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Team Dad

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I don't care if he called your hair stupid, it's not okay to hit! You're both grounded!

"From now on, there are no more secrets in this family."
Optimus Prime, Transformers: Animated

The opposite number to the Team Mom, more often than not the disciplinarian, lead-by-example-kind of character in contrast to the warm, nurturing tendencies of a Team Mom. The Team Dad tends to be the oldest member of The Team, but it's more about attitude than age, because if he isn't The Leader, he's certainly The Mentor. He tends to be strict and gruff, but he never hesitates to put his life on the line for his team members. Sometimes the facade might even crack and he'll show undisguised pride over his "kids", particularly if the team members are True Companions.

Like the occasionally male Team Mom, Team Dads aren't Always Male, but female ones are very rare.

If a team has a Team Mom and a Team Dad, expect them to either play a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine on the rest of the team or come in conflict over their "parenting" philosophies. Cue "Mom and Dad are fighting" jokes from the "kids" if Team Mom and Team Dad aren't a couple, quickly followed by "It's not like that, we swear." Bonus points if the response is in unison from them (but they're very likely to end up together, anyway).

Compare Papa Wolf, whose children are his Protectorate; while the tropes can overlap, the Team Dad strives to make the "children" (who also tend to be older than the Papa Wolf's, and are less likely to be blood relatives) able to fight and defend themselves. A stern version of The Face since no one's going to argue when he says not to and will take the responsibility of speaking for the group.

Compare also A Father to His Men. See Team Kids for the people who look up to the Team Dad

Example subpages

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Batman to his whole extended Bat-family, particularly to the Robins, who are his adopted sons (except for Damian, his biological kid, and Steph). Alfred, the Wayne family butler, also has a bit of this going on, though he tends to be a lot more empathetic than Bruce.
  • Mother's Milk in The Boys was this, especially to the Naïve Newcomer Wee Hughie. Without him the Boys would've just fallen apart, as he's trusted as a voice of reason and is pretty much the only man in the comic (besides Hughie) Butcher considers a genuine friend.
  • The Avengers once had a discussion about Captain America and Iron Man over who was Team Mom and who was Team Dad.
    • They're still doing this; as recently as Issue 7 of the 2011 volume of The Avengers, there's a scene where Spider-Man says "This is uncomfortable." Another character assumes he's talking about half of Avenger-dom being on a single Quinjet, and he says "No, I was talking about Mommy and Daddy fighting," in reference to the fact that Cap is pissed at Tony for his secrecy about the Infinity Gems.
  • Captain Atom was this for the Justice League Europe. This was helped by the fact that he was also the Only Sane Man and was romantically involved, at least for a while, with the Team Mom, Catherine Cobert. But he was also the one responsible for keeping the team's ridiculous antics under control, counseling them when they were depressed or otherwise in need of advice or just a reassuring ear, and of leading them into combat.
  • Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) of the Fantastic Four (and he's married to the Team Mom).
  • Runaways (Rainbow Rowell) moves Chase into this position, as he and established Team Mom Nico become the group's providers and (thanks to one of Nico's spells) Molly's legal guardians.
  • Robin (Tim) ends up as the team dad for Young Justice mostly due to his Only Sane Man status among the founders. Superboy (Kon) may have tried to claim the role, but was just nowhere near mature enough nor in the right mindset for giving direction, even if he thought himself to be in comparison to Cloudcuckoolander Fearless Fool Impulse.
  • In Superman, Perry White is sometimes depicted as this to other the reporters at the Daily Planet. He once even went so far as to say that Lois in particular was like a daughter to him.
  • Splinter considers himself the adopted father of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In some versions this is extended to the turtles' additional friends, including April and Casey.
  • Long-time Teen Titans foe Deathstroke is an evil version of this for the Titans teams he has put together. During the Titans East storyline, he even acted more fatherly towards Inertia than he did to his own children as part of his plan to get the Titans to accept them. He gave the little psycho the serum he needed for Super-Speed while warning him not to abuse it, advised him to dump his even more psychotic girlfriend, and hooked him up with the Rogues in Central City once everything went south for Titans East.
  • X-Men:
    • Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart (who plays Jean-Luc Picard) in the live action version, possibly to invoke this trope.
    • When it comes to later X-Men teams Cyclops (the sensible stoic Team Dad), Wolverine (the grumpily protective Team Dad) and Gambit (the wild fun Team Dad) alternate between this trope for the likes of Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, X-23 and others Depending on the Writer.
    • The original Cable was this for X-Force being A Father to His Men with a protective streak as strong as Wolverine. He even manages to be more of a Team Dad than his own father Cyclops who thanks to Time Travel is younger than him.
    • Also, Depending on the Writer, Magneto acts like this with the Brotherhood. During his many Heel–Face Turns, he becomes a father figure for the X-Men as well. Most notably, when he took over the X-Men after the death of Charles Xavier, he found himself struggling with his role as both leader and father figure towards the teenaged mutants.
    • Apocalypse being one of the eldest mutants in existence tries to be the ultimate Team Dad for younger mutants. It works on his own realm of Okkara among his followers and Horsemen (when they aren’t betraying him), but not when it comes to other mutants like the X-Men who genuinely hate his guts for his previous villainy and are willingly to trust even Magneto over him.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this MonsterVerse fanfiction, Dr. Brooks comes off as a Team Dad to the Chen sisters and the Russells at Outpost 61a, being the eldest human there (with the possible exception of Steve Martin). He exposits, he assures, and when needed he takes a firm hand with the others at the outpost.
  • Most BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle fan works have Ragna as this to Yu, Hyde and Ruby due to his status as the oldest and most experienced of them (he's in his 20's while they're all teenagers), it helps that his interactions with them in the game proper also show some shades of this mixed with Cool Big Bro. Of course, with Ragna being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a Hair-Trigger Temper, he's portrayed as a notably more grumpy and moody version of this trope.
  • Steve and Thor take turns at this with the Avengers in Child of the Storm. Steve is The Paragon who can (mostly) get Tony, Loki, and the rest of the wisecrackers to shut up and listen. Thor, being 1500 years old and possessing a lot of experience with the universe in general and his brother in particular (plus being an actual dad), can provide sage advice and perspective for the others that Steve, being biologically less than 30, can't.
