, which is why Balat needs a cane in The Way of Kings. Her father would have killed him, if Shallan hadn't poisoned her father, then strangled him with a necklace when that failed to finish him off.
    • Also in Words of Radiance, Shallan's mother. Shallan came into her Surgebinding skills at a very young age, only for it to turn out that her mother belonged to a cult that thought the return of Surgebinders meant the return of the Desolations. She tried to kill Shallan, and Shallan summoned her spren as a Shardblade and killed her. Her father took the blame, which is what resulted in him slowly transforming into a violent and dangerous drunk.
  • In The Sword-Edged Blonde, Queen Rhiannon is accused of doing this to her baby son as part of a ritual, but the King doesn't believe it and gets the protagonist to investigate.
  • In Tales of Kolmar, Lanen's father promised to sacrifice her to demons before she was even born. That promise netted him the Farseer, a Magic Mirror like item. Lanen's mother immediately stole the Farseer and ran away, leaving the father wracked with pains in his leg. In Song in the Silence, Marik finds Lanen as a grown woman and wants to finish what had been started. He hesitates but that leg pain was more convincing than the thought of familial loyalty.
  • Morgan Sloat, perhaps contrary to what you might expect, loves his son a great deal in The Talisman. Morgan of Orris, however, could care less. It causes some issues between the two. Eventually Sloat is either taken over or corrupted by Orris into seeing his son as nothing more than an obstacle, at which point you can mostly consider Sloat dead.
  • In Taras Bulba, the main character kills his youngest son Andrei after he has a Face–Heel Turn and sells himself out to the Polish - possibly the modern origin of the "I gave you birth, and I shall kill you" quote.
  • Things Fall Apart:
    • Okonkwo kills Ikemefuma, who was his adopted son by that point. The death had been ordained by the tribe's oracle in a deliberate retelling of the Abrahamic legend (notably, Okonkwo's oldest biological son later changes his name to Isaac).
    • The book also frequently brings up the practice of parents abandoning baby twins to die in the forest, since the Igbo believed them to be evil omens.
  • In Selma Lagerlof's Thy Soul Shall Bear Witness!, main character David's much-abused wife, having crossed the Despair Event Horizon due to all the Domestic Abuse, decides to kill their children and then herself in Christmas's Eve. David, who has been subjected to a huge Break the Haughty that included his own temporary death, manages to prove her that he has changed for the best, so she changes her mind.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:
    • Aunt Sissy saves a young woman from this fate. Her father had locked her in the basement and given her starvation rations after finding out she was pregnant out of wedlock. He hoped that she would miscarry or die in childbirth and relieve him of the burden.
    • Katie also says that if the day ever comes when she has to live on charity, she'll wait until her children are asleep, seal the apartment and turn on the gas jets.
  • A heartbreaking example in The Unconquered by W. Somerset Maugham. Annette drowns her Child by Rape on the same day he is born, since she wants his Nazi father, who has grown to love his future son, to feel at least some of the pain she has been put through. She has also grown attached to her son, so she kills him as early as possible because she's afraid she won't have the heart to do it later, and breaks down sobbing after it's done.
  • In The Vampire Chronicles Akasha annihilates most of her vampire progeny as part of her plan to create new world order.
  • In Void City, while Eric has sired a number of other vampiric "children" over the years, he has ended up having to kill nearly all of them when they've turned against him. Phillipus implies that this is fairly common and that he intentionally sires two vampires per year in the hope that some of them will eventually develop into enemies capable of amusing him over the long millennia of his life.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga:
    • In Shards of Honor, the ancient and ruthless Barrayaran Emperor Ezar gave the nod to an invasion of Escobar he knew could not be won (thanks to a tech breakthrough by Escobar's ally Beta Colony) as a smokescreen to blow up the flagship containing his Ax-Crazy son Crown Prince Serg and politically wreck the expansionist factions that supported and hoped to manipulate him. Contains a bit of Deliberate Values Dissonance, as he could have assassinated his son in any number of ways, but by orchestrating a war for Serg to die in, Ezar allowed him to die in the heat of battle, the most honorable death a Barrayan can have while also taking out Serg's supporters, who would be left intact if he was simply assassinated.
