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A character, generally the main character and a child or minor in age, is shown to have missing, dead or otherwise absent parents. Because there is still the need for an adult figure around, the character's grandparents fill in the void. Generally, there are no aunts or uncles in the picture. If there are, that's Nephewism.

The child may feature as a Heartwarming Orphan. When using this trope would interfere with the plot, you often get a World of No Grandparents.

This happens in real life as well. Family Relationship Switcheroo commonly involves a cover-up of this situation, when the child is raised by grandparents but is made to believe them to be their real parents, in order to avoid admitting that their "sibling"-but-really-parent conceived them outside wedlock.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaoru Hanabishi from Ai Yori Aoshi. Unluckily for him, the trope comes with abusive grandparents.
  • Attack on Titan features a Self-Made Orphan case of this with Zeke Yeager, who, at the age of seven, turned his parents Grisha and Dina over to the government for being part of La Résistance. Zeke realised that his parents and their friends were about to be found out by the government and he decided it was better to turn them in so that he and his grandparents could be safe. 22 years later, his grandparents are still alive, although as Zeke's apparent betrayal of his homeland Marley has been found out, it's unknown if they'll be spared.
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Matsuri is fifteen and has lived with just his grandfather Seigen since he was seven, when his mother Matoi moved to Tokyo for work. She wanted to take Matsuri with her, but he preferred to stay in Omiko with Suzu and his grandfather. Eventually, Matoi comes back to town, but only on a temporary basis for a mission, and decides she'd rather stay at a hotel than her family's house.
  • In the manga Baby and Me, one of Takuya's classmates claims to live with her grandparents because her father and mother are famous and are overseas. Actually, it turns out that her grandparents are really her parents, and she's embarrassed about the fact, so she lies.
  • Bleach:
    • Yasutora "Chad" Sado. Chad's parents died when he was a little boy, so he spent a good part of his life under the watch of a Mexican Cool Old Guy named Oscar Joaquin de la Rosa, whom he referred to as "abuelo" (Spanish for "grandfather"); it's not fully known if the "Abuelo" was his real grandpa, a distant relative or a mere family friend, but Chad considered him as his gramps for all that was worth.
    • Same goes to Toshiro Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori, raised together in Rukongai by an old lady whom they both called grandmother.
  • When first introduced, Yukito Tsukishiro from Cardcaptor Sakura, though as they're often said to be out of town, his grandparents are never seen. As Yukito is the "false form" of the magical being Yue, most of his background is actually false memories, including his grandparents. They simply don't exist.
  • Ushio from CLANNAD lives with her grandparents until she's five years old, because Tomoya sees her as a reminder of his wife Nagisa, who died giving birth to her, and can't handle the depression. Once she's five, however, they start rekindling their bond. This is averted in the altered universe as shown in the final episode, since without Nagisa dying not only does Tomoya never fall into depression but Ushio also has a living mother.
  • Played with in Future Boy Conan: Conan grew up on a remote island with a man he calls "grandpa", as his parents had died when he was young. However, it's all but stated the (unnamed) man is unrelated, and just happened to be the last survivor of the shipwrecked crew Conan's parents came from.
  • Sandra was raised by her maternal grandmother in A Cruel God Reigns.
  • In Dandadan, Momo Ayase was raised by her grandmother, who looks like she could be her sister.
  • Renton in Eureka Seven was raised by his grandfather after his mother died in childbirth and his father Adrock sacrificed himself during the New Era Summer of Love when Renton was a young child. His uncle appears in one episode, however.
  • Nice Guy Panther from Eyeshield 21 was raised by his grandmother whom had given him his treasured sweatband. She was also the one who provided him the money with her own savings to go to Japan. He desired to join the NFL so his grandmother would no longer have to work.
  • Pinako Rockbell of Fullmetal Alchemist raised her granddaughter, Winry, after the murder of the young girl's parents. This was immediately after the death of the mother of two neighborhood boys (prior in the 2003 adaptation), Ed and Al Elric, and she ended up with all three. She seems to have done a good job, as all three are prodigies in their respective scientific fields.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden Firuka and Haagasu's great-grandson is raised by Limdo to become the next emperor, because he has no heir of his own.
  • Suzu from Gohan no Otomo lives with her grandmother instead of her parents, and her childhood flashback shows that she's been with them since at least grade school. Her childhood friend Dai describes her as a Grandpa's Girl (instead of a Daddy's Girl), and she describes that he used to take her for various excursions. Nothing is ever said of her parents.
  • Ryou of Gourmet Girl Graffiti have been living with her grandmother since her parents started working overseas six years ago.
  • Granny Girl Hinata-chan: Sadao, Hinata's grandson in her past life, lived with his grandmother until her passing, and is not shown to have other family. In the present day, Hinata, reincarnated as a little girl but retaining her old life's memories, seems singularly focused on meeting with Sadao with no thought to Sadao's parents, who would be her own child and child-in-law.
  • Takeshi Sendoh from Hajime no Ippo. His mother died shortly after he was born (maybe because of childbirth, but it's not specified), his father was a firefighter who died in the line of duty when Sendoh was around five years old. Hence why he was raised by his widowed grandmother, the owner of a small shop in Osaka's ward of Naniwa.
  • Shinobu Iijyuin from Haikara-san ga Tooru, since his father is a very high ranked military man stationed abroad and his mother was a German noblewoman who never was accepted by Japanese society, so she had to leave baby!Shinobu with the Iijyuin clan.
