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Raised by Grandparents

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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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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yoh's grandparents, Kinu and Yohmei, in Shaman King.
  • Yugi's grandfather in Yu-Gi-Oh!. He does have a mother, but she got Brother Chucked quite quickly. Rebecca Hawkins, as well.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arika Yumemiya from Mai-Otome, and Grandma's sayings are quoted throughout the show.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Link is raised by his grandparents in the manga adaptations of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Miu in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple was raised by her grandfather Hayato.
  • 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.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • 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).
  • Kaoru Hanabishi from Ai Yori Aoshi. Unluckily for him, the trope comes with abusive grandparents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Takeshi Sendoh from Hajime no Ippo. His mother died few 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.
  • Mario and Masako Natsume from Mawaru-Penguindrum. Unfortunately, they also were victims of their grandfather's abuse.
  • 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.
  • Mei from Arashi no Yoru ni is raised by his grandmother, as his biological mother was killed protecting him from Giro and his pack of wolves in the prologue.
  • 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.
  • Misaki from Hana no Mizo Shiru 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.
  • In Kotoura-san, after Haruka was disowned by her parents, it was implied she was raised by her grandfather Zenzou.
  • Sandra was raised by her maternal grandmother in A Cruel God Reigns.
  • Ryou of Gourmet Girl Graffiti have been living with her grandmother since her parents started working overseas six years ago.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The titular character Izetta from Izetta: The Last Witch was raised by her grandmother prior to the beginning of the series.
  • In Yuri!!! on Ice, Yuri "Yurio" Plisetsky is strongly implied to have been raised by his grandfather Nikolai. As said below, this seems to be pretty common in Russian society.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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".

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • The Batman villain Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow was raised by his grandmother. She was not a pleasant woman and it did not turn out well.
    • The same goes for Humphrey Dumpler, AKA Humpty Dumpty. Befitting his nickname, he cut her apart and tried to put her back together again to "fix" her. He sowed 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.
  • Strontium Dog: Middenface McNulty was raised by his gran, a tough old biddy in the best Glaswegian tradition.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wonder Woman: The Heyday triplets were raised by their grandmother after their parents' deaths.

    Fan Works 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Their Bond: Impa was raised by her maternal grandmother Impaz after the death of her parents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Wound's Still Bleeding explains Obito's lack of mentioning his parents as being due to thos. Obito is an orphan raised by his grandmother.
  • 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Milo Thatch was raised by his late grandfather Thaddeus Thatch (whose best friend was apparently Preston Whitmore until Thaddeus "was laughed at and died a broken man") because his biological parents were both killed in a railway accident.
  • In The Land Before Time (sequels, that is), Littlefoot is raised by his grandparents. Although the end of the first movie implied it pretty clearly.
  • Possibly Wybie in Coraline — it's not spelled out, but we repeatedly hear his grandmother call him home and learn about her past with no mention of his parents.
  • In The Book of Life, a line from a young Manolo implies that after Joaquin's father died and his mother left, his grandmother raised him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Masao in Takeshi Kitano's Kikujiro No Natsu 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).
  • 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 around her.
  • In The Hunt for Red October Captain Marko Ramius was raised by his paternal grandfather, a fisherman who taught him to fish.
  • The five girls in Mustang were raised by their grandmother.
  • 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.
  • Actually subverted in Captain America: Civil War as Tony Stark believes 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 him too much financially to leave him. As a result, the baby gets sent to adoption.
  • In Midnight Cowboy, flashbacks reveal that Joe's grandmother raised him after his mother abandoned him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Luke from The Story of Luke was raised by his grandparents after his mother left him when he was four.

  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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 ailing health.
  • Kenny Wright in Public School Superhero lives with his grandmother.
  • Allanah Solo in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Brown Girl in the Ring 's main character Ti-Jeanne is raised by her grandmother Gros-Jeanne.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 her, Yuuichi.
  • 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.
  • Corie is being brought up by her maternal grandmother in Summers at Castle Auburn.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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’ mother had him at age seventeen, "and, as Francis is fond of saying, the grandparents brought them up like brother and sister".
  • In Agent Angel, Lola’s gran raised her and her four brothers after their mum died.
  • 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 Tillerman Family Series, the four Tillerman children end up living with their grandmother.
  • In The Long Secret (a sequel to Harriet the Spy), Beth Ellen Hansen lives with her grandmother.
  • In Freak the Mighty, Max lives with his grandparents, because his father murdered his mother and is in prison for it.
  • Laurie lives with his grandfather in Little Women, and at one point notes to himself that they are each all the other has.
  • 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.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Sam is raised by her grandparents, since her mother, Ayesha, died when she was very young.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Prue, Piper, and Phoebe from Charmed were raised by their grandmother after their mother's death and father's abandonment.
  • 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 climatic fight of the last generation and was unable to train her daughter in the family traditions.
  • It's revealed in the first episode of The A-Team that Murdock's mother died when he was five years old. His father is never mentioned. He mentions both grandparents on occasion, and it's implied that they may have raised him.
  • Sookie Stackhouse and her brother Jason in True Blood were raised by their grandmother after their parents died in a flood.
  • Special Agent Seeley Booth from Bones was taken from an abusive alcoholic father and raised by his grandfather.
    • It's indicated Brennan was rescued from foster care by her grandfather, but there's later info that makes things fuzzy about this.
  • 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. Literally.
    • Actually a pretty standard upbringing in Soap Operas, if the hero/heroine is orphaned.
  • Warrick Brown on CSI.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • On Punky Brewster, Cherie's parents both died in an auto accident so she was raised by her grandmother.

  • In the Sufjan Stevens song "Romulus", the narrator and his brother are left in grandpa's care by their mom, who they apparently don't see again until Grandpa's funeral many years later.
  • Peter and the Wolf doesn't mention whether Peter's parents are around or not, but the only parental figure shown is his grandfather.
  • 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.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • 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 
  • Final Fantasy
  • Harvest Moon:
  • 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.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Naoto Shirogane from Persona 4 claims "Grandpa" as the main parental figure.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Saleh and Lute from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones were raised by their respective grandmothers. Saleh is an orphan, Lute's parents are Walking the Earth.
    • Subverted with Lyn from Rekka no Ken, 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.
  • 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. Takuma straightforwardly asks Mai if she and Andy are up for the challenge of keeping up with the Shiranui school of ninjitsu now that Hanzou is gone, and Mai calmly tells him not to worry since they're ready for it.
  • Pokémon:
  • Gabriel Knight was raised by his paternal grandmother; his parents died when he was still a baby.
  • Kainé in NieR was raised by her grandmother following her parents' deaths.
  • Mars in Shining Wisdom is raised and trained to be a knight by his two grandparents after his father (a famous knight) succumbed to the poison inflicted on him in a great battle with a dragon.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Catherine "Cathy" King of Criminal Case is implied to have been raised by her grandfather, Chief Samuel King. No word on where her parents are, or what happened to them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Little Busters!, Kud's mother was a busy cosmonaut, so she was raised primarily by her grandparents.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • Sheldon lives with his grandfather.
  • Jade from Homestuck 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.
  • 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 Original 
  • 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 Hey Arnold! (which provides the page image), 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. 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.
  • Max Tennyson in Ben 10. With all they've gone through together, there's not much more raising those kids' parents can do.
  • William Murderface. Murderface, Murderface.
  • The Tibbles from Arthur are raised by their grandmother.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Applejack's parents are never seen, but Word of God and a lot of hints imply that they're deceased. She, Big Macintosh and Apple Bloom all live with Granny Smith, though since she's old and somewhat senile, it's sometimes implied to be a mix between this trope and Big Mac having received a Promotion to Parent.
  • 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.
  • 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 and grandfather figure to her as well. Scrooge even asks Webby to call him Uncle Scrooge instead of Mr. Scrooge.
    • 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 had been their guardian and de facto father was serving in the Navy.
    • In the reboot the same applies to Webby, who has been raised by Mrs. Beakley in Scrooge's mansion. Not so much 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' mother), but it's mentioned that Soos hasn't seen his dad since he was at least four.
  • Herry, on Class of the Titans, was raised and taught to fight by his feisty grandmother.
  • On The Magic School Bus, Keesha is apparently being raised by her grandmother. The Magic School Bus Rides Again retcons this by giving her two moms, though.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The only person shown at Mitch's home is his grandmother. His parents aren't even mentioned.note 
  • Yakkity Yak is being raised by his grandmother.
  • Tales of Arcadia: Toby Domzalski's parents died in a cruise shipwreck when he was two years old, making his grandmother, the only living relative he has, his sole guardian.

    Real Life 
  • George Washington — The very first president of the United States ended up raising two of his (step)grandchildren.
  • 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.
  • Because he was conceived out of wedlock, Ted Bundy was raised by his maternal grandparents as their son and he grew up knowing his mother as his sister.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and her sister are an interesting case, as they were legally adopted by their grandfather Ron and his wife Nellie — at which point, Ron and Nellie effectively stopped being grandparents and became the girls' parents instead.
  • Trent Reznor and his younger sister were raised by their maternal grandparents from the time Trent was five, due to their parents divorcing and their mother not having the financial means to raise them herself.


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