    • There's also the fate of "mutie" infants (genuine or suspected) among traditionalist country folk, and historically among all Barrayarans during the Time of Isolation.
  • The Warrior Cats series has a "bad seed" example: Brokentail, villainous ex-leader of ShadowClan is poisoned by his mother, Yellowfang. The mother in question regards this act as her atonement for having brought such an evil cat into the world. Yellowfang killed him twice in fact due to how Clan leaders have nine lives. She blinded and killed him but Brokentail (then called Brokenstar) came back to life afterward.
  • Averted in The Watcher by James Howe (of Bunnicula fame). The title character, whose real name is Margaret, lives with a violently abusive father and a passive, fearful mother. Her father tries to kill her by drowning her in the kitchen sink, but the two other main characters rescue her and then her mother turns on her father at last.
  • Played straight in Tanith Lee's Snow White adaptation White as Snow where the princess's mother, not her stepmother, is trying to kill her.
  • Whateley Universe: Multiple, usually to do with Human Sacrifice:
    • In a roundabout way, with adopted children being killed by their adopted parents, was supposedly part of a plan of the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom, Mephisto claims that the purpose of his 'Satanikos' scam - a purported 'Satanic Child Abuse Conspiracy' - was intended to undermine a very real plan by the Grand Hall of Sinister Wisdom to arrange fake 'adoptions' of children so they could sacrifice them to demons in exchange for power.
    • From Silver Linings 2 (Parts 2-9), Deirdre assumes that that's what her mother, Pandora, intended to do with her, since a sacrifice of something loved, was needed for the spell at hand, and Pandora had nothing else to satisfy that requirement except her own daughter, Deirdre. Deirdre saw that, and [[spoiler:flipped it around, into Matricide.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The 10th Kingdom, the Queen was originally a woman from our world with severe mental issues who tried to kill her daughter. Specifically, she tried to drown her daughter in the bathtub, but she stopped and ran away in horror when she realized what she was doing. When the two encounter each other again, the Queen, who long ago got a sort of a magical case of Laser-Guided Amnesia, doesn't know the daughter and has no qualms about attempting to strangle her.
  • 24: In season four, Behrooz's father tried to kill him. Also, Philip Bauer tries to kill his son Jack on a rooftop but ultimately backs down, successfully kills his other son Graem, and severely endangers the life of his grandson Josh. He is truly the Anti-Family Man.
  • On The 100, Chancellor Jaha ordered all of The Ark's juvenile criminals sent down to Earth That Was. In theory, they're meant to test whether the planet's become habitable again. In reality, they're all expected to die, freeing up more oxygen for the rest of the Ark. When Jaha's son, Wells, gets himself arrested, he's not given any special treatment and is sent down to die with the rest of them.
  • Played with in The 4400 third season finale when Richard stabs Isabelle with the syringe he (and everyone else, the audience included) thinks is the only thing that can kill her, but she just loses her powers instead.)
  • American Horror Story: Asylum: Lana Winters is confronted by Johnny, her Child by Rape. After she talks him down from pointing his gun at her head, she apologizes to him, takes the gun, and fires it into his head.
  • Angel:
    • "Guise Will Be Guise", a man wanted to sacrifice his virgin daughter to a demon for continued power. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for her) he wasn't sufficiently protective and she'd long since escaped his scrutiny and lost her "purity." Many, many times.
    • Cordelia's "roommate," a ghost named Dennis, was killed by his mother for dating a girl she didn't approve of. She trapped him in a brick wall of their house so he wouldn't leave her.
    • When Angelus and Darla murdered Holtz's wife and infant son, they turned his young daughter into a vampire specifically so he would be forced to kill her himself.
    • Connor wound up killing Jasmine, his daughter. (Well, a Physical God who manifested in this world as his daughter, anyway.) Angel seems to like this trope.
    • There's also a prophecy that Angel will do this to his son Connor. Whether the prophecy is accurate and the steps certain characters take to try to prevent or cause it to mark a major turning point in the show's over-arching plot. The prophecy is fake. However, in the episode "Home" Angel fulfills it anyway - he kills Connor both literally and figuratively - he makes a deal with Wolfram and Hart to wipe Connor's memories and Give Him a Normal Life. However, Connor's gone insane and Angel is forced to kill him, just as Wolfram and Hart re-write reality, saving Connor's life.
  • Arrowverse:
    • In Arrow, Tommy Merlyn dies from injuries caused by his father's earthquake machine, making Malcolm directly (albeit unintentionally) responsible for his son's death. Malcolm's Doomworld reality has Tommy alive again, so he probably does care more then he chooses to show. He is still not a good person.
    • In Crisis on Earth-X, Quentin Lance's Nazi doppelganger had his own daughter (Sara's doppelganger) put to death for being bisexual. It's not clear how his other daughter reacted to it, but she seems to have fully embraced the Nazi ideology and become Siren-X.
  • Breakout Kings:
    • Season finale, the drug lord Carmen Vega reveals she ordered the hit to kill her son, believing him to be ruining her empire while she was in prison.
    • In reverse, the criminal Mars kills his mother when escaping from prison.
  • On The Closer the LAPD are investigating the disappearance of an adopted Russian boy; they later discovered that he was killed by his parents. However, the parents revealed that he was a budding sociopath who manipulates his friend, and kills animals as a hobby, and were afraid of what else he might do so they decided to off him.
  • CSI:
    • Catherine Willows had to deal with a couple of these. One was a borderline insane woman who murdered her 13-year old daughter because she thought the daughter was hitting on her adult boyfriend. The other woman was much more cold-blooded, simply murdering her 7-year old daughter so she wouldn't have to deal with the responsibility, and would be free to run off with her boyfriend.
    • Catherine also dealt with the case of a couple who killed their infant son because he was exhibiting signs of Tay-Sachs disease, a disease which previously took the life of their older son. However, their second son didn't have Tay-Sachs and was exhibiting symptoms due to incidental and accidental gardening chemicals poisoning. His parents killed him because they didn't want to go through another experience like that of their first child.
  • CSI: Miami: A guy hires two carjackers, a surveillance photographer, and buys a new (sabotaged) car in order to cause a Convenient Miscarriage and possibly (or accidentally; it's not clear) frame his son for it because he didn't want "another parasite" screwing up a perfectly good childless marriage as the first one did.
  • CSI: NY: A tragic case in Season Three's "And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael" involves the murder of a teenage girl who was in a car accident with her friend. It was ultimately revealed that a volunteer nurse, who was the mother of one of the girls, killed her in an act of revenge, as she blamed her victim for the loss of her daughter in the crash. In a shocking twist, however, the girls were misidentified due to their similar looks and their faces being unrecognizable, meaning that the vengeful villainess actually (and unknowingly) murdered her own daughter.
  • Pippa is killed and infected by her mother off screen in Dead Set.
  • The Investigation Discovery documentary series Deadly Women has devoted several episodes to mothers who murdered their children, with episode titles such as "Bury Their Babies", "Sacrifice Their Blood", and "Mothers Who Kill". Several of the real-life women mentioned in the Real Life section below, including Susan Smith, Penny Boudreau, and Andrea Yates, have been profiled on that series. (Note that it is included under the Live-Action segment rather than Real Life since it features dramatic re-enactments.)
  • In Doctor Who, it's never explicitly stated whether the Doctor killed his children and grandchildren along with the other Time Lords during the Time War, or if they were already dead when he genocided the species into extinction, but the former possibility is never debunked and is entirely possible.
  • Invoked in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Will needed to take a children's music course in order to graduate. When Miss Basson told him he mightn't be able to graduate he told her "Miss Basson, this is my mother - the woman who gave me life - and if I don't graduate, she's gonna take it back!"
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Stannis is pressured to sacrifice his daughter by Melisandre, a Red Priestess whose God demands human sacrifices in the form of fire, with Shireen's king's blood containing more power. With his army stuck in the snow miles from his enemy and the situation getting desperate, he eventually agrees, allowing his own daughter to be burned alive in front the entire army. The snow does thaw, but half his men desert with all the horses, leading him to be defeated in ensuing battle.
