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Papa Wolf / Live-Action Films

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  • 28 Days Later:
    • Major Henry West utterly snaps after his men are killed by Jim.
    • Jim himself becomes one for Hannah. In fact, this is what causes his rampage against West and his soldiers.
  • Away We Go: Invoked Trope when the expecting parents are discussing their future daughter:
    Verona: [Do you promise] that her fights will be your fights?
    Burt: I do.
  • Dean from Backstreet Dreams flies into a rage, tranquil or otherwise, whenever his three-year-old son Shane is hurt or threatened.
  • Back to the Future:
    • Back to the Future Part II: Marty is forced to escape unharmed from the 1985-A version of his house when a baseball bat-wielding Papa Wolf is outraged to find Marty in what appears to be the bedroom of the father's young daughters. Based on what he's screaming, it's not the first time people had broken into his home.
    • "Doc" Emmett Brown is more of a Science Hero, but he's no slouch in the Papa Wolf department either. In Back to the Future he tries to drive the attention of the Libyans away from Marty with his (malfunctioning) revolver, getting shot for his problem (Marty manages to help him prevent the "getting killed" part, however, through Timey-Wimey Ball). In Back to the Future Part III, he establishes that Going Native in the Old West has given him a level in badass by threatening to snipe Buford Tannen's head off with a Winchester he custom-modified himself unless he leaves Marty alone and in Back to the Future: The Animated Series he does plenty of insane stunts to protect his biological children Jules and Verne.
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  • Big Daddy: Charlie Chaplin's Spiritual Successor, Sonny Koufax, is no slouch himself. He at first takes a boy as his own son to raise out of undisguised selfishness, but thanks to Becoming the Mask, ends up declaring: "I would die for this kid, just so he wouldn't have to feel a moment of sadness."
  • Big Jake: John Wayne spends the majority of this film tracking down and in the end blasting seven hells out of a bunch of bandits who kidnapped his grandson. Grandpa Wolf, indeed. Note that, prior to the kidnapping, Jacob had never even seen his grandson.
  • The Black Cat: This Universal 1934 movie gives us Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Bela Lugosi), who takes revenge on Poelzig for killing his daughter (among other things, but that was what sent him over the edge). by skinning the man alive on his own embalming rack. And what's worse is that only a few moments earlier, he had been given hope that his daughter was actually alive after thinking that she had been dead since he's been sent to the prison camp.
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  • The Blind Side: Coach Cotton has a Papa Wolf moment after the Opposing Sports Team deliberately kicks Michael when he's down and after the play has already ended, and the referee not only ignores the kick, but penalizes the Wingate Crusaders.
  • Blood Father: John Link, who is an ex-convict living in a trailer trying to eke out a living as a tattoo artist. Then his runaway daughter comes to him for help because she got involved with the Mexican cartel, who are now hunting her down. Asskicking ensues.
  • Cargo, a short film and Finalist of Tropfest Australia 2013. It's... Well, just watch.
  • Coming to America: Provides a nonviolent example in Cleo McDowell, an amiable and slightly Bumbling Dad who's eager to marry his daughter Lisa off to a rich boy. He's therefore over the moon when he discovers her suitor Akeem is actually a prince. But when Akeem's father King Jaffe upsets Lisa, McDowell drops the bumbling act and angrily threatens to "break a foot off in your royal ass."
  • Commando:
    • Colonel Badass Ahnuld acts pretty unassumingly in civil life, but when the villains kidnap his pre-teen daughter...
    • Whenever Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a father in any of his action flicks, expect some serious Papa Wolf action to go down if the bad guys mess with his kids. Case in point: True Lies — when the Big Bad kidnaps Harry Tasker's daughter, Harry goes after him with a Harrier jet fighter. And sends the Big Bad on a missile ride.
    • Arnie plays a mild-mannered ex-military helicopter pilot (who takes skiers up mountains) in The 6th Day . He fails to die on schedule, and the company responsible kidnaps his wife and daughter to try to force his compliance. Then he and his clone (yes, it's that kind of movie, and why he was supposed to be dead) destroy the company with a tin of aluminum oxide and one pistol between them.
    • The Governator doesn't even need to play a father, just having a character who's got to take care of children or teens is enough. Kindergarten Cop has a particularly emotional scene where his character, a police detective posing as a school teacher, dishes out a brutal beating to the abusive father of an emotionally damaged student. ("You hit the kid, I hit you," indeed.) And then when the Big Bad actually shows up and kidnaps a boy named Dominic who is his biological son near the climax of the movie — that's the point where Kimble really goes for blood.
    • Parodied in Last Action Hero, where the movie from which Arnold's cop character is lifted includes a face-off with the Big Bad who abducted his kid.
  • Cradle 2 the Grave:
    Tony Fait: Wrong! Kid! And definitely the wrong father.
  • Crazy Stupid Love: Cal's reaction upon finding out about Jacob and Hannah, and Jessica's father's reaction when he thinks Cal is involved with his daughter.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel sees Jor-El engages in a brutal fight with General Zod to ensure that his son makes it off of the doomed planet Krypton safely.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice depicts Thomas and Martha Wayne as this and Mama Bear respectively as they fight to protect young Bruce from the mugger who ends up killing them.
    • In the same movie Bruce literally runs into the wreckage of Wayne Tower during Superman's overly destructive battle with Zod and helps out a school group. When Bruce learns there's a missing girl he immediately goes to find her and saves her from falling rubble, as the girl cries in his arms Bruce looks up at Superman with a Death Glare that's as strong as heat vision.
