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  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters takes place at a monster boarding school, so parents don't usually make an appearance. Of the main characters, Headmaster Gromble's mother is seen (he's a Momma's Boy), and both of Oblina's parents are introduced. Krumm mentions having both parents but Horvak seems to be the only one who lives nearby (unless his mother doesn't work on the mold farm.) Ickis' father Slickis means well, but is often too busy to attend to his son's needs and Slickis' wife is never shown. Not surprisingly, nearly all of the characters have Parental Issues.
  • On Adventure Time, only Marceline's father and her surrogate father Simon Petrikov are ever seen, with her mother only having appeared in a flashback in the "Stakes" arc. Considering that the immortality of all the others is the only reason they're even on the show, this is justified.
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    • While Finn eventually met his Disappeared Dad, his mother has still only been seen in an Alternate Universe. This is eventually subverted as of the Islands miniseries, where Finn finally meets his mother.
    • Unlike the other two, Flame Princess' mother has never even been mentioned, not even after she usurps her father's throne, and she even has older and younger siblings to further complicate matters.
  • Mr. Chan in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan appears to be a single father, as no mention is ever made of the childrens' mother. Popular fan theory is that he's a widower. (Not that farfetched, actually: Charlie Chan actually is a widower in the original books.)
  • On American Dad!, Hayley mentions that Jeff's mother walked out on him before he was born. Stan is understandably confused.
  • In Arthur, Archie Vanderloo is a single father to twins Ansel and Angie. It is never stated what happened to their mother.
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  • Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, the Hanna-Barbera father and son duo. But where is the mother of the family?
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender could practically have its own entry!
    • Aang had Monk Gyatso as father figure (and has the spirit of Roku, plus King Bumi as current day father figures), but there was no indication of a mother in his Back Story to date.
      • During the opening of his fourth chakra in "The Guru", Aang confronts his guilt about abandoning his people a century before and there is a woman shown sitting to the right of Monk Gyatso. She doesn't look like Avatar Yengchen, so most fans who noticed it assume she is in fact Aang's mother.
    • Katara and Sokka begin with a Missing Mom, but end up as a Parental Abandonment case as their father leaves to fight the Fire Nation, leaving Gran-Gran Kanna to raise them instead.
    • Toph is a forced inversion. Her parents were both present, but emotionally and supportively absent. They were overprotective to the point of the outside world not knowing that Toph existed. And they left her caretaking to servants, so they never realized until the Avatar showed up that she was a master earthbender. Upon finding this out, seeing that their child was not only not helpless but able to hold her own against much bigger, older and seemingly stronger opponents, Mr. Bei Fong reacted by tightening the yoke of overprotectiveness. His wife did nothing but go along with it, which resulted in Toph abandoning them and running away.
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    • Teo, the son of the Mad Scientist occupying the Northern Air Temple is also missing his mother, killed in the same natural disaster that left him a paraplegic.
    • Zuko and Azula are a variant on the theme, because although their mother Princess Ursa left, Azula fits the trope played straight, as Lord Ozai's favored child. Ozai disfigured and banished Zuko, leaving him to be raised by surrogate father figure Iroh.
      • Let's be fair here: Ursa didn't leave exactly, she was exiled for saving Zuko's life.
    • Jet is a straight Parental Abandonment case, and this would appear to be the case for his entire treehouse-dwelling group of freedom fighters.
    • Princess Yue of the Northern Water Tribe had a mother once: we see her in Flash Back. By the time Team Avatar arrives at the North Pole, though, she is nowhere to be found.
    • Iroh's wife, the mother of his son Lu Ten is never mentioned. But it's a safe assumption she's dead as Lu Ten's death is regarded as the end of Iroh's bloodline.
    • The sequel, The Legend of Korra, offers a new bunch of Missing Moms. Mako and Bolin's parents were killed, while Asami's mother died when she was young at the hands of Firebenders. Averted with Korra herself, though.
  • On Batman: The Brave and the Bold, aside from Batman himself, Black Canary I died rescuing people from a fire when Black Canary II was a child, asking her teammate Wildcat to take care of her daughter.
  • The 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars reveals in the three-part episode "Once Upon a Time on Earth" that Stoker has a daughter named Spitfire, but her mother is nowhere to be seen and isn't even mentioned.
  • Nutsy from Blinky Bill happens to have a dead mother, as she reveals it in the Mother's Day episode.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • Bob's mother was not mentioned at all until the seventh season, when it is revealed that she died when Bob was very young.
    • Also, Jimmy Pesto is a single father. "The Belchies" implies that he's divorced, when Andy and Ollie run up to him at the end and he just remarks "I though you were at your mother's."
  • Reggie Bullnerd from ChalkZone basically is seen with his father in the second, third, and fourth seasons. The whereabouts of his mother is still unknown. Since she's been mentioned a few times, she probably isn't too far away.
  • In Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Gadget's Disappeared Dad is stated to be "lost" and "never coming back", possibly implying death. Her mother, on the other hand, is never mentioned.
  • Code Lyoko has two:
    • Antea Hopper, Aelita's mother, was kidnapped by the "Men in Black" some time before the series timeline. Her fate remains uncertain.
    • Sissi's mother is never seen or mentioned at all. Word of God states that she is alive, but living away from Sissi and her father.
    • Averted by Jeremie's mother. She is the only Lyoko Warrior parent who remains unseen at the end of the series, but she is mentioned just enough for us to know that she is not this trope.
  • On Danny Phantom, everyone seems to have two parents except for Valerie, who is explicitly shown living alone with her father. Her mother's whereabouts are never mentioned.
  • On Daria, Brittany was raised by her father and stepmother, a Trophy Wife with whom she seems to have a sisterly relationship. According to a tie-in book, Brittany's mom left the family to move to Hollywood ("where people are relatively sane") shortly after the birth of Brittany's little brother Brian.
  • In Darkwing Duck, Gosalyn is adopted by only a father (who is Darkwing). Gosalyn has no surrogate mother because, obviously, Darkwing isn't married. As far as her actual mother, it's mentioned that her grandfather was her last living relative, so her parents died at some point before he did.
  • Pretty much everyone in Defenders of the Earth — King Features' answer to the JLA that teams up Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and his sidekick Lothar along with their children Rick, Jedda, K'Shin & Lothar Jr — suffered from this. Rick is orphaned in the very first episode when his mother, assumed to be but never named as Dale Arden, dies resisting Ming's mind probes. Though they somehow manage to rescue her essence to power the Defenders' super computer, she is never mentioned again nor are Flash or Rick ever shown interacting with the computer as though it held emotional value for them. Jedda's mother is never mentioned at all, nor is LJ's (though one might presume that the absent women were Diana and Karma, their father's respective lovers from the source comics), while K'Shin was an orphan adopted by Mandrake.
  • On Doc McStuffins, the Jack-in-the-Boxes Big Jack and Little Jack are a father-and-son team, but there's no mother.
  • Doug:
    • Patti Mayonnaise's mother is revealed to have died in a car accident when Patti was nine. (This is also the reason why Patti's father is in a wheelchair.) Patti visits her mother's grave in one episode. At the end of the series, her father gets married a second time, to Ms. Krystal.
    • Willy White's mom has also never been shown in the series, but since his dad (who was the mayor of Bluffington for most of the Nickelodeon series) has mentioned her in various episodes, she's not too far away.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • In the first episode ("Don't Give Up The Ship"), Huey, Dewey and Louie's guardianship is passed from their Uncle Donald to their Great Uncle Scrooge. Their mother and father aren't mentioned.
    • In the third episode, ("Three Ducks of the Condor"), Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webbigail Vandequack are introduced. It's never explained what happened to Webby's mother and father.
  • DuckTales (2017): Della Duck, Donald Duck's twin sister and the mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie, disappeared shortly after the triplets' birth, leaving Donald to raise them. What exactly happened to her is the B-plot of Season One as we learn that Della, a duck with an adventurous streak, stole the experimental rocketship The Spear of Selene and got lost in a space storm. Unbeknown to Scrooge and Donald at the time, Della actually crashed on the Moon and spent the past decade trying to get home. Midway through Season Two, she actually does and is reunited with her sons.
  • There's actually quite a few on The Fairly OddParents!. Wanda, Chester, Wendell (Dr. Bender's son), and Trixie have no mothers onscreen despite their fathers appearing. Trixie mentioned her mother in her first appearance, but she has never appeared on screen, even when all the parents in Dimmsdale meet, leading some fans to believe this was a retcon. Wanda's mom was also mentioned in "Blondas Have More Fun".
  • The Future Is Wild animated series. It was suspected by fans that C.G.'s mother died, leaving her husband to look after their Daughter by himself, before C.G. left for her mission and meet Ethan, Emily, Luis and Squibby, though how she died is up to interpretations. In anyway, how C.G.'s mother died might explain why C.G.'s father is overprotective and strict of his Daughter.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Goof Troop never justifies the absence of Max Goof's mother. She is simply absent without explanation. (Most fans believe that she is dead, but the oft-cited quote "up there amongst the stars" is spurious.) The Goofy Movies also quietly disposed of PJ's mom, Peg.
  • Gorillaz's Murdoc Niccals was a Doorstop Baby, abandoned at his father's house. According to him; "Oddly, everyone knew who my father was, but no-one quite knew who my mother was. Although there were a lot of vivid suggestions." The most prevalent rumour is that she was an inmate at "the Belphegor Sanatorium for the sick, the needy, and the incredibly bored".
  • Gravity Falls: Wendy Corduroy is the oldest of four children, and while we see her father Manly Dan often enough, her mother has never appeared. Word of God is she's dead.
  • Word of God says that on Grojband, Trina and Corey were adopted by their single father who favors them equally, and there was no mother.
  • In Herself The Elf, the protagonist's father is mentioned (the elf king who died recently) but nothing about her mother or whether she had one at all. Similarly, on the antagonist side we have an evil King Thorn and his daughter the wicked Creeping Ivy but no mention of a mother.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Arnold's mother Stella and his father Miles are missing. Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie reveals that they contracted the illness that they were trying to cure and were alive, but comatose. Arnold and his friends brought them out of it.
    • Lila Sawyer lives with a single father and no mention is made of a mother.
  • On Invader Zim, Dib and Gaz have a father, world-famous scientist Professor Membrane, but no mother is ever mentioned. Word of God says that before the show was cancelled, the creators were considering an episode where Dib finds out he is an Artificial Human, which may indicate he has no mother. Where Gaz is supposed to have come from in this scenario is unknown. The fandom seems fairly divided on the issue; some give them a mother (usually deceased), some make them experiments (Dib is usually said to be a clone of his father), and some try to reconcile the two theories.
  • In Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, Ferny's mom is missing. It's eventually revealed that she's sadly passed away, although it's unknown how.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy only has his father, Lucius, with the identity of his mother being the grounds for a great deal of Fanfic Fuel. In fact, this seems to be the case with every member of the Heinous family, as Lucius' mother never appears in flashbacks of his childhood (Beezy mentioned having a grandmother in "Cellphone-itis", but that's it). Incidentally, the original concept did have Beezy's mom/Lucius' wife, but in the final product, she's Lucius' Rich Bitch girlfriend Jez.
  • Jonny Quest. Jonny's mother is absent because she's dead. Hadji's mother isn't mentioned at all.
    • The first TOS episode states that Jonny's mom died — from what is unknown.
    • The first of the two 90's TV movies (Jonny's Golden Quest) that preceded Real Adventures revealed that Dr. Zin killed Jonny's mom, although it has since been filed under the Canon Discontinuity heading.
      • According to comic-book side story (drawn and written by Wendy Pini of ElfQuest fame back in the mid 80s) she died of illness (presumably cancer).
      • Apparently the details of her disappearance in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures would have been dealt with in the third season. The one that never happened.
  • On KaBlam!, June's dad has appeared in one episode and one of the tie-in comics in Nickelodeon Magazine, however there was never an appearance or mention of her mother.
  • Kid vs. Kat: Coop & Molly Burtonburger's mother is never seen or heard of. What happened to her is unknown.
  • Kissyfur's mother died before the series premiere, so he is raised by his father Gus.
  • Legend Of The Dragon: Played with, as the twins Ang and Ling are a Parental Abandonment case. Both parents are dead, and they end up being raised by Master Chin. It then turns out that their mother, believed dead, is alive with a case of amnesia. And finally, inverted, because the twins' father really is dead.
  • The Lion Guard: Beshte's mother never shows up, nor is she mentioned, even in the episodes featuring Beshte's dad.
  • In Littlest Pet Shop (2012), Blythe's mother is never seen and isn't even talked about before the fourth season, where it all but states that she passed away. Had the show been renewed for a fifth, it would've delved more into what happened to her.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Porky Pig had a daughter in two Looney Tunes projects: In 2003's My Generation G-G-G-Gap, he has a Bratty Teenage Daughter named Peta, and in 2006's Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas, he plays the Bob Cratchit role, with a young daughter named Pricilla standing in for Tiny Tim. Though Petunia Pig is a safe assumption to be the mother, she is not seen or mentioned in either cartoon. Contrast with 1979's Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol, where Petunia does portray Porky/Bob Cratchit's wife, but doesn't have any speaking lines (and Tiny Tim is played by Tweety.)
    • Sylvester the Cat and his son star in the Robert McKimson-directed cartoons where Sylvester mistakes Hippety Hopper the kangaroo as a giant mouse. No mom seen, none mentioned.
  • In Martha Speaks, Carolina's mother is absent without explanation.
  • In The Mighty B!, Penny seems to be living alone with her dad. We've never seen Gwen's mom either, but since Gwen has five younger siblings, including one who's still an infant, one suspects that she can't be that far away.
  • In Mike, Lu & Og, Lu's father Wendel is a major recurring character, but her mother is never seen or mentioned.
  • On Mike the Knight - Journey to Dragon Mountain, Mike's dragon companion, Squirt, discovers both his missing mom and his Disappeared Dad, and has a baby sister hatch as well from an Egg MacGuffin.
  • Miraculous Ladybug::
    • Adrien's mother disappeared about a year before the series begins, with no explanation. He also says that his father, Gabriel, was a "different man" before she vanished, while now the two have a very strained relationship. The question of what happened to her is implied to plot-important, especially since she seems to have a connection to the Peacock Miraculous.
    • Chloé is a spoiled daddy's girl, but her parents have been separated since she was a toddler, with her mother Audrey going to New York to advance her career and rarely returning to Paris. Granted, when she does return... let's just say Chloé would probably be much better off without Audrey in her life.
    • For that matter, Sabrina's mother hasn't appeared either, although she and her father seem to be close.
  • Moonbeam City: Both Pizzaz and Chrysalis are missing their mothers. As is Dazzle (maybe). Chrysalis' father, Blade, implies that his wife is dead with, "Your mother would be so proud", while Pizzaz's mother is simply not seen or mentioned in any way by anyone in her family, even regarding Pizzaz's upbringing or her father's impending death.
    • Dazzle states directly to Chrysalis that his mother died when he was a child, but knowing Dazzle's love of false embellishment, it's possible that he was only saying it for self-absorbed dramatic purpose.
    • Also, given that Chrysalis' father, Blade, is himself a Cloud Cuckoolander, her mother might still be around. Though Chrysalis fails to disagree with his implication, so she may actually be gone.
  • Julie Kane's mother (who apparently had her with Abraham Kane) is nowhere to be seen in Motorcity. Also Tennie lives with her father and her mother is absent.
  • Ōban Star-Racers: Eva goes from a kid with a Missing Mom to a complete Parental Abandonment case as Don Wei abandons her to boarding school after the death of her mother. The series ends with a revert back to Missing Mom as Don Wei realizes Molly is his child and tries to do better as a father.
  • The title character of the Jamal the Funny Frog shorts from Oh Yeah! Cartoons has a father and a younger sister, but no mother.
  • Pelswick has a single father who is occasionally shown dating. There is no mention of what happened to the mother.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, no explanation is ever given for what happened to Ferb's biological mother (or Phineas and Candace's biological father, for that matter). Their happy blended family makes this something of a non-issue, however.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • An example that's pretty extreme: their Missing Mom doesn't exist. No woman necessary! Professor Utonium mixed them up out of pure phlebotinum.
    • The Rowdy Ruff Boys are the identical example. No woman necessary! Mojo Jojo, lacking Chemical X, made his phlebotinum out of...more mundane and disgusting substances. If you interpret it differently, it could be argued that their mother is Mojo Jojo. Or the toilet.
    • The Professor tried to get them a mother figure. It didn't end well.
    • An issue of the comic book had the girls excitedly discussing what kind of mommy they'd want and who'd be right for the Professor and the Prof couldn't get a word in edgewise. At the story's end, they tell the Professor to not rush at finding a mom for them.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Mitchell's dad is always seen, but his mom is never shown. She was mentioned in "Detective Mindy", but that's it.
  • ReBoot completely ignores the mother of Dot and Enzo Matrix. Their father gets a small mention in season 2 and comes back as a self-aware null in season 4, but no mention of the mother at all. Then again, their father is the only parental figure to appear in this show, so everyone else is missing their mothers as well.
  • Regular Show only showed Mr. Maellard as Pops' father, his mom is unknown as well. Although, "Skips vs. Technology" showed us a flashback of what appears to be a younger version of Pops' parents.
  • Rocket Power: The first Mrs. Raymundo Rocket was finally revealed to have died in one of their telemovies very late in the run. Ray re-married, but the series ended practically immediately afterwards (as in, there was one full regular episode with the new wife as stepmom).
  • Rugrats: Chuckie's mom Melinda long went unmentioned, until the Mother's Day episode, which all but said that she was an Ill Girl who died at some point when he was a months-old baby. Chuckie and his father are seen visiting her grave in a later episode; shortly after, Chuckie's dad remarried and his new wife, Kira, adopted Chuckie.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Back when Fred was believed to be Mayor Jones' son, he believed his mother passed away when he was little. Mayor Jones had a picture of some woman in an ad to further the masquerade. And then Judy Reeves (and Brad Chiles) appears . . .
  • The Big Bad Wolf from The Three Little Pigs Silly Symphonies shorts has triplet sons (he has a fourth son who is friendly in the comics and a House of Mouse short), but their mother is never seen or mentioned.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer's mother Mona left to become a political activist, and was on the run from the law until the events of the 19th-season episode "Mona Leaves-A"...which killed her off. Right after she and Homer have a fight and before Homer could apologize to her.
    • Krusty's mother is not mentioned, not even in the flashback of his boyhood in "Like Father, Like Clown". The episode "Walking Big And Tall" implies that she died when he was a kid.
    • A few one-time children have been shown or mentioned to have fathers, but not mothers: Samantha Stanky, Allison Taylor, Shelby, Spud, and Colin.
  • Sofia the First: The twin's biological mother died of illness when they were infants.
  • Averted partially in The Spectacular Spider-Man: Peter's parents are still dead, but Harry's mom is alive, unlike in most other continuities. Word Of Greg Weisman says that it just seemed odd to him for all of the ¡Three Amigos! to be from single-parent families. It might as well be in here too, since Harry's mom seems to be emotionally distant.
  • Speed Racer: The Next Generation: Speed and X's mother is never seen or really brought up, though the smart money is on her being Trixie.
    • It's later confirmed that yes, Trixie IS the mother. She also turns out to be the Big Bad. Have fun with that one, Speed/Trixie shippers...
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs' wife and Pearl's mother is never seen but sometimes mentioned; she may either be dead or divorced. It is also possible that Mr. Krabs was never married and just adopted Pearl (which would make a lot more sense).
  • Virgil's mother on Static Shock died when he was little. He tried to save her in a Time Travel episode but wasn't successful. Another episode deals with the family preparing a memorial service in her honor. We see that Virgil still has trouble dealing with her death. By the end of the episode, he seems to have come to terms with it, and we see that the entire story's narration was him telling it to her.
  • On Steven Universe, Steven's mother, Rose Quartz, suffered a supernaturally Death by Childbirth, giving up her physical form to bring him into the world. She comes up enough to count as a Posthumous Character, and Steven admits having mixed feelings about it likely ranging from a longing to have personally known her to anger for her leaving him in the aftermath of a series of problems despite him not existing if she hadn't.
  • The mother of the protagonists of Street Sharks is never seen and her absence is hardly mentioned at all. All that is known is that she gave their father a watch for his birthday, which he valued greatly (implying that she was dead).
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan both Ilana and Lance's mothers are absent. Unlike his Disappeared Dad, Lance's mother is never brought up. During a Whole Episode Flashback, we see a woman who might be Ilana's mother, although this is unanswered.
  • Lion-O and Tygra in Thundercats 2011 had king Claudus for a dad. Lion-O's biological mother—Tygra's adoptive mother—died giving birth to the former.
  • In Timothy Goes to School, Claude and the Franks appear not to have mothers.
  • In Tom and Jerry, Spike the bulldog has a son but his mate is nowhere to be seen.
  • In the original Transformers: Generation 1 cartoon, no mention is ever made of Spike's mother.
  • Averted with Sari Sumdac of Transformers Animated. It looks at first like she has one of these, but it later turns out that she's a Half-Human Hybrid Robot Girl, part human and part Cybertronian. The human part comes from the male Isaac Sumdac, and the cybertronian part doesn't come from gender-based sexual reproduction, so no female was actually involved in her production.
    • In an official bio, it is blatantly stated the she was adopted, it is likely this is what Sumdac told everyone to explain him randomly having a baby one day.
  • In The Venture Bros., the mother of Hank and Dean was unknown until the seventh season when the Action Man tells Hank that their mother was an actress who Rusty scared off by being obsessive and emotionally smothered her until she stopped taking his calls, changed her name, and moved to another state. It's unclear at what point she had the boys or why she decided to leave them with their father however.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald character Franklin's father is a scientist named Dr. Quizzical, but absolutely no mention is made of his mother.
  • Wildfire: Sara's mother died within one year of marriage because of a curse cast by Diabolyn. Sara and her father left Dar Shan so the curse won't reach them.
  • Winx Club has this: Stella's mom divorced with her father, Musa's mom was a very famous singer who died when she was a little girl (and she terribly misses her), and for Roxy, her mother is revealed to be Morgana, the Queen of Fairies. That explains how she gets her powers.
  • Caleb of W.I.T.C.H. starts the series an orphan, only for his father to reappear halfway through season 1 and his mother to turn up as the Big Bad of season 2.
  • Keo from Yakkity Yak only lived with his dad.
  • Cricket and Tilly Green of Big City Greens were originally this, as they are shown living with their father ans grandmother with no mention of their mother. Later, Tilly off-handedly mentions they are waiting for her to come back, though from where is not stated. as of th events of the episode Phoenix Rises, their mother, Nancy, has returned, apparently from prison, and become a recurring character.
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