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Basic Trope: One character may or may not be the father of another character.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob have a daughter, Claire. However, Alice was intimate with Daniel around the same time as Claire was conceived, so it's possible Daniel is the real father.
  • Exaggerated: Alice has a list of potential fathers that rival most episodes of Maury.
  • Downplayed: Claire asks Daniel if he's her father. Daniel says, "I doubt it."
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  • Justified: Alice and Bob were going through a rough patch in their relationship around the time Claire was conceived. They were respectively cheating with Daniel and Emma. So it stands to reason that one of the relationships might have produced an extramarital child.
  • Inverted: Claire may have been Switched at Birth with a baby from a woman Bob was having an affair with.
  • Subverted: A paternity test proves that Bob is Claire's father.
  • Double Subverted: Bob and Daniel are Identical Twins, so the paternity test doesn't mean much.
  • Parodied: Claire comments that it's been a while since she's had any pointless drama in her life. On cue, Daniel walks into the room and says, "Guess what? I might be your dad!"
  • Zig-Zagged: Claire is sure that Daniel is her father, but a paternity test shows that Bob is the father. However, the test turns out to be faulty. Furthermore, Alice and Daniel were very drunk the night Claire might have been conceived, and they're not even sure if they did hook up or not.
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  • Averted: No one ever questions that Bob is Claire's father.
  • Enforced: The producers think Alice, Bob, and Claire are too perfect, and tell the writers to introduce Daniel, Claire's possible father, to spice things up.
  • Lampshaded: Daniel tells Claire that he has something important to tell her. Claire says, "Oh God, you're not going to tell me that you might be my father or something ridiculous like that, are you?" Daniel says, "Well..."
  • Invoked: Claire and Daniel have an Intergenerational Friendship, and as they discuss their shared interests, Claire quips, "If we're not careful, it'll turn out you're really my father."
  • Exploited: Claire starts extorting Daniel for an allowance "because you might be my dad."
  • Defied: Claire comments that she and Daniel have a lot in common. She begins, "Is he my..." and Alice cuts her off with "Ew, no!"
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  • Discussed: "You know, Daniel, if this was a TV show, people might question if you were Claire's father."
  • Conversed: "You ever notice these shows always introduce someone who might be the main character's father for some cheap drama?"
  • Implied: Claire tells Daniel that she knows her mother had an affair with him less than a year before she was born. Daniel asks, "What are you getting at?"
  • Deconstructed: Bob is so devastated to learn that he might not be Claire's biological father that he files for divorce. Daniel grapples with questions about whether he wants to be Claire's father, and what it means for him if he is. Meanwhile, Alice and Claire's once close relationship has been strained, with Claire wondering what else Alice might be hiding from her.
  • Reconstructed: Bob and Alice repair their marriage, though it will take a long time for Bob to trust Alice again. Claire forgives her mother, and Daniel decides that he doesn't want to break up a family. Things aren't the way they were before, and no one still knows if Bob or Daniel is Claire's father, but they've made their peace with it.
  • Played for Laughs: Daniel thinks he's Claire's father, so he keeps trying to do "dad" things like talk to her about boys, much to her embarrassment.
  • Played for Drama: Claire needs a kidney, and doctors need to figure out if Bob or Daniel should donate.

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