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Self-Made Orphan

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Image courtesy of piearty.

"We took pity on him because he lost both parents at an early age. I think, on reflection, that we should have wondered a bit more about that."
Lord Downey on Mr. Jonathan Teatime, Hogfather

What might be considered the inverse of Offing the Offspring, and is equally aberrant behavior, is when a character murders their own parents. Any character behaving this way will probably be Ax-Crazy and/or a Psycho for Hire. An Evil Prince or princess can also do that if they’re impatient enough. It's the ultimate mark of an Enfant Terrible, Antagonistic Offspring, Adult Hater, or the Abusive Offspring, the end result of a Betrayal by Offspring, and a likely origin of an Evil Orphan (who may also be abusive).

It can be justified if the parents happen to be abusive or cruel mockeries of humanity from beyond the void — insofar as murder can be, but at least it's then the domain of the dark and troubled protagonists. It's more justifiable if the parent is an outright villain. In addition, there are also instances where the child either unintentionally killed their parents or something genuinely horrific happened to their parents so that they were forced to kill them. It can also be justifiable if said parent was going to be Offing the Offspring anyway, and the offspring in question needed to defend themself and had no choice. Or, it may just be because the child Hates Their Parent. As a result, while this trope is a Moral Event Horizon for many people, especially if the parents were innocent and loved their child who killed them, it often is considered significantly less bad if said parents totally deserved their death for whatever reason.

Contrast with Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas, which is based on the premise that no one, no matter how bad, would act this way. If it happens before the murderer is born, this is the Grandfather Paradox. If only the father or mother is killed, then it's Patricide or Matricide, respectively. The extreme version, where a person kills not just their parents but their entire people or clan is Genocide from the Inside.

One subversion is to have this happen by accident and/or for the parents' death be ultimately caused by their own actions involving the child. If said parent's child also happens to be a Mook of the parent, it can also overlap into The Dog Bites Back. Another case could be if the parents were suffering something bad, like And I Must Scream, and their child stops it by putting them to death.

A Sub-Trope of Murder in the Family. An extreme aversion of Honor Thy Parent.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • In Atonement, it's hinted that Ruin's Power Incontinence killed her parents.
  • Children of an Elder God: Gendo and Yui used the power of the Outer Gods to create a perfect world. However, their stolen power was gradually corrupting that world. When the Children realized what was happening they rebelled and resolved to destroy the dream world. Unfortunately, Shinji -helped by his teammates- had to kill his mother Yui to achieve that goal.
  • The Dark Lords of Nerima: The Dark Lords Ascendant: Zhang is revealed to have killed his father and fellow students to prevent anyone from going after him when he struck out on his own with his school's full array of assassination skills.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Subverted. After hearing how his father treated Rei, Shinji wants to kill him… and then he thinks of a better idea: giving him exactly what he wants –reunite with Yui- and then watching while his mother gives Gendo a piece of her mind.
  • In Friendship is Witchcraft Fluttershy kills her father, who was abusive towards her. He was also a dragon. Apparently, dragon genes are recessive, thus why she is a pony.
  • The Fundamental Essence of Villainy: Toga, after killing both of her parents at the end of Frayed Edges.
  • Harveste, who was living with abusive relatives after his loving parents died protecting him, killed his legal guardians and his cousin, effectively re-orphaning himself at the age of five.
  • Subverted in Hellsister Trilogy. Orion attempts very, very dark to make himself fatherless, and he believes he succeeds in obliterating Darkseid, but Supergirl reveals that Darkseid faked his death because he is fought by the Legion of Super-Heroes in the far future.
  • Higher Learning: In the original timeline Asuka got murdered by her own son. In turn, Shinji and Kaoru locked him into what was left of the Geofront. Kaoru thinks that his father died down there.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Fall of Hyrule: Zelda sets up a plot to have her own father assassinated so that she can become queen, forcing Link to do the job by having him shoot poison arrows at the king during a speech.
  • In Chapter 10 of the The Loud House fic Loud Heroes, Chandler decides to kill his imprisoned father Mr. McCann via drowning him with his newly-gained water superpowers, after the latter disowned him back when he was about to get arrested (due to him hating how ugly Chandler got from accidentally getting soaked in toxic waste during Mr. McCann's fight with the L-Crew). At that late moment, Mr. McCann regretted what he said before dying.
    Chandler: Now I have decided that I have no father, figuratively AND literally!
    Mr. McCann: No, nooo, NOOOOOOOO!
  • Lulu's Bizarre Rebellion:
    • Shirely helped Lelouch kill her father before either of them realized who he was.
    • Kallen killed her mother accidentally while trying to stop the uncontrolled stand her mother was powering.
    • As in canon, Suzaku Remembers killing his father. However, the power of Hey Jude reveals that it was actually V.V. and the geass directorate who killed him and altered Suzaku's memories.
  • Titan from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, who killed his father for more power. While it is possible he still killed his family, after the rewrite, he just simply killed his entire planet.
  • My Hero Academia: Unchained Predator: Curator murdered his entire family to claim his family fortune. When the Slayer finds out the full story of Curator's past, he makes a mental note to give a Cruel and Unusual Death to Curator.
  • In The North Remembers, Ramsay Bolton, during Stannis Baratheon's attack on Winterfell, finally loses it and kills his father Roose Bolton with his flaying knife. He takes him off guard as he's shouting orders to his men, and drags the knife deep down into his spine and through his throat. When the castle explodes, he finds the corpse of his father horribly mutilated from all the rubble and pees on it as a final insult. To most characters, this would be seen as a Moral Event Horizon, but considering how Roose had betrayed and murdered his own King, desecrating his body with the Freys, it's more of a Karmic Death. Fat Walda Frey, who is Ramsay's step-mother, also meets a gruesome end as Ramsay beats her to death with a jagged rock.
  • Subverted in Paint It Green, Blue, Black. For all its worth, Enfant Terrible Vendetta won't kill her parents and gets mad when Charlotte asks her how come she hasn't killed them already. It's never clarified why, but it's unlikely to be for moral reasons as she has no issue helping Charlotte kill her grandmother.
  • Examples from Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
  • In The Prayer Warriors, Percy Jackson, having joined the Prayer Warriors on their quest to kill the Greek Gods, kills Zeus after declaring that he is not his father- God is- in order to avoid committing the sin of patricide. Canonically, Poseidon is Percy's father, but Percy kills him later that chapter, so this still counts any way you look at it. Thalia, Zeus' daughter, helps kill Zeus in a flashback to the retconned version of the scene.
  • RWBY: Dark: The Serial Killer Ruby Rose began her life of crime by stabbing her mother Summer to death with a knife, then lacerating her father Taiyang with her scythe and throwing him off a cliff.
  • The unintentional variety occurred in Silver and Gold when seven-year-old Lily got loose after her first werewolf transformation and killed her parents and older sister.
  • Split Second (My Little Pony): Sparkle's dark magic killed her parents. This is probably an unintentional example.
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls: Bizarrely, Crona is directly responsible for the deaths of both his/her father and mother. Sometimes when they were still together, Medusa ordered Crona to kill a certain Evil Human and Ragnarok to eat its soul. After the deed is done, Medusa muses on how “[its] genes helped [her] created the perfect subject,” all but confirming that Medusa made Crona kill his/her biological father. In the third arc, Crona finally achieves payback against Medusa for all the crimes and heinous acts she’s committed to him/her personally and those around him/her.
  • In Strings, it is heavily implied that Tarrlok killed his father soon after his mother committed suicide due to the abuse.
  • In many canons of Troll Cops, Tavros, aka the Nefarious and Notorious Mr. Pupa, did this as the first of his many heinous criminal acts.
  • Fate does this to Precia in White Devil of the Moon after she attacks Alicia. Pretty much no one can blame her at that point.
  • In the dark Frozen (2013) fan song "Will You Help Me Hide a Body?", it's revealed that Anna killed her parents... and intends to come after Elsa next.
  • The Peace Not Promised: In his first life, Severus Snape killed his parents at Voldemort's instruction, to remove any possible alternative claim on the Prince family inheritance. Since his mother was merely grossly neglectful, he was merciful enough to kill her painlessly in her sleep. His alcoholic and violent father, not so much.
  • A slight variant with Priest from Princess of the Blacks. His former family (and ex-fiancée) are still alive, but he erased all memory of his existence from their minds as the price for a bit of Black Magic that lets him survive getting dismembered without bleeding out.
  • SAPR: Cinder burned her home to the ground with her stepmother and one of her stepsisters inside. Then years later during the course of the story, she stabs her other stepsister to death in a dark alley.
  • Vow of Nudity: Gloria goes from a regular orphan, to being adopted by the King of Duskvale, to this when she eventually stabs him in his sleep to claim the throne.

