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Parental Marriage Veto

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No wonder why his father-in-law refuses the blessing for them, although he manages to do the Pose of Supplication.

"Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?
Say yes, say yes, 'cause I need to know.
You say I'll never get your blessing till the day I die.
'Tough luck my friend, but the answer is no!'"
— "Rude", MAGIC!

You are a grown adult. You've found your true love, and they love you back. You want to get married. Everything's great, right? Wrong! Your parents are convinced that you've picked the wrong person, and will do almost anything to prevent the marriage.

This is different from an Arranged Marriage. Your parents don't want the right to pick your spouse. They just want to veto your choice. In some societies, your parents may have a legal right to such a veto.

Maybe your true love is penniless (or Unable to Support a Wife), or is in a lower social class. Maybe your true love is of the "wrong" race, religion, ethnicity, or gender. Or maybe their family is somehow disreputable. Or maybe your parents just don't like your true love. (Especially if they have a Betty they prefer to your chosen Veronica.)

But all is not lost. If you and your true love can stay true to each other, and be persistent, your parents will eventually notice your true love's good qualities, and will change their minds. Alternatively, you may hear the words "I Have No Son!" (or daughter, depending) addressed to you in no uncertain terms.

Sometimes, it will turn out that your parents are attempting to see whether or not your feelings are genuine. If you cannot overcome the obstacles put up by your parents, then they were wise to delay things. If you and your true love find a way around the obstacles, then that's becomes proof that it really is true love.

In rare cases, your parents are right. You really have picked the wrong person to marry.

If you are in a Fairy Tale or a Fantasy story, your parents may give your true love an Engagement Challenge.

In extreme cases, your parents will be not be above Offing the Offspring. In appropriate settings, they may instead take the slightly less drastic step of packing you off for Taking the Veil. You may have to fight in order to be together.

Even though most people in the western world choose their own spouses, this isn't a Dead Horse Trope. It can still appear in historical fiction, fantasy, in stories not set in the western world, or in any story where parents believe that they have a right to meddle in their grown children's lives. Contrast Child Marriage Veto. See also Love-Obstructing Parents, Dating What Daddy Hates, Meet the In-Laws, and Wedlock Block.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • An episode of Planetes inverts this when it turns out that Edel had to stay away from her husband for five years to prevent her parents from vetoing their divorce.
  • Happens more than once on Maison Ikkoku. One is in the Backstory, where Kyoko's parents objected to her marriage to her former teacher Soichiro; another is at the end, where Kyoko's father again objects to Godai's impending proposal. He gets over it in the end. A minor one is Godai's cousin, who ends up deciding to elope. Her father catches on and decides that if she and her boyfriend are willing to elope, then he'll give his blessing.
  • Gundam: In the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Garma Zabi believes that his father will try and pull this trope on him and becomes desperate to find a way to force him to accept. Possibly subverted, as Garma was Degwin's favored son and it's doubtful the old man could have refused him anything. It's then played straight in the case of Iserina Eschenbach, Garma's sweetheart. Her father was a rabid Zeon hater, after all.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi has Aoi and Kaoru's childhood Arranged Marriage being canceled, due to him leaving the abusive Hanabishi clan. As a young adult, Aoi sets off to find him, leading to their reacquaintance and later decision to override the veto. They get their happy ending and ultimately marry.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, Nadeshiko falls in love with her teacher, and her parents and especially her grandfather disown her when she marries him while she's still in high school. They disapprove of him partly because of their age difference, but mostly because he wasn't rich like them, thus either feared he was a Gold Digger or disliked his lower social class. Years later, Sonomi still hates Fujitaka - although in Sonomi's case, it's less that he's older and poorer and more that he took her beloved cousin away from her.
    • A whole episode of the anime is dedicated to actually fixing this, with Nadeshiko's grandfather Masaaki apologizing to Fujitaka for the Amamiya family's shabby treatment of him. And Fujitaka forgives him.
  • Ai Shite Night: Shige forbids his daughter Yakko from marrying her rock-star boyfriend Go when they ponder getting married as soon as he returns from the USA. When they persevere, Shige finally gives in.
  • Brutally used in a Case Closed case in which the Jerkass father of a rich girl not only forbids his daughter from marrying her pianist boyfriend, but he stomps on the pianist's hand and breaks it, which ruins his career. The poor piano man commits suicide and the Broken Bird daughter runs away. And the new family butler, who was the pianist's dad, kills the old man.
    • Used earlier when a diplomat with a shady past has a Freak Out over seeing a photo of his son's girlfriend, the daughter of the old rival he sent to jail on false testimony... and of his second wife, the poor guy's stepmom. Even better/worse/whatever: said second wife/the girl's estranged mom had no idea of her second hubby's Uriah Gambit up until then - and once she found out, she killed said husband as punishment.
  • In Final Approach Ryo learns late in the show that this is why his fiancee was given to him at the start of the story. His grandmother and her grandfather were once in love, but were torn apart by her grandfather's family for being from a poor family. He relented to his family's wish and married another woman. It turns out the entire setup for the series is her grandfather using his tremendous wealth to create a situation where his granddaughter can marry the grandson of the woman he lost to Parental Marriage Veto.
  • When Anasui asks Jotaro for permission to marry Jolyne near the end of Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stone Ocean, Jotaro asks him if he's insane and completely refuses to justify the request with an answer. Then Anasui asks again, and he responds by snatching his daughter away from him. Perhaps Anasui would have had more luck if he popped the question when the world wasn't about to end — and if he wasn't a bit Ax-Crazy.
  • Two in Sand Chronicles:
    • Ann's maternal grandma Misayo didn't approve of the marriage of Ann's parents Miwako and Masahiro as it also meant moving from Miwako's home village to Tokyo, but she couldn't stop them. She still doesn't like Masahiro when he sees her again post-Miwako-death.
    • Fuji's mother is against his intention to marry his cousin Mariko due to their prestige as well as the unfortunate implications she thinks it'll bring, which is why she wants to get him into an Arranged Marriage with someone more appropriate. Volume 10 shows that his parents finally gave in and the final chapter gives a glimpse of their wedding.

  • In the Child Ballad Willie's Lady, Willie's mother is trying to do this retroactively by cursing his wife to die in childbirth.

    Comic Strips 
  • This was one of the early plots in Blondie. Before they were married, Dagwood's wealthy parents disapproved of Blondie, feeling she was a Gold Digger (and initially, she was), and tried to get him to marry a woman of their social class. They finally gave in and allowed Dagwood to marry Blondie after he went on a 30-day hunger strike, but warned him that if he married her, they would disown him. They went ahead with the wedding, and the rest is comic strip history.
  • Subverted in Persepolis. While Marjane's mother doesn't approve of her engagement, her father overrules any vetos on the conditions that her husband-to-be lives outside of Iran with her and agrees to let her divorce, should it come to that. He agrees, and the two are married. Eventually the two become unhappy and get divorced, at which point Marjane's father reveals that he suspected as much, but also knew that flat-out forbidding the marriage would only make the couple more determined to defy him. To keep things as smooth as possible, he just made sure Marjane had an easy out when things inevitably went badly. (Her mother, upon hearing this, is annoyed that he didn't just let her in on the plan so she wouldn't have worried so much.)

    Comic Books 
  • Pointedly defied in Fantastic Four (2018). After proposing to Alicia Masters, The Thing decides to bury the hatchet at least on this matter with her stepfather Philip (AKA The Puppet Master) and visited said incorrigible mind-controlling supervilian in the prison where he was getting the full SuperMax treatment. After Ben received Philip's blessing without reservation or conditions he returned home jubilantly and Alicia reassured him that he had been worrying over nothing; then, once he left the room to call the rabbi, she slipped a clay figurine out of her apron to place in a heavily shielded container she returned to her shelf of knick-knacks.
  • Star Wars: Legacy: Emperor Roan Fel is aware that Imperial Knight Draco Antares is in love with his daughter Princess Marasiah Fel (it's mutual), and tells Draco that if he thinks he's going to marry the Princess, he's got another thing coming. Draco is forced to kill Roan for unrelated reasons at the end of the Volume 1 story, and we never find out if he and now-Empress Marasiah got together (though she did kiss him before all that went down, so probably?).
  • Wonder Woman (1942): As part of mellowing and sweetening Sourpuss into a kindly lady from her tough no nonsense original she was given a backstory in which her "bitterness" is due to her father refusing to allow her sweetheart to marry her as a teenager, then they meet again and get married and her personality is given a complete 180.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The One-Handed Girl", the king's son begs his parents to let him marry the heroine, and they are unable to bring themselves to do this.
  • In "The False Prince and the True" (included by Andrew Lang in The Lilac Fairy Book, the true prince saves his life by learning that he really is the prince, and the purported one is not, which requires him to promise to marry a very old woman. When he recounts this to his father, he tries to get his father to invoke this: he would rather marry a bride of his father's choosing, he says. His father has none of it — he will keep his promise.
  • "The Death of Koschei the Deathless": Inverted. Before dying, Prince Ivan's parents make him promise that he will allow his three little sisters to marry whoever they want. Honouring his promise works to his benefit when his brothers-in-law save his life.
  • In "Maid Maleen", the titular princess says that she will only marry her childhood love, while her father wants her to marry somebody else. She gets locked in a tower for her trouble.

    Fan Works 
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script:
    • Thingol wishes that he could do that. Fervently.
    • Argued by Fingolfin. He loathes Eol, but Luthien's story convinces him that disapproving of his daughter's marriage is as meaningless as if he were disapproving of his death. So he decides to welcome Eol in the family, hoping that gesture may lessen the tensions in his daughter's marriage.
    • Averted with Finarfin. After finding out that his daughter Galadriel was married — much to his shock — he asked what his son-in-law Celeborn was like.
  • A Cure for Love: Souichiro is quite livid upon discovering Light and L's relationship and makes Light spend a week at home somehow believing that that will make the gay go away.
  • A Destiny of Ice and Steel: Syrio Forel's intended Melira accepted his proposal, but her father rejected the proposal and had Melira marry another man to spite Syrio. Edward fears that Lord and Lady Stark would turn him down if he ever proposed to Sansa.
  • A Growing Affection: Hinata's grandfather rejects her relationship with Naruto and tries to force her into an Arranged Marriage. It doesn't work. Shino's parents are able to prevent him from marrying Sasame, but not from fathering her children.
  • Alea Iacta Est: When Kaiser told Allfather that he wanted to marry Andrea, he flipped, and after sending Andrea away, set him up with Theo's mother.
  • Battle Fantasia Project: Parodied in the remake, where Mariam's father initially opposes her relationship with Kai because he's terrified by the possible results of the love between his daughter (whose personality is often compared unfavourably to a shark) and Kai (who has more than one similarity with her). He kinda had a point...
  • Beyond the Dawn: Per book canon, Thingol to Beren and Lúthien.
  • Crimson And Clover: Lulu's parents don't seem to like Wakka one bit. Cid likes Paine and gives her his approval to marry his daughter.
  • Crimson and Emerald: Kiyome's parents and Kei's parents refused to allow them to marry each other.
  • Enslaved: More like a tribal marriage veto, in that the Tribe's shaman is very against Katara and Zuko's union. The fact that they're already technically married doesn't sway him in the slightest.
  • HTTYD The Kunoichi's Way: Inverted, as Ash's parents are pressuring him to find a girl, something he won't do because he is holding a torch for Hicca.
  • Luna The Match Maker: Braeburn with his daughter, Honey, and Jato.
  • Marigold Saga:
    • Xibalba is definitely opposed to Marigold's crush on Juan Carlos, and tries to forbid her from seeing him again. However, he does have some good reasons to oppose to the relationship.
    • Juan Carlos is human, while Marigold is a goddess. The Ancient Rules forbid any sort of romantic relationship between these two groups, lest they end up like the Greek Gods with too many demigods.
    • Marigold and Juan Carlos didn't know each other for that much time, only a few weeks. As far as he is concerned, their 'love' might as well be only a temporary crush, and they will move on from it later.
    • Marigold actually hid her relationship from him in the first place, and to any parent that means 'I'm up to no good'. If she had talked it out with him, perhaps he MIGHT have considered it, though in the end she still wouldn't have been allowed to have a formal relationship with Juan Carlos due to his status as a human.
    • He simply cannot bear that Manolo's son is trying to woo his baby girl.
  • My Big Fat Gargoyle Wedding: Demona does not think Broadway is good enough for Angela.
  • Of White Trees and Blue Roses: King Aerys puts his foot down on a marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna because he didn't think of it himself for Joanna Lannister and he doesn't want to "pollute his house with wolf blood". He's even jealous that Rhaegar even tried a solution in the first place.
  • One Hundred Days (Buzz Lightyear): King Nova absolutely does not approve of his daughter marrying Buzz.
  • Point of Succession: Sayu is engaged to a criminal. This seems to be at least part of the reason why their parents disowned them.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Jeanette Fisher's parents, Kaoruko and Kazuto, had to go through this. Kaoruko's father didn't approve of Kazuto because he came from Gringy City and almost forced Kaoruko into an Arranged Marriage, until Kazuto exposed the future son-in-law as the criminal he actually was.
  • Princess Twilight Sparkle's School For Fantastic Foals: Winter Break: Twinkleshine's parents threaten to cut her off entirely if she marries Trixie and Lemon Hearts, claiming implications for their social standing and political careers. Doesn't stop her.
  • Red Fire, Red Planet: This was apparently attempted by Ba'woV's great uncle Chel'toK, the head of the House, when she went to marry Brokosh, a Lethean mercenary. Fortunately for the happy couple, in Klingon tradition the right to Marriage Veto belongs to the lady of the House, and Lady K'Ronu didn't have a problem with it. Chel'toK resorted to trying to kill Brokosh. Twice.
  • Request and Receive Saga: In She waited, asleep, it's part of the backstory: Naga doesn't approve of Tiki marrying Robin. In She wakes, alone, it's revealed to be a Secret Test of Character to ensure he's worthy for her daughter.
  • Shadows Of The Past: The first words Megatron ever says to Sarah are along the lines of "Break up with Will or die."
  • Snuggles the Symbiote: An interlude focusing on Ashley's grandfather Patrick reveals that Patrick Senior disapproved of his son Patrick Jr.'s marriage to Ashley's grandmother because she was Chinese, and they never reconciled before he died.
    • Ashley's maternal grandfather tried to pull this with her parent's relationship for similar reasons, a traditionalist Japanese man who didn't want his daughter marrying a man who was half-white and half-Chinese, but Patrick talked to him. Then they argued. Then they got drunk. After that, they fought over who would pay for the wedding and all problems were resolved.
  • Strings: Korra and Tarrlok's cover story is that Korra's Boyfriend-Blocking Dad refused to let them get married and they ran away together.
  • The Last Son:
    • Namor judges Leviathan's worthiness to be with his cousin Namorita. He approves Leviathan, BUT he must also needs the permission of Namorita's mother Namora...
    • Superman's godfather, General Zod, doesn't approve of his godson's relationship with Alison Blaire, who is part Kryptonian, and sees her as something less than an animal. He explains this to Alison while choking her.
  • The Lie I've Lived: Fleur's parents are not happy that their daughter is dating the one guy (Harry Potter) who's guaranteed to get her involved in the upcoming war.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: In the alternate ending where Danny marries Phantasma, The Phantom was against their relationship and Danny and Phanty married against his wishes.
  • The MLP Loops: Brought up in Loop 48.3, where Big Macintosh is replacing Bruce Banner. Shortly before the Gamma Bomb incident, Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, who didn't approve of Banner in comics canon even before he became the Hulk (and isn't Looping, making him unable to distinguish between Banner and anyone Replacing him in the Loop), warns Mac with "Don't even think for a moment that I'll let you marry my daughter." This being Mac (who is notoriously not interested in romance when Awake at this point) and not Banner, Ross's warning doesn't bother him in the slightest.
  • The Padme Aus: Dictated Palpatine's family history, as described in A Distant Cousin.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Chantico, the dowager empress of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom and mother of its prince-king Tizoc, had no legal right to veto her son's marriage... so she instead just convinced his intended bride - Xvital - to run away just hours before the wedding, threatening to expose the truth about Xvital's background as a thief and con artist to Tizoc (to top it off, the penultimate chapter reveals that Balance, in order to get Xvital into place to become one of the new Bearers, had possessed Chantico to make her drive Xvital away). The couple eventually reunite and, after Tizoc reveals he already knew about her background but still loved her anyway, he proposes again, with Xvital happily accepting.
  • The Prince Of Death: 100% subverted "Do you know what we're discussing? That you've just given me permission to fuck your Prince?"
  • The Rejuvenationverse: Herod Sanguine disapproves of Bayard and Rowena. But ultimately does leave them an appropriate inheritance in the will read at dinner. Unfortunately, the will that ends up being used is far less pleasant for them.
  • The Young Stag: Cersei has voiced her disapproval of Steffon and Arya's marriage since the beginning and does everything she can to split them apart. Unfortunately for her, Robert and Ned approve of the arrangement and actively encourage it. Following Robert's death and Joffrey's rise to the Iron Throne, Cersei once again attempts to break Steffon's betrothal to Arya and join his family at King's Landing. Steffon, however, refuses, remaining with Arya and making his own claim to the Iron Throne.
  • Total Drama Comeback Series: Harold's folks don't approve of their relationship with Leshawna.
  • We Were Young Once: Older brother marriage veto, in this case. Thranduil refuses to let Malach and Menelwen marry without Oropher's consent.
  • In Danny Phantom: Stranded, Star worries Danny's parents will forbid them from seeing each other because of her parents' yelling at each other.
  • In Shazam! fanfiction Here There Be Monsters, Edith does not mind that her daughter Mary dates Freddy Freeman -a. k. a., Captain Marvel, Jr.-, but Mary has noticed her mother is reluctant to let them get married. Mary doesn't want to think badly of her mother, so she wonders if Edith's balking out because her snobby business associates would not think highly of someone who lets her daughter marry a newsboy. Compounding the issue, Freddy is perfectly willing to elope, but Mary wants it to be a proper ceremony... which her mother would have to pay for, since they cannot afford it.
  • In The Moon's Flash Princess, Lux' parents are opposed to their daughter's intention to marry Minako. This is out of a large misunderstanding, as Minako is an unconventional young adult with no job and their daughter is sixteen, from a wealthy family and traumatized from being caught up in the SAO incident, and mistakenly concluded Minako is a Gold Digger, when the truth is that Minako has no idea of Lux' feelings for her (or pretends so due their age difference) and, while without a steady job, still makes more than enough money to live comfortably.

    Films — Animated 
  • Corpse Bride: Implied by the lyrics of "Remains of the Day," which says Emily fell hard and fast for a man, "but her daddy said no". Said man turns out to be the villain of the film, meaning Emily's father was absolutely right to reject him, even if it led to tragic results.
  • This is a plot point in Frozen when Elsa, as Queen and acting as parent to her younger sister Anna (they were both orphans by then), refuses permission for Anna to marry Prince Hans Westergaard of the Southern Isles. It turns out Elsa was right, as his intentions towards Anna were not honorable. Mostly she was probably just surprised that the engagement happened so fast, as the two had just met.
  • In Shrek 2, Fiona has already married Shrek, and the king tries to get rid of him, partly because he doesn't approve on his own and partly because Fairy Godmother is manipulating him to put her own son Prince Charming on the throne. He later changes his mind after seeing how Fiona really loves Shrek, not Charming, and does not wish to impede upon her free will.
  • Turning Red: Before the ritual to lock the red panda's spirit, Jin tells Meilin that his mother-in-law, Wu, did not approve him marrying her daughter, Ming. She did not succeed in breaking up the wedding, however, because she and Ming had a big argument over that, which ended up causing Ming to transform into her panda form and destroying half of the temple. Considering how huge Ming's panda form turns out to be, this was a wise choice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Lord of the Rings movies, Elrond tries to keep his daughter Arwen from marrying Aragorn, since this would require her to give up her elven immortality. Unlike most examples of this trope, he makes a very sound and very logical argument against it, and has no quarrel with Aragorn himself. (Quite the contrary! He thinks "He's Like a Son to Me.") Emotionally, Elrond wants his daughter to be happy, but he understands the the very serious consequences (his twin brother - Aragorn's ancestor - gave up immortality), and he wakes her up to reality. Arwen marries Aragorn anyway, and accepts the consequences.
  • Bend It Like Beckham is set in present-day England, and the protagonist's older sister is about to be married. The groom's Sikh parents try to break his engagement because the protagonist has been seen hugging a white "boy" in public, which is a significant taboo in their culture (the "boy" is actually a female friend, played by Keira Knightley). They eventually relent once the misunderstanding is explained.
    • Earlier in the film Jess explains to her mostly white teammates that she wouldn't be allowed to marry somebody white, definitely not someone black, and not someone Muslim- pretty well limiting her choices to a Hindu or Sikh Indian.
  • Meet the Parents centers around this. Although technically they are not yet engaged and Ben Stiller is just trying to preemptively win their approval so this trope won't come up when he proposes/asks for permission to propose.
    • In both sequels, her father keeps trying to tear them apart, believing Greg to be an inadequate husband. Both times, his conclusions turn out to be totally wrong (Greg is not the father of his parents' maid's son, and Greg is not cheating on his wife). In the second sequel, Greg and Pam already have kids, yet Pam's father suggests that she seriously consider leaving Greg for her Old Flame.
  • In It Happened One Night, Ellen's father is trying to annul her marriage to King Westley. Of course, this turns out to be moot after Ellen meets Peter, who is played by Clark Gable.
  • In the Bollywood film Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham, adopted son Rahul marries Anjali against his father's wishes and is disowned. The father's main objection against Anjali - implied, rather than specifically stated - is that she is from a lower class. Also an example of I Have No Son!.
  • Something New: It's made pretty clear that Kenya's mother would disapprove of a relationship with Brian. Her father gives his support to her unconditionally, however, giving her the strength to pursue their relationship.
  • In Scarface (1983), Manny and Gina are married behind her brother Tony's back. When he finds that out right after he kills Manny, he regrets it.
  • Reverse example: Psycho IV: The Beginning shows that Norman Bates disapproved of his mother of being engaged to Chet Rudolph. This results him murdering the both of them.
  • The Godfather Part III: Although Vincent/Vinnie and Mary are cousins and don't get married, Michael shows disapproval of their relationship because it would endanger his daughter. When Vincent becomes the new head of the family, Michael tells him the price: give up his relationship with Mary. It doesn't matter later, since Mary gets shot to death.
  • In Dodsworth, Kurt's mother is an Ice Queen who flat out disapproves of the marriage between her son and Fran for concerns about Fran's reproductive capabilities.
  • In Crimson Peak, Edith's father puts a halt to Thomas's plans to propose to her, on the grounds that he suspects Thomas of only wanting her for her money. He pays off Thomas to not only call off the proposal, but also to disabuse Edith of any notion that he loves her. Lucille gets around the issue by killing Edith's father. As it turns out, not only was her father right about Thomas and Lucille's motives, but he had another reason to oppose the marriage - he'd learned that Thomas was already legally married to at least three other women.
  • In Equinox Flower Hirayama tries hard to exercise this, not even for any specific reason, but just because he wasn't asked ahead of time. He eventually finds out that the veto is no longer in effect in Japan.
  • The plot of Monster-in-Law is Viola disapproving of her son Kevin wanting to marry Charlie and doing everything in her power to drive Charlie away.
  • Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood has an Uptown Girl plot in which a poor tenant farmer's daughter falls in love with the rich son of the rich woman that owns the land. When the rich lady categorically refuses to let her son marry a lowborn peasant girl, tragedy ensues.
  • Son in Law: When Walter and Connie find out that Rebecca is engaged to Crawl, they don't outright forbid it because they're afraid of them eloping. Instead, they do everything to convince Crawl and Rebecca that they're not ready for marriage.

  • There's an old joke based on this:
    One Sunday morning William burst into the living room and said, "Dad! Mom! I have some great news for you! I am getting married to the most beautiful girl in town. She lives a block away and her name is Susan."
    After dinner, William's dad took him aside. "Son, I have to talk with you. Your mother and I have been married 30 years. She's a wonderful wife but she has never offered much excitement in the bedroom, so I used to fool around with women a lot. Susan is actually your half-sister, and I'm afraid you can't marry her."
    William was heartbroken. After eight months he eventually started dating girls again. A year later he came home and very proudly announced, "Dianne said yes! We're getting married in June."
    Again his father insisted on another private conversation and broke the sad news. "Dianne is your half-sister too, William. I'm awfully sorry about this."
    William was furious! He finally decided to go to his mother with the news.
    "Dad has done so much harm. I guess I'm never going to get married," he complained. "Every time I fall in love, Dad tells me the girl is my half-sister."
    His mother just shook her head. "Don't pay any attention to what he says, dear. He's not really your father."
    • There are a couple songs based on this joke, see the Music section.

  • Many of Anthony Trollope's novels contain this trope.
    • In Doctor Thorne, Frank Gresham's parents don't want him to wed Mary Thorne, who is illegitimate and poor. However, illegitimate and rich is fine.
    • In Framley Parsonage, Lady Lufton doesn't want her son to marry Lucy Robarts, whose brother has become involved in someone else's financial scandal. But mainly because she doesn't think Lucy's is 'significant' enough (character-wise) to be the wife of such an important man.
    • In The Last Chronicle of Barset, Major Grantly wants to marry Grace Crawley. The Major's father is appalled at this, because Grace's father has been accused of forgery and theft.
    • In The Duke's Children, the last of the Palliser novels, the Duke of Omnium is trying to stop two marriages. His daughter wants to marry a poor man. His eldest son wants to marry an American.
    • In The Way We Live Now, Lady Carbury is trying to prevent her daughter from marrying Paul Montague, who is apparently already engaged to an American widow.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • In Beren and Lúthien, Thingol doesn't want his daughter Lúthien to marry the mortal Beren. While he doesn't know at the time that that would eventually result in her choosing to become mortal, he had premonitions of Doom around the whole matter. So he set Beren an impossible task to get rid of him (breaking into Angband and stealing a Silmaril), no doubt hoping he'd give up or die, which of course completely backfired in horrible ways for generations to come.
    • In The Lord of the Rings, when Elrond (Beren and Lúthien's immortal great-grandson) finds out that his daughter Arwen and his mortal adopted/foster son Aragorn are in love, he sets down what seems to be a impossible set of restrictions on their marriage: Sauron must be vanquished, Aragorn must unite the ancient kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor and become High King over them. This puts a great deal of stress on Elrond and Aragorn's relationship, but when Aragorn helps fulfill every single one of these conditions, Elrond allows the marriage to happen. Those nearly impossible tasks had the bonus effect of ensuring Middle-Earth would at least theoretically be habitable for them and their descendants.
  • In The Other Boleyn Girl:
    • Anne Boleyn furiously banishes her sister Mary from court when Mary admits that she has secretly married William Stafford and is carrying his child. Although not technically her mother, since Anne was Queen at the time, she could be considered a de facto guardian.
    • A more straightforward example comes earlier in the book, when Anne secretly marries Henry Percy. The marriage is annulled by Cardinal Wolsey, and Anne is banished from court by her family as punishment, while Henry Percy is forced into marriage to a woman closer to his social standing. It is implied that this early loss is what drives Anne to be as cold and ambitious as she is for the remainder of the book, and that she never is quite over it.
  • P. G. Wodehouse used this trope quite a bit:
    • The A-plot of every Blandings Castle book, to the point where Wodehouse himself had his own names for all the character tropes involved. The "parent" was always one of his governess sisters, and the resolution almost invariably ended with the Hon. Galahad Threepwood (or sometimes Uncle Fred) blackmailing said sister into letting the marriage go through, generally using an element of the B-plot.
    • The trope also tends to turn up regularly in Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. There is a Lampshade Hanging in at least one book where a writer character said something like, "He forbids the marriage? I couldn't use that in a story nowadays!"
    • A Damsel in Distress starts off this way, with Maud Marsh, the daughter of the Earl of Marshmorton, in love with a thoroughly unsuitable (American and not rich) young man she met on a ship voyage. The family has absolutely put their foot down, and forbidden her to even leave the house until she "comes to her senses" and chooses a more suitable mate. It turns out that this technique was actually successful with her father, back in the day.
  • In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the Dowager Marchioness (basically "queen mother") of the Sun family subverts this trope by blessing the marriage of her daughter to Liu Bei, then upbraiding her son Sun Quan and his right-hand man Zhou Yu (son-in-law of the State Patriarch who also supports the marriage) for plotting to kill the groom, since after word got out it would make her daughter unweddable (in a "what man would want her now?" kind of way).
  • Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey uses this as the Backstory and a running plot thread: when Agnes' mother chose to marry a poor parson, she was disowned by her father (despite annual visits with her daughters to her childhood home, they never even saw him); after Mr. Grey's death, she receives a letter from her father telling her she can come back and her daughters will be heiresses if she will just say that she regrets marrying. All three Grey women (she would have done it had her daughters wanted the money) tell him to go to hell.
  • In Little Women, Aunt March tries to do this to Meg when she wants to marry John Brooke, a poor Englishman and Laurie's tutor, mistakenly believing that he's a Gold Digger who wants to use her to get Aunt March's riches. It backfires, rousing Meg's anger and turning her reluctant 'no' into a defiant 'yes.'
    • In Jo's Boys, Meg won't let her daughter Daisy marry Nat because — besides his being an ex-homeless nobody — Meg (a widow by this point) doesn't think the sensitive, very young and inexpert musician will be able to man up and provide for Daisy. However, when he returns to the States after two years' European study as an established violinist with a steady income and excellent future prospects, Meg relents. (The beard he grows in the meanwhile helps.)
  • In His Only Wife Elikem's family, led by Aunty Ganyo, hates his girlfriend (also his baby mama) with a passion. When voicing their disapproval and telling him to break up with her is not enough, they arrange for him to marry Afi from their village in Ghana, hoping that she will drive him away from the woman they loathe.
  • Jane Austen really loved this trope. Of course, it was the law of the land in her day, unless you escaped to Scotland.
    • In Northanger Abbey, General Tilney forbids his son Henry from marrying Catherine Morland after being mislead again about her fortune (the novel's antagonist, realizing she won't marry him, changes his report of being hugely wealthy to miserably poor—neither were true). Henry asks for Catherine's hand before telling her about his father's disapproval, which Catherine appreciates because she would have felt honor-bound to refuse otherwise. Fortunately, this happens near the end and a way out of the General's wrath is swiftly procured by the plot.
    • Edward in Sense and Sensibility maintains a secret engagement with Lucy Steele, the poor niece of his private tutor from his teenage years. When his mother learns, she demands that he break the engagement and when he refuses, cuts him off without a penny. Lucy soon dumps him for his newly-enriched brother, but it's a good thing because it frees Edward from someone he long ago ceased to love and he can marry his real love, Elinor Dashwood.
    • In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy's aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, attempts to veto the marriage... which ends up helping to bring it about, since at the time that Lady Catherine declares her veto, Elizabeth and Darcy are each separately convinced that the other no longer wants anything to do with them. Hearing that Elizabeth has refused to promise not to marry him is what gives Mr. Darcy enough hope to try proposing to her again, with rather better results than his first attempt.
    • Persuasion deals with the long-term fallout of a parental marriage veto. Anne was convinced to break her engagement with naval captain Wentworth, not because of her father's threats of disinheritence but Lady Russell's sober advice. The result was heartbreak for both her and Wentworth for the next eight years, and when they're thrown back into each other's company it takes a long time for them to sort their feelings out.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles, McLean tells Angel she can't confess her love to Freckles for fear of her father's disapproval. She assures him afterwards that Freckles would not take her even with her father's consent, owing to his fear of disgracing her.
  • Somewhat subverted in Anne Fine's Fly in the Ointment. The parents disapprove of the match and upset/insult their daughter by not coming to the wedding. The father is a petty tyrant who the daughter is glad to ignore. However, she soon concludes that they were right to dislike her husband and if they had not upset her so much by missing the wedding she soon would have run home to them.
  • In the second Apprentice Adept trilogy: Stile and Lady Blue object to Bane (or rather his Photon doppelgänger, Mach in Bane's body) marrying Fleta the unicorn. Not for any species hangups but because Fleta wouldn't be able to provide an heir to the title of Blue Adept. Since this was a case of Reason Before Honor in a Piers Anthony work, this bites the good guys hard in the ass later. Conversely, Stile and Lady Blue's Proton counterparts, Blue and Sheen, had no problem with Bane-in-Mach's-body being an item with the alien Agape. Since Mach was a Ridiculously Human Robot, producing heirs were never an issue.
  • Sorta used in Andersen's The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep. The Chinaman isn't the Shepherdess' father for obvious reasons (they're porcelain figurines), but he still wants her to "marry" the mahogany satyr instead of the chimneysweep she fancies.
  • A fact of life in Funny Boy. One character was completely cut off from her family for marrying outside her ethnic group. Radha's parents and siblings definitely act as though this power is a given, and although Radha is willing to defy them, this is a very serious decision.
  • Elsie Dinsmore's father vetoes two proposals. The first is from a sickly childhood friend; Horace is afraid he won't reach twenty-one (and he doesn't). The second is from a con man after her inheritance. Elsie honors her father's wishes both times and ends up marrying the man who exposed the second candidate as a drunk and gambler.
  • In the Agatha Christie novel The Murder on the Links, Paul Renauld forbids his son Jack from marrying Marthe Dubriel, and cuts him out of his will. It transpires that Marthe is the murderous daughter of a blackmailing murderess, so he had a point.
    • Another Agatha Christie example comes from the Miss Marple novel A Pocket Full of Rye. Rex Fortescue threatens to cut off his daughter Elaine without a cent if she marries the Communist Gerald Wright. Elaine would have married him anyway, but Gerald was only interested in Elaine for her money and promptly dumped her. At least until Rex died, leaving Elaine a large amount of money... Interestingly, Miss Marple is convinced the marriage will turn out well, as she sees the gold-hunting groom as a man who will respect and be kind to the woman who made his dreams (a school) come true where he's resent a poor girl married for love for ruining his life.
  • The Lord Darcy story "A Matter of Gravity" by Randell Garrett. Count de la Vexin forbids his son from marrying the daughter of his chief guardsman. The Count's daughter believes that because he is a "psychically blind" rationalist, he is incapable of recognising or understanding True Love. As in Murder on the Links, which may have inspired this, he actually recognises the woman is a nasty piece of work, and gets murdered by her.
  • In George Eliot's essay on trope, "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists", one novel has a mother ready to curse her son because her marriage plans are not obeyed until his true love tells her that she will not, in fact, marry him without her blessing.
  • In David Copperfield, David's boss Mr. Spenlow isn't thrilled when he shows interest in his daughter Dora. (It's not helped by the intervention of Jane Murdstone either.) And in the same chapter, Spenlow dies in an accident.
  • Part of the backstory in Kathryn Hulme's The Nun's Story. Gabrielle/Sister Luke's much-adored father refuses to let her marry her longtime boyfriend, Jean, because he fears that insanity runs in Jean's family. It's one of the reasons, although not the only one, that she takes vows.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, Prospero explains that he forbade Ferdinand to Miranda in hopes of getting her to defy him.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Monster Men, though he and Virginia can marry without it, von Horn knows he must either get Professor Maxon's consent, or have him murdered to prevent his changing his will.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's A Daughter Of The Land, the Bates sons were too intimidated to marry against this, except Adam. The father's technique was to give them farms, but keep the title himself.
    Adam was the one son of the seven who had ignored his father's law that all of his boys were to marry strong, healthy young women, poor women, working women. Each of the others at coming of age had contracted this prescribed marriage as speedily as possible, first asking father Bates, the girl afterward. If father Bates disapproved, the girl was never asked at all.
  • In L. M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle, Olive's romance with the town Bad Boy was broken off because of familial disapproval. Not, whatever those outside the family say, because the Bad Boy was losing interest.
  • Twisted around in A Brother's Price. Males in this world are rare, so a family lucky enough to have a son will either trade him for another family's son - men marry every sister in a family - or sell him. Jerin is approaching the age of marriage and is anxious, because he might be traded for the son of the huge, possibly-incestuous Brindle family. He reflects that if it were up to his mothers, they wouldn't want him to be unhappy, but in these cases the decision is up to the sisters who are looking to marry someone, and some of his sisters are interested in the Brindle son. His sisters don't approve of his falling in love with Princess Ren, since in their eyes she tried to rape Jerin.
    • That said, while mothers have little to do with the decision-making process on Jerin's side, Ren still has to get permission from her Mother Eldest to marry Jerin, because she is a princess and the Prince Consort must have good genes and a good history for the sake of the realm.
  • Gleefully invoked in Anne of Windy Poplars: Anne helps a timid young lady elope with the young man she loves and takes on the responsibility of breaking the news to the girl's intimidating father, who sternly forbade the couple from having anything to do with each other. When Anne informs the father of the elopement, he takes the news with deep relief and satisfaction - he'd wanted the two to marry all along and issued his veto on the accurate assumption that the boy would be much more interested in Forbidden Fruit than in having a girl pushed at him, but had feared that his daughter would end up being too spineless to go through with it. With the matter finally settled, he promises to "grudgingly come around" in a suitable period of time.
  • There are three plot lines in Michelle Magorian's A Little Love Song (which is set in 1943), and they all deconstruct this trope in one way or another:
    • The first one happens in the book's present day, where seventeen-year-old Dot has been kicked out by her parents for getting pregnant out of wedlock and is facing the stigma of becoming an unwed mother. Dot states that if her stubborn father had just let her marry her childhood sweetheart Jack when they had asked for his permission, this never would've happened.
    • The second one happens about 26 years earlier and is told through a diary that the main character Rose finds. The diary belongs to a woman named Hilda, and tells the story of how she was a volunteer nurse during the First World War and fell in love with one of her patients, Matthew. Hilda's family refused to let them get married, partly because Matthew was six years younger than her and worked at a publishing company while Hilda herself was firmly upper-class, but mostly because her parents and brothers had decided that as the only daughter, she would remain unmarried and stay at home and take care of her parents until they died.
    • The third one is just a short conversation during which Rose expresses concern that their mother might not let Rose's sister Diana marry Robert because he's from a lower class. Diana just states that if their mother won't give her permission, she will just marry him anyway, and that she's pretty happy that he's from a different class because if she married someone from their own class she would just end up being a decoration at a dinner table, while Robert actually treats her like a person.
  • In Stephanie Burgis' A Tangle of Magicks , Mrs. Carlyle breaks into the opening wedding to declare her son is underage and can not marry without her permission. Revealing that he is not the bridegroom but the best man does not slow her down at all in her tirade.
  • A more or less Justified example kicks off the climax of A.L. Phillips' The Quest of the Unaligned. While King Kethel vetoes Crown Prince Alaric's desire to marry Laeshana, this is because Laeshana is a mage of fire, and the law requires that the Crown Prince marry an elementally unaligned mage.
    • A few pages later, we have a completely Unjustified example. After Alaric uses the secret powers of the Prince's Crown to change the nature of Laeshana's magic, rendering her unaligned Queen Tathilya tries to veto the marriage on the grounds that Laeshana is a peasant, which on top of being irrelevant isn't even true. (Laeshana belongs to the Order of the Open Book, and members of that order are the social equals of the nobility, no matter their birth.)
  • Septimus Heap has the titular Heap family being at defiant odds with the gatekeeping Gringe family, which causes problems when Simon Heap and Lucy Gringe meet in dance class and fall in love. Their first attempt at getting married in Magyk goes sour courtesy of the Big Bad's current rule over the Castle. Simon ends up disowned by his family for reasons entirely unrelated to the romance, but continues to try to court Lucy. Come the end of Darke, both families had accepted the relationship and Simon has been redeemed, so Fyre opens up with the wedding.
  • Kindling Ashes: Tilda's father was fine with Corran courting her because Corran was his favorite pupil. It was Lord Dunslade who issued the veto because he disapproved of his son marrying down.
  • In Jorge Isaacs' María, while Efraín's father/María's uncle and adoptive father does not hate María (in fact, she's pretty much another daughter), he'd rather have Efraín focus only on his future university studies than romancing his cousin. It ends tragically when María dies from her illness while Efraín is studying abroad on the patriarch's instructions; the dad blames himself heavily and even calls himself her murderer, and he ends up tearfully apologizing to Efraín for having separated them.
  • His Only Wife: The Ganyo family, led by matriarch Aunty Faustina Ganyo, hates middle brother Eli's girlfriend with a passion. When voicing their disapproval is not enough, they arrange for him to marry protagonist Afi, a seamstress from their village, to drive him away from the woman they loathe.
