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That Thing Is Not My Child!

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"The robot apocalypse is also frequently accompanied with an additional message straight out of Shelley's Frankenstein. 'Hey guys, if you're going to create sentience from nothing, you should probably be a responsible parent to it, or it might murder everyone you love.' [...] Most robot apocalypses are a one-two punch about how 'be careful with science' and 'be careful with parenting', although most stories stick with the former. Much easier to be scared of the big scary robot than to ponder the role you played in its development, you know?"

A trope common to Speculative Fiction, in which a victim finds their genes, DNA, soul, or "essence" taken or copied without their permission, resulting in an offspring which is either unnatural or unwanted — or both. This being could be a clone, Half-Human Hybrid, Humanoid Abomination, or a Designer Baby created by a Stalker with a Test Tube. Sometimes, the villainous party may take what they want from the character's real offspring instead, twisting it with Body Horror, Demonic Possession or The Corruption, prompting the parent to now consider it a different entity entirely and deny any kinship. In any case, the clear message is that the parent DOES NOT WANT.

Things can get even Squickier if the "offspring" is a full-size, adult clone. In Real Life, monozygotic twinning (identical twins) is as close as you can get, so most would consider a copy that's close to their age (or even older) a "sibling" rather than a "child"… although that's moot if this trope is played straight, of course, as the reaction will instead be "That Thing Is Not My Sibling."

This can become the progeny's source of angst or their Freudian Excuse for turning evil.

This trope is often the result when The Bad Guy Wins in a story with a Stalker with a Test Tube, or after a character catches a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong. A common reaction is But I Can't Be Pregnant!, and sometimes happens in Real Life with a Child by Rape. See Half-Breed Discrimination for what happens to children that live with this stigma. Sometimes happens in Random Species Offspring cases.

If the child is lucky, they can find a Parental Substitute. If their parents absolutely hate them, they will need one.

Do not confuse with I Have No Son!, in which the parent disowns a disappointing child, or Not Actually His Child, where a child is revealed to not be biologically related to one of their parents. See also Clones Are People, Too, in which a person doesn't actually consider said clone family, but nonetheless respects their right to live. If a parent maintains that it is their child, despite bad behavior, it's Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal. Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment might apply in inversions of the cases where a parent's existing child undergoes some nasty change.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Sanctuary: Setsuna's mother disowned him because she realized from an early age that something was WRONG about him, that he wasn't really her child. She was right - he was possessed with the soul of a fallen angel since birth. What she doesn't realize is that HER DAUGHTER ALSO HAS AN ANGEL'S SOUL.
  • A major element of Historia/Krista's backstory in Attack on Titan, being rejected and denied by a mother unable to find the courage to kill that "thing".
  • Beast Wars II: Lio Junior was created from Angolmois Energy duplicating Lio Convoy's Energon Matrix, creating a childlike Maximal that looks vaguely similar to him and also transforms into a lion. While Junior sees the Maximal commander as his father, Convoy does not return the same sentiment, justifying it by saying a father-son relationship with one of his men would be detrimental in times of war.
  • This seems to be much how Guts reacts in Berserk, after Casca miscarries and gives birth to a hideously deformed child after the events of the Eclipse where she was raped by Femto. Unlike most examples on the list, it actually is his child, but merely corrupted by events outside of his control.
  • In a particularly heartbreaking example, Fruits Basket features Momiji's mother reacting this way (using the almost exact quote) upon discovering that her child turns into a rabbit when she holds him because he's under the zodiac curse, which caused her to fall into depression (and in the 2019 anime, she tried and failed to commit suicide). Momiji's father had her memory of her son erased to aid her failing health brought on by the emotional stress of all this, and she submitted to it willingly, saying that her greatest regret was giving birth to "that creature".
  • Hoshin Engi: This is the reason for Nataku's conflict with his father Sei Li. His mother had a miscarriage, but a Sennin came to her and told her that she could have a child if she implanted a certain paope (the series' magical artifacts) in her womb, which she accepted. When she gave birth, what came out was a ball of flesh from which Nataku emerged equipped with several paope. He rapidly grew into a freakishly strong and emotionless boy. While In Shi still raised him and loved him as her son, Sei Li didn't see him as his child and was even frightened of him. As a result, Nataku loves his mother back but hates his father.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms: Medmel is the Child by Rape of a woman from a Society of Immortals and a royal prince whose father desires an immortal grandchild. When she shows no sign of having inherited her mother's immortality, her father and grandfather treat her like the family Black Sheep, to the point of not even bothering to take her along when fleeing a situation that could put anyone with royal blood in danger.
  • Zai Vessalius from PandoraHearts is an Abusive Parent who treats his son like dirt, and had even said that he shouldn't exist. As it turns out, Zai's real son had died at birth, and "Oz" is really a Chain hosted in the Big Bad's body, who intends to bring The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Uguisu Sachiko's This Is Not My Child plays with this trope. A woman, whose child has gone missing, is left despondent. But she recovers when she is told her child has been found. Only, when she comes back with her son, she starts to act crazy, claiming that her son is a an imposter. Her husband, who's having an affair, considers breaking up with her. But, it turns out that she actually killed her son in a fit of anger, and buried his body in the forest. The boy she's been seeing was just a hallucination.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering's Innistrad set has a card named Cloistered Youth with the ability of transformation.note  When transformed, it becomes Unholy Fiend.
    "I heard her talking in her sleep, pleading, shrieking, snarling. It was not my daughter's voice. That is not my daughter."

    Comic Books 
  • Invoked in Avengers Academy. Hank Pym was replaced by a Skrull which copied him "to the genetic level" and, during an affair with Tigra, impregnated her. As such, the child is genetically Pym's. Later, the real Hank Pym returns, and Tigra insists that he has no parental claim to the baby. He agrees, but she then asks him to be the child's godfather instead.
  • Averted with Batman and Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin, who may or may not have been the result of a Stalker with a Test Tube.
  • X-Men:
    • Cable's reaction to the "son" which was sired when his identical clone Stryfe raped his wife. Ironically, Cable himself is the son of Madelyne Pryor, aka "Goblin Queen", the Evil Clone of Jean Grey.
    • Speaking of Jean, she initially rejected Cable and Rachel Summers (her adult daughter from an alternate timeline) upon learning they were her biological kids, but later came to accept them as her children.
    • The roles are reversed with Graydon Creed; he feels this way about his father, Sabretooth, and frankly, having a guy like him for a father may well be why he grew up to hate mutants.
  • Defied in a Weird Science story. The children on a new colony are systematically taken from their mothers at birth, and the mothers aren't allowed to see them. The women's leader eventually forces the head doctor to admit why this is happening: The children are malformed and mutated, and the medical staff was trying to protect the mothers from the horror and trauma. The women basically storm the nursery, and accept the children with open arms. The leader turns to the head doctor, and with a mix of pity and contempt says to him "Did you truly believe we could not love our own children?"
  • Spider-Man
    • Played with between Peter Parker and his clone, Ben Reilly in The Clone Saga. The two eventually resolve their differences and come to see one-another as brothers... even if half the time they aren't even sure who the original is.
      • Ditto with Kaine, though the resolution took considerably longer since Kaine was, basically, crazy and tried to kill both Peter and Ben a number of times. Eventually he sacrificed himself for Peter in Grim Hunt, before returning during Spider-Island and reconciling with Peter. The two now see each other as brothers, and while they don't always get on with each other, Kaine does genuinely want to be a man as good as his brother, while usually believing himself to be a monster.
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter was even tricked into believing an artificially aged clone of himself was his father. He was not pleased when he learned the truth... nor was his "dad", who was a Manchurian Agent and didn't know about it himself.
    • Spider-Girl averted this with a clone of May Parker who started calling herself April - Peter and Mary Jane decided take her in as a second daughter, though officially they claimed she was an identical cousin.
  • Averted with Superboy in the comics, whom Superman initially accepts as an ally and successor, and then as a cousin. However, he never explicitly sees him as a son. (Although an in-universe newspaper article written after Superboy came Back from the Dead states that Superman felt Superboy's death was "like losing a son".) Even averted with Lex Luthor, who created the boy and donated the other half of the DNA, and considered him more of a son than even Superman did… at first.
  • Fred and Sylvia Danvers weren't prepared to learn their daughter Linda had merged with Supergirl, at first assuming Supergirl was pretending to be their daughter as some sick joke. Fred eventually came around to understand Linda's situation, but Sylvia took a bit longer. Nevertheless, both reconciled with Linda and accepted her strange new circumstances.
  • Lucifer: Jill Presto is impregnated by the Basanos, the living personification of the Tarot, and she is not happy about the resulting Fetus Terrible. When she has the chance, she leaves it to die in another dimension, but it turns out she was carrying twins. The other one, Noema, gets Brought Down to Normal and is born as a human child.

    Fan Works 
  • Vanity in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf treated his Mirror Self Century as just a copy of himself that he could do whatever he wanted with all because he was nothing more than a copy. Century resented that and wanted to return back to the mirror he came from, but in "Vanity's Double", when Vanity was selected to play Robin Smurf and was afraid to use a sword, he turned to Century for help, since Century did not have a fear of swords, and Century became Vanity's double, also playing Robin Smurf but only during scenes that called for swordfighting. Eventually this trope was averted in this case, as Vanity and Century saw each other as "brothers".
  • Zigzagged in Sing to Me, where L's mother is loving and kind when she's sober, but when she's drunk or high, she insists that L is some sort of demon sent to torment her and becomes extremely angry when he calls her "Mama", heavily implying this trope. Justified, as he's a Child by Rape and she was disowned by her family when she had him, causing her downward spiral.
  • Triptych Continuum: A Mark Of Appeal has an Inverted example After Joyous learns that her parents are infected with the same mark-amplifying sickness she suffers from, and that their amplified mark magic has consumed their minds, we get this:
    Joyous: It... wasn't them.
    Celestia:Joyous? They're your parents. We tracked them. There aren't any other ponies who qualify—
    Joyous:— it's... not what I meant, Princess. I wasn't talking to them. I haven't... I haven't spoken to them for a long time, have I? I was talking to a disease. A disease which doesn't know me, or care about me, and can barely remember me at all. A sickness in two pony bodies. It was the disease which didn't come home when it promised to. Illness never picked me up from school, or took me there on so many new first days. Something which isn't my parents. Which never was.
    Joyous: The disease doesn't love me, because it can't. But... if they're cured... then somewhere under the disease... I still have a mom and dam. I always did. They just can't get out...

    Films — Animation 
  • In the Novelization of Turning Red, this is how Mei initially thinks that Ming thinks of her when Mei gains her giant red panda transformation.
    After explaining the red panda curse to me, Mom had assured me that she still loved me. As I lay there, I heard loud and clear that it wasn’t me she loved. It was a girl named Mei-Mei.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • This may have been the motive for the Cobblepot family from Batman Returns to throw baby Oswald over a bridge in its wicker bassinet.
  • In Inception, Mal and Cobb both react this way when they're faced with children they believe to be fake, while they may or may not be dreaming. The jury's still out on which interpretation, if either, was correct. Word of God has a strongly implied conclusion and a definite final answer.
  • In the B-Movie It's Alive, this is a major plot point for the father of a killer mutant baby.
  • The father of conjoined twins from Basket Case has this reaction to Belial, the deformed parasitic twin.
  • The mother in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence reacts this way to the robotic "child" her husband brings home. Eventually reversed in that she's the only member of the family that doesn't want to destroy him.
  • A downplayed example in Logan: Laura is Logan's daughter, via genetic material salvaged from the Weapon X project, and Logan spends much of the film distancing himself from her. Upon reaching the other X-23 kids, Logan outright states that he'll be leaving her alone after they cross the border into Canada. He eventually has a change of heart, but not long after he's mortally wounded. It's downplayed in that it's not so much because of Laura, as it is Logan's jaded attitude when it comes to relationships, and he's pushing her away to protect her.
  • Inverted in The Phantom of the Opera (2004). In the graveyard ("Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again/Angel of Music Reprise/Swordfight"), Raoul says to Christine, "This man—this thing—is not your father!" (The Phantom had been posing as the Angel of Music—the ghost of Christine's late father.)
  • In Pixels, Pac-Man's creator Toru Iwatani reacts this way when his brainchild bites his hand off.
  • Towards the end Repo! The Genetic Opera when Rotti Largo is dying Amber comes up to him after her face fell off from too many cosmetic surgeries and he says to her and her brothers, "Don't come near me, any of you. You're disgusting, you're not my children. You're nothing."
  • In Rosemary's Baby, the title character turns out not to be the child of Rosemary's husband but rather that of the Devil. Upon seeing her (off-screen) baby for the first time, Rosemary exclaims, "What have you done to it? What have you done to its eyes?" Ultimately averted, as she decides to take care of it anyway.
  • This is how some parents react to the silver-eyed children in Village of the Damned (1960) and its 1995 remake.

  • In The Demon's Lexicon the protagonist's mother spent his whole life hating and fearing him because her magician husband had a demon possess their unborn child before he developed a soul. She tried to drown him at birth and before her death makes it clear that she believes her real child died before it was born and the one she raised is a demon in its body (which is technically true).

  • Played straight in Duumvirate. Luke agrees with this sentiment when killing his parents.

  • Happens in Eva Luna, to Eva's Parental Substitute La Madrina. She gives birth to a deformed stillborn kid, and tosses the tiny corpse to the trash. What follows is a MASSIVE media circus that drives her further into insanity.

  • The Exorcist: Trope Namer. "Father, you show me Regan's identical twin: same face, same voice, same smell, same everything down to the way she dots her i’s, and still I'd know in a second that it wasn't really her! I'd know it! I'd know it in my gut and I'm telling you I know that thing upstairs is not my daughter!"

  • Journey to Chaos: Basilard is technically Zettai's biological father because a blood transfusion was the only way to save her from Mr.15's experiment; his Bladi blood replaced her human blood. Despite this, he insists that he is her "legal guardian", not her "father" and refers to her as an abomination because Bladi Conversion is a forbidden art.

  • Misquamacous in The Manitou series, twice attempts to return to the mortal world by hijacking a foetus in the womb, and once as a tumorous growth like a conjoined twin, that gradually sucks all the life out of its host before being "born".

  • In The Marvelous Land of Oz, Tip, a boy who's "small and rather delicate in appearance," creates a huge pumpkin-headed scarecrow man named "Jack Pumpkinhead" to frighten a witch, who uses magic to bring it to life. This leads to Tip being very uncomfortable with the creature calling him "Father", although he does consider Jack a good friend. At the end it turns out that Tip is a girl, Princess Ozma, who's been under a spell since she was younger to protect her identity. After being changed back into Ozma, she's thrilled that Jack Pumpkinhead can no longer refer to her as "father".

  • The Metamorphosis: After Gregor Samsa wakes one morning to find he inexplicably transformed into a giant cockroach in the middle of the night (don't ask), his family slowly stops believing the bug was ever their son to begin with and eventually just leave him to die alone in his room.

  • in The Mortal Instruments, Jocelyn's husband Valentine injected her with demon blood whilst she was pregnant, causing her to give birth to a demonic child who she was convinced was monstrous and evil. She turns out to be right, since Jonathan grows up to be a sadistic psychopathic murderer.

  • Played with in the Rivers of London book Foxglove Summer: A woman whose daughter went missing when she followed a unicorn to Fairyland is absolutely adamant that the girl who returned isn't her daughter. It turns out her daughter was replaced by a changeling, but that happened eleven years earlier; the magical nightmare now in her house is her biological daughter. Once this is explained to her, she still says that her real daughter is the girl she raised for over a decade, wherever she came from.

  • Played With in Room: Ma's father won't accept the protagonist, Jack, a Child by Rape born during her seven years in Old Nick's captivity. As a result, he leaves the newly-freed pair to the care of Ma's mother and largely leaves the story.

  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Contagion, a fanatical member of an anti-bioengineering faction, learning that his son was only born healthy thanks to such technology, instantly sees his wife as a traitor and his son as a monster. Worf, who knows he'd accept Alexander no matter what, is horrified by this.

  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Averted in Brothers in Arms. Miles discovers that a Komarran terrorist cell has cloned him as part of a Byzantine plot. He immediately declares the clone his brother, informs him of the automatically-determined Dead Guy Junior name Vor tradition gives him (Mark Pierre), and goes out of his way to protect and support Mark. His mother Cordelia does the same when she meets Mark. His father Aral is more skeptical; he feels a sense of responsibility, but also admits that he doesn't love Mark the way he does Miles. Eventually even Aral acknowledges Mark as a son. (Rather heartwearmingly, in fact— somebody comes complaining to him about 'your son' and he asks "which one" completely offhandedly.)
    • Miles himself was not as lucky: His grandfather disowned him and demanded that Miles not get a Dead Guy Junior name from him after learning that the severely damaged fetus was being artificially brought to term. Thankfully, he later repented and accepted Miles as his grandson.

  • Melena and Frexspar from Wicked are both horrified by their green, Creepy Child of a daughter Elphaba. On top of her unusual skin tone, Elphaba was born with a full set of pointed teeth and an intense hatred of water. Melena thought of killing Elphaba upon birth, while Frexspar called her a demon. Frexspar blamed Elphaba's skin on his failed attempt at preaching the night of her birth, but the truth is she is a Child by Rape from a man who drugged Melena by giving her an elixir. Eventually, both Melena and Frex came to care about Elphaba.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: In "Believers", a couple from a species of alien that are very religious have a son who needs surgery to save his life. They adamantly refuse to have it done, as part of their belief system is that the soul will escape the body if someone's cut open "like a food animal". Dr. Franklin can't bear to just watch the boy die, so he does the surgery without their permission. They're horrified (even though the kid very obviously didn't lose his soul and is acting completely the same as before the surgery) and kill him the first chance they get, as they believe he's now just an empty shell.

  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Double subverted during the "New Caprica" arc. After the Cylon invasion, Leoben Conoy AKA Number Two has kidnapped Kara "Starbuck" Thrace and keeps her locked up in a secluded apartment to force some sort of twisted Stockholm Syndrome relationship on her, and since he has plenty of backup bodies, "killing" him just means he'll be back in a few hours. At one point he brings in a little blonde girl that he claims is a human-cylon hybrid, who was conceived with Kara's ovary (which the Cylons had previously removed from her body) and his own sperm. Starbuck initially refuses to accept the child as her own, but when the kid gets hurt Kara seems to acknowledge the child as her daughter. However, when the humans escape the planet it's revealed that the kid in question was actually taken from her real human mother by Leoben as part of his ploy to get close to Starbuck.

  • Call the Midwife has a mundane example with a father, Mr. Mullucks, who rejects his baby daughter born with deformities caused by thalidomide, shouting "How could you even let that live?" and "There ain't no way that thing is coming back to our house!"

  • Doctor Who: In "The Doctor's Daughter", the Doctor originally reacts this way to his "daughter", actually an Opposite-Sex Clone. He refers to her as a "biological accident" and goes as far as to reject that they're even the same species because there's more to being a Time Lord/Lady than genetics. Donna gives him an earful about this and urges him to change his mind.He ultimately does and claims her as his daughter as she dies in his arms.

  • In the Eureka episode "Many Happy Returns", the real Susan Perkins doesn't even want to see her clone's child. By the end of the episode, she does anyway.

  • In the Flesh: Bill Macey kills his son, Rick, unable to accept him as resurrected.

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has a relatively realistic version. The detectives encounter a young teen who is all but homeless because her mother is suffering from Capgras Syndrome, a mental disorder that causes her to not recognize her daughter as her daughter. She is able to recognize her daughter's voice and pleads to see her, but upon actually seeing her, she immediately rejects her as a stranger.

  • In Person of Interest, Harold goes back and forth on this with regards to the Machine. He deliberately maintains a distant, businesslike relationship with it - its sentience was something he'd done everything in his power to avoid - but to Root, he compares the dreams of code he had when he was building it to a mother dreaming of her unborn child's face. Then there's the conversation he has with Arthur about whether the Machine (and Artificial Intelligence in general) is a wonder, or something comparable to the atomic bomb:
    Arthur: Everything slides towards chaos. Your creation... it brings us poor souls a cupful of order. Your child is a dancing star.
    Finch: It's not my child, it's a machine!
    Arthur: A false dichotomy; it's all electricity. Does it make you laugh? Does it make you weep?
    Finch: ...Yes.
    Arthur: What's more human?

  • Stargate SG-1: Vala Mal Doran eventually develops this attitude towards Adria, the Orici offspring implanted in her by the Ori.
    Vala: Let's get something clear. She's not my daughter, Daniel. The Ori impregnated me against my will and forced me to bring her into the galaxy. I was an incubator. A shipping crate. And nothing more.

  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Up the Long Ladder", Riker kills the still-in-development clone of himself produced by the colony that reproduced by cloning (their initial population was too small to provide adequate genetic diversity). Riker cites some "diminished my uniqueness" excuse (and the fact this was done without his permission). Later, in "Second Chances", a transporter-accident clone fares better, being recognized as much as Riker as the one on Enterprise. The two act like brothers.

  • In Stranger Things, Will Byers, the kid missing at the start of the show, is found dead in a lake. His mother cries out at the morgue that it's not her son on the lab table. This gets Sheriff Hopper to examine the body, and find out that the body they fished out was a convenient fake.

  • Happens a couple of times in Supernatural:
    • In Season 3, an episode features changelings, which kidnap children and replace them with lookalikes who feed on the mother. Several of the mothers realize that the changelings are not their children, but they are treated as crazy by everyone but Sam and Dean.
    • Sheriff Jody Mills is introduced as not being overly concerned that people are rising from their graves in her small town. This is revealed because her young son has returned. Unfortunately, the people turn into flesh-eating zombies, and she witnesses her boy eating her husband. She tells Sam that is not her son.
    • Averted when Dean has a one-night stand with a woman who turns out to be an Amazon demon. Their daughter is born the next day, Rapid Aging to adulthood in a few days whereupon she's sent to kill her father as a Rite of Passage, only to be shot by Sam before she can do so. Sam tries to assure Dean that she never really his daughter, but Dean has a hint of pride when he responds, "But she was mine."
  • Played with in Tin Man where the Queen tells Azkedellia that she is "not my daughter." At the time, you think it's just because of Az's bad behavior. She's really addressing the Evil Witch that has possessed Azkedellia.

  • Tragically used in Westworld Season Two, when William is confronted by what he thinks is a robotic copy of his daughter while trying to escape. He is so convinced that Ford, head of the project, is messing with him that he eventually shoots her, only to find out that it really was his own daughter.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This was what led Lord Soth of Dragonlance and Ravenloft fame to commit his first supreme act of evil, one of several that would ultimately make him a Darklord in the Land of Mists. He and his wife, Lady Korrine of Gladria, had been trying to produce a son to be his heir, and Korrine had consulted a witch about the problem, who had agreed to help them, but had warned her that the child would be a representation of Soth's soul. Unfortunately, Korrine didn't know about the wicked deeds that her husband had done, including ordering the murders of his half-brother and sister by his seneschal Caradoc, else she would have known what would eventually transpire of the birth and would be of a mind to curse the witch. When she gave birth to the son in question, it had a face similar to that of dragon-kin with two arms on one side and a leg on the other, with the last leg placed at the bottom of the buttocks as if it were a tail. To say that Soth was pissed about this was a massive understatement, and thinking that she had cheated on him with some kind of demon, Soth murdered Korrine and the monstrous child.

  • In the original Black Box edition of the Ravenloft setting, one example of how curses could be used in adventure-design had a treacherous nobleman who'd been cursed so his firstborn offspring would be a monster: a miniature spirit naga (evil, human-headed magical serpent) that grew rapidly in the hours after its birth.

  • In the Innistrad expansion of Magic: The Gathering, the double-sided card Cloistered Youth/Unholy Fiend is a pretty direct riff on The Exorcist, with the Flavor Text reading "I heard her talking in her sleep — pleading, shrieking, snarling. It was not my daughter's voice. That is not my daughter."

  • In Batboy: The Musical, a woman has twins by different rapists from the night of a Freak Lab Accident with pheromones. She loves one baby, because the father isn't so bad (yet); the other is a Half-Human Hybrid, prompting her to shout, "Kill it!" But her attitude changes when she meets him again years later.

  • The Phantom of the Opera—Inverted in the graveyard scene, where Raoul tells Christine that "This man—this thing—is not your father!" Played (implicitly) straight later on, when Erik reveals that his face "earned a mother's fear and loathing."

  • Done in the stage adaptation of Wicked. Elphaba's father undisguisedly loathes her with a passion and dotes on her younger sister Nessa merely because Elphaba is green. The moment she's born he screams "TAKE! IT! AWAY!" at the nurse before angrily storming off. Although, he isn't Elphaba's real father anyway.

    Video Games 
  • Dead by Daylight has Max Thompson Jr., aka the Hillbilly. His parents kept him locked up in a bricked up room when he was born a disfigured freak, only ever calling him "Boy" and even telling him to his face he should have died in the womb, only letting him out to kill the livestock. Their mistreatment of him is what leads to Max slaughtering his parents, several deputies and the sheriff before being drawn into the Entity's realm.
  • Averted with Dead Space 2, where a woman calls lovingly to her necromorph baby... only to get her entrails splattered against the wall when it goes kaboom.
  • In Fallout 4, the player can optionally react this way towards the synth replica of your son Shaun. Or the original, if his possible sociopathy is too off-putting for you.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, this happens in Gau's backstory. Gau's mother died in childbirth, and his father snapped, declaring Gau a monster and dumping him on the Veldt. Despite his father's paranoid rants, Gau is, for the record, a completely ordinary human beyond being Raised By Monsters.
  • Metal Gear: This is Big Boss's initial reaction to the Snake brothers, who are his clones; in fact, the discovery that Zero and Para-Medic had cloned him in the first place was the final straw that led to him leaving the Patriots for good. As revealed in the Truth tapes in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, he adamantly refuses to acknowledge them as his sons, to the point of refusing to see Eli (a young Liquid Snake) in Africa. Still, he always respected Solid Snake as a man and a soldier, and personally mentored him.
  • This is Kitana's reaction towards her sister Mileena's insistence of 'being a family' in her Story Mode chapter in Mortal Kombat 9. Considering Mileena is a clone of Kitana created by Shao Kahn and mixed with Tarkatan DNA to make her more unstable, most other kombatants share in her disgust. Mileena, however, truly just wants Kitana to accept her. Even her "Friendship" fatality shows it: it's her happily sitting down for a tea party with teddy bears she's dressed up as Kitana and Jade.
  • In >OBSERVER_, jacking into the killer's mind near the endgame reveals that he grew up so deformed as a child that his father acted this way toward him, and his neighbors constantly made fun of him for it. This was what inspired him to become a werewolf to get revenge.
    Mother: Stop yelling! You're only making it worse!
    Father: I'm making it worse?! LOOK AT HIM! It's grotesque! It's disgusting! This...freak of nature is not my son!
  • Averted in Parasite Eve 2, when Aya Brea finds out that an evil cult has cloned her in order to create a new 'Parasite Eve' with the ability to control NMC's... despite having standing orders to destroy the girl, and despite said girl going One-Winged Angel on her, she stubbornly refuses to hurt her, and eventually adopts the young clone as her younger sister.
  • In Skullgirls, this happens in Painwheel's ending. She manages to break free of the mind control and retain her humanity, but her body is still that of a horrific monstrosity, causing her parents to freak out when they see her and throw her out.
  • Played with in Tales of the Abyss, with "replicas" (clones) in general. There is one major incident where it is averted, but most of the time replicas tend to be part due to the fact they show up just after the original died (and their creation tends to be what killed the original).
  • One boss in Catherine is "The Child" (who later comes back as "Child with a chainsaw"), a giant deformed zombie baby. Vincent's reaction? "What the hell is this? I'm NOT your father!"
  • In World of Warcraft, this is Alexstrazsa's response after finding out Deathwing has corrupted a large number of young red dragons (and is using them to attack her and the players):
    Alexstrazsa: They are... my clutch no longer. Bring them down.
  • My Child Lebensborn is about caring about a child born to a Norwegian woman and an occupying soldier from Nazi Germany. The game takes place a few years after World War II has ended and Persecution Flip has kicked in. The child is specifically an Abandoned War Child who was adopted by the Player Character, who spends part of the game trying to get in contact with the child's biological family. The child eventually meets their Norwegian grandparents face to face, only to have the latter refuse to acknowledge the child as a relative.

  • Destroyer of Light: Persephone has an abortion, and the embryo, once outside, turns into a snake. When they catch the snake, it turns into a grapevine. Her reaction? Calling the thing "mommy's boy" - she likes plants. She's a goddess, so some weirdness was to be expected. She eventually gets "it" to Zeus, so that he can ... continue the pregnancy, or whatever, and never acknowledges her child, even after finding out that he was reborn as Dionysus, but that's more because she's Maternally Challenged.

  • At the end of the Housepets! storyline "My Life As a Teenage Squirrel", Marion's mother reacts to his Forced Transformation by saying she's lost her son. When Marion protests that she hasn't, she says "I didn't give birth to a squirrel". Marion replies that she didn't give birth to a seventeen year old either, but she accepted him changing into that, and she snaps "Don't talk back to your mother." Despite this Immediate Self-Contradiction, later strips imply she still hasn't accepted it, and they've basically lost contact.

  • Generally averted in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! Jean has no fewer than three such accidental "children" — Molly, Galatea, and Djali — and she has never disputed her title as their "mother" or that she therefore has obligations to them. Molly is the only one she's actually had the chance to raise as a daughter, however.

  • Subverted in Yellow Brick Ramble. Like in The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma dislikes being addressed by Jack as "Father", but this is on account of her being a trans girl in this work. Even though she hadn't yet had her LGBT Awakening to realize why she was so conflicted about it, she rejects all masculine parental titles Jack suggests before immediately accepting being called "Mom".

  • In Yosh!, when Kate was changed into a Cat Girl by the Weirding, her mother couldn't admit it was still her and had her thrown out. Her father couldn't handle the guilt and eventually set out to correct this.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted with Danny Phantom when the title hero meets his "cousin" Danielle. He's at first untrusting and suspicious of her until learning what she is and accepts his new cousin.

  • In Gargoyles, Xanatos created a clone of Goliath, who reacted in disgust, calling him a "thing" and an "abomination". Elisa immediately pointed out that "Thailog" could be considered his son, and Goliath reluctantly agrees they should help free him from Sevarius. Unfortunately, Thailog had already learned a few tricks from his other daddies... resulting in an inversion. It really only takes Goliath about a few minutes to admit that Thailog is his son, but Thailog refuses to accept Goliath as a parent, claiming he's too weak for him to admire. He rejects Xanatos and Sevarius too, but that's more because his own ambitions oppose theirs (though he's eventually willing to work with Sevarius, who is the least like him of his three "fathers" and therefore the one least in direct competition with him).

  • Like the above, this also occurs in the animated film Superman: Doomsday, when the Clone Superman states that he is the authority figure to the world and has the primary say on what's good for humanity. Cue Martha Kent stating flat out "That is NOT the boy that I raised". She's right.
  • Downplayed in Young Justice (2010): Superman is clearly disturbed to find out that he's been cloned against his will, and keeps Superboy at a distance throughout Season One. Superman rationalizes his avoidance by convincing himself that it's helping Superboy forge his own identity, though Batman, aware of what a "Well Done, Son" Guy Superboy is, tells him that he's making the wrong choice. The two bond eventually, and by Season Two have settled with referring to each other as "brothers" rather than father/son.
    • An odd version in Season Three: Helga Jace, a somewhat twisted Motherly Scientist, thinks of Brion and Tara as her "children" because they received their powers from her experiments. She initially feels the same way about Halo, but upon learning that she was actually empowered a different way, and isn't strictly human, writes her off as a disgusting thing to keep away from them.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): That Thing Is Not My Sibling


Kala adopts Tarzan

With no one left to take care of him and having lost her son, Kala the gorilla adopts the orphan human boy Tarzan, despite her mate Kerchack's wishes having grown to love the young boy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / InterspeciesAdoption

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