    Films — Animated 
  • Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2 is an indirect example. He massacred a village of pandas and was banished by his parents as a result. According to the Soothsayer, the grief of sending him away caused them to die from despair.
  • This drives the plot of The Willoughbys: the Willoughby parents are so awful that the kids decide to indirectly kill them so that they can have a better life as orphans. Ultimately, the parents are eaten by a shark, while the much nicer Nanny and Commander Melanoff adopt the kids.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Addams Family Values has this in the form of Debbie Jellinsky, the kids' apparent nanny and professional "black widow"-style Serial Killer who reveals that her first murders were her parents, who got her a Malibu Barbie instead of a Ballerina Barbie on her birthday: "That's not what I wanted! That's not who I was! I was a ballerina! Graceful! Delicate! They had to go." So she burned the family house down with them inside.
  • Diane in Angel Face, though she only intended to murder her stepmother through Vehicular Sabotage, and not her father as well.
  • Catherine Trammell from the Basic Instinct movies may have killed her parents after writing a book detailing her plan to do so, then used, "right, I wrote out this plan for killing my parents, published it in a book, then did it — I'd have to be crazy to do that" as a defense. Whether she actually did murder her parents or not is not actually stated, though several characters express their opinions that she did.
  • Blood Pi: The first scene in the movie is of Amber murdering her parents. She kills her mom by slashing her throat, and bludgeoning her dad to death with a baseball bat.
  • In The Catcher, Johnny beat his father to death a baseball bat, and then spent the next 17 years of his life in an asylum for the criminally insane. The film starts on the day of his release.
  • Cruel and Unusual: One of the condemned in the afterlife, named William, murdered both his parents. It's not clear why he did it either.
  • In Cruella, Cruella initially believes herself to be this, having caused the accident which resulted in her mother's death. In fact, it was no accident, as the Baroness actually use a dog whistle to purposely set her dalmatians on her. Furthermore, the Baroness is Cruella's real mother and that the woman she thought was her mother, Catherine, had adopted her.
  • In The Curse of the Living Corpse the father of the Sinclair family has died, although the family suspects that he only looked dead and is now back and killing them for disobeying his last will and testament. It's actually the second son, Philip, killing everyone else, including his mother, Abigail. Presumably Rufus, the father, actually is dead.
  • In Dark Phoenix, the film opens with a young Jean Grey accidentally killing her parents when she loses control of her powers and causes her mother to fall asleep at the wheel, causing the car to crash into a truck. It turns out that only her mother was killed in the crash, while her father gave Jean up to Professor X.
  • Enforced in Death Warmed Up. Dr. Howell wants to get rid of his partner Prof. Tucker, whom he sees as an obstacle to his ambitions of creating a way to prolong life. He proceeds to brainwash his son (and the film's protagonist) Michael to kill him and his wife. Michael ends up in a mental facility, and Dr. Howell enjoys a productive career.
  • In the Extended Cut of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, it is revealed that Claire was the one who envisaged the sauna Escape Room which killed her mother years ago (note that she was a young girl at that point). In the present, after Zoey frees her, she wastes no time to take revenge against her father by gassing him with poison in the same glass prison he trapped her within.
  • Michael Carter, the archvillain of the Aussie horror flick Feed, smothered his obese mother when he was a child. He's locked into a cycle of repeating the same murder as an adult.
  • In Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Maggie kills Freddy Krueger, her father. However, he was already a horrifically evil serial killer. Also, Freddy himself. Years after being abandoned by his birth mother, he murders his abusive stepfather.
  • Edmund in Germany, Year Zero poisons his sick father, who is lamenting his uselessness to his family and had previously said he wished he was no longer a burden on his children.
  • It's implied Ginger and Brigitte did this to their abusive parents in Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. When they come upon an outpost, Ginger says that their parents drowned - which is soon revealed to the audience to be bullshit. However, when talking privately with Brigitte, Ginger still alludes to their parents being dead, so one wonders why she had to lie about it before. Add in the casual references to them having been beaten before, and the fact that for some reason, they're traveling on their own during winter at the start of the movie, and the fact that Ginger, at least, always had some sociopathic tendencies, and... Yeah.
  • In The Gravedancers, the young Pyromaniac Dennis killed his parents, and the rest of his family, when he burned down the family home. However, he was trapped in the house and died in the blaze as well. He returns as a ghost with pyrokinetic abilities.
  • Haunter: A flashback shows how the murderous evil ghost poisoned and suffocated both his parents in the 1930s. They're among the group of spirits who appear to send him to Hell at the end.
  • In Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Pinhead reveals that Monroe killed his own parents with the same gun he tries to use on the pillarized Pinhead.
  • In the second The Human Centipede movie the Villain Protagonist's mom tries to kill him but he wasn't in his bed at the time. A few minutes later he, in turn, kills her then sets her bashed-in corpse at the table and continues his dinner like nothing happened.
  • Edgler Vess in the film Intensity Lampshades the Freudian Excuse when he tells the protagonist that his parents were most loving, caring people that he could have ever wanted... but he killed them anyway.
  • While he didn't kill them, the titular child character of the movie Joshua drove his mother crazy until she was committed and drove his father paranoid until he was arrested, essentially making himself an orphan. All so that he could be adopted by his uncle, who he liked better.
  • Just Cause: Blair Sullivan has Bobby Ferguson kill his parents, in return for taking credit for the crime Bobby Ferguson committed.
  • The Tartutic from M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water are described as being SO evil that they kill their parents after they're born (one wonders how the species survives, if they're that uncooperative).
  • In Jupiter Ascending, Balem killed his mother, because she begged him to, likely because she can't stand taking part in the planetary genocides anymore.
  • In Man in the Attic, Slade murdered his mother as the Ripper's first victim.
  • Midsommar opens with Dani’s sister Terri killing both of their parents in a Murder-Suicide.
  • In Mikey the title character murders both sets of adoptive parents he gets.
    • As the last set of "parents" he killed weren't his biological parents, either, it's unclear just how many people he's killed...
  • The killer in Mindhunters when he was just a lad. He assumed the police would take him away when they investigated the scene, but to his astonishment, nobody even suspected him of causing his parents' deaths, which just fed his misanthropy even more.
  • The incomparable Natural Born Killers has the female lead helping her badass Anti-Hero boyfriend kill both her parents, who are admittedly Very Bad People.
  • The Purge: Election Year: Kimmy happily claims that she murdered her parents before attacking Joe's deli.
  • Alluded to in Red Eye when Jackson Rippner is discussing his unfortunate name. Whether he is joking or not isn't exactly clear, knowing this fellow.
    "That wasn't very nice of your parents."
    "That's what I told them before I killed them."
    • He also told the female character that he'd never lied to her... Make of that what you will.
  • In Scanners III: The Takeover, Helena kills her father to take over his pharmaceutical company.
  • In Scream 3, it's revealed that Sidney has a half-brother named Roman Bridger, who was conceived when their mother Maureen was gang-raped by a number of movie producers. Roman tracked down Maureen years later but was rejected by her. He then stalked her for months, learning she'd had affairs with a number of men in Woodsboro, and orchestrated her murder by using Billy Loomis (and by extension Stu Macher) as a proxy. During the film proper, Roman murders John Milton, one of the producers who participated in Maureen's gang-rape, as his last victim.
  • In Silent Fall, Sylvie stabs her parents to death to stop them from molesting her and her little brother.
  • In the Brian Bosworth movie Stone Cold, the villain tells one of his soon-to-be-murder victims:
    Chains: You know, at moments like this I think of my father's last words, which were... "Don't, son, that gun is loaded!"
  • Theresa & Allison: Miranda tells Theresa how she had killed both of her parents after holding off feeding on any humans for a long time and losing control.
  • Happens more than once in Village of the Damned (1960). Especially notorious in the 1995 version, where Mara, the ringleader of the Creepy Children, first telepathically forces her mother Barbara to put her hand inside a boiling pot, and then uses her Psychic Powers again to make her throw herself off a cliff.
  • In the Wanted movie, Wesley unknowingly became one of these, killing his Disappeared Dad because the Fraternity used him as an Unwitting Pawn — the one person the rogue assassin who was decimating their ranks could never kill. Naturally, he was told that he was hunting the man who killed his father, instead.
  • The VVitch: A sympathetic example with Thomasin. Her father had already died via being mauled by Black Phillip, and then her mother, now completely insane and blaming Thomasin for the family's misfortunes, attempts to strangle her. Thomasin stabs her to death, visibly in tears the whole time, and holding her in her arms after she dies.
  • Wolves: Early on, Cayden slaughters his parents while in wolf form. Although he believes he really did it for most of the movie, it was Wild Joe.
  • The Young Poisoner's Handbook:
    • Graham kills his stepmother by poisoning her with thallium and is in process of killing his father the same way when he is arrested.
    • Berridge, Graham's cellmate at the insane asylum, is a young soldier who snapped while home on leave and murdered both his parents.