    • One of the more redeeming qualities of Deadshot in Suicide Squad (2016) is his care for his daughter Zoe, even standing up to Batman when he confronts them in a alley and making sure she's looked after and educated while he is incarcerated.
  • Death Sentence: This film is a very cynical take on Papa Wolf-hood, and on revenge in general. When Nick Hume's older son gets killed by a gang member and he learns that the gang member will only receive a few years in jail, he forces the case to be dropped so that he can kill the bad guy himself. In doing so, he is forced to kill another member of that gang. However, the gang's head doesn't take kindly to this and swears vengeance on Nick's family. Nick being an Action Survivor rather than a hardened badass, he fails to stop the gang. Though his younger son survives and he gets back at the gang successfully, it's quite clearly shown that Nick ends up far from the man he used to be. Not all positively.
  • Die Hard:
    • Live Free or Die Hard: John McClane. After he gets involved in the terrorists' Scheme, the Big Bad decides to kidnap his daughter Lucy to try to control John. Big mistake.
    • In A Good Day to Die Hard, John McClane makes it quite clear he's going to march to hell and back to protect his son, whether his son wants it or not.
  • Dracula Untold: Vlad III Dracula kills the Ottoman Envoys when they say they are taking his son. The fact that Vlad was willing to become a vampire to save his family, including his son, instantly earns him this trope.
  • Bob in The Drop has strong protective instincts for his pet dog and girlfriend. How strong? He shoots the man who beat the dog when he came back threatening to torture it.
  • Fanboys: Harry Knowles beats up Windows for (albeit unknowingly) sexting his 10-year-old niece, explicitly telling him not to say a word to her ever again.
    Harry Knowles: Now you listen to me, perv. If you ever e-mail my niece again, I will hunt you like a T-1000!
  • Roy Burns from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. It's Misplaced Retribution, it's Disproportionate Retribution, but seriously, how many people are willing to avenge their mentally disabled son's death to a psychotic Jerk Jock by dressing up as Jason Voorhees and going on a killing spree?
  • Gamera may be really neat and filled with meat, but he is also the friend of children, and any monster who threatens a kid will face his wrath. And he makes sure they don't survive to try it a second time.
  • In Get Carter, Jack Carter is not a happy man at all when he finds out his niece was coerced into being in a porn film.
  • Ghostbusters II goes out of its way to repeatedly remind the viewer that Dana Barrett's 8-month-old son Oscar is not her ex-boyfriend Peter Venkman's child, but that doesn't stop him from cutting his usual Jerkass antics and getting serious when Oscar's in danger. Ditto fellow Ghostbuster Ray Stantz, who is also unrelated to Oscar, who tells the villain of the movie to "go knock up some willing hellhound" if he wants a baby so badly. Rather gloriously averted by Egon Spengler, who gives a little girl a puppy and then takes it away to study if emotions affect the environment.
  • The Godfather:
    • Begins with a mortician making himself a client of Vito Corleone to outsource his Papa Wolf duties. The Don of course takes his Papa Wolfing quite seriously.
    • Vito Corleone shows hints of this towards his own children as well, especially for his youngest son, Michael. When arranging Michael's safe return from exile with the other heads of the crime families, he makes it clear that anyone who messes with his son will regret it:
      Vito Corleone: But I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall him, if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he's struck by a bolt of lightning, then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room. And that, I do not forgive.
    • Apollonia's father also has shades of this. He first was joking around with Michael's bodyguards until he realized one of them specifically described his daughter and angrily cut the conversation short. When he returns to Michael's group, he brought with him a few young men (possibly sons or male relatives) to defend his daughter's honor if needed.
  • Godzilla:
    • Woe betide anyone stupid enough to try and harm Godzilla's son, regardless of the continuity. Godzilla's children are, so far as we know, not his biologically and thus are all adopted, true, but he's a surprisingly good parent, doting on his children and utterly devoted to the safety and well being of those under his protection, whether that be his own adopted children or, in later films, humanity and the Earth itself. Not even a Giant Spider can get away with attacking his children. There's a reason that one film is called Godzilla's Revenge.
    • This is especially evident in the film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah in which the death of his son, killed by Destoroyah himself, caused Godzilla to go into a emotional ragefest and attack Destoroyah out of pure unrestrained fury.
      • Destoroyah is also the single most powerful enemy in the entire series bar none, battling the King of Monsters to a standstill even when his power was at 150% overload. Killing Jr. pissed Godzilla off so hard that he actually forced the Ax-Crazy Destoroyah, who till this point had done nothing but viciously attack almost single-mindedly, into a retreat!
      • It's also worth noting that, in the origial edit of the ending, Godzilla pummeled Destoroyah to death while he died, though the JDSF would have been involved, too. The reason it was cut was only because it was seen as taking away from Godzilla's death, so the scene was re-edited to have Destoroyah be killed off before Godzilla was, in order to give their monster icon centre-stage before he died.
    • Likewise, there's Zilla, the monster from Godzilla (1998) who is both a Papa Wolf AND a Mama Bear. He/she is asexual and can lay at least a hundred eggs that hatch into raptor-sized Baby Zillas, and when the protagonists killed almost all of them, he/she was PISSED.