  • George Westinghouse in Children of Time: in the season 1 finale, he finds himself in a fatherly role towards a large band of True Companions, consisting of his own friend Nikola Tesla, Sally Sparrow, Beth Lestrade, and the Baker Street Irregulars. So much so that he gives the bride away at Beth's official wedding.
  • The Dwarven Noble protagonist assumes this role in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns. Alim, the elf, sometimes fills the role too.
  • Fate Fantasy: Caster servant Harry Dresden takes up this role along with Parental Substitute for the Tohsaka/Emiya alliance. He can effectively counsel his Master Rin, Shirou, and Saber to a lesser extent. He goes full Dad voice whenever someone does something stupid and verbally bitch-smacks Archer every time he tries to take a shot at Shirou. Which is often.
  • In Fly Free, Kakashi plays this role to Team Seven far more than in canon. What makes it funny is that the Team Mom is Robin, and the Team (and other genin) very much ship the two.
  • If We Fall Down: Unsurprisingly, Asgore, who is described as treating and thinking of all his subjects like family, in particular with Undyne and Chara being like his children to him. The way he talks to Flappy even sounds like a dad talking to a son who's disappointed him.
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, Atticus, King of Corginia is this between himself, Chloe Cerise and Lexi. Justified since Chloe herself is only ten and Lexi is — at least emotionally — the equivalent of a teenager. He makes sure to comfort the two when both are in need of support with their problems.
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo, Jonathan is also a literal case, being the grandfather of the various Joestars. He gives them advice and encouragement, and he's usually the one to defuse the team's various conflicts.
  • Becoming a dad has essentially turned Tony Stark into this in Lies of omission, routinely making sure that his teammates take breaks, offers them pieces of fruit when he's certain they aren't eating and tells them to hug his daughter as a way to destress.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Weiss is this for Team MNVW, being the strict, no-nonsense Foil to Izuku's nurturing positivity and enthusiasm. She's in charge of reining in her teammates' worst impulses, particularly Izuku's self-destructive Chronic Hero Syndrome and Workaholic tendencies, disciplining him and Nora with a spray bottle and threatening Izuku with harm should he try to take on too much at once.
  • The Night Unfurls has the Good Hunter, to his four apprentices (three of them are referred as "kid"). He's their stern Mentor in Sour Armor who keeps them well-fed and strives to train them so they can fight and protect themselves, even fighting alongside them if needed. Definitely a lead-by-example kind of character. Downplayed in practice as the Hunter doesn't really see himself as some sort of dad, and his apprentices call him "Boss" ("Master", in Lily's case). He does feel a sense of pride and accomplishment towards their growth, though.
  • The Internet has seen fit to turn Overwatch's Soldier:76 into one (and Mercy as Team Mom and Reinhardt and Ana as team Grandparents), but emphasizing the "Dad" part (making sure the kids eat their vegetables, wearing socks with sandals, and of course dad jokes). It's amazing how much emotion he can communicate with just his eyebrows. Some fan works go further and send 76 down the Bumbling Dad route, with dad jokes and socks-with-sandals fashion sense galore.
  • In the Turning Red fanfic The Panda Chronicles, Jesse is the oldest of the 4*Town members and acts like a dad to them. He even has two kids of his own.
  • Reggie towards most of the main team of heroes in Pokéumans except Brandon, to whom he is the Big Brother Mentor.
  • In Taaroko's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Giles meets Hank Summers, he explicitly states that he views Buffy and Dawn as his own daughters when Hank implies that there might be anything 'inappropriate' about Giles's relationship with them.
  • In TS!Underswap, Asgore is this to all the other monsters in the City of Old, who talk about him in glowing terms. Judging from the graffiti NPC's comments and the phone call you can make to him about the Greasers, he also seems to have a hand in keeping the younger monsters on the straight and narrow. Bugerpant lampshades this trope, saying he's like everyone's dad and telling Chara to be good to him. And of course, he also tries to take you in when you reach his home, and even has Chara's approval.
  • In Vocaloid fanon, Kaito tends to be this, when not being an idiot. This is primarily due to his shared status as the oldest with Meiko, however.
  • What You Already Know has Jacob keep this unofficial role in his interaction with SG-1, but it becomes a bit more explicit with Daniel after he learns about the archaeologist’s feelings for Sam. There is also a semi-weird moment where Jack acts more ‘Team Dad’ than he ever did in canon by observing that Daniel is the only one of Sam’s potential partners who would have passed Jack’s ‘boyfriend test’ if Sam had been his daughter, which neither Sam or Daniel are sure how to react to considering Jack and Sam’s former feelings for each other.
  • In X-Men: The Early Years, Professor Xavier is the team's teacher and father figure who tries to keep his crazy students under control (and from killing each other).

    Films — Animation 
  • The Incredibles: Robert "Bob" Parr, a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (also a literal/biological father).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sam Gerard from The Fugitive manages to be both Team Mom and Team Dad: he's incredibly caring but also expects nothing less than excellence, his team works like a well-oiled machine at the slightest snap of his finger, and he's snippy and dramatic when things go wrong but lavish with praise when they go right. He also refers to his team as his kids, and they clearly adore him right back.
  • The Goonies: Brand, as the oldest, tries to be the Team Dad. He makes a point of trying to take charge of the younger kids, but this doesn't work out so well.
  • Thorin in The Hobbit may also qualify, at least to the younger dwarves. None of them are his children, but half of them are fairly closely related to him: four of them are his third cousins (and brothers or first cousins to each other), and Fíli and Kíli are his nephews.
  • Out of the pets in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, the older and wiser Shadow takes it upon himself to keep an eye out and protect Chance and Sassy, as well as try to instill wisdom (emphasis on "try") to the immature Chance.
  • In Jurassic World, Owen Grady is this to his four Velociraptors. He's the only person they listen to and won't attack on sight, which Owen attributes to maintaining a mutually respectful relationship with them. It also helps that Owen raised them since birth and all four of the raptors (who were given bird DNA instead of frog) have imprinted on him.
  • Kick-Ass 2 had Colonel Stars-and-Stripes, who was The Leader of the Super Team and acted as A Father to His Men as everyone else looked up to him with admiration which made his becoming a Sacrificial Lion all the more tragic.
  • Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. Also doubles as A Father to His Men.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Chris Hemsworth (Thor) describes Tony Stark as "the godfather of The Avengers" because of how closely he works with S.H.I.E.L.D. to get the team together, as seen in The Incredible Hulk. This would explain why Stark always clashes with The Leader Captain America over how to "raise the kids," so to speak. Lampshaded in Captain America: Civil War as Tony (along with Team Mom Black Widow) behaves less like a concerned teammate, but more like a scolding parent whose kids are trouble with the law.
    • Nick Fury seems to invoke this to S.H.I.E.L.D and by extension the Avengers. Black Widow and Maria Hill in particular look up to him and greatly care for his safety. Word of God also reveals this is the reason why Fury was made to be absent in Civil War since his presence would’ve given a bit of control to the hectic scenario.
    • Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy is a very passionate Father to His Men, especially towards Peter Quill. He’s also quite the Papa Wolf as seen in sequel when Tazerface kills his loyal men and when he learns Peter is with his evil father Ego.
      • Quill himself along with Drax (when they aren’t being silly) invoke this among the Guardians, particularly towards Baby/Teen Groot and Mantis.
    • Villainous example in Avengers: Infinity War with Thanos. The Black Order is made up of his “adopted” children from different planets and with the exceptions of Gamora and Nebula, they all worship the ground Thanos walks on and truly believe his lunacy. It’s taken in even further as one of his children Ebony Maw implies that Thanos thinks he’s the Team Dad for the whole universe which is given some credence later when Thanos calls Scarlet Witch (a complete stranger) “my child” and brushes her head affectionately when comforting her over killing Vision.
    • Totally unsurprisingly in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man from the Rami Trilogy, being the eldest and most experienced Peter Parker, is the Team Dad for his two younger Alternate Universe counterparts, Andrew Garfield's TASM Spidey and Tom Holland's MCU Spidey, as well as MJ and Ned. A few of the most heartwarming moments in the film come from him giving support and guidance to his Spider brothers, such as telling TSAM Peter, who feels he is lame and insignificant compared to him and MCU Peter, that he is "amazing". Most powerfully, he personally steps in to prevent MCU Peter from killing Green Goblin in revenge for murdering Aunt May, making sure his younger counterpart doesn't go over the edge.
  • Prime Cut has Lee Marvin as a tough old gangster leading a squad of younger hitmen.
  • David from We're the Millers takes longer to fully grow into this role than Rose does to adapt to her corresponding Team Mom role, but he gets there. Best displayed at the film's climax, but hinted many other times as well.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Professor Charles Xavier. Best shown in X-Men: The Last Stand during his funeral, where a massive amount of his students cried during it. His tombstone reads, "Father, Teacher, Friend", and naturally "Father" is listed first because he was viewed by the youngsters (especially those who are orphans or have been disowned by their families) as primarily a paternal figure.
    • X-Men: First Class: Erik Lehnsherr has a "tough love" approach with the young mutants (Sean Cassidy learns this the hard way). Charles Xavier might qualify as well, but he tends to act more like the nurturing Team Mom. Insert witty commentary here.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: James McAvoy stresses in the June 2016 issue of F*** magazine that Professor X, for all of his kindness and altruism, has a profound psychological need to be the "king of the castle," so to speak. Xavier genuinely loves his friends and his students and he cares deeply about them, but it's also very important to him to hold a certain amount of authority over them.
      McAvoy: That's partly why he's building a school and he wants that family that he never really had, and he wants to be the father. He's got that slight... he's a good man, but he's got a little bit of a god complex as well. He wants to be at the head of the table. It's a good thing, but it's his flaw as well.

  • Jake in Animorphs, also the team leader. Marco teases him about this mercilessly, especially since the Team Mom, Cassie, is his girlfriend.
    Cassie: Now what?
    Marco: Yeah, now what, Dad?
  • Chiron from The Camp Half-Blood Series trains each new generation of demigods, helps them through the process of understanding who they are, listens when they have problems, and keeps them more or less in line. He's been doing it for a few thousand years, by now.
  • Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower is this to his team of Gunslingers, and is a more literal adoptive father to Jake Chambers. This is lampshaded by his title in the group, "Dinh," which means "lord," "leader," or "father" in the High Speech.
  • Both Vimes and Carrot play this for the Discworld Ankh-Morpork City Watch. Vimes with his practically legendary anger (has killed at least two werewolves with his bare hands, and can lift a 300 lb ape without realising it), and Carrot with his royal charisma, or his strength (can stick a sword through a stone pillar, and punch out a troll).
  • Remus Lupin is like this in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
    • This is lampshaded repeatedly, since Harry never had a true father figure before. It becomes quite important later, when the Generation Xerox-trope is subverted.
    • Dumbledore is also implied to be this for the Order of the Phoenix, given that it's a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits whose one connection is, basically, him.
  • Haymitch in The Hunger Games, right down to being asked to walk Katniss down the aisle at her wedding.
  • In Death: Feeney. Roarke has even said to Feeney in Divided In Death that Feeney has been more of a father to Eve than Richard Troy, that son of Satan, ever was.
  • The Little Men of Plumfield:
    • Franz — oldest student, part-time teacher, President of The Club, and their mentor's and Team Mom's nephew.
    • Dr. Alexander Mackenzie Campbell, aka Uncle Alec, from Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom.
  • North from Of Fear and Faith is the leader of the team, the oldest member, the first one most of the others come to for comforting advice about their emotional problems and he calmly mediate arguments within the group. He definitely qualifies as this, and even has some shades of being the Team Mom.
  • Peter Pan: As Team Mom to the Lost Boys, Wendy tries to shoehorn Peter into this role. It doesn't work as well as she would like.
  • In Ranger's Apprentice the taciturn, gruff Halt O'Carrick is this for most of the younger protagonists.
  • In The Silmarillion, Maedhros fills this role, keeping his nastier brothers in check (for the most part).
  • Lieutenant Panga in Someone Else's War, to the team of ex-Child Soldiers.
  • In Uncle Tom's Cabin, main character Tom takes up this role pretty much towards everyone in the places where he works. Yes, even at Simon Legree's horrible manse, where he helps the other slaves and they call him "Father Tom" — even the local Broken Bird, the cynical and arrogant Cassie.

