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Raised by Dudes

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"I grew up in the mountains with my father, who was a knight in his own right. He taught me the arts of war as though I was his son. Of course, lessons in common courtesy were not part of the regimen, so forgive me if I come off as rude, yeah?"

The character was raised around a bunch of rough guys (or just one) and usually is thus dysfunctional in normal society, especially around women. The trope may use an exaggerated, Testosterone Overdosed version of masculinity.

This situation can be seen as overall positive for a male character as it can only make him "manlier". However, a girl in this situation often becomes One of the Boys or The Lad-ette and, in some cases, may never be seen as a true woman for lacking the mandatory Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits. In milder cases, I Have Brothers may be invoked instead.

Often comes with the idea in the absence of women, men cannot competently manage a household or raise children, especially babies and little girls. It can set up a Double Standard for Real Life House Husbands and single dads, not to mention gay people. Compare and contrast to Maternally Challenged, which focuses on female incompetence when it comes to raising children.

Sadly, this has a bit of Truth in Television. Several studies indicate that the absence of one of the parents has an unseen, but strong negative effect in the child's psyche that takes a lot of effort to overcome (though it can be done, and there are plenty of first-hand witnesses to that). Of course, discrimination and mockery are not the solution, and occasionally this trope can refer to that. Besides, this is true for single parents in general, not just men. Single moms are just as likely as single dads to screw up raising a child in real life.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts from Berserk is a Byronic Hero who was raised mainly by his abusive stepfather which makes him generally reluctant to form bonds with people. Also, he doesn't seem that good with his own Creepy Child of a son either, at least at first given that the kid was literally tainted by evil. His lover Casca on the other hand...
  • Motoko from Change 123 was raised by her three dads after her mother died. Although they are explicitly mentioned to be kind and caring, they insisted on training her in their respective combat mastery (karate, jujitsu, and swords/firearms). The resultant Training from Hell caused her to develop three additional personalities just to cope. Motoko (the "main" personality) is fairly feminine and well-adjusted, while the other three range from tomboyish to borderline Ax-Crazy.
  • Goku in Dragon Ball was raised by his adoptive grandfather Son Gohan (up until Goku looked at the full moon, went Oozaru and stepped on him in his rampage), and much of the comedy of the early parts of the series was due to his complete innocence in regards to girls, to the point of initially not even knowing the difference between boys and girls. That last part might have less to do with his Grandfather being his only parental figure and more with being his only human contact up to that point in his life.
  • Kyo from Girl Got Game was raised by her basketball-obsessed father, resulting in her Gender-Blender Name, tomboyish ways, and (much to her chagrin) complete lack of cooking skills, in addition to her Sweet Polly Oliver disguise. Her attempts to fem-up for Chiharu after he learns her secret are both sad and hilarious.
  • Prussia from Hetalia: Axis Powers, according to Hungary; possibly Hungary herself, which would explain her Bokukko traits. Belgium, the other token Bokukko is also hinted to be this, stating herself that she's surrounded by men.
  • Misaki from Ice Revolution has a Karate obsessed father and three older brothers. No wonder she's become such a tomboy.
  • Averted by Trowa Barton of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. He was taken in by a group of mercenaries after being lost for several years, with his only female contact apparently coming at age 10 or so. When he shows up in the anime at age 15 (or so), he's quiet but he can still function in everyday life without any problem.
  • Naruto: Minato used this as his excuse for why he had to sacrifice himself to seal the Kyuubi into Naruto instead of allowing Kushina to take the bijuu with her as she died, and thus being able to stay alive to raise his son. Kushina promptly disagreed and both of them wound up dying to protect their son.
  • Sanji of One Piece was raised primarily by men who taught him to cook and fight. Which makes his obsession with women a bit more... understandable.
  • Ryo in Otomen is raised by a police officer and martial arts expert father who doesn't like girly things a lot leading to her becoming a tomboy, spicy food-loving Genki Girl as a counterpoint to the lead character Asuka who is male (and a kendo expert) but very feminine. Naturally they are an item. Ryo's grandfather who also helped raise her is very similarly masculine but actually has a secret girly streak just like her boyfriend.
  • Ranma ½: Ranma grew up with only his amoral and martial arts-obsessed father for guidance. It shows.
  • In The Rising of the Shield Hero Keel is introduced as a young boy but eventually revealed to be a girl. She was completely unaware of this as her father, having no idea how to raise a daughter, had simply raised her as a boy and said that gender was a "state of mind".
  • Samurai Harem: Asu no Yoichi: The eponymous character spent his entire life on a mountain with his dad and no other human contact so far as we know. He goes around town and to school in samurai clothes complete with a wooden sword, but he's pretty decent at talking to women, notwithstanding the two elder sisters' opinions or his misfortune at being the protagonist of a Harem Comedy.
  • Allen Schezar of The Vision of Escaflowne is an interesting example. While we don't know exactly who "raised" him, his mother died and his sister disappeared when he was very young, and so he has probably only had male influences for most of his life (not his father, though). He is an exceptionally moral person, but he tends to put women on pedestals, and his over-protectiveness towards Hitomi verges on stifling. He's a notable example of how someone can be a really good person and a really bad boyfriend, and a lack of strong women in his life during his youth is probably the cause.