  • Inverted by the Thomas Hardy short story The Son's Veto (published in the collection Lifes Little Ironies). The protagonist is a widow, who's first husband was a wealthy parson whom she married because she didn't dare turn down his proposal; their son was raised as a member of the upper class, but she still thinks of herself as being beneath them both. As a result, her son is able to forbid her from marrying her Unlucky Childhood Friend (it's made clear he's not against her remarrying; he just doesn't want a commoner for a stepfather).
  • A variation in Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff. Annice, the younger sister of the King of Shkoder, is barred by royal decree from Joining or having children (which don't necessarily go hand-in-hand in this series) on pain of death, lest it imperil the succession. This was King Theron's revenge for her joining the bards rather than be married off to the heir of Cemandia. In the present day Annice decides to carry her Surprise Pregnancy to term pretty much to spite Theron and force the issue. Except that after he'd grown up a little more, Theron came to really regret doing this to her and wanted to lift the ban, but they hadn't been able to speak civilly ever since. Once he manages to get in contact with her after chasing her halfway across Shkoder on an unrelated matter, he forgives her and tells her he could never have his own sister executed, regardless of what he said way back when.
  • In the backstory to Pan Tadeusz, mr. Horeszko did this in the most cruel way possible - simply ignoring his daughter's beloved's feelings for her, then asking his advice on an Arranged Marriage for her.
  • In the backstory to Dinner at Deviant's Palace, Irwin Barrows exiled Greg Rivas from the Barrows lands because he felt Rivas wasn't good enough for his daughter Urania. In the present, though he depends on Rivas to rescue Urania, he's prepared to have Rivas killed if there's any sign they're going to get back together.
  • Dr. Sloper in Washington Square tries to pull this on Catherine during the entirety of their relationship, even threatening to disinherit her. (Though he likely considers her an Inadequate Inheritor anyway.)
  • This trope appears in Way of Choices where Xu Yourong's grandfather engages her as a child to the disciple of the Taoist who saved his life, her immediate parents are horrified and do everything in their power to dissuade her fiance, Chen Changsheng, so she can pursue a proper marriage with a young man of their choosing. Ironically, Chen who has since learned he is fated to die as a young man, first came to them in order to break off the marriage contract but their snobbery, insults, bribes and threats convince him otherwise. The parents then become his enemies and do everything in their power to sabotage him. Meanwhile, 500 chapters in Chen and Youroung have met only a few times and he is unaware (though she is) of her identity, as they largely communicate through writing.
  • Dead End Job Mysteries: Attempted by Helen Hawthorne's mother Dolores. After Helen divorces her deadbeat husband Robbie pre-series and goes on the run, Dolores keeps trying to get her to go back to him - due to her religious views, she believes divorce isn't recognized by the church and that Helen will burn in Hell if she ever remarries. When Helen is finally getting remarried in book 8, Dolores finds out and is so opposed to it that she's arranged for Helen to get threatening letters warning what will happen if she goes through with it, and finally takes a bus all the way from St. Louis to southern Florida, where she barges in to stop the wedding, declaring that she'd rather see Helen dead than with a man other than Robbie. She then suffers a heart attack and brain bleed during her rant and is essentially comatose afterward, so she has to be put in a home for the rest of her life, dying in book 9. Her death and Helen getting a new divorce settlement allow the wedding to finally go off by the end of the book.
  • Dragonriders of Pern: Sibling variant - Toric tries this on his sister Sharra when it is revealed that she and Jaxom plan to be married. Luckily, Jaxom makes it clear in a very satisfying and dramatic fashion that he and Sharra will not be parted, and that as a dragonrider he will come for her anywhere on Pern.
  • The Knocker on Death's Door by Ellis Peters, a woman who is dating the younger son of an Impoverished Patrician family is invited to afternoon tea by his elder brother, who attempts to warn her off. She's affronted, and amused, that people still behave like that. It turns out that he was actually trying to get her clear of the family because he'd found out his younger brother was the murderer.
  • In The Baby-Sitters Club, Mary Anne learns that her father used to date her new friend Dawn's mother Sharon while they were in high school, but Sharon's parents didn't approve so they ended up breaking it off. They initially drifted apart and married other people, but ultimately reconnected through their daughters' friendship (by which point he was a widower and she was divorced) and ended up getting back together and later marrying.
  • This is a common trope in old literature from the former Jugoslavia, generally a highly patriarchal area where Arranged Marriage was very common in places until relatively recently.note  Two iconic literary examples are found in:
    • Sosedov Sin ("The Neighbor's Son"), an 1868 novella by Slovene author Josip Juričič, Franica, the daughter of wealthy farmer Anton Smrekar, falls in love with the honest, hard-working and handsome Štefan, the son of a neighboring farmer. They wish to marry, but assume that Franica's proud and despotic father would not allow them to, as he despises Štefan's father, who unlike his son is a wastrel. Once, Anton hires Štefan to help him with a job, and treats him unusually kindly, prompting Štefan to ask Anton for Franica's hand. This, however, infuriates Anton, who roughly rebukes Štefan, and then makes short work of his daughter, accusing her of disrespecting him for making promises to the son of a man she knows her father cannot stand, and coercing a promise from her not to speak to Štefan again. The resolution to this situation comes when, after a period of keeping Franica practically under house arrest, Anton attempts to marry her off to his good friend's son Petar, but Franica does not show up at the service and runs away to the house of a woman with whom she had stayed in the past while at school. When Anton finds his daughter in bed with a fever, and Štefan praying in a church for her recovery, he realizes that he has made a mistake. Franica does recover and Anton lets her marry Štefan and also becomes a somewhat gentler man.
    • Pop Ćira i Pop Spira (Priests Ćira and Spira), an 1898 novel by Serbian author Stevan Sremac set in a village in the Vojvodina note  region, tells the story of the two priests who served the village, who each have an only daughter. When the village receives a new young schoolteacher, Pera, who intends to study for the priesthood, the priests' wives both wish to marry their daughters off to him. Priest Spira's daughter Melanija takes a liking to Pera, while Priest Ćira's daughter Jula loves Šaca, the local barber. However, they meet secretly in the garden, knowing that Jula's parents wouldn't approve of the match. They are discovered and Jula's parents initial reaction is to attempt to put a stop to it. However, after some time passes, Jula complains to her mother about it; her mother goes to her father and pleads the couple's case, taking into account that Šaca is planning to better himself. Priest Ćira relents, requesting only that they wait until he has settled a conflict that he currently has with Priest Spira. The novel ends with Jula marrying Šaca and Melanija marrying Pera. The former couple ends up having four children with Šaca becoming a dentist, while the latter couple remains childless and ends up leading a dull bourgeois life.
  • "Talma Gordon": Capt. Gordon vehemently opposed the idea of Talma marrying Edward Turner. At first it seems like it was because he was a poor nobody, but when the truth about Talma's mother Isabel Franklin is revealed, it's apparent that her ancestry was the reason.
  • Zara Hossain Is Here: Zara's parents weren't allowed to marry by their families, but they did it anyway. She believes it's why they're so accepting of her being bisexual and dating a girl even when they come from the very conservative Pakistani Muslim culture, as they've known how terrible being denied who you love can be.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Defied in X-Wing: The Bacta War. Corran Horn and Mirax Terrik know that her father Booster would be totally against them getting married (he's an ex-cop and she's a smuggler, and furthermore Corran's father sent Booster to the Penal Colony on Kessel), so they don't give him the chance to offer an opinion: they have Corran's CO Wedge Antilles marry them in secret right before they ship out for the book's final battle. Booster is furious, but is mollified when they agree to hold a second, more public ceremony that all their friends can attend.
    • Exploited in I, Jedi. Corran, undercover with the Invids Space Pirates as "Jenos Idanian" to look for the missing Mirax, is queried by a squadmate about his missing lover. He quickly makes up a story about wanting to destroy a starliner company because his lover is the heiress and her cousin, the owner, forbade them to be together. So "Jenos Idanian" plans to rob the company of everything and then retire with his lady love on the spoils.
  • Zakaria from The Key to Charlotte used to be in a relationship with a woman named Rachel, but their relationship was ruined by her meddling father, who she still listened to even though she was an adult.
  • A variation in Sir Nigel: Edith (the sister of Nigel's beloved Mary) has fallen into the clutches of the Depraved Dwarf Paul de la Fosse. Strangely, the father isn't so much averse to the union (as de la Fosse is rich and of a well-regarded family), the problem is that de la Fosse is a serial seducer, taking pride in wooing young women with promises of marriage and backing out on them, leaving the women Defiled Forever (Edith is of course persuaded that these are all lies). Nigel sets out with a priest to inform de la Fosse that he either marries Edith tonight or dies, and only when de la Fosse accept at swordpoint does Edith understand she's been played for a fool.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms: The Heavenly Lord doesn't approve of Sang Ji's love for Shao Xin, so he has Shao Xin locked up and refuses to let Sang Ji see her.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Ming Ying forces Zhi Wei to promise she'll never marry Ning Yi.
  • The Crown (2016): Princess Margaret wants to marry older, divorced Captain Peter Townsend. Her mother objects and her sister has the authority to block the marriage. Elizabeth makes Margaret wait two years until she is twenty-five and can legally give herself permission, but she also requires Margaret to give up her titles and money. In the end, Margaret can't give up being a royal and spends the rest of the series pining for Townsend, even after she marries someone else.
  • One plotline of That '70s Show had Eric and Donna planning to get married just after high school. Eric's very stern father Red is completely opposed to the idea and does everything in his power to dissuade Eric from going through with it, including threatening to not pay for Eric's college education and convincing others of not hiring Eric in part-time jobs. Eric persists and says that he's going to marry Donna no matter what Red does. Eventually Red gives his blessing and reveals that his obstruction was actually a Secret Test of Character for Eric, as he wanted to see if he was serious enough about all of this.
  • In Waterloo Road, Tom is unhappy that Chlo wants to marry Donte. When she goes off to a registry office in secret to do it, he arrives, does the I Object thing (at the right time) then discovers he can't stop the marriage. He is not her legal guardian, her absent father has agreed to it (she's under 18, so he has to under UK law) and her mother is too dead to object, by virtue of having been murdered at the end of the previous season. Tom has now accepted the whole thing and the couple (having gone through a brief break-up) now intend to do the proper White Wedding thing.
  • In The Good Place, Jason realizes he's in love with Janet, the Artificial Intelligence, and the two get married. However, Jason feels uncomfortable that they still haven't told her "dad", Michael (though as Janet points out, she has no parents, so Michael is not her father or even creator). Michael quickly finds out about the marriage and forbids it, pointing out how Janet knows everything while Jason died because he never thought to put air holes in the safe he was hiding in. Jason feels bad and tells Janet that she has to leave him, but she insists that she loves him, and they run away to Mindy's house with Eleanor for their "honeymoon" not long after.
  • In one episode of House, a married couple had assumed the parental veto was because of the father's apparently racist tendencies, and eloped anyway. It's much squickier than that.
  • The same plot was used on an episode of My Name Is Earl.
  • In Mork & Mindy, Mindy's father is dead set against Mindy marrying Mork from Ork, citing practical considerations such as how Orkans age backwards. Eventually, he comes around and gives his blessing.
  • Jeeves and Wooster used this all the time. Sometimes they had to get past this, at others they were accidentally or reluctantly engaged and went to some lengths to ensure that the parents vetoed the marriage. There's also the time Aunt Agatha forbade her brother to marry someone, though they got around it by running away from her.
  • More or less every Korean Drama ever:
    • Winter Sonata: Sanghyuk's mother objects to Yuujin. Yuujin's mother objects to Joonsang.
    • Boys Before Flowers: Goo Jun Pyo's mother towards Guem Jan Di, to the extent of forcing an Arranged Marriage with a suitable bride. Comes from the original Boys over Flowers, where Tsukasa's mother Kaede does exactly the same to him and Tsukushi.
  • One episode of Everybody Loves Raymond dealt with this. Robert tried to propose to his girlfriend, but asked for her parents permission first just out of respect. Given he's just doing this as a formality, he's shocked when they say "No." ("But thanks for asking!") When he goes ahead with the proposal anyway, which is very romantic and gets an enthusiastic "yes" from the bride-to-be, he's slightly distraught when she asks, "I know it's just a formality, but could you go to my father and ask for his blessing?"
  • Boy Meets World:
    • In the 6th season opener, Cory and Topanga want to get married after she proposed to him at their high school graduation. Everyone thinks they have eloped, though they didn't actually go through with it. Their families try to fake being happy for them until Cory's mother reveals that she's completely against it ("This is a mistake, and I do not support it. Why couldn't you [Topanga] have just gone to Yale?") This leads to awkwardness when they reveal they hadn't gone through with it, and wish to know why exactly it would have been a mistake.
    • Parodied when Eric tries to use the same speech (complete with telling Topanga she should have just gone to Yale at the end) to stop Mr. Feeney from retiring and moving away. It doesn't work. But he's still back the next season anyway, now teaching at the same college the main cast is all attending.
  • On Married... with Children, one of Kelly's "loves" asks Al for "his hand in daughter-marriage". Al responds with a one-punch veto.
  • In Lost, Desmond gets harshly, brutally put down when he asks Mr. Widmore for his permission to marry Penny.
  • A bit of a retroactive one on CSI, with Betty Grissom upset because Gil didn't marry Julia and did marry Sara and because of their Long-Distance Relationship.
  • Derry Girls: Granda Joe never stops hating his son-in-law Gerry.
    Joe: Why don't you just leave my Mary alone?
    Gerry: Because we've been married for 17 years, Joe.
  • In Once Upon a Time: A young Regina saved the life of Snow White, and her father proposed to her over it. Regina had no desire to marry him, as she was in love with her stable boy Daniel. Her mother decides that marrying the king is the best thing for Regina, or more accurately for her, and to decides to force the issue by murdering Daniel. Right in front of Regina.
  • Stargate SG-1: Teal'c tries to prevent his son Rya'c from marrying too young. This is resolved by the end of the episode with Teal'c realizing how much Rya'c and Kar'yn love each other
  • In Empire, Lucious disapproves of all three of his sons' relationships: Andre is married to a white woman, Jamal is gay, and Hakeem is dating a woman twice his age. Lucious didn't stop Andre from marrying Rhonda, but he isn't shy about his opinion of her. However, he did force Jamal at 18 to marry a woman, and when that didn't last, threatened to cut him off if he came out, and he attempted to bribe Hakeem's girlfriend Camilla to leave him, since he (incorrectly) thinks she's a con artist. The boys' estranged mother, Cookie, takes a more moderate stance once she re-enters their lives. She has her own opinions about her sons' lovers that she makes known, but she respects them enough not to interfere with their lives.
  • More of a Fraternal Marriage Veto, but one episode of M*A*S*H has Charles (an uptight WASP) shocked to learn that his sister Honoria is planning to marry an Italian. He spends the rest of the episode furiously trying to contact her back home to stop her. Eventually he learns that the wedding was called off... but only because the groom's family vetoed Honoria for not being a Catholic.
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "The Americanization of Machiko," Sam's mission is to convince his leapee's mother Lanore to accept the leapee's Japanese wife Machiko whom he met and married during a tour of duty overseas. In the original timeline he married his former sweetheart Naomi instead, and it was a miserable marriage. Lanore remains hostile throughout the episode despite Machiko and Sam's best efforts. Ultimately the problem isn't Machiko so much as it is Lanore still hurting from her daughter Eileen's (the leapee's sister) suicide and having trouble accepting another daughter into the household. Near the end of the episode, Sam and Machiko are about to be re-married in a church. Sam is worried that he may actually have to exchange wedding vows with Machiko before leaping, since Lanore hasn't accepted her yet. Fortunately, Lanore bursts into the church right when the ceremony begins, wearing a kimono to show her acceptance of Machiko. As Lanore and Machiko bow to each other in respect, Sam leaps...
  • Babylon 5: As Delenn's relationship with Sheridan progresses, her clan calls her back to Minbar to explain herself. Neither of her parents are present, but the clan patriarch Callenn threatens to put a stop to it if she can't explain it to his satisfaction. After she finds out that as a descendant of Valen, who was actually Jeffrey Sinclair, she's always been partially human, Callenn allows her to go forward just to keep her quiet about it.
  • The Flash (2014): Joe West refused to give Eddie Thawne his blessing to ask his daughter Iris to marry him. It's not that there was anything wrong or untoward about Eddie (the man was Joe's partner) — it's because Joe knew their relationship was a case of Wrong Guy First, and believed that no matter how much Iris loved Eddie, she loved her best friend Barry Allen more, even if she didn't realize yet. Joe also believed that once she did, she and Eddie would realize the marriage was a mistake and get hurt because of it. Considering an earlier episode in the season all but confirmed this to be the case, complete with The Big Damn Kiss between Barry and Iris (and the only reason why no one except Barry remembers the events of that episode is due to Time Travel shenanigans), Joe may have had a point. While Eddie and Iris got engaged anyway, Eddie died before the marriage could happen, so we'll never really know if Joe was right.

  • The song "Rude" by MAGIC! is sung from the point of view of a man who is distraught over the fact that his girlfriend's father refuses to give his blessing to their marriage. The young couple in the song eventually defy the girl's father and decide to get married anyway.
  • The narrator of The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" says he "had things planned but her folks wouldn't let her".
  • The popular Renaissance Faire song 'Johnny Be Fair', based on an old joke (see the Jokes section):
    "And I would marry Johnny but my father up and said:
    I hate to tell you, daughter, what your mother never knew,
    But Johnny, he's a son of mine, and therefore kin to you.
    (repeat with at least two other names)
    The lads in town are all my kin and my father is the cause.
    If things should thus continue, I shall die a single miss
    I think I'll go to mother and complain to her of this."

    "Oh daughter didn't I teach you to forgive and to forget.
    Your father sowed his wild oats, on that you needn't fret.
    Your father may be father to all the lads but still....
    He's not the one who sired you so marry who you will!"
    • This joke is also the basis of the song "Shame and Scandal".
  • The narrator of Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" has come to understand why his mother didn't approve of his lover.
    "Maybe you should know that
    My mama don't like you and she likes everyone."
  • A sympathetic perspective flip happens in Chuck Wick's "Stealing Cinderella." The singer comes to ask for his girlfriend's hand in marriage, and while her father thinks it over, he's left in a room with pictures of her throughout her life—and he suddenly realizes that he wouldn't blame her father for invoking this trope. After all:
    In her eyes, I'm Prince Charming
    But to him I'm just some fella
    Riding in and stealing Cinderella

  • Older Than Dirt: The Egyptian air god Shu tried to prevent his son and daughter, Geb and Nut (earth and sky), from marrying each other and having kids. In another version, the sun god Re tried to prevent their marriage. Either way, it didn't work, and Geb and Nut became the parents of Wesiri/Osiris, Aset/Isis, Sutakh/Set, Nebet-hut/Nephthys, and maybe Haruw/Horus the Elder. Nonetheless, Shu still holds them apart.
  • Japanese Mythology:
    • The God of Storms Susano-o wasn't thrilled when the minor god Okukinushi fell in love with his daughter Suseri-hime and she came to like him back. He tried at least thrice to kill the guy (by sending him to sleep in a room full of snakes, then having him clean his hair of which is full of either wasps and bees or Creepy Centipedes, and later setting a fatal archery challenge involving a field in fire), but Okunikinushi lived through each attempt on his life. Then he outsmarted Susano-oh by tying his long hair to his rafter when he was asleep so he and Suseri-hime could elope, also taking Susano-oh's treasures (his bow and arrow and his beloved koto) with him. When Susano-oh woke up and caught up with them, he relented and gave the lovers his blessings.
    • The legend of Hachikatsugi-hime has the youngest son of a nobleman falling for a young maid named Hachikazuki, who always hides herself behind a huge wooden bowl doubling as a hat. The guy's parents, logically, oppose to this romance. They talks to Hachikatsugi and stage a "wife contest" to make her "give up"; the girl has an Heroic BSoD right before it, but when her boyfriend reassures her... the hat, which until then was stuck to her head, suddenly falls off and reveals a small wooden box, containing a mix of Bag of Holding and Memento MacGuffin that reveals the girl's noble heritage and has the riches and clothing she needs for the contest. Her confidence restored, Hachikatsugi passes the "contest" with flying colors, so the parents revoke the veto and let her marry her son.