    • Old Nan tells a story about women smothering their babies rather than see them starve during a winter that lasted a generation.
    • Tywin would never outright do it to Tyrion but he dreams about it and if he sees a chance to make it happen with a clean hand and guilt-free conscience, he'll make it happen.
      • Tyrion suspects his father is putting him in the vanguard of a battle to invoke this in a Make It Look Like an Accident kind of way, and Tywin is not particularly excited to see him alive afterward.
      • Tyrion remarks to Jon Snow that if he had been born a peasant he might have been left in the woods to die. In "Mhysa," Tywin confesses he considered it, but changed his mind because Tyrion was still a Lannister.
      • In Season 4, Tywin tells Jaime that he intends to declare Tyrion guilty in his trial for regicide, normally an instant death sentence, but provide Tyrion the chance to go to the Wall to join the Night's Watch, which itself puts his odds on surviving, what with the taint of regicide and the bitter cold of the North, at great risk. There's also the Wildling army that's approaching the Wall, as he admitted to Oberyn Martell.
      • After the Trial by Combat, Tywin finally has the legal mandate to officially sentence Tyrion to death and he does it without a second thought. When Tyrion confronts him after the prison escape, Tywin says that he wasn't going to do it but it's impossible to know if he was telling the truth.
    • Craster sacrifices his baby sons to the White Walkers. Subverted in that the Walkers don't kill them, they turn the babies into White Walkers as well.
  • A Bad Seed example occurs in the pilot episode of Hamish Macbeth of all series. Not quite a straight example, however, in that the parent didn't seem to attack him with intent to kill; her son had just taken a swing for his pregnant wife, she pushed him away from her and he overbalanced, the back of his head meeting the corner of a packing case.
  • Harrow: In "Pia mater" ("Gentle Mother"), a mother deliberately crashes her car, killing both herself and her adult son. Harrow's job is to find out why. It turns out the mother was dying of cancer and knew her son was a murderer and believed he was becoming a Serial Killer.
  • Hemlock Grove: Olivia Godfrey seems to make a habit out of this. She's murdered numerous infants that she herself bore because they lacked the sign that marked them as future vampires. She devours a clone of her own daughter to revitalize herself and tries to pull a Grand Theft Me on all three of her living children.
  • Heroes:
    • A lot of the Heroes have Parental Issues, but Evil Matriarch Angela Petrelli takes things to a whole new level. She is perfectly willing to sacrifice her youngest son Peter for "the greater good" by letting him blow up in Season One; in Season Two she gives another Hero explicit instructions to "put a bullet in his brain" in order to stop him taking a course of action he has been tricked into by the Big Bad when there were plenty of non-lethal options available. Also, according to her husband, she tried to kill her infant son, who grew up to become Sylar, because she had a dream about his future. Not a lot of positive maternal feeling going on there. On the other hand, when that same husband threatened to kill Nathan, Angela tried to kill her husband. I guess we know which kid she likes best.
    • Third seasons main villain, Arthur Petrelli, isn't much better; Arthur was disappointed his first son Nathan did not share Arthur's genetic evolution, so he had Nathan subjected to an experimental process when he was an infant, and Nathan later developed the ability to fly. But when Nathan became district attorney and began investigating Linderman, Arthur was concerned Nathan would interfere with his long-range plans, so immediately decided to have him killed. Same with his younger son Peter, when he got in his way. Arthur didn't seem to have any remorse about any of these decisions, but actor Robert Forster played Arthur so stolidly, it was hard to see any feeling or motivation behind anything Arthur did.
  • Law & Order:
    • Episode "Smoke" has a variation: The parents have one son who is deathly ill and no money to cure him, while an older son is singled out by a famous comedian/pedophile as a likely prospect. Knowing full well what will happen to the older son, the mother agrees to let the comedian do whatever he wants to the boy — in exchange for money. Worse, this is not discovered until years later, in the wake of the death of the comedian's adopted son when he's dropped from a hotel window during a fire...supposedly because he was trying to save the infant from the smoke and he lost his grip.
    • "Born Again" featured a woman who adopted a little girl whose emotional issues were too much for her to handle. Her solution was to exploit an allergy of the child so that her death appeared to be an accident during therapy. She tried to justify this by stating that she was in her thirties and deserved a life of her own; Jack McCoy shot back with "Your daughter was nine years old, what did she deserve?"
    • Then there was "Mother's Day", where an example similar to the Waking the Dead one above, a mother kills her full-grown son after finding out he's a rapist and a murderer. She ends up going on trial and pleading for a reduced sentence based on the fact that she couldn't bear to see what her child had become.
    • In another episode, "Mother's Love", a woman named Virginia shoots her college-aged daughter to death... but as an I Cannot Self-Terminate scenario since said daughter was drug-addicted and completely broken, and she asked her mother to release her from her suffer.
    "I looked at her, it was so hard. Those little lines of blood in her eyes, her hands full of holes. My baby... It was so pitiful. She gave me the gun. She begged me, 'Mama...put me out of my misery. Do it for me...please.' I...I gave up. I gave her what she wanted. I killed my baby."
    • It's safe to say Law & Order has two major variations of this plot - "Mommy/Daddy Has Issues" ("Precious", with several cases of Munchausen By Proxy; "Angel," with a woman who kills her baby girl because she doesn't want the daughter to grow up in so ugly a world) and "I'm Putting Them Out of Our Misery" ("Mother's Love," "Mother's Day," and "Choice of Evils," where a mother kills her son because she's afraid he's inherited the violent tendencies of his biological father).
  • On Law & Order: Criminal Intent it is revealed that Goren's Arch-Enemy Australian serial killer Nicole Wallace's first victim was her own 3-year-old daughter
  • "Raw" from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which a rich white couple adopts a black young boy...and then set him up to be killed by white supremacists to collect the insurance money.
    • Another episode has the squad investigate a young girl left comatose after being abused by her mother. While the girl is still alive when the episode ends, Munch recalls a time one of his neighbors was killed as a child by her own abusive mother. Munch is rather disturbed that the mother in question was only concerned about the window she broke when she killed her daughter.
    • In yet another episode, a mother is determined to have shaken her toddler, causing brain damage that ultimately leads to the child's death. This is a somewhat unusual case in that she wasn't trying to kill or even hurt the baby, just to make her stop crying. She's horrified when she realizes the extent of what she'd done.
    • "Taboo" features a mother who leaves her baby in a garbage can to die. While this baby is saved, there was an earlier case where a baby's body matching her DNA was found in a similar situation; they could never prove murder (she claimed it was stillborn), but they all suspected.
    • In "Denial", a woman claims her mother murdered her baby sister. Detectives then find out that the mother had a third child who supposedly died of SIDS. They're immediately suspicious. They turn out to be right.
    • From Season 20, the episode, "Caretaker," dealt with the murder of a woman's husband and two children. The woman, a lawyer, voiced her belief that their nanny may have killed them, but as it turned out, the woman herself killed her entire family, as she was facing jail time due to running a Ponzi scheme, and she felt that they would be better off dead than suffering with her in jail. She is only convicted of her husband's murder, and she later committed suicide in jail.
  • Lost:
    • To keep him from exposing a con, Locke's father Anthony tries to kill him by pushing him through an 8th-story window. Locke survives but is paralyzed.
    • In "Maternity Leave," Rousseau suggests to Claire that, if Aaron has "the sickness," Claire ought to kill him.
    • A particularly tragic example: In 1977, pregnant Eloise Hawking shoots Daniel Faraday when he enters the Others' camp, brandishing a gun, unaware that he is her son from the future. He tells her this with his dying breath, and after an attempt to reset the past fails, she leaves the Island to raise him, the whole time being burdened with the knowledge that when he is an adult, he will go to the Island, travel back in time, and die at her younger self's hands. Being a big believer in fate and how destiny cannot be avoided, she reluctantly pushes him towards his fate, hating every second of it.
  • Luther. A former Royal Marine Commando given life in prison for the manslaughter of a police officer orders his son (also a former commando) to go on a killing spree of police officers, saying he'll order his son to stop if he's given a reduced sentence. He's got no problem with the fact that his son will likely be killed by anti-terrorist police in doing so.
  • In Magnificent Century, which is about Suleiman the Magnificent and both his Royal Harem and his Big, Screwed-Up Family, there's certainly a rendition of the infamous incident where Suleiman orders the death of his eldest son and heir Sehzade Mustafa .
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", the disfigured prostitute's mother repeatedly threw her own infants away to drown in the river because they're inbred children — her husband is also her own brother.
  • In Season 8 of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl Forrester, having botched her second attempt to raise Clayton up right, ended up smothering with to death with a pillow. This is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, as issues during the filming of The Movie caused Clayton's actor, who also voiced Crow, to quit working on the show, so this was used to explain why Clayton didn't return.
  • Ziva's father in NCIS may or may not have actively been trying to get her killed, but it sure seems that way. Plus, he should be included either way since he ordered her to kill his son, her half-brother Ari, though he was a terrorist and deserved it.
  • In the spin-off The Originals Mikael begins to haunt his sons' dreams, tries to kill the mother of his grandchild (who is still pregnant), burns down New Orleans and tries to get himself resurrected in order to murder his step-son. Esther doesn't hesitate to cause her children pain, hurt and manipulate them, and doesn't mind killing them in the process.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): An accidental example in "The Hunt". George Nichols wants revenge against the androids who captured his son Eric during the hunt and, having spotted one of their distinctive uniforms in the forest, shoots the wearer in the back. It turns out that the wearer was, in fact, Eric, who had been released by the androids because he had not actively participated in the hunt and therefore never did anything to harm them.
  • Preacher (2016): Cassidy ends up killing Dennis when he can't control his vampiric impulses.
  • Played with in Princess Returning Pearl. Provoked to anger enough and Emperor Qian Long would order the execution of Zi Wei and Xiao Yan Zi. Zi Wei is actually his daughter and Xiao Yan Zi is as good as.
    • He never really intends to kill them and would have found ways to withdraw the orders at the last minutes, though they don't know that.
    • Averted with Yong Qi, who, being a son, Qian Long would never kill, even without the Empress Dowager's protests.
  • Psych: in the very first episode, the kidnap victim Shawn was supposed to find turned out to have been killed by his own father. The victim had faked his own kidnapping, and when the father found out, it led to a violent argument where the father shoved the son, and the son hit his head on a table and was killed.
  • A Bad Seed example appears in the Quantum Leap episode "So Help Me God". The mother killed her son with a shotgun while he was strangling his black girlfriend whom the mother adored. She became unhinged with guilt afterward. The black girlfriend willingly took the rap for her and tried to plead guilty to murder at her trial. That's when Sam leaped into her lawyer and mucked things up by pleading "Not Guilty". The truth isn't revealed until Sam calls the mother as a witness to the stand, though it's just as much of a shock to him as it is to the rest of the courtroom (he only called her to the stand thinking she could confirm that the shooting was an accident or self-defense). Disturbingly, she is so far gone that she still believes her son is alive.
  • Reaper: Sam's parents traded the soul of their firstborn (Sam) to the Devil to save his father from a fatal illness. They tried to get out of it by simply deciding not to have kids, but...get real.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Psirens", the psirens' illusion of Kochanski gives Lister the impression that she is planning to do this to her and Lister's offspring and then herself to save their "child" from an invasion by monsters who would torture them brutally one captured.
  • On Shameless (US), Terry Milkovich, a violently abusive Heteronormative Crusader, first threatens his son Mickey and Mickey's boyfriend Ian with death when he catches them having sex, and then orders a female prostitute to come over to the home and forces Mickey to have sex with her in order to "fuck the queer out of him". When Mickey finally has enough of living a lie and proudly comes out in public, Terry actually does try to kill him right then and there.
  • Smallville:
    • In Season 10 Earth-2 Lionel Luthor takes this trope and runs with it. He allowed his adopted son, Clark Luthor to murder Earth-2 Lex. He later tries to beat Clark Luthor (actually our Clark in disguise) to death with a belt and may have had Earth-2 Tess executed, when they betray him. After making his way to Earth-1, and failing to gain control of Earth-1 Tess or Lex's clone, Alexander, he has Tess kidnapped and tries to cut out her heart to power Lx-0, his perfect clone of Lex. This last stunt results in his death at Tess' hands; with his last breath he allows Darkseid to highjack his body in exchange for bringing the real Lex back to life.
    • During the Season 3 finale, the real Lionel may have had the real Lex poisoned. It's never confirmed either way, as the culprit could just as easily have been Season 4 Big Bad (and Lionel's Distaff Counterpart), Genevieve Teague.
    • In Season 3, it's revealed via a flashback to Lex's repressed memories that his mother murdered his younger brother Julian. It's stated to be the horrifying result of her suffering through clinical depression and insanity, and believing that she is "saving" him from Lionel. Naturally, Lex is extremely traumatized when he learns this.
  • The Sopranos: Tony Soprano's mother Livia and his uncle Junior put out a contract on his life.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Possibly the case when Lucretia gets stabbed in the belly by Crixus since she thinks the baby is his, but it may be her husband's.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: An assassination plot against Garak is foiled by Garak himself, who was able to spot and counter the assassin before he could be killed. He was still shocked to find out the man that had contracted the assassin in the first place was his own father, however. Tain was planning to come back from retirement and wanted to kill off the six men that possessed information that could be used against him. It didn't matter to him that one of those six men was his own son.
  • The Woman in White in Supernatural's pilot episode murdered her two children.
  • Teen Wolf: Gerard Argent was willing to kill his son and granddaughter to become a werewolf and cure his terminal cancer.
  • Torchwood: Children of Earth has two: John Frobisher kills his daughters in a Senseless Sacrifice and Jack Harkness sacrifices his own grandson (not his own child but still his offspring) in order to defeat the 456.
  • Twin Peaks: Laura Palmer, killed by her father Leland while Leland was possessed by the demon spirit BOB.
  • Troy: Fall of a City: Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia to appease Artemis, though he's distraught at doing so.
  • In The Vampire Diaries Klaus' father, Mikael, had been hunting him for 1000 years to make up for turning him into a vampire and also for being not his son but a result of his wife's adultery. Klaus' mother Esther plots to kill all of her children because they didn't turn out the way she wanted them to, and also her favorite son ripped her heart out about 1000 years ago.
  • Waking The Dead had a "bad seed" example in an episode that was grim even by the show's standards. The killer was a psychopath who enjoyed drowning women. He didn't opportunistically kill them either — he captured one of the victims, put swimmer's nose clips on her and drowned her by pouring water into her mouth. He delighted in the fact that the police couldn't catch him despite knowing that he was responsible...and that they were powerless to stop him from killing again. However, his mild-mannered father finds one of his trophies: a necklace belonging to his last victim. Realizing his son is a monster, and that the police are helpless, he drowns his adult offspring in the bath (apparently, dad wasn't immune to a bit of poetic justice) to stop him killing again. Then he waits for the police to turn up and arrest him for murdering his son.

  • 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.

    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 back into their mother's womb.
    • Zeus himself ate one of his many consorts when she was pregnant with Athena, who was prophesied to be greater than Zeus himself. That one backfired, tho.
    • Zeus also killed his son Iason out of anger for sleeping the goddess Demeter (who also had been Zeus's lover).
  • 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' parents pierced his feet and left him on a hill to die, to prevent him from fulfilling the prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Most famously told in the tragedy Oedipus the King. Also gave him his name: "Oedipus" means "swollen foot".
    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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 - 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and Karen McCarron. 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 "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 possible 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 stabbed to death before the house exploded. It is believed that the reason he murdered his sons is to silence 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.

Alternative Title(s): Offing Ones Offspring, Filicide


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