    Comic Books 
  • Arak: Son of Thunder: When her mother Bradmante failed to return from an ambush at the pass of Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees mountains in 778 C.E., where part of King Charlemagne's army was destroyed by the Basques, Valda (later known as 'the Iron Maiden') was raised by Charlemagne and his Court Mage, Malagigi. Despite their best efforts, this may explain why she is much better at being a knight than she is at being a lady of court (which is what her mother wanted her to be).
  • Batgirl (2000): Cassandra Cain was raised by only her biological dad and is the only girl in the immediate Batman family and is portrayed as being an absolute slob. Though given who her dad was, as well as her absent mother, Cass was never going to have a normal childhood; presumably household cleanliness isn't a priority for someone raised to be a Human Weapon.
  • Hellboy was raised at a military base, back when it was frowned upon to have women enlist.
  • Tulip from Preacher, portrayed as a positive thing.
  • X-Men: Hope Summers, who was raised by Cable, is the Trope Codifier for '90s Anti-Hero.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peppermint Patty from Peanuts was raised by her single dad. This was explained in the strip as the reason why she was somewhat of a tomboy and very passionate about sports.
  • Thrud the Barbarian was raised by berserkers. They taught him the four essential skills: fighting, fighting, drinking beer, and fighting.

    Fan Works 
  • Spider-Ninja: Petra Parker, after losing her aunt and uncle when she was four, was taken in by Master Splinter and raised alongside his four sons. She didn't have a female role model until she met April O'Neil when she was ten. Considering her unusual upbringing, she's a mostly mature young woman with a strong moral compass and sense of responsibility.
  • In Valentine's Day by a quirk of fate, Vincent Valentine was born female. Her mother wanted nothing to do with her, so it fell mostly to her father to raise her. He had a tendency to forget she was really his daughter and was raised by a widower himself so treated her as his son. Downplayed as, though Vincent has a tendency to be more masculine in nature, she's perfectly capable of acting like a girl and even later has a boyfriend. Most of her problems actually come from being a Turk and Hojo.
  • In SlifofinaDragon's Sengoku Basara, Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura's children Yuki and Masa spend their childhood being brought up by their male parents, and the same applies with Masa's son Tsukitora (fathered by the obviously doomed Oyamada Nobushige), living in the Date estate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Armageddon (1998), has Grace raised around roughnecks her whole life, a point of contention as her father doesn't want her to marry one. She's a perfectly well-rounded and psychologically sound woman.
  • La Cage Aux Folles and its American remake The Birdcage star a man who was raised by a gay couple and is a perfectly normal adult.
  • Altaira of Forbidden Planet is very well adjusted with an extremely healthy libido despite being raised by a mad scientist father and Robby the Robot.
  • In My Girl, Vada was raised by her widower father, and since there were some topics Dad was either himself less than fully informed about or too squeamish to discuss with his daughter, her first period comes as a frightening shock to her. Fortunately for her, a female employee of her father (who later becomes her stepmother) is available and quickly steps in to explain to Vada what's going on and reassure her that she's OK.
  • Sydney White has the title character growing up with her dad and his construction worker friends. She is a well-adjusted girl if only a bit confused when it comes to interacting with the preppy sorority girls.
  • They Live by Night: Keechie was raised by her alcoholic father after her mother ran off with another man, which explains why she is not very secure in her femininity. When Bowie is talking to her and asks about other girls, she snaps that she doesn't know how 'other girls' do things.

  • In the Alice Series, Alice's mother died when she was a child, and she lived with her dad and older brother. For a time, she was obsessed with finding a female role model to teach her about girly things.
  • Theran in Black Jewels is a Played for Drama example. As the last heir to the Greyhaven family, he was raised in secret in a warrior camp in the mountains and had little contact with women. This meant that his view of women was rather shallow and often based on appearance or how "dazzling" they were, leading him to fail to see the goodness of proper queens like Cassidy and Jaenelle and ignore the flaws of the obviously corrupt Kermilla.
  • A Brother's Price: Men in this world are seen as the softer, gentler sex and perform the nurturing aspects of childrearing. But because they are rare and fragile, prone to heart failure and other inherited diseases, it's not uncommon for them to die and leave their children to their wives. In the absence of new husbands or sons old enough to take up the work, wives step in; and children conceived via the cribs never know their fathers at all. Children raised solely by women are socially functional and competent, but they don't have the same reactions of shock and horror if they encounter a man who was raped and murdered.
  • Doc Savage was raised by his father and a handpicked team of male tutors. It is mentioned in the novels as being why he has a poor understanding of the psychology of the female mind; one of his few weak spots.
  • The Dresden Files' titular Harry Dresden has almost no maternal figures in his life. His mother died shortly after he was born. He was raised in succession by his father, Justin DuMorne, and Ebenezar McCoy. The exception is his fairy godmother who rightfully terrifies him. Some of his character quirks such as his old-fashioned chivalry can be partially attributed to this upbringing. He lacks the typical awkwardness around women due to meeting his First Love rather young in a fellow student of DuMorne.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Delved into in detail in Ethan of Athos, where Ethan is from a planet where everyone is raised by manly men because women are forbidden.
  • Alk and Ilke in Phenomena was raised by Sha-ra and Arol.
  • Downplayed in Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. Spenser was raised by his father and his uncles, all of whom were tough as nails. Spenser turned out to be a Cultured Badass hero. However, while he's an excellent chef, very well-read, and gruffly charming around women, his rigid ideas about masculinity cause him problems in his relationship with Susan, and elsewhere. (E.g., it's why Rachel Wallace initially fires him — he's incapable of passive resistance.)
  • The Suvi Kinos series tells the story of a girl raised by her five uncles... Hulking 7 feet uncles with doctoral theses and the social graces of a Neanderthal. The type of men who panic when the baby cries for the third hour straight and the childcare book has no keyword for "alarm, audio".
  • Sydney White was this, as her mother died when she was young and she grew up with her father and his construction buddies.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is this. Her mother died when she was two and grew up raised around her father and older brother Jem. She is a tomboy who hangs around her brother and his friends and walks around in overalls, and finds the idea of doing girly things preposterious.
  • Because her mother is a highly successful and very busy scientist, Scarlet of The Ultra Violets was raised by her father and three brothers. Unsurprisingly, she's quite the rowdy tomboy.
  • In Dragon Blood, there is Tisala, whose mother is never mentioned and is presumably dead. Tisala is quite close to her father. She is a badass warrior and spy, gets along fine with women, and can befriend men, but is not sure what to do when she finds a man attractive, as the prospect of being romanced by her seems to scare men.
  • In Where the Crawdads Sing Kya is raised by her abusive father, and once he abandons her at a young age and she spends years with no adult supervision she is eventually raised to adulthood by her future husband, Tate. She never learns to fit in to conventional society, especially with women.
  • Spenser reveals to Susan that after his mother died, he was raised by his father and uncles. They hunted, cooked, and did the housework (and taught Spenser how to do so), with no excuses. If it needed to be done around the house, it got done.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Being Human (UK) has two.
    • Werewolf Tom, raised in isolation by his single adoptive dad McNair - who, as another werewolf, had good reasons for not wanting to be near other people. Tom's capable and sweet, but very awkward and naive.
    • Alex's mum died and she grew up with her dad and brothers. She's a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy and ladette who is described as "the most unladylike lady I've ever met", and while She Cleans Up Nicely, as a result she gets stuck in her unusually feminine date outfit for her afterlife as a ghost - to her utter horror. When she does get a chance to change clothes, she goes for baggy shorts and an athletic vest.
  • Alexis in Castle was raised primarily by her single father who has sole custody. She is emotionally stable and intelligent. Though this is partially averted by the fact that her grandmother was also around for the majority of her life.
  • Inverted with Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. His father died when he was young and all of the other relatives who appear on the show are female. As a result, he is exceptionally caring for the women in his life and very good with kids.
  • Jo from Eureka, since she grew up without a mother. It's not treated as a character flaw, but used to explain certain aspects of her personality.
  • Rachel from Glee has two gay dads. She's socially stilted, being very... focused on singing, and having a viewpoint revolving around Musical Theatre and any tropes involved with that. Admittedly her biological mother has a lot of the same qualities, so some of it's an It Runs in the Family issue.
  • Robin in How I Met Your Mother was primarily raised by her father, who was also in denial about her sex and raised her as a boy. On finding her kissing a boy he said, "I Have No Son!" in shock. She's The Lad-ette, but socially capable.
  • Tess Foster in Life with Boys was raised by her single gym coach father alongside her three brothers after their mother died. It is one of the reasons she has trouble balancing her competing tomboy and girly-girl natures.
  • Star Trek:
    • Vina claims to be this at first in the pilot "The Cage", acting awkward and unfeminine around Captain Pike because she was raised by a group of old male scientists.
    • Played straight in another episode of the original series where a young man was raised on a mining planet and only ever knew men. His first contact with a girl doesn't end so well.
  • Al (short for Alicia) in Step by Step features this in the Lamberts' backstory. Growing up in a house with a dad who owns a construction company, a Jerk Jock older brother, and a fart humor-loving younger one, she became very much a tomboy who had trouble getting along with girls her age and got into fights fairly often. On the inverted side, Mark was the youngest son of the Foster family, with a beautician mother and two older sisters who are The Ditz and a deadpan snarking Go-Getter Girl, respectively. He has problems mustering up any kind of masculinity, being a nerd who cringes from any kind of conflict (and is, not coincidentally, routinely beaten up by Al). Many episodes from the first few seasons deal with Al and Mark trying to adapt to having an opposite-sex role model, with varying degrees of success.
  • Sam on Who's the Boss? was raised for the first several years of her life by her widowed father Tony, until he was employed as a live-in housekeeper by Angela. As a result, Sam is an extreme tomboy for the first season or two of the show, though having Angela as a role model helps her develop more feminine traits.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Classical Mythology, Atalanta is abandoned on a mountaintop since her dad wanted a son. She's found by a bear and then taken in by some hunters. As a result, she's pretty much the only mortal Action Girl in the mythos, other than the Amazons. As the Overly Sarcastic Productions telling put it:
    Hunter #1: Do we know anything about raising girls?
    Hunter #2: Pretty sure they like killing stuff.
    Hunter #3: Who doesn't?!


    Video Games 
  • Fatal Fury: When Rock Howard came into the custody of Terry Bogard after the death of his father Geese at the former's hand, he spent the next ten years or so pretty much isolated from women. This doesn't factor much into his appearance in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, but in The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, he's hit full force by his inability to be anything other than awkward around members of the fairer sex. He unwillingly gets caught up in a Love Triangle between Ninon Beart and B. Jenet, leaving him absolutely flabbergasted when they make passes at him. He also accidentally offends Mai Shiranui by respectfully calling her "Aunt" (since she's engaged to Terry's brother, they are related in a way). It would seem that as of Regulation A, the only female that he acts "normal" around is Blue Mary, but considering her relationship with Terry, it's plausible that he sees her as an older sister or even as a second mother.
  • Though her backstory is only given in the shortest form on account of her minor role in the game, Ashei of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was raised in this trope. She was raised by a single father, who was a knight, and while he acknowledged that she was his daughter, he basically treated her like a son, raising her to be a soldier. Ashei herself comments on it only to say that if she seems a bit rough around the edges, this is why.
  • LISA: The Painful RPG has Buddy, who is apparently the last female in the world, discovered by Brad and his guy friends as an infant. Despite the circumstances, they do their best to raise her normally, even letting her give them make-overs, for example. It works too well - Buddy is left unprepared for the harsh, perverted post-apocalypse.

    Web Original 
  • Gender-inverted here on Not Always Related, with a boy raised in a household of women. When his mother eventually does remarry, his new stepfather notes several behaviors that the boy didn't realize are typically girl things, like wearing mascara, using towel turbans to dry his non-existent long hair, and shaving his legs, but also promises to be supportive if he does those things because he likes them.

    Western Animation 
  • Wendy Coudoroy from Gravity Falls is the only girl in a household of guys (her father and three younger brothers), all of whom are hypermasculine lumberjacks. She keeps up a cool demeanor but secretly admits that it stresses her out, which is why she prefers to spend her free time at the Mystery Shack instead.
  • An inversion in The Loud House where main character Lincoln Loud lives in a family where the majority of the influences are female and his dad has some feminine tendencies. That said, it's a downplayed inversion since roughly half of Lincoln's sisters are tomboys of some degree and he himself just has some traits that make sense given his family dynamic such as having younger sisters who are a set of twins consisting of a pageant star and a mud lover causing him to know how difficult it is to clean certain fabrics.
  • Rocket Power: Reggie Rocket's family consists of her, her surfer dad, and her younger brother, with input from Honorary Uncle Tito (she does have memories of her mother but it's unclear when the woman passed away). She's a feisty and competitive tomboy who hates her Embarrassing First Name of "Regina" and any insinuation, accidentally or otherwise, that she can't keep up with the boys. However, she's fairly well-adjusted socially and has even sought out a female role model when needed; it helps that Ray is a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!: Nova's tomboyish personality may have come from being surrounded by male monkeys all her life and not being able to socialize before the Monkey Translator was built.
  • The Venture Brothers never knew their mothers, being raised by Rusty and (thankfully) Brock. Rusty himself was raised by his Doc Savage-like father, in a life similar to Jonny Quest (and none of them turned out that well, including Jonny.)