  • Shakespearean examples:
    ''My will to her consent is but a part.
    An she agreed within her scope of choice."
    • However, by the third act he has gotten far less kind and tells her she can marry the man he's chosen or be disowned.
    ''An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend.
    An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets."
    • In Two Gentlemen of Verona, Sylvia's father goes so far as to banish Valentine when he learns that they're in love. Admittedly they're trying to elope at the time...
    • A variation in The Taming of the Shrew: Bianca's father will not allow her to get married, not due to any objections with her suitors, but because he swore not to let her marry until her older sister Katherina is married.
  • The Fantasticks is the story of two neighboring families trying to arrange a marriage between their children by building a wall between them and faking this trope. Their Batman Gambit works.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest: Gwendolen's mother said that "to lose one parent is unfortunate, to lose two is careless" and refused to allow Gwendolen to marry Jack until he had found his parents again. Jack later turns the tables on Lady Bracknell by refusing to give permission for his ward, Cecily, to marry Algernon, who is also Bracknell's nephew, unless she relents and lets him marry Gwendolen.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye finds himself increasingly tested by his daughters' choices of husbands. For each daughter, he weighs the value of the tradition each of them is flouting against the love each feels for his daughters. He eventually agrees to let eldest daughter Tzeitel marry her childhood friend Motel rather than have an Arranged Marriage, and later to let second daughter Hodel marry activist Perchick even though his ideals often contradict Tevye's traditional mindset. But when third daughter Chava falls in love with Fyedka, a non-Jew, he decides that's a bridge too far, and disowns her when he learns that she's gone behind his back to marry Fyedka.
    "If I bend that far, I'll break. But on the other hand — No! There is no other hand!"
  • In Zemsta, Rejent Milczek really does not think his son should choose his own wife. The boy may love Klara, but how is this basis for anything?
  • In the backstory of The Merry Widow, Hanna and Danilo were in love, but Danilo's uncle put an end to it because Hanna had no money. Residual feeling from this causes complications when Hanna reappears in Danilo's life as a widow with a large inheritance.
  • In Oklahoma!, Andrew Carnes' won't give his consent to Will marrying his daughter Ado Annie unless Will can prove that her can earn, and hang on to, $50 ($1,400 in today's money).

    Video Games 
  • In John Woo's Stranglehold, the major contributor to the game's emotional drama is the fact that Mr. Wong's daughter Billie is in love with maverick cop Tequila. Wong despises Tequila both because he is a cop and because back in the movie Hard-Boiled, Tequila killed Johnny Wong, whom it turns out is Mr. Wong's son. Eighteen years ago, Wong intimidated Billie, who was pregnant with Tequila's daughter Teko, into breaking up with Tequila so that Wong wouldn't kill them all, and when Wong had to entrust Tequila with the task of rescuing Billie and Teko from the Zakarovs, Wong had Billie killed by Tequila's own partner Jerry, both to protect his syndicate (Zakarov had threatened to make her reveal everyone connected to Dragon Claw in a court of law to protect Teko's life) and to deny her to Tequila forever in a nasty Kick the Dog moment.
  • In Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, the King of the Frogs doesn't approve of Princess Caroline's relationship with Michael, a commoner. After catching Michael inside the castle, he almost has him executed on the spot, but then claims that Michael can only earn his respect if he helps Cornet retrieve the Earthstone. After they succeed, he then promptly declares that now Michael must be executed for breaking into the castle and defeating the guardian, and has him killed on the spot. This solves nothing, leading to Caroline and Michael being Together in Death.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has Lighting object to Snow and Serah's engagement until a good ways into the game. As her and Serah's parents are dead and she cares for Serah, it's very much this trope despite them being sisters.
  • King's Heir: Rise to the Throne has the King of Griffinvale rejecting his son marrying a commoner woman, but the Prince does it anyway. This leads to the King exiling the girl behind his son's back.
  • Super Paper Mario had Blumiere's father banishing Timpani to wander all dimensions forever because she was of a different race and he didn't want Blumiere to break their tribe's taboo against marriage outside of them. Didn't work out for him.
  • Tekken 6 has Miguel Caballero Rojo planning on killing his sister's boyfriend, but eventually declines to make her happy. And then the wedding is brutally crashed and smashed by the Mishima Zaibatsu, and the poor girl becomes a dead little sister.
  • In the Dating Sim Always Remember Me, the protagonist can't seem to get approval from her high school sweetheart's father; instead, his father seems to think that the New Old Flame/Bitch in Sheep's Clothing would be a better fit.
  • In Secret of Mana, this is the reason Purim's father has the king of Pandora send her soldier boyfriend Dyluck on a Suicide Mission to the witch's castle.
  • In Shiver: Poltergeist, Henry Kangale disapproves of his son and heir Richard's wish to marry Brenda, a household servant. He eventually permits it, though, much to the chagrin of James the butler, who will stop at nothing to preserve the "purity" of the Kangale bloodline.
  • In World of Warcraft, specifically the Battle for Azeroth expansion, Lady Meredith Waycrest went as far as hiring an assassin to stop her daughter Lucille Waycrest from marrying a "lowly" merchant.
  • A downplayed example in League of Legends (or to be more specific, its CCG spin-of Legends of Runeterra) since it's not the actual parent who's opposing it and marriage isn't even remotely on the cards under the circumstances; one of the game's most constantly-teased couples is Garen, the Might of Demacia and Katarina, the Sinister Blade, prominent champions from the enemy kingdoms of Demacia and Noxus. Legends confirmed through card interactions that the two of them are secretly seeing each other, and Garen's aunt Tianna Crownguard, the head of the Crownguard family, does not approve of the relationship whatsoever. We don't yet know what, if anything, she's said to her nephew about his infatuation with the leather-clad Noxian assassin, but when forced to team with Katarina she doesn't mince words. Unfortunately for her, neither does Katarina.
    Tianna: I do not approve!
    Katarina: I do not care!

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • In Red String it's been recently revealed Miharu and Kazuo's Arranged Marriage, which has developed into love anyway, was all his mother's idea in order to give him a chance not to be married to be a snotty society girl. This is against his father's wishes, who wants it called off. When he tells Kazuo to do so (Kazuo having overheard the details already a day before) it doesn't go down well.
  • In PvP, Brent and Jade's wedding reservation was canceled by Jade's mother due to them arranging the wedding in a way she didn't like, fortunately Robbie allowed them to have it at his mansion.
  • In Erstwhile, Maid Maleen's father rejected her love.

    Web Original 
  • A Hero's War: Landar's parents are actually quite in favour of her marrying Cato, knowing that they are good for each other and that Cato is a One-Man Industrial Revolution, but her extended family oppose the match because Cato can't use magic, and outright defying them would severely harm her father's standing in the Iris Clan. Landar could just burn her bridges and leave the clan, but her father instead suggests a way that Cato might be able to win them over.
  • One of the laws of the Pantheon in Thalia's Musings, even for the Twelve Olympians. Apollo tries to invoke this as Governor of the Muses, but is quickly shot down by Calliope. It's strongly implied that Artemis, as her twin brother Apollo's legal guardian, can invoke this to him.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Ben 10 episode "Big Fat Alien Wedding'', Ben's cousin Joel is marrying a Blob Monster alien known as a Leopan and her parents disapprove due to Fantastic Racism between them and the Plumbers. They attempt to use violence to disrupt it by recruiting her ex-boyfriend, and when that failed attempted to kill the groom and his family themselves before getting defeated by Ben and arrested.
  • Mr. Pewterschmidt of Family Guy hates Peter. When Peter brought up the idea of marrying Lois, Mr. Pewterschmidt tried to bribe Peter with a check for one million dollars to leave Lois alone forever. Peter, in his own awkward way, refused, tearing up the check.
  • The Fairly OddParents!
    • Mama Cosma hates Wanda and Big Daddy hates Cosmo. The two parents end up as a couple of their own through their mutual hate for their kid's husband/wife.
    • In his first appearance, Timmy breaks apart Vicky and Mark by getting Mark's parents to intervene. Notably, they seemed to be fine with it, but they feared Timmy enough to comply.
    Wanda: We can't destroy true love...
    Cosmo: But parents can!
  • Princess Sissi is all about the trials and tribulations Sissi goes through to try to marry the unapproved-of Franz, being loosely based on the life of Elizabeth of Bavaria. In real life, it didn't end up as happily as the cartoon says.

    Real Life 
  • Many gay and bisexual people risk getting disowned by getting married, if they can even legally get married. Also, if they belong to an organized religion that is against same-sex marriage, they may end up being excommunicated and excluded from certain aspects of involvement with church activities if they dare to marry someone of the same gender as themselves, which can be just as depressing as having one's parents reject them for their marriage.
  • Beatrix Potter got engaged to the publisher of her storybooks. Her parents objected because he was a tradesman but eventually relented, if she would wait out the summer to make sure her love for him was real. Unfortunately, he died before summer's end and the wedding never happened. You can imagine her parents' reactions...
  • Peculiar example because it's based partially around an Arranged Marriage: a Jewish rabbi has set up a system in which Jewish children (on a voluntary basis) are tested to see if they're carriers of the Tay-Sachs disease allele. For background, Tay-Sachs is a Mendelian recessive trait (more or less...) and the disease that can kill by age two (life expectancy for the condition in general is about four) should a child receive two copies of the gene, but a child who receives only one copy will be healthy; thus a child of two carriers has an alarmingly high 25% chance of having the disease. This trait is particularly prominent among Ashkenazi Jews. Understandably concerned about the health issue but also cultural sensitivities (among them a desire to see Jews continue to marry Jews), the rabbi started this project; the children are not told the results of the test, but are given a number. In later life, should their families be contemplating a match between two people who have been tested, they just send the numbers in and are advised to drop the match if both of them are carriers... a rare genetic Parental Marriage Veto.
  • Then there are of course the royal families:
    • King George III vetoed quite a few of his sons' potential marriages, mostly because they wanted to marry either commoners or Catholics, which led to a succession crisis after the death of Princess Charlotte (the daughter and heir of George IV) in childbirth. George IV was succeeded by his younger brother, William IV, who was then succeeded by his niece Victoria, the daughter of his brother Prince Edward. Meanwhile, his wife, Queen Charlotte, forestalled any attempts to marry off her younger daughters to keep them as her companions, with the result that two daughters married later in life (48 and 40) and two never married at all.
    • King George VI initially vetoed then-Princess Elizabeth's marriage to Philip Mountbatten, mostly because she was underage and he was still largely seen by the public as a Greek and Danish prince, even though he had given up those titles. After World War II, when Philip was a British war hero and Elizabeth had turned 21, her father finally consented to the marriage.
    • Elizabeth herself vetoed Prince Charles' potential marriage to Camilla Shand because of her somewhat scandalous dating history and the belief that Charles needed to marry a young English virgin. Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles, Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, and the rest, as they say, is history.
    • For the longest time, the sovereign of Great Britain had veto rights over the marriages of anyone in the succession who could claim descent from George II. If they married without permission anyway, they'd lose their place in the succession. This was eventually repealed (but not until 2013!), and the current law only limits the sovereign's veto rights to the first six people in the line of succession.note 
    • King Olav V of Norway initially vetoed Crown Prince Harald's engagement to Sonja Haraldsen because she was a Norwegian commoner and Olav wanted his son to marry a princess. Harald responded to this by informing his father that if he couldn't marry Sonja he wouldn't marry at all. Since Harald was the sole heir to the throne, and his not marrying would have meant the end of the Norwegian monarchy, and they had been dating for almost a decade by that point, Olav relented. Fifty years later, they're still happily married.
    • King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden was notorious in his belief that royalty should only marry other royalty, which led many of his sons to marry without his approval and lose their titles and succession rights in the process just to get out of hearing the parental marriage vetoes. Gustaf VI Adolf's son, Prince Bertil, and his grandson, Carl XVI Gustaf, had to wait until after his death and Carl XVI Gustaf's accession to the throne before they could marry their commoner brides. Carl XVI Gustaf and his bride, Silvia Sommerlath, had to wait for four years. Bertil and his love, Lilian Craig, had waited for forty-three.
    • Empress Nagako/Kojun of Japan allegedly opposed the marriage of her son, the then-Crown Prince Akihito to Michiko Shoda, due to the fact that Michiko was a commoner and her family was Roman Catholic. While they did marry, relations between Nagako and Michiko remained strained for the entirety of the empress' life, as she disapproved of Michiko's hands-on mothering in contrast to the traditional separation of imperial children from their parents and Michiko herself is said to have wondered why her mother-in-law disliked her. Some sources even say the intrigues took a life long toll on Michiko and that she never fully regained the confidence she'd had in her youth.
    • Umberto II, the last King of Italy, opposed his son's Vittorio Emanuele's marriage to Marina Doria. Vittorio Emanuele eventually went on and married her anyway without paternal permission... And, by the House of Savoy's bylaws, would have excluded himself from the succession had Italy still been an kingdom.
  • In the Baha'i faith, a couple cannot get married unless they both get the consent of their parents. If one of them vetoes it, they'll just have to wait until the grouch keels over (or just become self made orphans).
  • Consuelo Vanderbilt had hoped to marry Winthrop Rutherfurd. Her mother refused, because she set up her marriage to the Duke of Marlborough. To this end, she first begged, ordered, and even faked a fatal illness to force her daughter to marry the Duke. Her daughter finally relented, after which her mother's fatal illness miraculously got cured. It would not be an understatement to call the marriage "unhappy" (famously, the married couple always dined with a gigantic centerpiece placed on the table between them so that they do not have to see each other even when etiquette dictate that they must be in the same room at the same time).
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's own romance, which became the basis for the story of Beren and Lúthien. Tolkien met Edith Bratt at 16 and 19 respectively and fell in love, but his guardian Father Morgan later forbade contact between them until Tolkien became a legal adult at 21. He wrote her on the evening his twenty-first birthday and found out she was engaged to another man. She broke it off, though, when she learned he hadn't forgotten her, and accepted Tolkien's marriage proposal. Tolkien described their troubled courtship in considerable detail in a letter to their son, acknowledging that his guardian had a point as 'Falling in love, even a true and lasting love' is not really a good thing for a young man who should be concentrating on his education. Tolkien also emphasized that Edith had made him no promises and was completely free. Had she chosen to go through with her first engagement he, Tolkien, would have had no grounds for complaint.
  • When Marie Curie was working as a governess to put her sister through university, she fell in love with the son of her employer, but they rejected on the grounds that she was too poor. This was actually a good thing for the world as she and the man she did marry, Pierre Curie, were a fantastic scientific team.
  • Dorothy Osborne and Sir William Temple were a famous 17th Century English couple, who finally managed to marry after her father died (and she suffered smallpox, to the ruin of her looks and the loss of any other marriage prospects.)
  • This isn't always a bad trope. For all the times parents/family object on unreasonable grounds, there are times when loved ones have the ability to realise two people shouldn't take such a big step and, if said step is taken, are eventually proven right.
  • Napoléon Bonaparte, who had a thing for arranging marriages around him, pulled this on his youngest brother Jérôme when he married an American heiress in 1803 ; when he became Emperor, Napoleon annulled the marriage with a decree in 1805 on the grounds that Jérôme was a minor when he married. Napoleon also objected to the second marriage his brother Lucien made out of love, but could not convince him to divorce and Lucien preferred to go into exile rather than renouncing his beloved wife.
  • Dieudonné Thiébault, father of General Paul Thiébault, attempted to prevent his son's remarriage to Elisabeth Chenais, citing her expensive tastes and unsavoury reputation as arguments against the match, but more importantly reminding Paul that he was still legally married to another woman when he proposed to Elisabeth. Paul ignored his father's objections, rushed through the divorce and married Elisabeth anyway... and despite his pledges of absolute truthfulness, he makes absolutely no mention of this in the Memoirs he wrote long after both his father and Elisabeth were dead.
  • The Greek businessman Alexander Onassis Livanos had a Secret Relationship with Fiona Thyssen, a divorcée who was 16 years his senior and whom he had a crush since he was a pre-teen. Alexander's parents, the powerful and rich entrepreneur Aristotle Onassis and his first wife Athina "Tina" Livanos, really disliked this and tried to sabotage their bonds: i.e, Thyssen hated the idea of being seen as a Gold Digger so when Onassis Sr. purchased Alexander a huge villa outside Athens despite knowing this, she took it as an insult from them.
  • In The '50s, a Japanese man named Toshimichi Okubo met Princess Aisin-Gioro Huisheng of China, and they fell in love. However, Huisheng's Japanese mother Princess Hiro Saga refused to let them stay together: both because he was a commoner and because her daughter was a candidate to get into an Arranged Marriage to then-Crown Prince Akihito. Huisheng and Okubo ultimately commited suicide together.
  • Ancient Catholic traditions had a way to get around this and other vetoes: the priest being considered a mere witness, a couple could get around the veto by going to a priest with two other witnesses and declaring themselves husband and wife. Due the practice being much abused, the practice was eventually banned in the Council of Trento with the Tametsi decree... That also specifically banned any kind of marriage veto.
  • In a number of countries, where Arranged Marriage is still common and is still done for the same reason. The big issue is that if a woman decides to flee the marriage and marry the person she wants, she stands a very good chance of being murdered by her own family to "restore their honor."
  • Carl and Marie von Clausewitz could have married earlier if not for Marie's mother's determination to find a more suitable match for her only surviving daughter (Marie was a Countess and Carl was, at the time, a junior officer of questionable nobility). However, Sophie von Brühl eventually consented to the marriage and this delay was one of the many obstacles that only deepened their bond.
  • Meiji novelist Kōyō Ozaki, upon knowing his student Kyōka Izumi was planning to marry, harshly objected and threatened to cut ties with him unless he left the woman. Izumi then waited for his mentor to die before going forward with the marriage.
  • French law allows ascendents to veto, in courts, any marriage of their descendents in which legal causes exist, such as lack of consent or bigamy (art. 177 of the Civil Code).
  • When Blanche Monnier wanted to marry a lawyer rather than someone her wealthy family chose, she decided to elope. Unfortunately, her mother caught her and locked her up for over two decades, telling people that she'd run away with her lover, who spent the rest of his life under suspicion that he'd killed her.


Video Example(s):


"Alice ducking Tinker"

"Engagement". David Horton is thrilled to hear that Hugo has found a girlfriend -- and then elementally enraged when he finds out it's Alice Tinker, as we find out when Hugo relates the outcome of the conversation to Geraldine slightly more genteelly than David's version.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ParentalMarriageVeto

Media sources: