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Discussion Main / ParentalAbandonment

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Nov 3rd 2011 at 2:08:48 AM •••

Should dying really count as parental abandonment? To abandon something is to purposely leave it behind. Besides suicide and suicide related tropes, I do not see how dying dying = abandonment.

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Feb 4th 2012 at 12:36:59 AM •••

Agreed. This trope needs either a new name or some subtropes.

Oct 3rd 2015 at 9:55:29 PM •••

How do we propose a rename for this trope? A lot of examples of Parental Abandonment involve the death of one or both parents, instead of intentional abandonment.

Edited by AHI-3000
Oct 4th 2015 at 2:34:50 AM •••

You won't. Too many wicks and inbounds to justify a rename for such a reason. A cleanup may have a chance, but I'd say the Trope Repair Shop needs to be cleaned out first.

Oct 20th 2019 at 4:50:52 PM •••

The trope's name does not accurately describe what the trope is about, and literal abandonment could qualify as an entirely separate trope. If there was a ever a reason to rename a trope, this would be it.

Edited by drzoidsquoo
Camacan MOD
Oct 29th 2011 at 10:12:51 PM •••

See How To Write An Example before fleshing this one out and returning it to the article: gotta have the specifics to be worth listing. We don't rely on external links being followed. Web comics

Dec 18th 2010 at 11:04:50 AM •••

Natter be gone!

  • There are rare instances in the earliest Peanuts strips where an adult really speaks. For example, Mrs. Van Pelt is heard from off panel, asking Lucy and her friends to play more quietly.
  • There was also a series of Sunday strips in May 1954, in which adults were actually depicted in person (albeit only from a distance, or from the torso down). See here, here, and here.
  • Later, we also sorta "see" Mrs. Van Pelt riding her bicycle with her younger child Rerun in the passenger seat (the most we see of her is her back, as Rerun is in the spotlight).

  • In fairness, the Runaways only became so after finding out their still-living mothers and fathers were about to sell out the planet. They did this out of love, with the idea of their children being all powerful. Warped, yes, but they were definitely not absent or neglectful. So more they abandoned the parents than vice versa.

  • One doesn't think of it?! HIS PARENTS ARE DEEAAAAAAAD!

    • Hopefully not the same plane crash... though that'd be hilarious.
      • Considering the first crash involved aliens, probably not.
      • And the fact that (iirc) one took place in Alaska, the other in Cairo. (Feel free to correct my geography.)

  • Thomson and Thompson are not pretending to be twins, they're merely thought to be.
  • And Jolyon Wagg does have a pretty extensive family (a wife, a mother-in-law and seven children).

  • Actually it's ambiguous as to whether the tiger actually kills his real parents or just scares them off. The village couple who later adopt him probably aren't his biological parents, although the woman thinks she is.

  • In the original script, Aladdin's mother was alive, and a song was written for her character to sing. Jeffrey Katzenberg convinced the filmmakers that the Aladdin character would be stronger if he was on his own, so she was written out.
  • It's partially averted in the original story. Aladdin's mother is alive, but his dad is dead.

  • Then again, he IS a robot.
  • The robot doesn't have to enter in. The human race was abandoned by Buy N Large — its parent figure.

  • Somewhat subverted because the whole family does end up happily together.

  • Littlefoot's father later shows up in Land Before Time X. Still, for the majority of the series, he has no idea who or where his dad is.

  • And Judith Barsi is the reason why Ducky's father is just kept in the background.

  • The implication is that the mother died in childbirth, which is completely possible and not all that uncommon in the era in which the movie's set.
  • Not to mention Odette's father is killed when she's taken away by the Big Bad.

  • Coming back to Shrek, it's revealed in Shrek the Third that his father actually tried to eat him, which is one of the main reasons why he doesn't want kids.
  • The Broadway musical version shows his parents kicking him out of the house at the age of seven to fend for himself (as per the ogre tradition, apparently). He also does mention in a later scene that he aspired to become a knight.

  • Although Lost Galaxy is a bad example, as the characters in that series (as well as Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force and Wild Force) are all 18 years old or older. A better example would be the In Space crew, who suddenly started spending what appeared to be weeks at a time in outer space, and apparently lived on their space ship. Despite being regular high school students. Or Ninja Storm: who paid the tuition for their super-secret ninja training?!

  • Also, Susan was travelling with her granddad, the Doctor. Nothing has ever been revealed about her parents, on-screen.
    • And then he abandoned her!
  • Given that most companions are main characters in a story before they join the Doctor, and given the high body count around the Doctor, this is all hardly surprising.
  • Amy is a subversion: initially, it seems like she's an orphan, then it turns out her parents got eaten by a crack in time and erased from history. The Doctor and Amy manage to bring them back in "The Big Bang".

  • Justified with Sarah's own parents.

  • The Cylons consider all of humanity their parents, and cause The End of the World as We Know It as payback for doing such a shitty job of it.

  • It gets worse. Every character on this show has issues with their parents. EVERY CHARACTER, NO EXCEPTIONS. The Winchesters, Castiel, Raphael, Lucifer (obviously), even the Trickster all have issues with their father figures.

  • One reason the pirates aren't especially successful is that they never "molest an orphan", being orphans themselves. Everyone they attack claims to be an orphan.

  • There's a recording of Tom Waits reading that story on one of his albums. Anyone surprised?

  • Clarification! Tedd and Susan's parents are divorced, Tedd's for unknown reasons and Susan's because she found her Dad cheating on her Mom. It hit both of them extremely hard. Nanase gets aggravated her Education Mama, but her true problems come from finding out that she (Nanase) is gay. Justin is also gay, but was publicly outed years ago and has had to put up with the discrimination ever since, even from his family. Grace is a government project who saw everyone she knew killed and was held as a prisoner for a time. Ellen is a clone of Elliot, complete with all his memories, and doubts her acceptance and originality. Compared to everyone else, Elliot and Sarah are pretty well adjusted, which is probably why they play the Straight Man in the strip. Note that everyone also gets exposed to their share of trauma over the course of the storyline.

  • In Anthony's defense, disappearing for extended lengths of time is apparently just something he does. This is the first time he's done it since his daughter was born, though.

  • It's often suggested that Alisin, in a way, abandoned her parents as much as they abandoned her; a flashback to her early life indicates that up until she was infected she had a reasonably happy childhood, and it's suggested that Alisin's anger and bitterness at her condition (and by proxy at them) poisoned their relationship as much as the Worthington's (well-meaning but misguided) over- and under-parenting did. They later reconcile in the final arc of the original run.

  • In older interviews during the show's run, Mike Judge said that the parents were offscreen, and that it was supposed to be implied that the characters only acted this way when their parents weren't around. This idea probably didn't catch on though.

Not examples:

  • Thumbelina has no father, and in fact no biological parents at all: she's born by popping out of a magical flower.
    • Her adopted mom doesn't really play a big part in her life either. She's there for a bit at the beginning and pops up in the big wedding scene at the end.

It doesn't count if she has not parents.

  • Partial subversion: Lemmy from Fanboys had very distant parents and was, in Pauls's words, "raised by a TV screen". However, he enjoyed his childhood and never angsts. In fact, he simply never mentions it — how is he to know it wasn't normal?

  • Averted in Danny Phantom and American Dragon Jake Long, where both the main character's parents are accounted for. Very uncommon in Super Hero shows.
    • Although the former did lose his parents (as well as his sister, best friend, and would-be girlfriend) in a horrible alternate future where the loss of them led to him transforming into the deadliest psychopath in his world.

    • Except for in the end of "Mission: Ed-Possible", when Eddy's father and Ed's mother's arms are seen pulling away their respective children for getting abysmal grades on their report cards.

    • One is lead to wonder why The Magus simply didn't destroy the book after defeating The Weird Sisters and being able to safely enter Avalon...

    • The comic of the series, Teen Titans GO!, reveals that both of her parents died of illness after the Gordanians (the same aliens featured in the "GO!" episode) nearly invaded their planet and Star was given up for slavery as a truce offering (by Blackfire no less). The comic also reveal she had a brother Wildfire who was sent into space to preserve the family line just in case.
    • Beast Boy regards Mento and Elasti-girl of the Doom patrol as parents, but they were only seen for two episodes and he's basically left to fend for himself.

    • Rogue has Irene, her foster mother. Of course, she and Mystique are lovers associates, so that serves as little comfort.

    • The Grand Finale revealed that Master Yo is their father...not that even he knew it.

    • Confirmed in the second season. They're pretty much the two last remaining members of the Gadget line.

Aug 25th 2010 at 5:41:37 AM •••

I just wanted to say that this article has the best header image ever. Whoever is responsible for it deserves a cookie.

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Jun 7th 2010 at 7:19:46 PM •••

Is Anime & Manga a separate page for a reason, or is it just formatting wonkiness?

Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
If you can't read this one, hit reload for the page.
The next one might be easier to see.

How well does it match the trope?

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