Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Calling the Old Man Out

Go To

Basic Trope: Somebody confronts their parent or parental figure over their transgressions.

  • Straight: Monty is a self-absorbed prat who has treated his son Jake like dirt for years. Jake finally snaps and tells him off.
  • Exaggerated: Monty is a selfish, egocentric, abusive Jerkass who has done his damnest to drag his son down with him, blaming him for his mother's death, regularly beating him, and just generally making it somewhat of a miracle that Jake has lived this long. Jake finally snaps and gives him "The Reason You Suck" Speech in the form of a Punctuated Pounding Extreme Mêlée Revenge.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Monty gives Jake a harsh critique and Jake tells him he's a jerk.
  • Justified: Monty really deserves to be chastised for how horribly he's treated his son.
  • Inverted:
    • Jason has been taking advantage of his father Mason's compassion, but Mason finally calls him on it.
    • Shannon, Sharon's manipluative mother, confronts her daughter with the claim that Sharon doesn't appreciate everything she's sacrificed for her.
  • Subverted:
    • Given a chance to call Monty out, Jake stays silent.
    • It appears that Jake is complaining.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Given a chance to call Monty out, Jake is quiet for some time before musing, "Gee, where to begin..." and then winding up into his tirade.
    • Given a chance to call Monty out, Jake stays silent. But Jake's best friend Bob won't let the chance pass, and start calling Monty out. Jake remains silent, only staring at Monty vehemently instead of defending him.
    • Advertisement:
    • But it doesn't help that Monty's harshness makes him even more wangsty.
  • Parodied: Monty acts in a monstrous fashion to Jake without any sign of any reaction or resentment from Jake. The very second Monty does something mildly irritating however, like spill salt on the table, Jake lets him have it with both barrels.
  • Zig Zagged: Monty and Jake argue back and forth with each other, both making valid criticisms about the other.
  • Averted: Monty has his flaws like anyone, but he's an otherwise decent human being with a reasonably positive relationship with his son.
  • Enforced:
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "You've had this speech coming a long time, Dad, and now you're just going to shut the hell up and listen for once!!!"
  • Invoked: Monty is a Sink-or-Swim Mentor (or at least sees himself as such) and has treated Jake in such a fashion in order to provoke such a reaction to prove that he can stand on his own two feet.
  • Implied: Jake has been doing his damnedest to be The Dutiful Son even when Monty has treated him like shit for the whole film, and when they meet for dinner near the climax, Monty hits Jake's Rage Breaking Point. Cut to three hours later to Jake standing in front of his girlfriend Alice's door, looking like he went nine rounds against a horde of angry pitbulls... and won.
  • Exploited: Charlie, Monty's enemy, gets wind of the tension between Jake and his father and uses this knowledge to his advantage to sway Jake to his side and pit him against his father even further.
  • Defied:
    • Monty engages in emotional manipulation and guilt tricks to manipulate Jake into thinking that everything that happens is his fault.
    • Monty refuses to give a shit about Jake's tirade. He sits there very quietly (almost pointedly ignoring him) and the moment Jake gets it out of his system, Monty calls whatever bluffs Jake tried to use to make him back down and keeps treating him the same way (that is, if he doesn't decides to escalate to give Jake a very good reason to fear him more).
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Jake calls out Monty, but he doesn't give a damn; this nasty treatment has worked all this time, so he's not about to change now. He keeps acting up, fully expecting Jake to fold because Status Quo Is God.
  • Reconstructed: Monty's in for a nasty surprise; Status Quo Isn't God in this case, and when Jake tells Monty he's not about to take any more of Monty's crap anymore, Jake means it only too well. The first time Monty tries to pull any of his old Jerkass tricks again, Jake gives him the hiding of a lifetime and then cuts Monty out of his life forever, leaving Monty alone and powerless unless he changes his ways.
  • Played For Laughs: Monty is an average, non-abusive dad. Jake, when he calls him out, hams out to the best of his ability and lists every single bad thing he has ever done. "You stiffed me on my allowance in August 1983, and I always had to take out the garbage..." The speech ends three hours later.
  • Played For Drama: Jake calls out Monty at a bad time, and the already emotionally unstable and abusive monster responds by assaulting Jake, launching into a "Break Them by Talking" lecture about how his "worthless son" has been living off his hard-earned money all this time and owes him his very life. Jake pulls a pistol. So does Monty. The screen blanks and a shot rings out. It is left ambiguous as to who died.

Back to Calling the Old Man Out
God dammit man, stop telling me what to do! I am perfectly capable of going back up to the top of the page and clicking on the "main" button if I so choose. The only reason I take your crap in the first place is because I'm afraid that if I stand up for myself, you'll have a stroke! And furthermore...


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: