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You Killed My Father

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When one of the villains kills the parent (usually father) or even the entire family of one of the heroes, it'll be that hero who kills that villain in question, even if this isn't an explicit act of vengeance. Occasionally, it's the mother, but this is rarer, and usually crops up in cases where the father is unaccounted for. Sometimes the villain killed both parents, but the mother will barely get a mention. If even more Angst is needed, then expect a case of Luke, I Am Your Father. Mothers more frequently appear in Turn Out Like His Father, because they are afraid if the child tries to get Revenge, he will only die, too; the success rate in preventing this trope is very low.

Often, the villain will taunt the hero about the death of their parent. This assures the hero's victory. Other times, the villain just won't remember. Usually does the same, but funnier/more monstrous, depending on the circumstances. This is a very common way of tormenting the Extremely Protective Child.

If the parent's killer subsequently raised the child, this can lead to some especially heated interpersonal dynamics — especially if they did not originally tell the child what happened to their birth parents.

This is a Sub-Trope of It's Personal and a Super-Trope to Crusading Widow, and forms a central part of many Cycles of Revenge. Compare Cynicism Catalyst, The Lost Lenore, and Dead Partner. See also Best Served Cold and Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This can overlap with Familial Foe.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Audio Plays 
  • Scratch from We're Alive swears revenge on Pegs after she kills Latch during the War.

    Fan Works 
  • Atonement has Amy Dallon. Maybe Crawler shouldn't have killed off Amy's father just as she was getting to understand him. He might have lived longer that way.
  • Bethany, in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium, is already on the warpath against Corypheus because she's the Inquisitor. But it becomes far more pronounced after the battle at Adamant, when she holds him personally responsible for the deaths of her brothers.
  • A Meaningful Sacrifice: After Gwi-nam murders Seongmin, Joon-yeong's mother, by pulling her off the balcony, Joon-yeong is so devastated and grief stricken and enraged that he kills Gwi-nam, who has not yet recovered from the fall in an incredibly gory scene.
  • Aoi Myoujin from The Blue Stranger, the Red Curtain. Aoi spent his whole life hunting down his parents' murderer, and boy did he enjoy every second of payback, right before he got busted by the cops and got whisked away to Equestria.
  • In Danganronpa: Last Hurrah, the fourth culprit, Umeko Midori, is motivated by a desire to avenge her parents' deaths. It turns out that some of the culprit's classmates are responsible — Samuru and Mako were apparently involved with the mother's death, and Reyes, as Sparkling Justice, killed the father. Since Reyes, who was killed in the third chapter, is dead by this point, the culprit instead kills Mako, as well as making a failed attempt on Samuru's life.
  • In Daughter of Fire and Steel, Kara feels absolutely furious when she learns that Zod got her father Zor-El killed.
    Kara couldn't believe it. All these years she had looked up to that man when in fact he had engineered her father's death. Terrax may have been the murderer but Zod was the one who set him loose. Kara felt a rage she hadn't felt in years, not since the sentencing of Terrax by the Council.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 2 of the sequel Diplomat at Large, it's noted that Queen Scolopidia really wants to be the one to eliminate the Gmork that fatally injured her mother, and is not thrilled that she's been forced to leave it to her hive's elite soldiers instead.
  • Distortions (Symphogear): Samantha Acamporra's reason for joining the Four Horsemen is because she holds SONG responsible for the death of her brother.
  • Eden, by Obsessmuch: Hermione is horrified when Lucius Malfoy murders her parents despite willing to let him rape her to spare them. That and him raping her later anyway makes her falling for him and having his child even more unpleasant.
  • Cloud and Tifa from Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged are partially motivated in their fight against Sephiroth by the fact that he murdered their mother and father respectively during the Nibelheim Incident, though it's even more personal for Cloud than it was in the original game due to the fact that Sephiroth specifically singled out his mother as an act of spite for how annoying his fanboyish tendencies were.
  • FIRE! (DarkMark): During one battle, Doctor Doom (apparently) kills off the Fantastic Four, triggering an explosive reaction from Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman's son Franklin Richards.
    Franklin Richards: He killed my daddy! He killed my daddy! He killed my daddy, and my mommy, and Uncle Johnny, an'... an' Uncle Ben! I'm gonna kill him, Miss Agatha! I'm going to kill HIM!
  • In The Flash Sentry Chronicles, Iron Core and Tidal Wave both joined the Royal Knights because their parents were killed by Longhorn and Pirates respectively.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Berserker blames Supergirl for his mother's death, regardless of the fact that Supergirl killed her evil duplicate in self-defense:
    Berserker: I will avenge my mother's death. I will avenge your honor. I will make her pay for blocking the True Path. I WILL DESTROY THE SUPERGIRL.
  • The reason for the fight between Cat Noir and Homura Akemi in Kwami Magi Homura Magica is because Homura broke into Adrien's home and shot Gabriel Agreste in his bed. Cat Noir, who already lost his mother, is beyond furious at losing yet another parent, and is so wrapped up in his fury that he doesn't notice things like the fact that Homura had the Butterfly Miraculous, or the fact he had tracked her down into what was clearly someone's evil lair, or the fact the missing Kwami were also there trying to get his attention.
  • Distraught from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: The Movie's motivation. And in this case, his father is Discord, the villain of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic two-parter "The Return of Harmony".
  • In Nobody Dies, Misato gets to pay ADAM back for killing her father during Second Impact by shooting him in the chest with the Positron Cannon while on foot. She even gets to give him a Badass Boast to his face.
    Misato: Good. Because I sure remember you too.
    Misato: My name is Misato Katsuragi. Lieutenant Colonel of NERV. Daughter of Shiro Katsuragi, the stupid son of a bitch who woke you up. I am the daughter of a murdered man and the only human being to look on you with their own eyes and live to tell about it. I am the right hand of retribution and the last human being you will ever see, you glow in the dark mother f_er. Now smile asshole. Because this... [throws the "fire" switch on the positron cannon] is my seventeen years of f_ing payback!
  • The Rango fanfic Old West provides a villainous example; the kingsnake mercenary Henry seeks revenge on Rattlesnake Jake for killing his brother. Ironically, Henry is an Expy of Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West, and Harmonica from the same movie targets Frank for the same reason, making Henry a combination of the two characters.
  • In chapter 17 of Once More with Feeling, Misato explains to her ward Asuka that she wants to exterminate the Angels because her father died during Second Impact.
  • In Out of the Corner of the Eye, Paco is so obsessed with getting revenge on the man who killed his parents that he agrees to be host to Hsi Wu's spirit in exchange for the power to do so.
  • The Power of the Equinox: After Dimmed Star kills many royal guards while rampaging under the Entity's influence, one of the guards' father, Business Savvy, is dead-set on seeing to it that she'll be locked up for life. After that fails and Dimmed Star walks free, two of his fellow council members, Hasty Vote and Wind Rider, convince him to help them in dealing with his son's killer.
  • In Sailor John: A Pirate's Vendetta, Seymour Murphy teams up with Sailor John to destroy Thomas because long ago, his father was killed by a Stirling Single (Emily's class), and he's sworn revenge on the entire class, regardless of whether or not they're guilty.
  • Shadows over Meridian:
    • Vera Bexley hates Mogriffs with a passion because her grandfather was killed by them.
    • Caleb's strong hatred of Phobos and his loyalists is partially tied to his assumption that his Missing Mom was a victim of their tyranny.
    • Ilitia's grandfather, who was a Phobos loyalist, was killed when Cedric ordered her village to be burned to the ground because several rebels stayed at the inn, making her bitter both at Cedric and Phobos.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: A downplayed, non-lethal variant; Anastasia's hatred of Maggie Simpson is primarily derived from the fact that Maggie shot Anastasia's father ten years ago.
  • In Son of the Sannin, during the Fourth Ninja War Konan gets the chance to confront face to face a revived Hanzo of the Salamander for causing Yahiko's death, and by extension for ruining her and Nagato's lives afterwards.
  • In the Superman story Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, the current Batman wants bring the Joker to justice for his father's murder.
  • In What Tomorrow Brings, Tobias mockingly informs the Animorphs' first Yeerk captive that he is Elfangor's son to make it clear that he will take great pleasure in watching the Yeerks die.

    Films — Animation 
  • Coco: Towards Ernesto, after learning that the man murdered Héctor and became famous from his work.
  • Epic (2013): This is Mandrake's reasoning in taking the pod holding the life of the forest; a Leafman warrior did kill his son. (Of course, it's not really justified as Mandrake struck first, and he was going to take the pod anyway.)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Subverted. Even though Drago hypnotizes Toothless into killing Hiccup's father Stoic, Hiccup's motivation for going after Drago is because he's a legitimate threat to Berk, and not to avenge his father's death.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney): During the climax, Frollo reveals that not only did he consider killing Quasimodo as an infant, but he also killed his mother who was protecting her son. (The fate of Quasi's father is unknown, though he was presumably arrested and hanged like the other Gypsies his parents were travelling with.)
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 plays with this trope, with Po finding out that Lord Shen committed genocide against the other pandas, including his biological parents. Only at the climax, Po's motivation to take down Shen is still the safety of his friends, family, and the rest of China rather than for retribution. And at the end, it is revealed that his father and some others survived.
  • The Lion King (1994): Scar kills Simba's father and convinces him that it was an accident, only to later tell him the truth in a moment of Evil Gloating, giving Simba a Heroic Second Wind.
    Scar: I. Killed. Mufasa.
    Simba: MURDERER!!!!!!
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Protagonist Ariel knew Ursula was bad news to begin with, but turning Ariel's father into a polyp is what sets her off.
  • Tarzan:
    • Averted in the fight scene between Tarzan and Sabor. In the prologue, the latter killed not only the former's biological parents, but Kerchak and Kala's biological infant son, whom Tarzan replaced. However, by this point in the movie, Tarzan still believes that he is a gorilla and that Kerchak and Kala are his biological parents.
    • Played straight when Clayton kills Kerchak. Even though the former wounded Tarzan's arm only about ten seconds ago, this is when Tarzan takes on Clayton. And it involves an uncanny ability to imitate a gunshot.
  • Toy Story 2: Zurg has Buzz cornered.
    Zurg: Surrender, Buzz Lightyear. I have won.
    Buzz: I'll never give in. You killed my father!
    Zurg: No, Buzz. I am your father.

  • This is Chang Ge's motivation at the beginning of Choukakou, as her parents and all her brothers were killed by her uncle, Li Shimin.

  • The Decemberists' "Mariner's Revenge Song" has lyrics that are all about why the person being sung to is responsible for the death of the singer's mother, and how he is now going to finally take his revenge.
  • "Cow Patti" by Jim Stafford is about a cowgirl who hunts down a man for killing her father.
  • Inverted in They Might Be Giants' spoken-word piece "Lesson 16" (a parody of those language-learning tapes), in which John Linnell reveals that he killed your father in order to get with your mother.
    I wrung his neck. Like a duckling.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Elektra and her brother Orestes avenge the death of their father, Agamemnon, by killing his murderer, Clytemnestra... who is their mother, who killed him for killing the other kid, Iphigenia. Now that is a Big, Screwed-Up Family.
  • In Egyptian Mythology, Horus feuds with Set over the throne to avenge his father, Osiris, after his murder at Set's hands. Somewhat unusually for this trope, early versions of the Osiris myth actually had Horus forgive Set for killing his father after Set repented for it; they then divided Egypt equally between them (symbolizing the union between Upper and Lower Egypt). As Set was increasingly demonized as a God of Evil after invasions from the Hyksos, this changed and Horus took the traditional route of banishing or killing Set in retribution instead.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • In the older stories, King Arthur's father was killed by the Saxons.
    • Arthur's father killed Morgana's father.
  • According to Norse Mythology, Vidarr, the god of vengeance himself, will pull this on Fenrir at Ragnarök for killing Vidarr's father Odin.
  • Invoked in Waltharius: When the Frankish king Gunther orders his retainers to attack Walther for the sake of Walther's treasure chests, his retainer Hagen refuses to fight against his old friend Walther until after Walther has slain eleven Frankish champions, one of them being Hagen's own nephew Patavrid. When Gunther finally convinces Hagen to fight, and Walther accuses him of behaving dishonorably, Hagen replies that Walther himself ended their friendship by killing Patavrid, and that he is going to avenge his nephew. However, the facts that Hagen earlier told Gunther that he would not break his friendship to Walther for the sake of Patavrid alone, and that he remained passive while Walther killed five more Frankish champions after Patavrid, imply that this is an attempt at self-justification rather than objective truth. After fighting each other to a draw, Hagen and Walther reconcile and renew their friendship, without Hagen having avenged Patavrid.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: The adventure path "Way of the Wicked" is just lousy with this trope. Any NPC or hero the villainous player characters kill almost certainly has a relative who will take up their sword to avenge them. The most notable ones are:
    • Richard Havelyn, who starts his quest to avenge his father Thomas after the first book and becomes the party's main nemesis for most part of the game. He even commands a retinue called the Sons of Balentyne, all of them related to an important NPC the players killed.
    • Killing the angel Ara Mathra incurs the ire of his brother Ara Zandra.
    • The final boss Princess Bellinda has this threefold, as over the course of the campaign the party will have killed her brother, father, and most likely her mother.
    • As a villainous foil to the Princess, if the black dragon Jeratheon lives to see Bellinda kill his father Chargammon, he will most likely join the party to kill her in return.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: This is why Baron Blade and Legacy are each other's Arch-Enemy. Legacy's grandfather (referred to by his card as America's Greatest Legacy) fought against Baron Blade's father and inadvertantly killed him. Years later, on growing to manhood, Baron Blade hunted down America's Greatest Legacy and killed him in revenge.

  • Electra:
    • Orestes kills his mother and her lover, Aegisthus, for killing Agamemnon. Electra herself has spent years reminding them that this is why she wants them dead.
    • It's All There in the Manual that Aegisthus was sired and raised to avenge his half-brothers' murders.
  • The plot of Hamlet is set in motion when the ghost of Hamlet's father appears to him and tells him to avenge his murder at the hands of his brother (Hamlet's uncle).
  • In the stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Triton initially believes that humans caused the death of his wife and Ariel's mother, but the climax reveals that his sister Ursula killed her. She perishes shortly after thanks to Ariel smashing her magic nautilus shell.
  • Deconstructed in Il trovatore, where Azucena avenges the killing of her mother by the Count di Luna's father by kidnapping the Count's baby brother and throwing him on the fire where her mother was being burned alive. Later we discover that Azucena actually threw her own son on the fire, and raised the Count's brother as her own son, just so that twenty years later she could trick the Count into killing his own brother, thus also illustrating Revenge Before Reason.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: "You MURDERER! You killed my brother!...I mean computer!"
  • Knights of the Old Republic Cinematic Universe: After Saquesh is killed by Hanharr in Episode VI: Knights and the Darkness Pt. I, the Wookiee bounty hunter lies to the Quarren's brother and fellow Exchange boss Visquis that Meetra Surik killed Saquesh, giving Visquis a more personal reason to capture the ex-Jedi than he has in the source material.
  • RWBY:
    • Gretchen Rainhart enlisted in Beacon Academy to become a Huntress, but tragically died during a training mission. Her brother Hazel blames Professor Ozpin, Headmaster of Beacon, for her death and has vowed to kill him in revenge.
    • When finally face-to-face with the Big Bad Salem, Yang airs her grievances with her, including her killing Yang's stepmother Summer Rose.
  • Teen Girl Squad: "Ckhk. She killed my dog." "Um... 'kay."

  • In Flintlocke Vs. The Horde, Rok'Tar swears revenge against Flintlocke for this very reason, oblivious of the fact that his father is an NPC who regenerates after a few minutes.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Agatha comes across Von Pinn, who tore her foster parents to pieces in front of her. Von Pinn then brushes them off as "disposable caretakers" when Agatha tells her that she'll destroy her for it. Agatha's furious destructive response sends Von Pinn through all the floors of the castle to a hidden chamber deep beneath the basement.
    • Right after Beausoleil kills the Master of Paris, his victim's daughter, who is having a rather brilliant breakthrough, jumps to perch on an electrical orb directly behind him. He has a moment to register that this is bad before she destroys all of his false bodies at once, forcing him to feel all of them.
  • Homestuck: Jack manages to kill Dave's brother (technically biological father), John's father, and Rose's mother. This sends Rose into a murderous rage to hunt him down. Much later in [S] Game Over, Rose flies into a similar rage, this time at the Condesce when she kills Rose's love interest Kanaya.
  • Inverloch: Acheron has always assumed that his father died somehow but doesn't know much about it because he was too young to remember and his mother doesn't speak of it. Late in the story, he discovers that his father was killed by an elf for not keeping their secret deal a secret, even though it was the elves who reneged first by welching on the magical protection they had agreed to give the da'kor. Acheron's hatred lasts only a short time after Lei'ella reminds him sharply that the elves are victimizing their own kind too. On the other hand, Silvah—who turns out to actually be Acheron, soul-swapped with Kayn'dar—eagerly joins Raul's plan to sever the elves en masse... a plan that will not kill them directly, but force them to live as mortals like the other races.
  • Looking for Group: Lampshaded by Richard.
  • Oglaf:
    • The comic plays with this in one strip where it ends where the father-killer is, himself, a father, starting the process over again with his son.
    • In the Justice/Atonement arcs, a man is out to avenge his parents... who died due to winter. So he decides to kill the Anthropomorphic Personification of winter, the Ice Queen. It doesn't work, and after meeting (and sleeping with) several Anthropomorphic Personifications (of Justice, Enlightenment, Inevitability, Hope, etc.) he meets the Anthropomorphic Personification of "Easy Answers", who tells him that his parents faked their deaths to get rid of him. "On account of you're a prat."
  • Order of Tales: Kroak confronts Gerrah, who killed his parents.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Eugene Greenhilt (Roy's father) swore a blood oath of revenge on Xykon for killing his mentor (Eugene's own father was alive or had died of natural causes at that point, but in either case the two were estranged). However, it's utterly subverted as Eugene eventually ditches that ambition and dies of natural causes. Roy's own motivation to take out Xykon is the Blood Oath passed down from his father, but this too is subverted eventually. Roy decides that Xykon needs to die because he is an evil prick, not because of a personal vendetta.
    • Belkar is confronted here by Yokyok, the son of a kobold he murdered earlier in the story. Actually a parody of the trope since, while Belkar is on the protagonists' side, he is Chaotic Evil, while Yokyok is Lawful Good but was recruited by the villains specifically because he's Belkar's opposite. Finally, it's Belkar who wins. The whole scene is a (very funny) reference to The Princess Bride.
  • In Rusty and Co., the child of a much earlier Arc Villain appears, bent on revenge. Immediately Subverted when the child's grievance turns out to be that their inheritance was destroyed in the fight that killed their parent.
  • Parodied in the The Perry Bible Fellowship comic "Sven's Revenge" in which the titular Sven thinks he's killed the shark that killed his father, only to find that the supposed distinguishing characteristic of said shark is ubiquitous to this common and widespread species.
  • Parodied in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal #3265: A father's ghost appears to his son demanding him to take revenge for his death. But since he died because of shoddy electrical wiring, the son has to go on a killing spree through representatives of all the different agents who were responsible for its production. Thus, the reason he gives for his murders isn't "You killed my father" but "Globalization."
  • A variation in this strip of Schlock Mercenary:
    Gasht'g'd'g'tang: I'm Gasht'g'd'g'tang. Your gate-copy killed my son. Prepare to die.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace both learns who her father was and that Damien killed him at the same time.
    Grace: He had to of been my father, and you killed him right in front of me!
  • Tower of God: In a special case, it is Anaak Jahad's mother that is killed (though her father is murdered alongside with her), because she, as a Princess of Jahad, got into a relationship with a man. Years later, Anaak meets her parents' murderer on the testing grounds and goes ballistic. Her overall goal is also to eradicate the Jahad family in revenge, although she must have loosened up in this a bit by the time she's climbing the Tower with an official Princess of Jahad.
  • Lampshaded in Unsounded by Knock-Me-Down:
    Lemme trank Junior. I got a policy of kids not watchin' me crash their parents. In ten years a masked avenger'll show up to ruin me day.
  • In this Celestia's Servant Interview comic, in a panel clearly building off established Fridge Horror about Tirek's magic theft, Derpy declares a desire to kill Tirek on the grounds that her father lost his life as a direct result of Tirek's actions. We even get the Princess Bride quote.

    Web Original 
  • In the Improfanfic Dark Heart High, Craig Maimsworth kills (well, lobotomizes) the monster that killed his father.

    Web Videos 
  • This is used for Adaptational Sympathy in Dragon Ball Z Abridged when it's revealed that the primary reason Dr Gero wants Goku dead is because his son was among the soldiers killed during Goku's raid on the Red Ribbon HQ (in canon, his son died to enemy gunfire in a completely unrelated battle).
  • Played for Laughs in one of Cake Station's analysis videos on fighting sequences in RWBY. The example given involves two guys — Punch Man and Kick Man — fighting. Punch Man's father was kicked to death by Kick Man and so now he wants to break Kick Man's legs in revenge.
  • In Street Fighter: The Later Years, Dhalsim worries that Chun-Li won't listen to M. Bison about the tournament because he killed her father. Bison's not worried about it:
    Bison: Oh, c'mon guys, I killed your [Dhalsim] father and yours [Vega]. And most of Zangief's extended family, it was a different time.
    Zangief: They said that fire was an accident.
  • A Running Gag in Suburban Knights is Angry Joe being unable to remember Inigo Montoya's "You killed my father" line. He ends up substituting in "mother", "brother", "lawyer", and finally, "hamster". The one time he gets it right... is the time he introduces himself as Amigo Toyota.
  • The motivation of two (or sort of three) of the heroes of Tales From My D&D Campaign for their It's Personal attitude towards the evil Kua-Toa. Little One lost his mother, Angel lost her mentor in The Organization, and Draven Rowe lost his ancestral lands (though his parents got out okay).
  • The Vampire Diaries: A Darker Truth: Or rather sister in this case, but Jason is out to kill Stefan because he believes Stefan killed his sister. It's eventually revealed that it was Damon and not Stefan who killed his sister.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied (like everything else) in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!: The Animated Series. Facing an army of homicidal love apples, pizza shop owner Wilbur Finletter voices his rage at the global ban on tomato cultivation, which has forced him to sell tomato-free pizza: "You killed my business, prepare to die!"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
  • Ben 10:
    • In the Ben 10: Alien Force episode "Vendetta", a villain named Ragnarok is revealed to have killed Kevin's father. Kevin quotes Inigo's famous line when he first finds Ragnarok and makes sure that Ben and Gwen don't interfere in his final confrontation with Ragnarok. The latter's ship falls apart, and Kevin removes the item that kept said ship around; Ragarnok dies in space.
    • Later, in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Charmcaster confronts the tyrannical ruler of her home dimension and killer of her father, who says, "My might has long since cowed any resistance that once dared challenge me.", to which Charmcaster replies, "Is that your way of saying you killed my father?!".
  • In Castlevania (2017), when Lisa is burned at the stake by the Corrupt Church, Alucard wants vengeance as much as his father Dracula does and encourages his father to kill those directly responsible for her death. However, Dracula refuses his narrow his rage, citing Lisa as Too Good for This Sinful Earth, and chooses to Kill All Humans instead, which Alucard takes issue with.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • In Batman Beyond, Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Powers arranged to have Terry McGinnis's father killed, so Terry becomes the next Batman, and not only gets the guy who actually did the job, but ends up nearly getting Powers killed, causing him to become his archenemy Blight. When Terry later finds out that Blight is Powers, he confronts him again in the season finale:
      Blight: Who are you?!
      Batman: ...You really want to know?
      Blight: Yes!
      Batman: You killed my father.
      Blight: [irritated] Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?!
      Batman: Too bad. It's all you get.

      Terry: So... I made him that?
      Bruce Wayne: You may have, in part.
      Terry: Good.
      [Bruce looks at him funny]
      Terry: Hey, this guy had my father murdered and all he's done since is hide from the law. Well, no more hiding for Mr. Derek Powers. Now everyone can see what he is... even in the dark.
    • Elsewhere in the DCAU, the Justice League Unlimited episode "Double Date" has Anti-Hero Huntress track down the man who killed her parents. However, this trope is prevented by the fact that the killer Mandragora has a son. Once Huntress realizes this (thanks to The Question pretty much engineering the encounter to ensure that she does), she backs down. Ironically, that same son becomes a villain in Batman Beyond, a member of the Brain Trust.
  • The Dragon Prince: A reconstruction example. Callum outright stated that he hates Avizandum for killing his mother but instead of feeling happy about Avizandum's death, he's angry, sad, and confused. He doesn't forgive the older dragon but feels bad for Zym because the young dragon lost his father before he was hatched.
  • Subverted in the Futurama episode "Leela's Homeworld". Leela, after crossing paths with some suspicious cloaked figures in the sewers of New New York, gives chase to them, as she thinks that they have information about her past or her parents. After confronting them, she comes to the conclusion that they killed her parents, with which the cloaked figures agree and prepare for her to kill them in revenge. Thankfully, Fry shows up just in time to reveal that the cloaked figures are her parents.
  • Gargoyles, as part of its Aesop about the Cycle of Revenge: Gillecomgain killed Findlaech, Macbeth killed Gillecomgain and Duncan, and Canmore killed Macbeth, all to avenge their respective fathers.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Fight Fighters", Rumble McSkirmish's motivation for fighting Dr. Karate is that the latter killed his father... again. Dipper later claims that this happened to him in order to get Rumble to fight Robbie for him.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "The Great Louse Detective", Frank Grimes Jr. tries to kill Homer because Homer's idiocy indirectly killed Frank Sr. in an earlier episode.
  • Parodied in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". After giving Stan the Sword of a Thousand truths in World of Warcraft, Stan's father's character is mortally wounded by the episode's Player Killer antagonist, and dies a mournful death in the arms of Stan's character. Stan confronts the Player Killer dramatically with "You killed my father."
  • Spider-Man:
    • A villain-on-villain example: Spider-Man: The New Animated Series features a pair of psychic twins out for revenge on Kraven the Hunter for the murder of their parents. Since they aren't powerful enough to take on Kraven directly, they use their powers to trick Spider-Man into believing that Kraven murdered Mary Jane. Kraven is very nearly killed by Spider-Man's Unstoppable Rage, and only survives when Spider-Man realizes what's happening.
    • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
      • Peter seems unable to interact with Walter Hardy without showing how much he hates him for the murder of Uncle Ben, his uncle/adoptive parent.
      • A non-fatal inversion: since Hardy refuses to break out of jail, his daughter Black Cat cuts ties with Peter, blaming him for the fact that her father will spend the rest of his life away from her.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In the Season 2 finale, Boba Fett tracks down Mace Windu, trying to kill him for killing Boba's father Jango, with the help of another bounty hunter named Aurra Sing. The plan for killing Windu starts off with a motion-activated bomb, comes to a head with an entire Jedi cruiser being destroyed, and finally ends with Boba and Aurra trying to use hostages to get Windu's attention. Made quite impressive if you consider that Boba is eleven or twelve at the time.
  • Street Fighter:
    • One particularly awesome moment out of the mostly Narmful cartoon pops up near the end, with Chun Li attacking M. Bison because he killed her father. M. Bison coolly dodges all of the attacks, and strikes back with:
      M. Bison: Yes, yes. I killed your father. What is it with you women, anyway? [eyes begin glowing] I killed my father too, and you don't hear me whining about it!
    • On top of this, he also killed Cammy's parents, giving her the same motivation as Chun-Li.
  • In Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Dr. C trained Riya Dashti to become the Cyber Ninja Blindstrike to help carry out revenge for the murder of Blindstrike's parents, two of Dr. C's colleagues.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), the leader of the Purple Dragon gang, Hun, killed Casey Jones's father when Casey was a kid; unsurprisingly, Casey is packing a grudge against Hun and everyone wearing the Purple Dragon colors. Averted insofar as Casey refuses a couple of opportunities to kill Hun, however.
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Karai's hatred of Splinter aka Hamato Yoshi is because he killed her mother. Except that he didn't. Unbeknownst to her, Splinter is her real father and the person who killed her mother wasn't him; it was her adoptive father the Shredder, aka Oroku Saki, who also proceeded to kidnap her to raise as a tool of revenge against Splinter. Once she learns the truth, she turns the trope's direction towards Shredder instead, though it takes until Season 4 before she can get going on coming after him.
  • Parodied in Xavier: Renegade Angel: Xavier spends most of the first season trying to do this, completely unaware that he killed his own parents or at least his father by accidentally burning his house down.

    Real Life 
  • During the French Revolution Renée Bordereau (1770-1824), a countrywoman from the Anjou, lost several relatives to the Terror and and witnessed the butchering of her father. She then dressed as a man (not that hard, apparently, as she was described as very ugly) to fight in the wars in the Vendée on the royalist side, evading capture until 1809. We only got her own words (i. e. her memoirs, written in 1814) for it, but she claimed once to have killed 21 men in a single battle.
  • In the days of The Wild West, The Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin was famed for his bloodthirstiness and killed two dozen or so men. Even so, he ended up being released from prison because his term was up and was free to wander about doing mischief (yeah, that's The Government for you). The brother of one man he had killed slipped up to him and shot him In the Back. This Vigilante Man was given a pardon from the governor because the governor thought, with a lack of lawfulness but not completely without logic, that John Wesley Hardin "needed killin'".
  • The Khmer Rouge seemed to be aware of this trope. When they executed someone, they also made sure to kill their children afterwards. The reason: "to stop them growing up and taking revenge for their parents' deaths". During their reign, Cambodia lost a third of its population, and it's conceivable that, had they held on for another decade, they'd have no population left.
  • Feudal Japan's samurai made this a morbid tradition. The Code of Bushido makes avenging your master/teacher/father a core duty, for things like cutting him down in battle for example. As samurai tend to teach the family business to their kids, as it were, the result was often blood feuds stretching across generations, each side believing itself to be the heroic, righteous, and honorable party while the other side the vile villains without self-reflective irony. This also comes with a dash of Wicked Cultured, as these honor duels eventually developed their own elaborate code of conduct and manners.
  • This was horribly invoked by Heinrich Himmler during a speech for Navy officers: He explained that he had to murder the wives and the children of the partisans and the "Jewish commissars" so that they didn't avenge the death of their fathers when they grew up...
  • Gustav Vasa led a massive Swedish independence war against the Union of Kalmar. The reason for this was that his father, Erik Johansson Vasa, was one of the eighty Swedish noblemen murdered during the Stockholm Bloodbath (when King Christian II of Denmark executed eighty Swedes despite promising them amnesty). Gustav won the war, ended Danish rule in Sweden, and became king.
  • When he came to power, one of the first things King Charles II did was execute those who signed off on the execution of his father through hanging, drawing, and quartering. While he couldn't get back at Oliver Cromwell himself for taking down his dad (as he was already dead), Charles II did get his revenge symbolically by trying his corpse and having it beheaded, then sticking the head on a pike.
  • Invoked with the tragic case of Hana Kimura, a 22yo wrestler from World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM who was part of the reality show Terrace House, in which after a scene of the show, she was cyberbullied and became depressed enough to be Driven to Suicide in 2020. Her mother Kyoko Kimura, also a retired wrestler, stated in interviews that "Fuji TV killed my daughter", and the worldwide shock, not just in the wrestling world and for TV fans, was enough to cancel the reality show indefinitely.
  • Manchurian general Chang Hsueh-liang had his father assassinated by Japanese troops in 1928. By the time he had made his way into the Kuomintang (KMT)'s military heirarchy, they were at war with the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Japan was preparing for the Second Sino-Japanese War by invading Manchuria. Wanting revenge, Chang Hsueh-liang instigated the Xi'an incident, in which he kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the KMT, who wanted to focus on fighting the CPC and ignore the Japanese. Hsueh-liang forced him to work together with the CPC to fight the Japanese, which they did.

Alternative Title(s): You Killed My Mother


Kill la Kill

Nui Harime reveals that she has Ryuko's other pair of Scissor Blades, revealing that she's the one who killed Ryuko's father and it was not Satsuki, causing a plot twist.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

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