  • Gran Torino: An unusual although understandable example would be Walt, who is Papa Wolf toward his neighbors once he gets over some racial tension, but not toward his "own spoiled-rotten family" who treat him more like an invalid than a worthwhile individual. When he comes to Sue's rescue:
    Walt Kowalski: Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have fucked with? (spits on the ground) That's me.
  • Harrison Ford:
    • This man in pretty much every movie that he's been in that wasn't Star Wars
    • Look at Temple of Doom. Why was he captured by the villains? Because he wanted to protect a helpless child from being whipped to death, not to mention proceeding to fight the entire villain's army to free the hundreds of slave children, and giving up the mystical stones that would have made him a millionaire so the village they return to would be one filled with life and hope. Easily the single most heroic Papa Wolf performance for Harrison Ford.
      • "They're innocent children... Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali, IN HELL!!"
    • Spoofed in Family Guy with the movie "Harrison Ford Telling Random People He Wants His Family Back."
    • Don't forget what pushed him into agreeing to help look for the Grail (though, given what happens with the man who gives him the news, he might not necessarily have had a choice) - finding his dad. He was willing to put a guy through a ship's propeller, and if the man wasn't a soft-core Knight Templar...
      • Does this make the actual Knight Templar at the end of the movie a metaphor?
  • Wade Gustafson in Fargo is a deconstruction as only the Coen Brothers can make 'em: as a combination of this and the Obnoxious In-Laws trope, he continuously undermines and distrusts son-in-law Jerry (who says that the kidnappers gave specific instructions about him being the one who made contact and delivered the money, which would have created a problem with the kidnappers even if Jerry wasn't technically their mastermind) and thus charges into the drop-off without any more protection than a concealed pistol or information on the kidnappers other than the time and place of delivery, which gets him killed when he insists that he won't give the money unless he sees his daughter and pisses off Showalter, who expected Jerry.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Sirius Black in the fifth film:
    • When Harry is in Nockturn alley in second film and is accosted by several extremely shady wizards, Gentle Giant Hagrid comes in Just in Time to save him.
    • Remus Lupin whether it be protecting Harry from Dementors or just holding Harry back from chasing after the woman who killed his aforementioned godfather safeguarding Harry's life tends to be Lupin's priority.
    • Big Good Albus Dumbledore is naturally very protective of Harry and saved him from falling to his death in third film and when battling Big Bad Voldermort in the fifth film he actually knocks Harry back so he doesn't get hurt in the duel. Also if you pay close attention Voldermort is actually trying to kill Harry with Splash Damage throughout the duel which explains Dumbledore's rough protection of Harry.
    • Of course James Potter too. He decided to take on Voldemort by himself, knowing it almost certainly meant death (he even said to Lily "I'll hold him off", indicating he knew he stood no chance) but would nonetheless give his wife and son a chance of escaping. Not only were his chances against the Dark Lord nonexistent under normal circumstances, but on top of that, James wasn't holding a wand. That makes this into a heroic sacrifice.
    • Servus Snape, as seen in a delightful moment in the third movie where Snape, after getting knocked out by Harry, soon gets up again and is about to rip into him until Snape notices the massive Werewolf behind him and immediately shields Harry, Ron and Hermione with his body getting knocked down as a result. No it's not in the book, but that doesn't make it any less great.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Thorin is extremely protective of the younger dwarves, particularly his nephews Fíli and Kíli. Showcased when he reveals who he is to the Goblin King rather than let the youngest dwarves be killed in front of him.
  • Gang-du from The Host is a loving father to his daughter Hyun-seo, even though he's clueless about raising her. But when she's taken by the creature that emerged from the river, he fights tooth and nail to save her. Sadly, she's killed before he can reach her, but soon afterwards his fury drives him to kill the creature in return by spearing it.
    • In turn, Gang-du's father, Hee-bong, is very protective of his family, and tries to fight off the authorities when Gang-du is taken away in a bag.
  • Hussar Ballad: Ivan, while not related to Shura by blood, treats her as a daughter. Despite being old, he is quick to help her in a fight, and surprisingly effective as well.
  • Jeepers Creepers 2: In the first ten minutes, The Creeper attacks, kidnaps and kills a little boy named Billy... Let's just say that his father and older brother aren't happy...
  • John Q.: Another Papa Wolf score for Denzel Washington is this film, where to make sure that his Ill Boy son Michael will get a heart transplant which is being denied to him because insurance doesn't cover it, John Quincy Archibald actually takes a full hospital hostage and claims he won't back off until Michael is given priority. John goes as far as improvising a Thanatos Gambit so his heart will be harvested and given to his child, but it fails. In the Bittersweet Ending, however, John is still trialed and incarcerated, but Michael is saved.
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), Mowgli has many animal companions who love him and will fight to keep him safe, including a literal papa wolf, his adoptive father Akela, Bagheera and Baloo. Mowgli's biological father died protecting his son from Shere Khan.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park has the daddy T. rex. Teamed up with his Mama Bear to shove two connected RV's off a cliff after their hatchling was taken. Of course, being a T. rex, he was already a badass.
      • And later went on a rampage across San Diego just to find his baby. It doesn't help that he was high on amphetamines.
    • In Jurassic World, Owen Grady is this to, of all things, the Velociraptors. He takes his role as pack alpha very seriously and most of Owen's antagonism with Smug Snake Hoskins stems from his need to protect and ensure his raptors' safety. Even during the firefight, Owen never shoots directly at them, instead attempting to distract and lure the four sisters away from nearby humans. And he doesn't hesitate to punch Hoskins for trying to pit them against the I. rex.
      Hoskins: The mother hen has finally arrived—
      Owen: [punches him in the face] Get the hell out of here and stay away from my animals.
  • The Kid: Possibly the least likely Papa Wolf ever — Charlie Chaplin's Tramp character. When an official from the local orphanage takes the boy he found and raised away, he goes into Roof Hopping Determinator mode.
  • King Kong (2005): Kong behaves like this whenever he's protecting Anne Darrow, who's tiny and vulnerable enough to bring out the big fellow's Papa Silverback side.
  • The Last House on the Left: The premise of this film is about a group of people who get trapped inside a house with a Papa Wolf and a Mama Bear after they brutalize the couple's daughter. Three guesses as to what happens next.
  • Last of the Mohicans: Chingachgook, though it's more out of vengeance than protection.
  • L: change the WorLd: L becomes this towards Maki and Near.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels: Big Chris. Made the mistake of threatening his son, Little Chris? Big Chris is just about to have another moment with a car door.
  • Lone Wolf McQuade:
    • You can beat him, shoot him, bury him alive, and even shoot his dog and maybe survive, but if you hurt his daughter, you will open the whole can of Chuck Norris whoopass.
    • Note that the bad guy who gets his ass kicked is played by David Carradine. If he couldn't stop Chuck, what chance would anyone else have? Likely something involving a 13 digit negative number.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • General Thaddeus Ross is by no means a good person. He's quite tyrannical, and both The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War show he is a huge Hypocrite. But if Ross has one redeeming feature, it's his care for his daughter Betty, considering he did protect her from the goddamn Hulk.
    • Tony Stark, aka Iron Man gradually becomes this, as well a Friend to All Children.
      • In the second movie, during all the chaos at the Expo, Tony immediately blows a Hammer Drone to shreds as it attempts to murder a child wearing an Iron Man-masknote .
      • In the third movie, Tony has a huge Papa Wolf moment when Eric Savin holds Harley (the kid who had been helping Tony) hostage and threatens to kill him while Tony was trapped under debris. Tony burns his face off with a repulser blast. Hell in a deleted scene Tony pulls out his Arc Reactor to restart some random kid's heart.
      • Tony becomes a pretty big Papa Wolf to Peter Parker, while trying to give the kid the support that his father Howard Stark never gave him when he was growing up. In Civil War, he immediately orders Peter to leave the battlefield after he gets knocked down by a sixty foot tall Ant-Man, and in Spiderman Homecoming he saves Spidey from drowning. As it turns out, Tony has been keeping track of Peter using the Training Wheels Protocol installed inside the Techno Spider-Suit to curb his actions, while simultaneously protecting him. In Avengers: Infinity War he gave Peter the Iron Spider-Suit insuring he wouldn’t suffocate in the stratosphere, of course Infinity War also cruelly subverts this by having Tony be helpless to stop Spidey turning into dust in his arms. In Avengers: Endgame Tony is directly inspired to return to his heroics over Peter and manages to bring Spidey back along with half the universe.
      • Taking after Tony, his bodyguard Happy Hogan becomes very protective of Spidey in Spider-Man: Far From Home seen when he flew to the Netherlands in a private jet as soon as Peter called him for help. Happy tries his best to protect Spidey’s schoolmates MJ, Betty, Ned and Flash when they’re cornered by drones.
    • Odin Borson, the former King of Asgard, while he certainly wasn't perfect, at his very best was a good father. Adopting a baby Frost Giant who was left to die (aka Loki) and raising him as his own son, and saving his biological son Thor from the said Frost Giants and then sending him to Earth depowered to teach him a lesson. And when Thor redeems himself with a Heroic Sacrifice Odin made sure he'd get his powers back. Even when he dies in Thor: Ragnarok, Odin returns as a spirit to get Thor to help him discover his true power when he's in danger.
    • Nick Fury reveals he is like this towards Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When Pierce holds her hostage with a Explosive Leash, Nat shocks herself to diffuse the explosive she’s wearing and collapses and after Fury guns Pierce down, he rushes over to Natasha with concern. Considering her reaction to Fury being seemly killed, it's clear she views him in this light.
    • Clint Barton aka Hawkeye initially seems like just a Professional Killer, but it turns he's a Family Man, and the reason he keeps his personal life off the record is to protect them. In the same movie when escorting civilians off the battlefield Clint used his body to shield a little boy from Ultron's gunfire, only surviving because Quicksilver jumped in to shield him. There's also his care and advice to Scarlet Witch which inspires her to become a hero and join the Avengers. Much like Tony however Avengers: Endgame subverts with Hawkeye as Clint has lost his family thanks to Thanos and is a shell of his former self as a result, to point where he is murdering mob members and criminals out of rage that his family was killed and they weren't. Thankfully, he redeems himself and, due in part to his help, the victims, including his family, are eventually resurrected.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy, amoral Space Pirate Yondu Udonta rarely passes up the chance to rant and rave about how much adoptive son Peter Quill is a thorn in his side. However, his true feelings come to the forefront in Vol. 2 when he realizes that Peter is with Ego, travels halfway across the universe to rescue him, and ultimately gives up his life to save Peter from suffocating in space.
      • Drax’s all consuming rage towards Ronan is because he killed his wife and daughter... and laughed. In the sequel Drax cares deeply for Mantis (his daughter surrogate) and at one point risks his own life to save her from the ground sinking beneath them.
      • Peter, Rocket and Drax all have this attitude to Baby/Teen Groot.
    • Scott Lang aka Ant-Man is the king of this trope in the MCU as there’s nothing he won’t do to protect his precious daughter Cassie, including going subatomic and destroying Yellowjacket from the inside out.
      • It’s revealed Hank Pym was only distant with his daughter Hope because he didn’t want to lose her like he lost his wife Janet.
      • Bill Foster has this attitude towards Ava Starr in Ant-Man and the Wasp at the end he refuses to leave despite the crimes she’s committed.
    • MCU has a villainous Papa Wolf example in Thanos as he treasures his “adoptive” daughter Gamora and becomes angry with Ronan for alienating her. Infinity War doubles down on this while ultimately subverting it in a Flash Back Thanos protects Gamora as a little girl in her homeworld even shielding her eyes from slaughter of her people... the one he’s causing! Then years later when Gamora is begging Peter to Mercy Kill her when she’s held hostage by him, Thanos turns Peter’s Blaster shots into bubbles showing he just wanted to cruelly test Quill and wanted no actual harm to Gamora. Ironically this twisted protection of Gamora comes back to royally bite him in the ass, as Thanos learns he can only get the Soul Stone by sacrificing the thing he loves the most... and he does so very regretfully.
      • In Avengers: Endgame Suprisingly 2014 Thanos has shades of this towards 2014 Nebula of all people as he stops Ebony Maw from killing her, and becomes notably anxious when she isn't anwsering her comms in the Final Battle.
  • Ma and Pa Kettle: In this classic film, Ma, Pa, and their large family move into an ultra-modern house Pa had won in a sweepstakes. Eventually Pa gets fed up with all the newfangled gadgets in the house, and moves back into the family's old home: a decrepit shack in the middle of a swampy junkyard. Meanwhile, Ma holds the police at a standoff with a shotgun after she learns the contest was a cruel publicity hoax. It takes the intervention of the Kettles' adult eldest son to bring her out of her rampage. Just as the woman who orchestrated the hoax decides not to press charges and offers Ma her most sincere apology, here comes Pa Kettle with the family wagon and a dozen or so of his Injun friends:
  • Machine Gun Preacher: Sam Childers (Gerard Butler). If you threaten or harm the children of Sudan or Uganda, he will make sure that you pay. The best part: this film is based on a true story. However, "True Story" is debatable in light of some recent findings (Surprise inspections showed mistreatment of the children in the orphanage, SPLA denies any knowledge of Childers while Childers claims that he is a honorary commander in the SPLA, 60% of the donation for the orphanage are billed as "travel expenses" into Childers private funds)...seems like this "papa bear" is a con man who profits off the children he is supposed to care for.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Max ends up developing a fierce protective side over the Wives, five young women who've been kept as Sex Slaves by Big Bad Immortan Joe. He considers them little more than a nuisance at first, even planning to leave them behind until Furiosa negotiated. But by the film's climax, Max will happily shoot anyone who tries to hurt them. Rictus learns this the hard way when he attempts to grab Capable and The Dag, but is instead tackled and beaten near to death with an oxygen tank by an enraged Max.
  • The titular Major Payne becomes one over the course of the film, first showcased by dealing with Tiger's fear of the Boogeyman by opening fire on the closet, and later by defending Alex from his drunken abusive step-father. The latter is the turning point where the ROTC Boys, several of whom are implied to have uncaring parents, come to like and respect the Major.
  • Man of the House: Tommy Lee Jones's role that followed that one was this film, where he's a sheriff who has to protect a bunch of cheerleader girls after they witness a murder. Hilarity Ensues until not only one of the girls is almost killed by a car bomb, but the man's daughter is kidnapped...
  • Man on Fire:
    • While not actually the child's father, John "Creasy Bear" Creasy (Denzel Washington) in this movie is a spectacular example of a Papa Wolf. As a bodyguard for Lupita (a rich businessman's precocious daughter) in Mexico City, John doesn't let multiple gunshot wounds stop him from tearing through a powerful kidnapping cartel's chain of command until finally he catches the mastermind's brother and estranged wife. When the "Voice" starts trying to bargain his way out of John's vengeance, John interrupts him to say, "Your brother wants to speak to you," and then blows off the man's hand with a shotgun. It's implied that he would move on from there to the rest of the Voice's family, including his pregnant wife, and worse: "I will take your family apart, piece by piece. Do you hear me? PIECE BY PIECE!"
    • In the novel, it's worse: Since the girl who is under his custody is dead, he ended up OFFING THE WHOLE MAFIOSO ORGANIZATION. And he comes off as much more dangerous than his already incredibly dangerous performance in the movie.
  • Meet the Parents: Jack Byrnes is an extreme example of this, being obsessively protective of his daughter Pam. He will even go so far as to drug her boyfriends with truth serum or give them lie detector tests to make sure they don't have any unscrupulous designs on his little girl. Really, all that's missing is the shotgun on his lap.
  • The Missing: Tommy Lee Jones also played a Grandpa Wolf. He was a Disappeared Dad and Grandpa hoping to try getting his family's forgiveness... and arrived back home just in time to learn that his eldest granddaughter has been kidnapped and was about to be sold as a child bride. So when his daughter (played by Cate Blanchett) went Mama Bear to get her girl back, he decided he wouldn't be less and joined her cause. So much that he defeated the Big Bad via Taking You with Me, killing himself in the process.
  • Mr. Mom: Jack Butler. Nobody yells at his children and gets away with it.
  • In The Mummy Returns already established badass Rick O'Connell becomes this for his son Alex, seen when he desperately chases after him when Imhotep‘s followers kidnap Alex when the Mcguffin attaches itself to his arm. In the same movie Evey takes a level in badassery as Mama Bear and joins Rick in wrecking the villains and rescuing their son. The highlight of Rick's Papa Wolfery comes when he has to get Alex to the Scorpion King's temple before the sun rises upon it or Alex will die, picking up his boy Rick literally outruns the sunlight and gets there Just in Time.
    Rick: You know, (panting) it's not easy being a... dad.
    Alex: Yeah, but you do it really good.
  • Nell: Liam Neeson's character in this film, who winds up very protective of the borderline Wild Child (wild adult, by then) he and another doctor have been observing since her mother's death. A reporter who sneaks up trying to get a picture of the rumored "wild woman" gets thrown down the front steps of Nell's cabin and his camera broken for his troubles. Neeson's character does admit he overreacted, only to chase the reporter away when the idiot keeps asking questions.
  • North Country: Josey's dad was initially aloof about his daughter for reasons relating to her first pregnancy (where she was apparently promiscuous), although he eventually stood up for her at the union rally when she tried to expose the sexual harrassment problems at the mine she works at, also calling out his coworkers on this fact. However, the biggest example of his being a Papa Wolf comes in later: During the trial, Josey is forced to reveal what truly happened during her youth and the real reason she became pregnant with her son after one of the co-workers (who she also went to school with) exposed the knowledge of who the father of her first child was: It turns out that her teacher had in fact committed statutory rape on her after serving Saturday detention for skipping class and kissing said future co-worker, of which the only witness was said co-worker and he failed to stop him. As soon as the father learned the truth during the trial, he walks over to the teacher and then proceeds to go ballistic and attack him for raping Josey, resulting in him being forcibly removed from the courtroom.
  • October Sky: Homer Hickham Sr. in the film version is something of a subversion: he's actually protecting somebody else's son from his stepfather, the resident abusive alcoholic. Does the whole grab-you-by-the-collar thing without the punch-you-in-the-face part, all the while plagued by soot-filled lungs. The exchange is reproduced here:
    Homer Hickam, Sr: Now you listen to me you drunken son of a bitch. If that boy's father were still alive, he'd kick your ass. So I'm gonna have to do it for him. If I see him with a bruise... you get a scar. If I see him with a limp... you get crutches! Do you hear me? Do you hear me?
    Vernon: I'm reportin' you to the union!
    Homer Hickam, Sr: Screw you and your damn union!
  • In Over the Top, Sylvester Stallone gets to play a character with Papa Wolf chops too. You better not get between Lincoln Hawke and his chance to see his son Michael again, no way, no how.
  • Orca: The Killer Whale:
    • This movie has a Papa Killer Whale, seeking bloody vengeance against the man who killed his mate and calf.
    • What's now known of orca social behavior makes this unlikely to be a literal example of this trope. A son retaliating for the death of its mother, now...
  • Pacific Rim: Stacker in his Humongous Mecha is revealed to have personally saved Mako when she just was a little girl orphaned by the Onibaba Kaiju and adopted her as his daughter. Stacker's refusal to let Mako pilot a Jaegar was out of fear for her safety, especially as piloting his Jaegar had taken a toll on him.
  • Played with in Parasite Ki-taek Kim despite his criminal actions deeply loves his wife and children and will do anything to make ensure his family's dismal life can improve. He is also willingly to take all the blame for lying to the Park family, despite the whole Kim family being complicit in the crime. At the end when he is impersonating as a chauffeur to Mr. Park, Ki-taek refuses to leave his daughter's Ki-jung (who's impersonating as a babysitter) after she had just been stabbed by the Ax-Crazy Geun-sae or hand over the car keys to the imploring Park family who don't know he is trying to stop his daughter from bleeding to death. However when he sees Mr Park react in disgust at the "low-class smell" of Geun-sae, Ki-taek stops applying pressure to his daughter's wound and stabs Mr Park himself before fleeing the scene. He deeply regrets his actions and mourns for Ki-jung and Mr Park soon after.
  • Pariah: Arthur flips out when one of his friends mockingly suggests that Alike is a Butch Lesbian and gets protective when said friend encounters her in public. He also defends Alike against Audrey, albeit rather half-heartedly. He later apologizes for letting Audrey hit her, and has accepted Alike by the end of the film.
  • The Patriot: Benjamin Martin is firmly against a war for independence and submissive towards the over-the-top villain... until his farm is burned down, one of his sons is killed, and another is arrested and taken away to be hanged. Then he goes after the Redcoats with muskets and hatchets...
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Paul may be a Bumbling Dad, but he will protect his little girl if anyone threatens her.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Though he’s more a Bumbling Dad Governor Weatherby Swann still loves his daughter Elizabeth dearly and succeeded in breaking her out of jail in the second movie. Even though it was treason to the East India Company, he just couldn’t stand to see his daughter go to the gallows.
    • In the third film, though it's too little and too late to do any good, Will's father "Bootstrap" Bill Turner snaps out of his brainwashing, and attacks Davy Jones in a moment of Papa Wolf fury.
    • Captain Teague shoots the soldier who was going to shoot Jack in the fourth film.
  • Joe from The Princess Diaries takes on a fatherly/grandfatherly role for Mia. So much so, that he is willing to go above and beyond his duties to keep her safe and protected even if she's hurt emotionally, as Viscount Mabrey learned in the second film.
    Joe: If you hurt my girl, you will answer directly to me. And whatever crimes I commit against you, remember I have diplomatic immunity in 46 countries. Including Puerto Rico.
    Viscount: Sir, you will find that the word "fear" is not in my vocabulary!
    Joe: Perhaps. But it's in your eyes.
  • The Professional: Léon becomes a surrogate father to the orphaned Mathilda and protects her on her quest for vengeance, taking on the entire NYPD in the process.
  • Radio: Coach Jones becomes this on several occasions for Radio. In one instance, he slammed the Jerk Jock that tricked Radio to enter the girls' locker room into the trophy case display, after the eye-opening words of, "Son, it's times like these I wish I wasn't a teacher so I could do what I really want to do to you."
  • Ransom: Deconstructed. Tom will do anything to get his son back. When he realizes that the kidnappers are going to kill Sean anyway even if he gives them the ransom money, he tries to turn the tables on them by turning the ransom into a reward for their capture. Tom maintains his resolve when the mastermind calls him up and Tom threatens to hunt him down if he doesn't get his son back immediately. The kidnapper pretends to shoot Sean and Tom breaks down from his apparent failure. Luckily he still gets Sean back later on, but he played an immensely dangerous gamble that could just as easily have ended this way.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: Most of the time Nathan Wallace is an Overprotective Dad, but when he's in Repo Man mode he flips to Papa Wolf.
  • Reservoir Dogs: There's an excellent case for Mr. White fulfilling this trope in his protectiveness over young protégé Mr Orange, to the point where he takes a bullet for him. He really, really doesn't like it when you accuse Orange of being a rat. When Orange indeed turns out to be the rat, Mr. White has to put the bullet to him in probably the most emotional moment of the entire movie.
  • Revolution (1985): Tom joined up with the Continental Army at first because he wanted to protect his son. Later on, when the British snatch Ned, Tom went after them and risked a lot to save his son's life.
  • Richie Rich: The butler Cadbury is something of a second father to Richie. The scene where Ferguson mandhandles Richie in the beginning of the movie says it all:
    Ferguson: It's my job to protect him.
    Cadbury: Yes very well, Mr. Ferguson, but touch him that way again and it is YOU who will need protecting.
  • Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky: The Warden dotes on his overgrown Manchild of a son and is fiercely protective of him. During his intro he kills one of his mooks for making his son trip and cry.
  • Romeo Must Die: Isaak finds out that Mac was the one who murdered his son and proceeds to strangle said person without any hesitation.
  • The entire premise and plot of Searching is about exactly how far David Kim will go to find his presumed dead daughter Margot, and when one asshole jokes about Margot online, he puts the idiot in hospital. Even when it seems like his Margot is dead for certain, David doesn't give up and finds her alive in a ravine albeit in critical condition.
  • Shenandoah: Charlie Anderson insists that the Civil War doesn't concern his family, even saying that his sons don't owe their state anything because the state "never came around here with a spare tit." But when some Union soldiers mistake his youngest for a rebel and take him prisoner, he starts taking the war personally.
  • Deconstructed in Shutter Island The Reveal is that Edward "Teddy" Daniels returned home from the war to discover his wife Dolores (who likely had Munchausen syndrome) had drowned their children. In a fit of rage Teddy killed his wife in revenge for his kids and utterly breaks his psyche in the process. The whole movie revolves around the doctors attempting to treat the violently hallucinating and delusional Teddy who is unable to face what he has done, and eventually accepts being lobotomized.
  • Small Soldiers: Stuart, Alan's father, is usually seen for the first half of the film arguing with his son. But when the situation gets serious, he gets some pretty good moments in fighting against some of the berserk Commando Elite Toys. Another good example in particular occurs just before the climax of the film, when Alan is confronted by Larry Benson (the creator of the Commando Elite) who makes a smug comment that Alan could be sued for his claims, Alan's father promptly decks him for threatening his son.
    Alan: There's a problem with the Commandos.
    Larry: Really? What kind of problem? Bear in mind, you will be called into court to substantiate your claim.
    [Stuart punches Larry in the face and knocks him down]
  • Snitch: Dwayne Johnson as John Matthews, as a father who dives headlong into a drug cartel in order to help free his convicted son.
  • Snow White: A Tale of Terror: As opposed to the king in the original fairy tale, Frederich in this film goes out into the storm on his horse to find Lilli when he hears she's missing.
  • Speed Racer: Pops puts his Greco-Roman wrestling skills to work while protecting his family from ninjas, er, non-jas:
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Weirdly enough, Harrison. He's completely bent on recovering and protecting the rest of his people, and his Roaring Rampage of Revenge is mostly because he thinks they're all dead (twice). He even refers to them as his family - see Even Evil Has Loved Ones.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader, of all people, has his Papa Wolf moments—not surprising since his attempts to preemptively protect Padme was what drove him to the Dark Side in the first place. In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor's torture of his son Luke is what turns him back from The Dark Side and kills him. Think about that for just a moment: this is Darth Vader. He personally hunted down almost every Jedi that survived Order 66. He executed helpless Younglings in the Jedi Temple. He has literally overseen the deaths of billions (e.g. Alderan). The mere mention of his name can inspire terror across the entire galaxy. There is only one person in the entire galaxy who is more powerful than him, but that person is so much more powerful that Vader serves him for more than two decades. Yet when that person begins killing his son, none of that matters. He knows that the Emperor's force lightning will short-circuit the electronic systems keeping him alive, but it does not matter. The only thing that matters is that the Emperor will stop hurting his son.
  • Steve Jobs, having publicly denied that Lisa is his daughter and begrudgingly paying court-mandated child support, learns that her mother Chrisann may have thrown a cereal bowl at Lisa. Though she denies it, Jobs, very matter-of-factly, tells Chrisann that, if he ever hears something like that again, he has the resources to hire people to have her killed.
  • Steven Seagal: These Direct to DVD movies Belly of the Beast and Out of Reach.
  • Superman Returns:
    • Lois Lane's Nice Guy fiancé Richard White proves this when he appears in his sea plane to save Lois and young Jason from a sinking ship:
      Lois: How'd you get here?
      Richard: I flew.
    • Ironically, Superman never really gets to play the part of Papa Wolf in the movie, even though Jason is his son and Lois is his Love Interest.
  • Taken: Liam Neeson's Ex-Special-Forces commander Bryan of this film (see page quote) shows the organization that kidnapped his daughter the exact reason why you don't screw around with an ex-CIA operative's kids. In a particularly brutal example of this trope, he is willing to go as far as threatening to kill a Corrupt Cop and former friend's innocent wife AFTER winging her with a bullet to show he's serious to save his daughter from being sold into prostitution. The entire movie is effectively a paean to the Papa Wolf trope.
  • Tank: You can cross CSM Zack Carey all you like, and he will calmly accept it. However, if you harm a kid, he will come down on you like a ton of bricks.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Splinter is NOT going to let any harm come to the turtles or April. It very nearly costs him his life.
  • Three different examples in Tell No One:
    • Bruno is a gangster who nevertheless loves his son, who's a hemophiliac, and he does not care about such niceties as hospital regulations when it comes to making sure his son gets the care he needs.
    • Gilbert is a villainous example; when his son is killed, Gilbert allows his Mooks to do just about anything, including Cold-Blooded Torture and murder, to find those responsible.
    • Finally, there's Jacques, whose daughter Margot was responsible for killing Gilbert's son (in self-defense); he helps Margot fake her death after this to keep Gilbert from finding her.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-800 is reprogrammed by John Connor to be this to his past self. John's mother even remarks on it in her narration:
    Sarah Connor: Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The Terminator would never stop. It would never leave him. And it would never hurt him, never shout at him or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there, and it would die to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers that came and went over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only one that measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.
  • Toy Soldiers: Joey Trotta's father takes the news that he has been killed very badly. So he orders the murder of his murderer's father, even though that would mean all of Joey's friends would be killed in retaliation.
  • Transformers
  • The Usual Suspects: Subverted Trope by Keyser Soze. In a tale told In-Universe, some Turkish mobsters break into Soze's home and brutalize his family, holding them hostage. When Soze returns home, he promptly pulls a gun on the mobsters... then turns the gun on his family, saying he'd rather they die than live another day.
  • V for Vendetta: A whole mob of them shows up. As law and order starts breaking down across England, a secret policeman guns down a young girl for wearing a "Guy Fawkes" Mask. The mob descends upon the guy, and one of the men smashes the bastard's head in with a wrench.
  • Spielberg's War of the Worlds begins with the working class protagonist (Tom Cruise) held in utter contempt by his son and daughter, who much prefer the time they spend with his ex and her rich new husband. During the film, he must survive the terrifying alien invasion and repeatedly save his children's lives (especially the daughter) in a very heroic manner — incidentally winning back their full and highly deserved respect.
  • Paul Reiser's character in Whiplash demonstrates this after learning just how much his abuse that his son has been taking from his musical instructor. He ends up organizing things so that Fletcher can get canned from teaching at the Academy.
  • An instance of this occurs in The Wolfman (2010) when Sir John tries to protect Lawrence from the angry mob trying to capture him by shooting at them, and possibly even blinding someone in the process, showing that he may truly care for his son. Highly subverted when he ends up trying to kill Lawrence later on after revealing he already killed his brother and mother... and that he's a werewolf himself... Trauma Conga Line much? Also subverted when he lets the angry mob drag Lawrence off to an insane asylum right after the poor guy wakes up after the full moon and is scared and confused.
  • Wolverine towards Rogue and the children at the school in the X-Men Film Series.
    • Played with in Logan as by all rights Wolverine should be like this to his Opposite-Sex Clone Laura aka X-23 who is given a Age Lift to be a little girl in need of some Papa Wolf. Yet when the bad guys come for her, Logan outright leaves Laura to die not giving a single crap about her, as he cares more for Professor Xavier. Even after Xavier’s death, Logan explains bad shit happens to people he care about which makes Laura retort that means she should be fine then. Thankfully played straight in the ending when Dr Rice’s kill squad has Laura and other mutant kids cornered at the Canadian border, Wolverine regains the will to fight and goes on a full Unstoppable Rage to protect his clone daughter and the future of Mutantkind.
    • Professor X tends to invoke this in regards his students and children in general, as in X Men 2 Jason Stryker was able trick the professor by disguising himself as a child in need.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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