  • Lunlun from Hana no Ko Lunlun, since mom died in childbirth and dad followed five years later. Also some of the people she helps, like a Spanish girl named Isabel and a Moroccan boy named Sayid.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • In the original Gakuen Hetalia, Seychelles mentions that she used to live with an old man she referred to as "grandfather". Since she's a nation-tan, it's highly doubtful they're 100% relatives.
    • Also, the young Italies used to live with their grandfather Ancient Rome until his "death", then were taken in either by Austria and Hungary (Chibitalia) or Spain (Chibimano).
  • I Want Your Mother To Be With Me! combines this with Nephewism for Haruka. Both her parents are working overseas, so they asked her paternal grandparents to take care of her. Since he's still living with them, Haruka's uncle Ryo also becomes a Parental Substitute.
  • The titular character Izetta from Izetta: The Last Witch was raised by her grandmother prior to the beginning of the series.
  • Joseph Joestar in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was raised by his grandmother Erina, since his father George II died in the Great War and his mother Lisa Lisa had to go on the lam for killing a British military officer who was actually a zombie minion of Dio Brando in disguise, and the real killer of George II.
  • Miu in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple was raised by her grandfather Hayato.
  • In Kotoura-san, after Haruka was disowned by her parents, it was implied she was raised by her grandfather Zenzou.
  • Link is raised by his grandparents in the manga adaptations of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games.
  • This is the reason why Keitaro from Love Hina calls his first cousin Haruka "aunt". Her parents died when she was young and Grandma Hina adopted her, meaning that she is simultaneously Keitaro's first cousin and his aunt.
  • In Mao, Nanoka has been raised by her grandfather and his housekeeper ever since her parents were killed in a car accident when she was seven.
  • Arika Yumemiya from My-Otome, and Grandma's sayings are quoted throughout the show.
  • Naruto is mostly a World of No Grandparents, but there are a few who were raised by them:
    • According to a guidebook, Konohamaru's parents are busy ANBU, thus leaving him the care of his grandfather Sarutobi.
    • Sasori ended up being raised by his grandmother Chiyo after his parents were killed in battle by Kakashi's father Sakumo when he was 6.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Yue Ayase only mentions her (deceased) dear grandfather, and never talks about her parents, hinting at this trope. When he passed away two years prior to the start of the story, Yue figured the world was a meaningless place... until Nodoka befriended her.
  • In One Piece, Luffy and Ace were watched over by their grandfather, Vice-Admiral Garp. Somewhat subverted in that Garp wasn't Ace's grandpa by blood, but actually adopted him upon the request of Ace's biological father. Garp still considered him his grandson anyway, even if adopted.
  • Mei from One Stormy Night is raised by his grandmother, as his biological mother was killed protecting him from Giro and his pack of wolves in the prologue.
  • Misaki from Only the Flower Knows was raised by his grandfather after his parents died in accident... for a few years, until he died, too. Then he's left in Kawabata's care, which doesn't really end well.
  • Mario and Masako Natsume from Penguindrum. Unfortunately, they also were victims of their grandfather's abuse.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Tsubomi in HeartCatch Pretty Cure! was raised by her grandmother while her parents were constantly on business trips. This came to a screeching halt 13 years later when she had an emotional breakdown at just the right time, prompting her parents to stop their trips and make up for all of the lost time.
    • This is repeated again in Doki Doki Pretty Cure with Aguri a.k.a the kid that turns into the Trump Card of Love, Cure Ace.
  • In Private Actress, Shiho Kobayakawa was initially raised by her maternal grandmother. The lady died of a heart attack some time later, after a huge fight with Shiho. Shiho herself is still very remorseful for this.
  • Rei/Mars from Sailor Moon is raised by her maternal grandfather after her mom dies. In the Manga and Live action, her father Takashi is still around but she refuses to have anything to do with him because of his cold treatment of her Ill Girl mother Risa, not visiting her a single time until her death; he isn't mentioned in the anime. Her grandfather isn't mentioned in the live action (nor anyone else she may be living with) thus not using this trope.
  • Yoh's grandparents, Kinu and Yohmei, in Shaman King.
  • Takuto, the main character of Star Driver was raised by his grandfather who also taught him the art of Dual Wielding swordfighting and how to use his Cybody. It seems like his mother left her son with Icaro at an extremely early age, as Takuto only knows what she looks like from one single photo. The female protagonist, Wako, also seems to have been raised by her grandmother alone, although we never get to hear what actually happened with her parents.
  • In the anime Stitch!, Yuna is raised by her grandmother due to her mother being deceased and her father working away from home.
  • Since Kotetsu Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny can't properly raise his daughter Kaede due to his superhero role and Kaede's mother Tomoe died of illness years ago, Kaede lives with her paternal grandmother (and her uncle Muramasa aka Kotetsu's older brother) instead and has no idea about his Secret Identity until the second half of the series.
  • Totsugami: Tasaku was raised by his grandmother at a young age due to the death of his parents.
  • Yugi's grandfather in Yu-Gi-Oh!. He does have a mother, but she rarely appears (and her only appearance in the anime was cut out of the dub). Rebecca Hawkins also only has a grandfather, and her parents are not mentioned.
  • Saku "Loli" Momoi from Wasteful Days of High School Girls does this by choice. Early in her life, she refused to abandon her grandma when her parents moved overseas. Her grandma is by far the most important person in her life, and she adores her to no end.
    My grandma is my pride and joy!
  • In Your Name, Mitsuha and Yotsuha are raised by their maternal grandmother Hitoha after their mother's death and what it does to their father.
  • In Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri "Yurio" Plisetsky is strongly implied to have been raised by his grandfather Nikolai. As said previously, this seems to be pretty common in Russian society.

    Asian Animation 

    Comedy 
  • Chris Rock discusses this in his special Bigger and Blacker. He says that "if a kid calls his grandmama 'Mommy' and his mama 'Pam', he's going to jail".
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    Comic Books 
  • Batman;
    • Villain Dr. Jonathan Crane a.k.a. The Scarecrow was raised by his great-grandmother. She was not a pleasant woman and it did not turn out well.
    • The same goes for Humphrey Dumpler, a.k.a. Humpty Dumpty. Befitting his nickname, he cut her apart and tried to put her back together again to "fix" her. He sewed her up with shoe strings.
    • Damian Wayne was partly raised by his grandfather, Ra's al Ghul, though his mother was also present.
  • Billy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 who is being raised by his grandmother because his parents kicked him out when he came out to them.
  • Bobby Harper, the only girl in the Newsboy Legion, was raised by her grandmother Mary until Mary's death. Her great-uncle's clone was able to wrangle custody of her in Guardians Of Metropolis after the government handed her off to an orphanage that was secretly funneling children to the killing fields of Apokolips.
  • In one continuity, Legion of Super-Heroes Luornu Durgo (Triad/Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel) was raised by her grandmother, until she died and Luornu was sent to a mental hospital, due to her three selves not being emotionally identical. The grandmother was like this, as well, though she didn't reveal it to Luornu until shortly before she died.
  • Shazam!'s Freddy Freeman, aka Captain Marvel Jr., was raised by his grandfather from the time his parents died until Grandpa Freeman was killed by Captain Nazi.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker was raised by Uncle Ben and Aunt May, after Richard and Mary Parker were killed by the communist Red Skull.
  • Strontium Dog: Middenface McNulty was raised by his gran, a tough old biddy in the best Glaswegian tradition.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Heyday triplets were raised by their grandmother after their parents' deaths.

    Comic Strips 
  • The titular Agnes is living with her Granma. Word of God implies that her parents abandoned her, saying, "Granma unselfishly stepped up to the plate."
  • In Grand Avenue, Michael and Gabby are being raised by their grandmother Kate, with their parents never so much as mentioned.
  • Heathcliff: Iggy Nutmeg, Heathcliff's owner, lives with his grandparents. We don't know anything of his parents.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Like in canon, Italy was raised by Grandpa Rome and traveled with him until he died. Grandpa Rome is so close to Italy and Romano that during their respective weddings, he came down from heaven to congratulate and celebrate with them.
  • Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion has Milly Ashford, who was raised by a combination of her grandfather and an old nursemaid. She didn't meet her parents until she was five, and disliked them both almost immediately.
  • Gym Leader Wiki: Cousins Clair and Lance were raised by their grandmother growing up. This led to a Sibling Rivalry-like bond between the two that has lasted into adulthood.
  • In Her Max, this is subverted. Social Services thought that Max and Ruby would be raised by their grandmother, but their grandmother has a hands-off approach. She lives separately and only occasionally visits to supervise then.
  • In My Little Pumpkin, Gary and May have been in the custody of their grandfather Samuel Oak ever since their parents died two years ago.
  • In Lost, it's mentioned that Gary and his older sister May were raised by their grandfather Samuel after their parents died in a car crash.
  • In The Racket-Rotter Chronicles, Harwood tells Annette that his maternal grandparents raised him, much to her surprise. This is because his parents were murdered when he was a child.
  • Their Bond: Impa was raised by her maternal grandmother Impaz after the death of her parents.
  • The Wound's Still Bleeding explains Obito's lack of mentioning his parents as being due to this. Obito is an orphan raised by his grandmother.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Back to the Future Part II, Biff Tannen was raised by his grandmother Gertrude when he was growing up. When Marty was tracking Biff in 1955, he wasn't sure he found the right place, even though she was the only Tannen listed in the phone book. The audience doesn't actually see her onscreen, we only her voice, with Biff being easily irritated by her.
  • Subverted in Caged. The protagonist has a baby in prison and, with her husband and his parents dead, the only person who can have him is her mother. However, her mother's husband doesn't want a baby and her mother relies on the husband too much financially to leave him. As a result, the baby gets given up for adoption.
  • Actually subverted in Captain America: Civil War as Tony Stark expects that Aunt May is a kindly old grandma but finds her to be smoking hot. (Being played by Marisa Tomei helps.) It makes things awkward as he calls her "Aunt Hottie" when speaking to Peter.
  • In the film version of Crazy Rich Asians, this was invoked by Eleanor, who chose to allow her mother-in-law to raise Nick. Nick himself explains to Rachel that this is because Eleanor knew that she was not seen as worthy of her husband's family, so she allowed her mother-in-law to raise Nick so he would be considered the favourite and heir apparent to the Family Business.
  • Enter the Void: Deconstructed. It is implied that, after the car crash that killed their parents, Oscar and Linda are initially being taken care of by their (paternal?) grandparents; but since they're just too old to take care of kids any longer, Oscar and Linda are forcibly split up and moved into different foster families.
  • In The Grizzlies, Inuit student Adam lives and hunts with his grandparents, and it is implied that his parents were heavily affected by their experience in residential schools.
  • In The Hunt for Red October Captain Marko Ramius was raised by his paternal grandfather, a fisherman who taught him to fish.
  • I, Robot: Spooner was raised by his grandmother Gigi (what became of his parents isn't said) who still worries about and dotes on him in the present.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: Maisie Lockwood lives with her grandfather, Benjamin, after her parents' deaths. It's later revealed that Maisie is actually a clone of Benjamin's daughter mixed with some dinosaur DNA.
  • Caroline in Kid Detective (2020) lost her parents when she was young and has been raised by her grandparents instead. Subverted as she's actually adopted and they are not related to her by blood.
  • Masao in Takeshi Kitano's Kikujiro is a boy who is raised by his grandmother. The plot involves his looking for his estranged mother during the summer vacation (and meeting an oddball surrogate father figure).
  • The Last Starfighter: Maggie's only family seems to be her grandmother.
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie The Legend of Billie Jean, the title character rescues a battered little boy from his alcoholic father and takes him to stay with his grandmother — much to the relief of the boy's neighborhood friends, who had begged her to save him.
  • In Letters to Juliet, Charlie's parents died when he was young so he was raised by his grandmother, which explains why he was protective of her.
  • Menace II Society: Caine was raised by his grandparents after his father (a drug dealer) was shot to death and his mother (a crack fiend) died of an overdose. It's clear that they can't keep him from getting involved in the thug life, and Caine's grandfather eventually evicts him from their home.
  • In Midnight Cowboy, flashbacks reveal that Joe's grandmother raised him after his mother abandoned him.
  • The five girls in Mustang were raised by their grandmother.
  • Special Female Force: Fa was raised by her grandmother after her mother Macy was killed, and part of the reason she has joined the force is to seek revenge on the terrorists who killed her mother.
  • Luke from The Story of Luke was raised by his grandparents after his mother left him when he was four.
  • In Wild Rose (2018), Rose-Lynn's mother Marion took care of Rose-Lynn's children while the latter was in prison, and continues to look out for them when Rose-Lynn fails.

    Literature 
  • In Agent Angel, Lola’s gran raised her and her four brothers after their mum died.
  • In the American Girl historical fiction series, the Victorian-era Samantha is raised by her wealthy grandmother for about five years because her parents died on a boat. No, not that one. (She's later adopted by her aunt and uncle.)
  • It's eventually revealed in The Babysitters Club that, after her mother died when she was still a baby, Mary Anne's father allowed his parents-in-law to raise her for a little while because he was so overwhelmed by his own grief. However, he reclaimed custody when she was still too young to properly remember them, which has (mild) repercussions when she learns the truth.
  • The Boxcar Children: the titular siblings, having lost their parents and lived in a boxcar on their own, wind up being this at the end of the first book (and throughout the rest of the series) when they find out that their grandfather is actually a nice man and not mean as they had previously thought.
  • Brown Girl in the Ring 's main character Ti-Jeanne is raised by her grandmother Gros-Jeanne.
  • Giffen "Giff" M.E. Huggs from Cats vs. Robots was orphaned when his parents dies, and he went to live with his grandfather Gavin "Gaff" N.O. Huggs. As the latter's name implies, he was not a warm person, and drove Giff to become the man he is today.
  • The Changeover: The male lead, Sorenson Carlisle, was originally raised by foster parents; but after suffering abuse at their hands, he managed to escape to his birth mother and grandmother's dwelling place.
  • In Child of the Owl, Casey Young's mother died when she was little and her father is first in the hospital and then afterwards is on the run due to gambling debts. This results in Casey having to live with her maternal grandmother in San Francisco's Chinatown (after a period of staying with her Uncle Phil turned out to not work out.)
  • Chocoholic Mysteries:
    • Moose Motive features Forsythia, or "Sissy", who was raised by her grandmother, Wildflower Hill, after Sissy's parents died when she was ten or eleven.
    • Attempted in the same book by Rupert "Ace" C. Smith III, Sissy's father-in-law, who's accused her of being responsible for his son's death and is in a bitter custody battle with her for his grandson because he feels she's an unfit mother. He eventually realizes he was wrong about her, and gives up the custody fight.
  • In Jack Vance's Demon Princes quintet, young Kirth Gersen is raised by his grandfather Rolf after everyone else in their family is either enslaved or murdered by the titular villains. Grandpa turns him onto (and trains him for) the path of vengeance.
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Corbie was raised by her grandmother, who is implied to have died at some point before she meets Felix and Mildmay. Her parents remain shrouded in mystery as she never gives any information about her mother, and all she knows about her father is that he was probably a Ygressine sailor because she looks almost exactly like the Ygressine people about town.
  • In the backstory of Emma, Jane Fairfax was raised by her maternal grandmother and aunt after both of her parents died when she was a little girl.
  • In the fantasy novels of Alan Garner, the siblings Colin and Susan Whisterfield are initially being cared for by Bess Mossock, the woman who had once been nanny to the childrens' mother. Bess and her husband Gowther effectively become surrogate parents to the children, despite being more of a grandparently age. After an unspecified tragedy - explicitly described in third book of the trilogy as death in a plane crash - the Mossocks become, formally, the adoptive parents.
  • In Fire and Hemlock, Polly is raised by her grandmother from around thirteen, after both her mother and father send her away to avoid difficulty with their love interests, leaving Polly stranded and sick in the middle of a strange city. Granny flatly refuses to let Polly's mother take her back even when she offers.
  • The main character in Robert Bloch's Floral Tribute was raised by his grandmother until the authorities found out that she saw dead people and transferred him to an orphanage.
  • In Freak the Mighty, Max lives with his grandparents, because his father murdered his mother and is in prison for it.
  • At the end of The Great Gilly Hopkins, the protagonist, a long-time Foster Kid, is taken in by her grandmother. She initially resents it because what she wanted was to be reunited with her mother, but eventually accepts her grandmother as a guardian after realizing how much her grandmother actually cares about her (and that her mother was never going to be the parent Gilly craved).
  • Harry Potter:
    • Neville Longbottom was raised by his Apron Matron grandmother, Augusta, because the Cold-Blooded Torture from Barty Crouch Jr. and the Lestranges drove his parents Frank and Alice mad.
    • According to Word of God, Teddy Lupin is raised by his grandmother after his parents die in the last book, with a good bit of help from his godfather, Harry.
  • Heidi starts when the title character goes to live with her paternal grandfather. Her friend Peter is raised by both his mom and his blind grandma.
  • In The House of Night, due to Parental Abandonment by both Zoey's mother and father, Grandma Redbird pretty much raised Zoey and continues to help out whenever possible.
  • Captain Marco Ramius in The Hunt for Red October was raised by his grandmother since his father was off being the model Soviet hero, something that shamed Marco deeply.
  • Chanelle from I Am J was raised by her grandmother from ten to seventeen after her mother died. She was put into foster care afterwards. She doesn't discuss that period, but it's implied her grandmother was abusive. Chanelle doesn't care to think of her.
  • In the Janie series, Janie Johnson discovers a picture of her younger self on the face of a milk carton, which prompts her parents to reveal that they are not her parents, but her grandparents, and that her real mother is their daughter, Hannah. This turns out to be a lie Hannah told them to make them accept the "replacement daughter" she kidnapped.
  • Rajput Cool Old Lady in Kim by Rudyard Kipling took it upon herself, though due to her style it was rather taxing for everyone around as well:
    He is wearied, and I forgot, being a grandmother. (None but a grandmother should ever oversee a child. Mothers are only fit for bearing.)
  • The Kane Chronicles: After her mother died and her father lost her custody, Sadie Kane moved in with her maternal grandparents in London while her brother, Carter, lived from place to place with their father.
  • In Banana Yoshimoto's Kitchen, Mikage Sakurai was raised by her grandmother. The plot starts when Mrs. Sakurai dies and Mikage moves in with a friend of hers, Yuuichi.
  • Laurie lives with his grandfather in Little Women, and at one point notes to himself that they are each all the other has. Laurie's father was Mr. Laurence's son; he, his wife, and Laurie's sister have all died prior to the start of the book.
  • In The Long Secret (a sequel to Harriet the Spy), Beth Ellen Hansen lives with her grandmother.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Sam is raised by her grandparents, since her mother, Ayesha, died when she was very young.
  • In Main Street Series, sisters Flora and Ruby are being raised by their maternal grandmother Min after their parents die in a car accident.
  • In Les Misérables, Marius Pontmercy's grandfather takes him away from his father after his mother dies by threatening to disinherit him if his father raises him.
  • Peter Hartling's book Oma ("Grandma") is about an Cool Old Lady who takes in her 5-year-old grandson Karl aka Kalle after his parents die. They both have to deal with the loss and with the grandmother's failing health.
  • Kenny Wright in Public School Superhero lives with his grandmother.
  • Rabble Starkey: For the first eight years of her life, Rabble was raised by her grandmother while her mother, who was fourteen when she gave birth, grew up.
  • In The Secret History, the twins "Charles and Camilla are orphans […] reared by grandmothers and great-aunts". Francis’s mother had him at age seventeen, "and, as Francis is fond of saying, the grandparents brought them up like brother and sister".
  • In The Secret of Platform 13, Ben is raised by his grandmother, Nanny Brown, who was the unwilling accomplice to the villain, Mrs. Trottle, when she kidnapped Raymond. Subverted because she's not actually his grandmother; Ben is the kid Mrs. Trottle kidnapped, and passed him onto Nanny Brown when she got pregnant with Raymond.
  • In The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Lena's primary Love Interest Kostos was raised by his grandparents after his parents died in a car accident when he was a baby.
  • In The Sisters Grimm, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are rescued from the foster system by their paternal grandmother Relda after their parents mysteriously disappear.
  • Allanah Solo in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
  • Corie is being brought up by her maternal grandmother in Summers at Castle Auburn.
  • In The Sword Bearer, John is raised by his maternal grandmother after his mother dies in childbirth. His father is missing until late in the book, and didn't even know he had a child.
  • In The Tillerman Family Series, the four Tillerman children end up living with their grandmother.
  • Tinker and her cousin Oilcan were raised by their grandfather. Tinker spent literally her whole life under his care, as he had her made from his dead son's sperm and a donor egg.
  • Nest Freemark in The Word and the Void is raised by her grandparents, since her mother is dead and her father is an evil demon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • It's revealed in the first episode of The A-Team that Murdock's mother died when he was 5-years-old. His father is never mentioned. He mentions both grandparents on occasion, and it's implied that they may have raised him.
  • In Andi Mack, the title character learns that her "parents" are actually her grandparents and her "older sister" is actually her mother.
  • Arrow: Oliver Queen's son, William Clayton, who lost his mother in the Lian Yu bombing, decides to move in with his maternal grandparents after a year living with Oliver, because he realizes that his father can never quit vigilantism and settle down with him.
  • Bernie Shotz of Bizaardvark is raised by his overprotective grandmother Roz.
  • Special Agent Seeley Booth from Bones was taken from his abusive alcoholic father and raised by his grandfather.
    • It's indicated that Brennan was rescued from foster care by her grandfather, but later info makes things fuzzy about this.
  • Prue, Piper, and Phoebe from Charmed were raised by their grandmother after their mother's death and father's abandonment.
  • Warrick Brown on CSI was raised by his grandmother.
  • Doctor Who started with Susan traveling with her grandfather, the Doctor.
  • Gentarou Kisaragi, a.k.a. Kamen Rider Fourze lives with his grandfather in the latter's motor shop after losing his parents at an early age.
  • Once Upon a Time: Red Riding Hood was raised by her grandmother after Red's fellow-wolf mother was killed by hunters. What happened to her father is never mentioned, but given what Red accidentally does to her love interest, that's probably for the best. (Naturally, in the cursed Storybrooke, Ruby was also apparently raised by her grandmother.)
  • Princess Agents: Played with. Yuwen Zhuo is actually Yuwen Yue's great-uncle, but he adopted Yuwen Yue and raised him as his grandson.
  • On Punky Brewster, Cherie's parents both died in an auto accident so she's being raised by her grandmother.
  • In Raising Hope, Jimmy's mother Virginia was raised by her grandparents after her mother abandoned her, but was told that her mother had died. Jimmy also made a will that said that if he were to die, his parents would be first in line to be his daughter Hope's legal guardians. Lucy's parents also kidnap Hope so they can do this, though she is returned by the end of the episode.
  • Thalia's character Marimar in the Soap Opera of the same name was raised by her grandparents in a cute little shack near the sea. Then they died in a fire.
    • This is a pretty standard upbringing in Soap Operas, if the hero/heroine is orphaned.
  • Mako/Shinken Pink from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger was raised by her grandmother. Both her parents are actually still alive, but her mother was crippled in the climactic fight of the last generation and was unable to train her daughter in the family traditions.
  • A plot point in one episode of Stargate SG-1 is that Daniel's parents died — in front of him — when he was eight years old, and his famous anthropologist grandfather didn't take him in. Adult Daniel is still a little bitter about that.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, after Worf's girlfriend K'Ehlyr dies, the couple's son Alexander, then a young child, is sent to live with Worf's parents. When he's a little older, he comes to live with Worf on the Enterprise, only to be sent back to his grandparents after the ship is destroyed. Alexander doesn't have a problem with his grandparents per se, but he does come to resent Worf for his absence from Alexander's life. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, they finally hash out their problems and reconcile.
  • Sookie Stackhouse and her brother Jason in True Blood were raised by their grandmother after their parents died in a flood.

    Music 
  • Peter and the Wolf doesn't mention whether Peter's parents are around or not, but the only parental figure shown is his grandfather.
  • In the Sufjan Stevens song "Romulus", the narrator and his brother are left in their grandpa's care by their mom, whom they apparently don't see again until Grandpa's funeral many years later.
  • Deconstructed in "I Live with Granny" by Verasy. The protagonist's parents only visit him, his grandparents are old and sick and have to rest most of the day, and, although he has a dog and heaps of toys and candy, he's feeling terribly lonely and unwanted.

    Podcasts 
  • Jonantha Sims from The Magnus Archives talks about being raised by his grandmother in Episode 81, "A Guest for Mr. Spider."
  • Georgie from Wooden Overcoats lives with her Nana and spent several years travelling with her before they arrived in Piffling Vale. Since Georgie's only in her early twenties, she'd have been a teenager and maybe even a child for much of that time, and she outright says she's the only family Nana has. Georgie's parents are never even brought up, so we can infer that she was raised by Nana from a relatively young age.

    Roleplay 
  • Hyeon from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues was abandoned by his birth parents, leading him to be raised by his grandmother, who bestowed upon him her love of rock n' roll. Then she passed away, and Hyeon's cousin instead became his legal guardian.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Eric Donner, a sample character in Scion, was raised by his grandfather, as his father (the god Thor) wasn't part of his life and his mother died young from complications from delivering Eric. (It wasn't Death by Childbirth, as she lived for several years following the birth.)

    Theatre 
  • In the opera Königskinder, the Goose Girl's parents are dead, and she has been raised in the woods by a Wicked Witch whom she calls "grandmother" despite most likely being not a blood relative at all.

    Video Games 
  • In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the "lazy" villager archetype is implied to have been raised by their grandparents. They frequently mention their grandma and her house in their dialogues, with no mention of their parents, and when they talk about visiting their hometowns, they specifically mention their grandmothers.
  • Catherine "Cathy" King of Criminal Case: Grimsborough is implied to have been raised by her grandfather, Chief Samuel King. No word on where her parents are, or what happened to them.
  • Judy Alvarez from Cyberpunk 2077 reveals that she was raised by her grandparents in her final quest, "Pyramid Song". Her dad was "never in the picture" and her mom died when she was very little. She says that she owes her interest in machines and tech to her grandpa, and her temper to her grandma. They're still alive and currently living in Oregon, and Judy states that she still visits them sometimes, so their bond seems to be quite strong. Didn't mean other kids in her neighbourhood didn't tease her about it, though.
  • Dead or Alive:
    • Gen Fu is fighting to save the life of his granddaughter, whom he raised himself.
    • Played with in the case of Ayane. Nothing is really said about how she was raised initially, though her background lead to people shunning her. But she ends up adopted by Genra, whom she immediately took well to.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the young boy Haming goes to live with his grandfather, Froki, after Haming's father/Froki's son is killed during the attack by Alduin in the game's opening.
  • Alex Roivas of Eternal Darkness lost her parents to a car accident; her grandfather Edward raised her until she moved away to go to college in Washington state, though he never told her about their family history before he dies under unusual circumstances, prompting her to return and investigate.
  • In Farnham Fables, Wilford is the grandfather of Wendy, Winona, and William Edison. In Episode 2, while talking with Pastor Luke Howards, he can mention that his grandkids' parents moved to the city, while they chose to stay on the farm with him, which is why he plays a parental role to them.
  • Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters is hinted to have lived like this too, since her only mentioned relatives are her grandfather and trainer Hanzou and her dead grandmother. The hairpin that she wears is hinted to be a Tragic Keepsake from said grandma. According to Mai and Takuma's intro conversation in KOF XIII, Hanzou Shiranui recently passed away, leaving the Shiranui school of ninjitsu’s legacy in the hands of Mai and Andy. This implies Mai is the only member of the Shiranui family left.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Saleh and Lute from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones were raised by their respective grandmothers. Saleh is an orphan, while Lute's parents are Walking the Earth.
    • Subverted with Lyn from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, since she came to live with her grandfather only when she was in her mid-late teens and had been living alone for a bit after her parents (and whole tribe) died. Played straighter with Canas's son Hugh from the prequel; he was raised by his grandmother Niime since his parents died protecting their village from a snowstorm.
    • In New Mystery of the Emblem, My Unit can have various backgrounds chosen by the player, such as being the child of a merchant or a noble house, or perhaps an orphan; however, this simply affects their base stats, and no matter what, circumstances force them to be raised by their grandfather, who trains them from a young age to be an Altean knight.
    • Alm, the hero of Fire Emblem Gaiden, believes this to be the case at the start of the game, though the villains know that Mycen never had any children and therefore cannot possibly be Alm's biological grandfather. He's actually the heir to the kingdom of Rigel; King Rudolf asked Mycen to raise him.
  • Gabriel Knight: The eponymous character was raised by his paternal grandmother; his parents died when he was still a baby.
  • Sin Kiske from Guilty Gear is raised by his maternal grandfather Sol Badguy. Unusually for this trope, both of his parents are still alive, but since his father (Ky Kiske) is a war hero and one of the three kings of Illyria and his mother (Dizzy) is a Person of Mass Destruction whose mother (Sin's grandmother) happens to be one of the Big Bads of the setting, they have to keep their relationship secret from the public. As such, Ky handed him over to Sol to avert the potential political fallout. He only realizes the connection in Xrd, much to both his father and grandfather's chagrin.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • Chloe in Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility and Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is raised by her grandfather, Ramsey.
    • In Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and the female equivalent, May is raised by her grandfather Barley, though it's suggested in a couple of events that her mother is still alive. Also, Stu is raised by his sister, Elli, who appears to have been raised by their grandmother, Ellen.
    • . In Harvest Moon 64 it is mentioned that Elli's parents died when she was little. Her grandmother Ellen had to raise her.
    • In Story of Seasons (2014), your Granny Classic neighbor Eda reminisces about her grandson, whom she and her late husband raised because he wanted to stay on the farm with them instead of moving to the city with the rest of the family. Eventually, however, he grew up and moved away.
      • Raeger, one of the possible husbands for a female character, has this in his backstory. After his parents divorced, he was brought up by his mother and her father.
    • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns:
  • The protagonist of Harvest Town is implied to have been raised in their grandfather's farm, with no mention of their parents. Likewise, their childhood friend Peach is raised by her grandfather John (who was best friends with the PC's late grandfather) while her parents work in the city.
  • Brent is a young orphan who triggers the hero's Big Brother Instinct in Hero of the Kingdom: The Lost Tales, Part 1. He explains to the hero that after his parents died, he was brought up by his grandmother, who was his only relation, and now she's gone too. The trope is later turned on its head, however, by the revelation that the woman was not his grandmother at all — and that Brent's not an orphan.
  • Hidden City has Rayden, who was raised by his grandmother Clarissa after his parents died.
  • La-Mulana's Lemeza Kosugi was raised by his grandfather after his father abandoned him to go looking for the ruins of La-Mulana. Naturally, Lemeza respects his grandpa a lot more than his dad.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Nakmor Drack in Mass Effect: Andromeda raised his granddaughter Kesh himself. He prefers not to talk about what happened to Kesh's parents and grandmother.
  • Kainé in NieR was raised by her grandmother following her parents' deaths.
  • Naoto Shirogane from Persona 4 claims "Grandpa" as the main parental figure.
  • Pokémon:
    • This seems to be the case for Blue and his sister Daisy in Pokémon Red and Blue, as their parents are never brought up, only their grandfather Professor Oak.
    • Hapu from Pokémon Sun and Moon was raised by her grandparents.
  • James, one of the potential love interests in Queen at Arms, mentions that he was brought up by his grandfather.
  • Mars in Shining Wisdom is raised and trained to be a knight by his grandparents after his father (a famous knight) succumbed to the poison inflicted on him in a great battle with a dragon.
  • Maria Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog was an Ill Girl in the custody of her grandfather Gerald Robotnik on a spaceship. Her parents are never referenced. After Maria was killed, Gerald underwent a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Alex in Stardew Valley lives with his maternal grandparents, George and Evelyn. If you develop a sufficiently strong bond with him, he explains that his abusive father walked out on him and his mom, and she died of sickness shortly thereafter. Also, Jas lives with her godfather Shane and his aunt Marnie.
  • Tekken: After his mother disappeared during the attack by Ogre when he was 15, Jin Kazama lived with his grandfather Heihachi Mishima for four years. Unbeknownst to Jin, his father was killed by Heihachi before Jin was born.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kyouko Kirigiri in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, due to her father walking out from the family of business detective-work. She claims to be glad about that, saying she'd probably never become the Great Detective she is now (or a detective at all, for that matter) if he'd taken her with him.
  • In Little Busters!, Kud's mother was a busy cosmonaut, so she was raised primarily by her grandparents.
  • Princess Evangile has two prominent cases.
    • Rise Rousenin was mainly raised by her grandmother Mitsuko, the current Chairwoman of Vincennes Academy, due to her mother's poor mental health state, and her father working all the way in Tokyo and having little free time on-hand.
    • Marika Myougi's parents, as revealed in her respective route, died when she was still very young, and thus her grandmother was left to be her sole guardian and influence in life. When she later finds out her grandmother isn't as good as she seems (such as making her commit crimes that Marika is very much against), Marika is left devastated. Fortunately for her, her grandmother eventually comes around in her route.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, the audience finds out early on that Battler Ushiromiya had a falling-out with his father Rudolf about six years before the story started, and so from the age of twelve until relatively recently, was living with his maternal grandparents.

    Webcomics 
  • Big Break 2019: Main character Troy was raised by his grandparents Lori and Harold after his mother, Helena left him when he was a baby to start a modeling career in the city. He is still in-touch with them after he moves to the city himself.
  • Homestuck:
    • Jade seems to have been raised by her grandfather. Until he died, of course. Now her Guardian is Bec. Turns out that he's actually her biological father.
    • Also, Jake was raised by Jade until she died.
  • Sheldon lives with his grandfather.
  • In the prequel of Something*Positive set in the 1930s, Davan (not the usual one, obviously; it's the great-uncle he's named after) ended up being raised by his grandfather after his father left the family due to shell-shock related mental problems and his mother had a breakdown that landed her in a mental hospital.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli was trained from a very young age by his grandmother, who didn't let his parents have much of a role in his upbringing.

    Web Videos 
  • In Noob, Sparadrap and his younger brother were raised by their grandmother. Between Sparadrap being a Manchild and his brother still being in high school in Season 2 (but eighteen in the second novel), both are still living with her. Sparadrap mentions that their father is a priest a handful of times in the webseries, but their mother has yet to be mentioned or seen in any media.

    Western Animation 
  • In Amphibia, Sprig and Polly are raised by their grandfather Hop Pop.
  • An interesting variation from Arthur in the case of Timmy and Tommy Tibble — while we never hear anything about their dad, their mom Trixie is mentioned to travel a lot, so the twins are generally under the guardianship of their maternal grandmother.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: When their father, Hakoda, goes off to fight in the war (and they had already lost their mother, Kya, in a Fire Nation raid as little kids), Sokka and Katara live with their paternal grandmother, Kanna, until they leave with Aang to help him stop the war and save the world.
  • Played with in the Ben 10 series. Ben and Gwen's respective parents are alive and well, and are present in their kid's lives. However, the faithful summer that introduced them to aliens and magic was done when they were under the care of their Grandpa Max, who continues to be the first one they turn to for guidance and advice. One episode of Omniverse goes as far to insist that Grandpa Max is the only reason Ben (despite his large ego) has a solid moral code.
  • Huey and Riley Freeman in The Boondocks. Various news reports and other official statements treat "Granddad" as if it were Robert Jebediah "Mr. Bitches" Freeman's actual first or middle name. Even he does it. Huey and Riley's parents are stated to be dead (Robert spent their inheritance on the house), the animated series suggests they have no aunts or uncles (besides Robert's sister, Cookie), so he is the closest person left to take care of them.
  • Implied to be the case with Herry in Class of the Titans. His beloved "Granny" is the only parental figure we see for him, and there are some hints throughout the show that she's the one who raised him and taught him to fight.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • Webby Vanderquack is being raised by her grandmother Mrs. Beakley. Upon her grandmother getting hired as the maid and nanny to Huey, Dewey, and Louie, their great-uncle Scrooge McDuck becomes a surrogate uncle/grandfather figure to her as well. Scrooge even invites Webby to call him Uncle Scrooge instead of Mr. McDuck.
    • The triplets themselves and Great-Uncle Scrooge are a variation of this. They are being cared for by him while their uncle Donald Duck, who is normally their guardian and de facto father, is serving in the Navy.
    • In DuckTales (2017), the same still applies to Webby, who has been raised by Mrs. Beakley in Scrooge's mansion. Although the finale reveals that Beakley is actually Webby's adopted mother; she just pretended to be her (biological) grandmother because of the age difference. Averted for the triplets, since their uncle has been their actual parental figure and still is active in their lives as in the comics.
  • On Gravity Falls, Soos appears to have been raised primarily by his maternal grandmother (referred to as "Abuelita"), and has at least been living with her since his 12th birthday. It's never explained what happened to Abuelita's daughter (Soos's mother), but it's mentioned that Soos hasn't seen his dad since he was at least four.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Arnold lives with his paternal grandparents, who are the landlords of a quirky boarding house. This went unexplained until the episode "Parents Day," when we learn that his parents, Miles and Stella, disappeared on a humanitarian mission in South America when Arnold was just a baby. Later episodes and Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie explore the issue in more detail. Interestingly, although Arnold's father, Miles, was apparently an only child, his mother, Stella, has at least one sibling, the parent of Arnold's weird cousin Arnie. This aunt or uncle only exists by inference, however, as he or she isn't seen or even mentioned in either of Arnie's two appearances on the show.
  • Kid from Kid Cosmic was raised by his grandfather ever since his parents died in a car accident.
  • The Long Long Holiday: Ernest and Colette are raised by their maternal grandparents from 1939-1945 when their father enlists to fight for France (and later works for Free France when the Vichy regime starts) in World War II and their mother has to convalesce in Switzerland to cure her tuberculosis.
  • In the original version of The Magic School Bus, Keesha Franklin appears to be under the guardianship of her grandmother — but in the reboot, she's retconned into being the daughter of a lesbian couple.
  • Metalocalypse: William Murderface was adopted by his grandparents as a baby after his father committed murder-suicide by chainsaw.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Applejack's parents are never seen except in distant flashbacks, but Word of God and a lot of hints imply that they're deceased. She, Big Macintosh, and Apple Bloom all live with their parental grandmother, Granny Smith. However, her current age and senility means that Apple Bloom's case in particular is more a situation of her older siblings, getting a Promotion to Parent.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The only person shown at Mitch's home is his grandmother. His parents aren't even mentioned.note 
  • Tales of Arcadia: Toby Domzalski's parents died in a cruise shipwreck when he was two years old, making Nancy Domzalski, his Nana and his only living relative, his sole guardian.
  • Yakkity Yak is being raised by his grandmother.

    Real Life 
  • Professional wrestler Arn Anderson was raised by his grandparents, as his father took off when he was an infant and his mother was a screw-up who had enough trouble taking care of herself.
  • Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and her sister were taken in and then legally adopted by their maternal grandfather Ron and his wife Nellie when their mother was unable to care for them. However, they fit this trope only in the biological sense, as they consider Ron and Nellie to be their parents, not their grandparents.
  • Pierce Brosnan was primarily raised by his maternal grandparents due to his father abandoning the family when he was a infant and his mother moving to London to work as a nurse in order to provide for him.
  • Because he was conceived out of wedlock, Ted Bundy was raised by his maternal grandparents as their son and he grew up thinking his mother was his sister.
  • Eric Clapton was born to a teenage mother and a Canadian soldier who was stationed in England. His biological father was shipped off to war before Eric was born and returned to Canada after it ended. He grew up believing that his grandmother and her second husband were his parents, and that his mother was his sister.
  • Like Biles, singer and actor Jordan Fisher and his two younger siblings were eventually legally adopted by their maternal grandparents, whom he calls his parents, after their mother struggled with substance abuse issues.
  • Louis XVI's father died when he was just nine years old, thus putting him in the role of Dauphin of France. His mother died less than two years later, and so his grandfather Louis XV became his parental figure, hunting with him and arranging his marriage to Marie Antoinette.
  • Jack Nicholson was born to a teen mother who was unsure of who his father was. Her parents agreed to act as his, while she would act as his older sister. Nicholson did not find out the truth until Time did some research in 1974, after both his “mother” and “sister” had died. On finding out, Nicholson said it was "a pretty dramatic event," but it wasn't "what I'd call traumatizing... I was pretty well psychologically formed.”
  • Trent Reznor was raised by his maternal grandparents from the age of five, due to his parents divorcing and his mother not having the financial means to raise both him and his younger sister (who unlike Trent stayed with their mother).
  • Clarence Thomas wrote a memoir called My Grandfather's Son. Its title refers to the fact that he only met his father once, with his maternal grandfather serving as his primary male role model growing up.
  • George Washington, the very first president of the United States, ended up raising two of his (step)grandchildren. To go into greater detail:
    • While George and his wife, Martha, were married until he died (which amounted to almost forty years of marriage), he never actually fathered any children with her (at least none that nobody knows of). Prior to marrying George, Martha was married to a man named Daniel Parke Curtis, with whom she had four children: two sons named Daniel Parke Curtis Jr. (who died just three months after his 2nd birthday) and John Parke Curtis (the only child who survived to adulthood, got married and had kids of his own) and two daughters named Frances Curtis (who died just over a week before her fourth birthday) and Martha Parke Curtis (who died when she was around 17).
    • John ended up marrying a woman named Eleanor Calvert, with whom he had seven children (six daughters and one son), three of whom died not long after they were born and four of whom survived to adulthood, got married and had kids of their own. When John died unexpectedly just a few weeks before his 27th birthday, Eleanor sent their two youngest children, Eleanor Parke Curtisnote  and George Washington Parke Curtisnote , to live with George and Martha. Eleanor eventually got remarried to a Virginia politician named David Stuart, with whom she ended up having 16 more children.
  • Oprah Winfrey was raised by her maternal grandmother until she was six, because her single mother was working elsewhere. Although she subsequently lived with her mother for some time, their relationship was fraught, and Winfrey cited her grandmother as her biggest inspiration in childhood.


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