  • Ted Nivison sometimes takes on this role in the Chuckle Sandwich podcast. He's frequently the one trying to stop his co-hosts Charlie and Schlatt from yelling over each other, or keeping their discussion from straying too far from the current topic, especially during guest episodes.
  • Criss is the designated father figure of the party in Interstitial: Actual Play.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair served as such for Fourtune in Impact Wrestling, hoping to mold the group into another version of The Four Horsemen.
  • KENTA served as such for No Mercy when he tore his ACL for the second time and became their manager.
  • Randy Savage tended to play this role in locker rooms, especially during the 1990s and especially in WCW where he was the most generous among those with "creative control" written into their contracts. He also tore into Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for not sticking to their time limit, resulting in 10 wrestlers losing their Wrestlemania paycheck.

    Tabletop Games 
  • It's something of a tradition if not a meme in fantasy games for The Paladin (or other usually lawful character class) to be the party babysitter, that is, keeping the Chaotic Stupid characters from getting themselves killed or starting a war with the NPCs, not to mention preventing teammates from killing each other.

    Web Animation 
  • David from Camp Camp, often tries to be this to the campers under his care, especially Max, who he often tries to discipline in a stern fatherly manner (much to the latter's annoyance) - the fans have even nicknamed him "Dadvid". He finally seems to be making progress, as of the season two finale, where Max reluctantly hugs him.
  • hololive group has some rare female examples:
    • Mori Calliope for the English first generation holomyth group. Her deep voice and stern yet supportive personality as the token responsible member of the group has made large sections of her fanbase start referring to her as "dad" or "Daddiope", much to her annoyance. The fact that her relationship with Team Mom Takanashi Kiara is one of, if not the most popular ship in the agency does not help.
      Gura: [Calli and Kiara are arguing while playing Minecraft] Mommy and Daddy are fighting...
      Ina: It's okay. We can just stay in the closet until they're done.
    • Shishiro Botan for the Japanese branch's fifth generation. Gender aside, her calm levelheadedness and more stereotypically boyish hobbies have lead to her to be viewed as gen 5's cool dad figure to pair with Lamy's Team Mom, a title both Coco and Kanata agreed was fitting. It was most noticeable when the group gave their thoughts on Aloe's graduation from hololive: while Lamy and Nene struggled to speak through tears and Polka was too dispirited to talk much, Botan took the reins and emceed the video with a composure that still made her sadness clear.
  • Villainous example with Amaroq of No Evil. In the episode where this comes to the forefront, he forbids Charles from "goin' out commandin' dark abysses after midnight".
  • Ben of Puffin Forest mentions in one story, he was playing as a 76-year-old human wizard - Doctor Solomon - in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with friends. After a while of trying to be the Cool Old Guy of the group who took care of everybody, he was alarmed to discover that he was in fact the youngest person in the group: he was with a 96-year-old halfling and an elf pushing 260.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Agent North Dakota somewhat played this role for the Freelancers, in addition to a cool big-brother figure. Which makes it all the more tragic when Agent South Dakota - his own twin sister - gets him killed out of jealousy and to save herself from The Meta.
    • Sarge becomes a version of this to the Reds and Blues post season 8.
    • Played with in regards to Washington. His attempts to be this to Connie are unsuccessful but his efforts work much better with the Reds and Blues from season 10 onwards, balancing the team's craziness with Carolina's Ax-Crazy tendencies, trying to keep them alive by managing their limited supplies and training Tucker and Caboose to be more effective soldiers.
    • The late Captain Flowers of Blue Team was shown to be this before the show began, either through flashbacks or when resurrected by an alien later in the Blood Gulch Chronicles. It's shown that the blues cared for him too, as despite him being forgotten almost immediately after Tucker claimed his armor when he was found dead, Church attempted to prevent his apparent death by heart attack when he's blown backwards through time midway through season three. This ironically ended up being what killed him as he was allergic to aspirin. Despite being well liked by Tucker and Church, he tended to be a bit creepy at times though this could possibly be explained by the revelation in season ten that he was really Freelancer Agent Florida, assigned to Blood Gulch to protect the Alpha AI, who was now inhabiting a robot body believing himself to be a soldier named Leonard Church.

  • The Captain from Cloudscratcher, especially towards Felix.
  • Orrig from Daughter of the Lilies is an orc who has to deal with a foul-mouthed elf and a loud-mouthed quarter-orc who get on each other's nerves all the time, and later a mage of unknown (at first) species with crippling anxiety and privacy issues. Despite the potential for Beleaguered Boss, he does a very good job of it (and is even sarcastically referred to as "Dad" by Lyra, the aforementioned elf).
  • Mr. Verres of El Goonish Shive is this to the main characters and is the father of one of them.
  • General Protection Fault — Dwayne. He's the owner of the company and commonly also the Only Sane Man.
  • Homestuck: Karkat Vantas. Yes, the bossy, misanthropic, foul-tempered leader Karkat. He was surprisingly effective in the role — he actually cares about the trolls in his charge, is determined to keep the team together and functional, and quite effectively helps them deal with personal issues. He's also their literal father, having created them all through ectobiology and weird time shit, even himself.
    • Vriska suggests that this actually doomed their SGRUB session since trolls are so naturally combative that three out of their four different kinds of romance revolve around managing hate as the basis (or demise, in the case of moirallegiance) of interpersonal relationships; trolls, she says, aren't meant to work together. Of course, then there's the times when it implies that much of the conquest and hate that has defined the species is a cultural choice made by rulers generations ago, and that under leaders like Feferi or Karkat the species could actually thrive. It's fuzzy which direction Hussie's decided to go with this.
    • John fills this role for the pre-Scratch human kids. All the trolls, and all the humans except John, regard John as the leader of the pre-Scratch human team. John insists he's their friend, not their leader, to which everyone's response has been "That's why you're the leader." John is nominally the youngest of the pre-Scratch kids by a few months, though the days each of them regard as their birthdays actually aren't due to time shenanigans, and they were all "born" at the same time to within a couple of minutes at most.
  • Durkon of The Order of the Stick is relatively laid-back (for a dwarf), and his Cleric class kind of makes him the moral centre by default. He's often seen giving fatherly advice and direction to side characters. It helps that his patron deity is Thor; a deity that gets up to the kind of shenanigans Thor does tends to be pretty lax on the fire and brimstone unless you really, really fuck up.
  • Brother Sweden, in Scandinavia and the World is this to the other Nordics.Brother England tries to be this to his "children", the grown-up colonies of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent: this role is filled expertly by Captain Sigrun Eide, who is The Leader of the team. Not afraid to lay down the law when she has to, but supportive and encouraging to her subordinates. And she charges a troll armed with only a knife to save one of her men.
  • Rich out of Thespiphobia fits certain points, especially the Papa Wolf at times. However he's usually too peppy and sweet to fit either of these.
  • Parodied with Shibisu in Tower of God, whose dearest wish is apparently to be called the team dad. While he does eventually show himself fit to be The Leader for his team, everyone finds it really awkward how he tries to apply family metaphors from the start, especially with people who are probably older than him. (The anime leaves out the "wannabe father figure" aspect, while still having him beg for shows of camaraderie.)
  • The Weekly Roll:
    • Sir Becket is the much-beleaguered paladin and leader of his party exemplifying the "babysitter" mindset (hell, one of the strips is even titled "Paladins = Party Nursemaids"), constantly having to prevent the Chaotic Stupid warlock Trevor from getting them all killed.
    • He hires a wizard thinking it'll do the party good, only to find Torvald is a necromancer, leading to him having to play diplomat to prevent Torvald's execution for not paying taxes... that amount to less than Trevor spends on booze.
    • One strip has Trevor asking if they can adopt a baby goblin he found.
    Why're you asking me? I'm not your mother. But no, you cannot.

    Web Original 
  • Skippy's List has examples:
    89. Must not refer to the Commander as "Dad".
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Stormwolf, for the Wild Pack.
    • And in the later stories (especially the Ayla stories), Lancer to Team Kimba. In the sims, he ends up playing the Straight Man quite a bit and tries to keep everyone on track.
    • Jadis is a female example for the Bad Seeds, being their de facto leader and frequently the Only Sane Man.

    Web Videos 
  • Santa Christ from Channel Awesome, although even he finds dealing with thirty overgrown children hard to cope with.
  • Geoff of Achievement Hunter has been considered the father of the Lads and Gents at various times.
  • The character of Oin Lightbringer fills this role in the YouTube videos of the Brony D And D campaign Welcome to the Show.
  • Philza often serves as the Straight Man whenever he's in a group setting, like in Sleepyboisinc (a group which consists of himself, Technoblade, Wilbur Soot, and later TommyInnit), and is generally quite calm. This is exaggerated in his solo streams, where his chat calls him "dad" more often than they call him by his name, and he even refers to himself as "dad". This directly results in his wife being called "mom", his mother being called "grandma" and his sister being called "auntie".
    • His incarnation on the Dream SMP has Wilbur as his only biological son, but he acts as a father figure in the lives of Tommy, Tubbo and Ranboo, and has a fatherly demeanor towards pretty much anyone he interacts with. As a result, "Dadza" is one of his most popular nicknames, both in and out of the SMP. However, his actual parenting skills may leave much to be desired, most prominently seen when he helps his son commit Suicide by Cop with little to no hesitation, just minutes after he joined the server.
  • Mac in Dead Enders is the embodiment of this trope, calling everyone kiddo and dishing out advice and affection when needed. No one can actually tell how old he is, but he is very much the team dad.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Zachary Foxx is not only raising his two children after his wife met A Fate Worse Than Death at the hands of the series Big Bad, but often acts as a father figure to his team, especially Shane and Niko, who do not have parents.
  • Mr. Charlie Chan in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan is an obvious example, but sometimes Henry acts as this when there's more than just him and Stanley in a group.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Prince Zuko takes this role after his Heel–Face Turn — kids, you can have your beach party after you save the world! The team unanimously follow him when The Hero disappears. They seem to be emphasizing this trait in the new comics. Even before that, there's his "You're a talented kid" speech in "The Firebending Masters". The camera angles, which exaggerate the height difference between him and Aang, clearly were meant as a reference to this trope.
    • Before he came along, Sokka tried to serve as the group's dad, which Katara even lets him know he's not good at it.
  • Bionic Six has Jack Bennet a.k.a. Bionic-1. The Bionic 6 are made up of him, his wife and Team Mom Helen, and their children — biological and adopted.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Kwame, as the most mature and level-headed of the five teens, is this.
  • Dungeons & Dragons (1983): Hank the Ranger.
  • Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy sometimes behaves this way towards the other two- for instance in one episode when Ed and Double D are arguing, Eddy's first response is to separate them with a, "SHUT UP! Both of you!"
  • Gargoyles has Goliath (also Action Girl Angela's father) and Hudson. (Who really is the father of Broadway, according to Word of God.)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021): Cringer was already a Parental Substitute for Adam and Krass, so he easily lends his wisdom and guidance to Duncan and Teela when they all become the Masters of the Universe.
  • Ivanhoe: The King's Knight has the titular character as this to Wamba and Rebecca.
  • In The Legend of Korra, both Tenzin and Mako have tried their hands at this, with different degrees of success. Bonus points for Tenzin since not only he is Aang's son, but he himself is the father of three Airbending kids. And later his fourth child is born, though we don't know if Rohan is an Airbender or not.
    • Ironically, while Tenzin and Mako tries to be the Team Dad (in the end, they're both really more of a male Team Mom to the team), it's really Lin Beifong who serves as the most effective Team Dad, as a female example.
  • Jacob in Motorcity. The oldest of the group (most of who are teens) and was originally supposed to have been Mike's grandpa.
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a rare female example. She's the most down-to-earth member of the heroes (most of the time), has good leadership and planning skills, and also shows some parenting skills when looking after Spike.
  • Garmadon in Ninjago: he is the father of one of the five Ninja, and he takes on his brother's role as sensei to the Ninja in Season 4. He is also, without question, a Papa Wolf — his protective love for his son has always been one of his defining traits.
  • Onyx Equinox: By the end of the first season, Yaotl would die for any of the kids he's traveling with.
  • The Secret Saturdays has Solomon "Doc" Saturday (also a literal/biological father).
  • Stan Marsh from South Park has some shades of this usually. He's the oldest from the group, but not by much and it's rarely brought up. However he is basically The Leader and often the Only Sane Man, as well as a Determinator who tries to set an example. He can be quite protective towards the others (not so much towards Cartman though) and is also prone to scolding them if he disagrees with what they are doing. From the group he fights the least with Cartman, the latter showing some respect towards him, but that's not saying much.
  • Skeleton Warriors has Ursak, who is actually the uncle of the other three heroes.
  • Space Ghost in Space Ghost to Jan, Jace, and Blip.
  • Kanan from Star Wars Rebels is this alongside Hera. The fandom has nicknamed them Space Dad and Space Mom.
  • In Steven Universe, Garnet is a (sort of) female example of this trope. She is the de facto leader of the Crystal Gems, be the serious one who reins in the team and they all look up to her. However, she's mainly this with Steven (while Pearl is the Team Mom and Amethyst is the Cool Big Sis to him.) Greg somewhat functions this as Steven's dad, though the others have awkward friendships with him, at least in the beginning. They begin respecting him more over time, including Pearl.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has Master Splinter to the turtles.
  • Transformers: Animated has Optimus Prime. Most versions of Optimus could count (especially Primal), but Animated Optimus is the most explicitly dad-like.
  • Brock Samson from The Venture Bros., despite being a macho brute of a badass Action Hero, has quite clearly taken up the role of Hank and Dean's parental figure; he's responsible for the feeding and clothing of the kids (and their father) and in one episode can be seen checking the boys over for head lice as he outlines a combat plan to one of his colleagues. Hank, at least, also looks up to him and asks him for advice.
  • Shiro of Voltron: Legendary Defender fits the mold so well that fans and staff alike have taken to calling him Space Dad. His voice actor, Josh Keaton, even noted in an interview that he channeled his own experience as a father into his portrayal.
  • Young Justice (2010):
    • Aqualad takes on this role early in the series. Since he's the most mature of the group, he often ends up playing mediator between his teammates' conflicting egos. He's also a Big Brother Mentor to both Robin and Superboy.
    • Batman. Besides being an actual foster father to the Robins, he attempts to counsel Aqualad regarding his homesickness (correctly guessing it's more about a person than the place), pays for Artemis to attend the same prestigious private school as Robin, and keeps a close watch on kid Leaguer Captain Marvel, revealing that he knew all along and, in the tie-in comics, gift-wrapping him an opportunity to come clean.
    • Batman's also responsible for Superboy. In one of the episodes Superman mentions that Batman has been responsible for helping Superboy adjust to his powers/get used to being on the Team. He also makes an effort to assure Connor he's doing good work at least once, regardless of what Superman's silence looks like. And let's not forget Batman also speaks to Superman to try and make him stop ignoring his clone. When Batman is giving Superman parenting advice you know it's serious.