  • There's an old Jewish story that's a good way to introduce the concept of chutzpah: a man convicted of murdering his parents begs the court for clemency on the grounds that he's an orphan.
  • A little dragon is found, crying. When asked where his mom and dad are, he says he ate them. When asked if he knows what it makes him, he says "Yes (sobs). A complete orphan".

  • In Killing Stalking, Seungbae wonders if Sangwoo killed his missing parents. The truth isn't that simple, however: Sangwoo easily admits to having murdered his abusive father, but whether or not his mother died at his hands or his father's still isn't revealed. There are panels from Sangwoo's perspective of him strangling his mother, but there's nothing concrete to prove if these were memories, or if he was hallucinating.
  • Tasha Godspell's sister in Witch Hunter killed their father soon after awakening as a witch, an event that drove her insane. She also killed Tasha's mentor, who was like another mother to Tasha, in a fit of jealousy.

  • Aerosmith's song "Janie's Got a Gun". She shoots her dad because of the abuse he inflicted on her.
  • Dir en grey's song "Berry" tells the story of a nine-year-old girl who gets sick of her parents abusing her, takes her father's gun, and shoots them. If that's not disturbing enough, the girl's favorite food is jam on bread, and the blood her parents shed is referred to as raspberry jam.
  • The Chad Mitchell Trio's song "Lizzie Borden" is one of several based on the Real Life case of Lizzie Borden.
    Some folks say she didn't do it, and others say of course she did
    But they all agree Miss Lizzie B. was a problem kind of kid
  • Hinted at in They Might Be Giants’ "Stone Cold Coup d'Etat", a surreal song about underlings revolting and killing their leaders:
    Around a dinner table a family says grace
    And the son sees the secret signal on his sister's face
    Dad smiles at his wife
    Daughter reaches for the knife
  • Jim Morrison fantasized about killing his father (and also knocking off Brother and Sister Morrison for good measure) in the 1967 performance piece "The End" (oh yeah, and then he raped his mother). It was later parodied by Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman in 1993's "Wasted Youth".
  • Tom Lehrer's song "The Irish Ballad", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, details the life of one of these:
    About a maid I'll sing a song
    Who didn't have her family long
    Not only did she do them wrong
    She did every one of them in...
  • Sound Horizon gives us "Yield", in which the protagonist kills one or both of her parents due to her incestuous feelings towards one of them.
  • The titular character of the Johnny Cash hit “A Boy Named Sue” desires to kill his estranged father for giving him that awful name. Averted though, because he doesn’t go through with it in the end.
    My name is Sue! How do you do? Now you’re gonna die!

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Telegony: Telegonus, Odysseus' son by Circe, was born after his father had already left Aeaea. As a result, neither ever laid eyes on the other, and Odysseus doesn't know that he has a second son. Years later, Telegonus winds up on Ithaca when his ship is wrecked on its shores, and is not initially aware of where he is. As a result, their initial encounter quickly becomes a battle, and they only recognize each other when Odysseus is dying on the ground.
    • Oedipus the King: Oedipus is cast out from his home and raised by adoptive parents who did not tell him that he was adopted. One day, as an adult, he kills a man in a dispute on the road, who was in fact his father — who, in great irony, had thrown him out to begin with due to a prophecy stating that he would be killed by his own son. He's later indirectly responsible for his mother's death when the revelation of their Surprise Incest drives her to suicide.
  • Arthurian Legend: Gaheris kills his mother, Morgause, when he catches her in bed with Lamorak; the two families had a feud since Lamorak's dad, Pellinore, killed Gaheris' father/Morgause's husband, Lot. In some versions Gaheris frames Lamorak for the crime; either way, he and his brothers (except Gareth) would later kill Lamorak, too.

  • Sick Sad World:
    • The first case in "Fathers In Crime" has a family man kill everyone in his family, among them his mother. The second case is about a college-age man who killed several of his family members, including his mother. He meant to kill his father as well, but it didn't work out that way.
    • "Who You Gonna Call?" discusses a college-age kid who killed his family, starting with his parents.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE's The Undertaker may be a self-made orphan, or may not be. All we really know is that his parents died in a fire at the funeral home they owned and operated. At various points, we've been told that he set it by accident, he set it on purpose, his half-brother Kane set it, etc. It's all very confusing and pointless.
    • Nah, Undertaker definitely started the fire.
    • Then again, this was during Taker's Ministry of Darkness phase, when he was allied with Paul Bearer again, so there's definitely a hint of ambiguity/unreliability as to who did what. For we know, Bearer could've torched the home.
      • This was during Vince Russo's run as booker, and he loves Ass Pulls, even if they produce nonsensical incoherent unresolved storylines.
      • Vince Russo or not, the backstory of both Undertaker and Kane can be easily considered a complete mess.

  • Bleak Expectations: Series Big Bad Mr. Gently Benevolent is one. It was his second act of evil (the first was him punching an annoying boy who'd caused him to finally become evil). Played with, in that neither his mother or his step-father are actually upset about this. His step-father praises him for having "finally grown a backbone", and his mother says she's proud of him.
  • Old Harry's Game: Thomas Crimp killed both his parents by shoving them down a well as a child, after they wouldn't buy him an expensive toy, even after he threw a massive tantrum.

  • Daigo from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues poisoned his step-mother to death after suffering her abuse for years. It's implied that he's poisoning his abusive father in the same way, except this time he's drawing out the man's suffering for as long as he can.
  • In Survival of the Fittest version one, Cillian Crowe and Daphne Rudko both murdered their own parents, though Cillian was confined to an insane asylum due to his actions while Daphne got off scot-free.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In Electra and The Libation Bearers in The Oresteia, Orestes enacts vengeance against his mother Chytaimnestra and step-father Aigisthos for their murder of his father Agamemnon. Though Electra doesn't actually wield the blade, she is guilty too.
  • The protagonist of Lady in the Dark, accused of being indecisive, recounts "The Saga of Jenny", whose life was ruined by her decisiveness. To begin with, it leads to the accidental deaths of Jenny's parents (and siblings):
    Jenny made her mind up when she was three
    She herself was going to trim the Christmas tree
    Christmas Eve, she lit the candles, tossed the tapers away
    Little Jenny was an orphan on Christmas day
  • In the Roman comedy Pseudolus, the Pimp Ballio claims to have beaten and killed his parents 'to save their Keep'.
  • In the play The Revengers' Comedies, the Ax-Crazy Clingy Jealous Girl who acts as a Toxic Friend Influence to the protagonist is strongly implied to have started the fire that killed her parents when she was eleven because they did something minor to displease her.
  • In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, George killed both of his parents by accident.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Played cruelly with Miles Edgeworth thinking for fifteen years that he accidentally killed his father Gregory and having constant nightmares about it. Subverted, in that it was proven that he was wrong: Gregory was murdered by his rival Manfred Von Karma, who later manipulated the surroundings to make everyone think Edgeworth had done it.
    • In the final case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, a young woman named Vera Misham is put on trial for killing her father, but she is innocent. The actual killer is Kristoph Gavin, who also tries to kill her.
    • Dual Destinies has Athena Cykes eventually accused of murdering her mother Metis (the initial "culprit", Simon Blackquill, was Taking the Heat) and, unlike with Edgeworth's case, everyone believed it was a deliberate act, albeit one with sympathetic motives (it was thought that Metis had been treating her as a guinea pig for her scientific experiments and Athena eventually snapped). Athena herself eventually believes she did it because all she can remember of that day was stabbing someone and feeling the blood run down the blade and onto her fingers. It turns out that someone else killed Metis, Athena accidentally walked on the crime scene, and what she actually recalled was stabbing the real killer in self-defense.
  • In Sisterly Bliss ~Don't Let Mom Find Out~: Ichika, in her bad route. While being transported to another school by her parents, knowing that she would not be able to be with Futaba if she were to arrive to destination, she decides to kill her parents by pushing them from a cliff when they were observing the view. This was considered an accident by the police and Ichika was allowed to stay with Futaba in their house to take care of her.
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2: Among the numerous victims of Kanade Otonokoji's killing spree were her own parents.
  • When They Cry:
    • Higurashi: When They Cry: Satoko, under the effects of Hinamizawa Syndrome, believed her mother/stepfather were planning to kill her and pushed them both over a cliff in self-defense.
    • Umineko: When They Cry:
      • Dlanor A. Knox killed her own father after he violated the Knox Decalogue. Afterward, she stopped aging.
      • Also, in one arc George Ushiromiya kills his mother Eva. It was mostly in self-defense when her Superpowered Evil Side Eva-Beatrice came out in the middle of a heated discussion in regards to her Parental Marriage Veto, though.

  • Archipelago: Captain Snow. Started off with birds and squirrels. Later, killed his parents and apparently the rest of his family, sparing his nephew but forcing him to work for his crew. Went on to become the most feared and hated pirate captain in the world until he died of a brain tumor. And now he's back.
  • The implied Back Story of Stabby in Basic Instructions.
  • El Goonish Shive: Damian killed his biological parent, Mr. Guyur, when he took over (read: murdered everyone in) the Project Lycanthrope facility.
  • In Girl Genius, Anevka Sturmvoraus fatally electrocutes her father; she never shows the slightest regret, but then, it's his fault that she's a Brain in a Jar controlling a robot body. Or rather, a robot that only thinks she's the real Anevka, but she doesn't know that. Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess strongly implies that she killed her mother as well, though it doesn't give any context.
  • The Handbook of Heroes reveals in "Tragic Backstory" that Fighter killed his own parents at a young age, in order to become an adventurer (as everyone knows that all the best heroes are orphans).
  • Homestuck: "Au revoir, Spidermom" in this case crossed with Mercy Kill since she was clearly in agony.
  • Jack: Drip was told by his horrific grandmother that he had killed his parents, in some roundabout way about his birth forcing them to live in a bad neighborhood where they got brutally murdered. But then in an arc showing how he became the Anthropomorphic Personification of Lust it's shown that thanks to the odd nature of time in the afterlife he actually did kill his parents, Lucifer led him to believe that they were an ex-girlfriend of his and her husband, and he didn't realize his mistake until he dropped their baby on his mother's torn open ribcage and got a good look at him. And Drip's daughter Lita is more than a bit obsessed with killing him for what he did to her mother and to herself, even committing suicide in order to follow him into hell and kill him again, though she really had no idea what she was getting into.
  • Jared murdered his own father, the fate of his mother is as of yet unrevealed, though it's likely she met the same fate.
  • In The Last Days of FOXHOUND, Ocelot sets up a The Reveal and then tells Pyscho Mantis that I Am Your Father. Mantis' only response is a deadpan "No you're not. I killed my father when I was eight." Ocelot looks slightly uncomfortable (no small feat) and changes the subject to the actual reveal.
  • Richard of Looking for Group admits having killed his own father. In fact, he's proud of it. Actually, he thinks of it as a funny story. But then again, anything involving killing is funny to Richard.
  • Used as a threat in the comic that succeeded Lowroad 75, The Smashing Adventures Of The Bottomleys:
    Dad: Um... Well, you see... erm... I'm building this new machine in the basement and the TV had some really useful part...
    Alice: Dad, If you finish that sentence I will be forced to make myself an orphan...
  • The Order of the Stick: Early in the prequel "Start of Darkness", a young Xykon decides to leave home and turns his parents into zombies on the way out. More specifically, he kills them with his (zombie) grandmother. Xykon is not a nice person.
  • Keith Keiser of TwoKinds killed his drunken father in self-defense after said father had killed his own wife. On top of it, he was accused of both murders and banished. It turns out that his father was actually innocent; the Intelligence General murdered Keith's mother when he found out she was from the other Bastin nation, the one without the compulsion to follow any order.
  • The Uricarn from The Wotch is a self-made Last of His Kind. It's likely he killed his parents because, in an aside, he regrets killing them all while he was still a kid. He wishes he left a female alive.
  • Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater may be this; we know he's killed his (blind) brother and has said he "wouldn't use the present tense for any member of my family" (with a blood splatter in the background, no less).
    • "It would have been cruel to let him live after what I did to his eyes."
  • White Dark Life: Eloria murders her father to take his position as a Demon Lord. It also didn't help that he purposefully tried to piss her off in the first place.
  • Welcome to Hell starts out with the main character, Sock, digging three graves, having just "killed his parents... in his sleep," He then proceeds to fill the third.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role: From the main cast of the second campaign, Caleb murdered both of his parents by setting their house with them inside on fire under the influence of false memories.
  • In The Birch, Lanie uses her powers of botanical manipulation to first kill her father by ripping off his jaw. After her daughter's death, she initially seeks comfort in her mother's arms. But when her mother says it was better that way, Lanie starts her transformation into the Birch and ends up constricting her mother to death.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: Alucard admits to Walter that his three favorite things he's killed, in ascending order, are Turks, Nazis and his own father.
  • The Human Pet: Sam killed his parents after snapping thanks to their abusive nature.
  • In Interviewing Trey (the sequel to Interviewing Leather), the supervillain Jack O'Knaves mentions how his parents were killed right in front of him.
    Jack: By me, but that doesn't make it hurt less.
  • From Killerbunnies, Visceraline is rumored to be the reason as to why she is absent parents, which wouldn't be unlikely, considering how she is, which leads to a bit of Fridge Horror. We also have this with a mentally ill Razelle, apparently, when she set her house ablaze while in a fit of delirium, killing her parents (along with her grandmother), though it's unclear.
  • Legatum:
    • Smirvlak's Stone: The final chapter reveals that Gnekvizz murdered both of his parents during a fight and then lied about it to his brother Nick.
    • Scrambled Egg: Trellorv brutally murdered his parents as a young adult, then went on to slaughter the rest of the trolls in his village.
  • According to The Perfect Castlevania Timeline, as soon as Malus embraced his status as Dracula's reincarnation, he murdered his parents before setting fire to his home village. On his 8th birthday.
  • RWBY:
    • Mercury Black murdered his single father Marcus as retaliation for the former's abuse.
    • In the tie-in novel RWBY: Roman Holiday, it's revealed that Neapolitan, formerly known as Trivia Vanille, was responsible for the deaths of her abusive parents. After her parents sell Roman out and try to imprison her again, Neo escapes and tricks the Spiders into blowing up the mansion. She planned to kill her father by trapping him with the Dust cache he'd been hiding in her bedroom most of her life...but she accepts her mother's likely death as a consequence of earning her freedom.
  • Carolina from Red vs. Blue sets out in Season 10 to kill The Director for casting her and the team aside, causing them to fragment and turn on one another, all in the name of reviving her mother and his wife, Allison who had died during the Human-Covenant war. Carolina finds the Director, a sad and broken man at the end of the season and she forgives him of all he’s done. Before she leaves, however, he asks she leave him with her pistol, with which he commits suicide.
  • Grallman and Talbot from To Welcome Oblivion killed both of their parents in their youth. Unlike Grallman, who had Abusive Parents and snapped after so much abuse, Talbot murdered his parents just because he could.
  • Played for Laughs in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series when, as a child, Kaiba fires his parents.
  • Lu Bu manages to kill his own father multiple times in Farce of the Three Kingdoms.
  • In Fantasy High, the Abernant sisters kill their father and leave their mother for dead. Of course, their parents were also horrifyingly abusive villains, so it was called for.

    Western Animation 
  • Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender, although he used an assassin (his own wife, Princess Ursa, who he convinced to use a colorless, odorless poison on Azulon since he was going to make Ozai kill their own son, Zuko).
  • In Batman: The Animated Series Jason Blood claims that Klarion turned his parents into mice. Then the camera zooms in on Klarion's cat Teekl, implying that Teekl ate them.
  • Dark Danny from Danny Phantom didn't just kill his parents, he killed his sister, his friends, and his teacher (as well as his human self way earlier)...just to secure his own future.
  • In Dragons: Riders of Berk, it is strongly implied that Dagur the Deranged, Mad Chief of the Berserker Tribe, killed his own father. Dagur claims that his father Oswald the Agreeable "retired", later saying that he "had to be eliminated" so that he could become chief. Oswald is never seen or heard from once in the show. However, it is revealed later on that Dagur didn't kill Oswald. Dagur did deliberately play up the notion early in his career, thinking he wouldn't be taken seriously as such a young chief unless people were given a reason to fear him, but he actually had no idea what happened to Oswald until late in Race to the Edge.
  • Duckman: If we go by his dad's last words.
    Duckman: Did I ever tell you my dad's last words to me?
    Cornfed: Mm-hmm. "Careful, son, I don't think the safety's on."
    Duckman: Before that!
  • Final Space: In the Season 2 episode "The Grand Surrender", we learn that Ash accidentally killed her own parents (and several other bystanders) when her powers first manifested after she saw her sister getting sacrificed to the Serpent God Werthrent.
  • The Omnicronians of Futurama eat their mothers when they grow up. Leela understandably regrets telling a baby Omnicronian that she hoped he would always think of her as a foster mom after he tells her this.
    • It's implied that the other parent doesn't fare much better, if at all; Lrrr claims to have killed his own father, and "Patricide" has its own merit badge in the Omicronian equivalent of scouts.
    • Leela nearly does this herself when she and her mutant parents are reunited. She takes the photos they have of her as proof that they are creepy stalkers who murdered her birth parents. Her parents go along with it because they'd rather die than let their daughter live with the shame of being a mutant. Fortunately, Fry and the others arrive just in time to reveal the truth.
  • Gravity Falls has Bill Cipher who, when asked if he has a family in his Reddit AMA, replied "NOT ANYMORE", this was hinted at in "Weirdmageddon: Take Back The Falls" when Bill Cipher said he "liberated his dimension." The tie-in book Gravity Falls: Journal 3 explicitly says that he killed his parents, along with everyone else in his home universe.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures:
    • Justin Hammer’s father died under mysterious circumstances and Justin comments about a deity that did whatever necessary to gain power. Nick Fury even suspects that Justin killed his father to take control of Hammer International.
    • In one episode a Jerkass classmate implies that Tony did this to his father because of their (actually friendly and good-spirited) competition to one-up each other's inventions. It's completely false and Tony does not take it well at all.
  • A variation on Jimmy Two-Shoes: Every member of the Heinous Family has frozen their father and taken over Miseryville. Since the family is different generations of Satan (a fact clearer in the original pitch) you get the impression that this is as close to death as they can get.
  • In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns fills out a health form:
    Mr. Burns: Cause of parents' death?..."Got in my way."
    • Another episode has a brutal prison warden attempting to justify himself:
      Warden: [somber] When I was a young boy, I saw my father murdered in front of my eyes. [suddenly cheerful] By me.
  • In South Park, Cartman manipulated the events that resulted in the death of his father, though he actually didn't realize they were related until several seasons later, when it was revealed by his vengeful half-brother, Scott Tenorman.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the Kingpin is as strongly implied to be this as the censors would allow. After being left for the police by his father in a robbery gone south, he walked out of prison with the physical strength, connections, and mentality needed to build his empire. It's not made clear what he did to his father, but Smythe is shocked that even Kingpin could be so ruthless. Near the end of that storyline, the Kingpin makes his own son Richard take the fall for Kingpin's exposed scheme. Along his wife left him for earlier actions, the Kingpin is left alone holding a photo of his shattered family, bitterly wondering when his own son would take his revenge.
  • M Bison, Big Bad of Street Fighter, doesn't understand why Cammy and Chun-Li are angry at him, retorting with this trope.
    Bison: Yes, yes, I killed your father! What is it with you women anyway?! I killed my father too and you don't hear me whining about it!
  • Teen Titans (2003): Raven destroys Trigon at the end of the fourth season, and he's never seen again since then.
  • The Batman: In the episode "A Matter of Family", it's implied with Tony Zucco, at least of the accidental sort. Back when he used to be a knife-thrower, his father was often the volunteer in his act.
    Batman: Why'd you give up such a promising career?
    Tony Zucco: Well, one day... I missed.


Video Example(s):


Debbie's Victims

Debbie lists the many people who have hurt her by not satisfying her reasonable material wants. They really brought their deaths on themselves.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlackWidow

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