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Playing With / Papa Wolf

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Basic Trope: A man who fiercely defends his loved ones.

  • Straight: Bob's children are threatened and he leaps to their defense.
  • Exaggerated: Bob inflicts Disproportionate Retribution on anyone who even annoys his children — even justifiably. See Knight Templar Parent.
  • Downplayed: Bob gives a stern lecture to someone who threatens his children.
  • Justified:
    • They're his children, and his protectiveness is an expression of his love for them.
    • The protective dad is a wolf.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted: Mama Bear
  • Subverted:
    • Bob's defense of his children keeps them too sheltered to survive when he dies, so they end up worse off than before.
    • Bob tries to be a Papa Wolf, but proves woefully inadequate against the threat against his children...
    • Bob looks like he's going to protect his children from an angry mob but suddenly supports the children's attackers...
    • Bob prepares to protect his children only to discover that they don't need him to.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Half of the plot is taken up by unending conflicts between fathers over real and imagined slights to their children.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The little girl who the old man goes out of his way to protect at all costs is under a magical effect that has reduced her to the appearance of a child. She's his mother.
    • Bob and his daughter both protect each other fiercely.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "If he doesn't protect his kids, it means he doesn't care about them, and it makes him look like a jerkass.
  • Lampshaded: "Just because he's a shop clerk doesn't mean we can risk his seeing us harm his kids!"
  • Implied: Jim the Barbaric Bully brutalizes everybody in class on a constant basis regardless of such things as gender, but leaves Alice alone and treats her with a rather suspicious level of respect. Sure enough, we get a flashback eventually where Jim either heard Alice was Bob's daughter and knew of his deeds and decided not to push his lucků or he did anyway, and Bob gave Jim a personal demonstration of why he's so feared.
  • Invoked: "I knew if they did that, they would bring down Bob's wrath on them."
  • Exploited: "Jane, I'm your brother and I know you're mad at Bob. So I'm going to arrange a date between Bob and Alice. You know what her dad is like don't you?"
  • Defied: "I know my kids can take care of themselves — I won't steal their thunder."
  • Discussed: "He would do anything to protect his kids."
  • Conversed: "You have to write in a son for him. It gives him a motive. Men in stories like that will punch out God to save their son."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Fathers obsess over their children to the neglect of what else is their duty, and shelter them into helplessness.
    • Or his zeal to protect his children scares them, and his wife (if he has one) and end up driving then away.
    • A genuinely good person of similar age (to the offspring of course) who's romantically interested in his children (most likely the daughter) shies away out of fear of inadvertently provoking his wrath somehow.
    • His desire to protect his children is well-intentioned, but he is completely incompetent otherwise. He gets himself (or his kids) killed as a result of his Leeroy Jenkins antics.
    • Bob sees his children in a situation that is Not What It Looks Like, and Poor Communication Kills ensues.
    • Bob has to repeatedly resort to the use of violence to protect his loved ones, coming across as a very terrifying Implacable Man.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob learns his Aesop and teaches his children to defend themselves, and brings them along to help others.
    • Bob sees his children in a situation that is Not What It Looks Like, and his first instinct is to protect them... But they explain to him exactly what happened, and while he feels like a massive idiot, no permanent harm was done.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob growls before confronting his kids' attacker.
  • Played For Drama: Bob winds up injuring or killing one of his own children trying to protect them.
  • Played For Horror:
    • "Bob" is a literal papa wolf and the cast is in a Trapped-with-Monster Plot.
    • Bob is a Knight Templar Parent and people he considers a threat to his children (be it for actual reasons or, worse yet, reasons he imagined in his derangement) often die screaming.

Back to Papa Wolf, and get your hands off my son!