Abusive Parents/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basic Trope: A character's parents were not good to them.

  • Straight: Carl's mom forgets to feed him while his dad whips him every other day.
  • Exaggerated: Offing the Offspring
  • Downplayed: Carl's parents verbally abuse him, insulting him and demeaning him every chance they get, but other than that, treat him well.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Carl is domineering and the Big Bad of the story who denounces his parents at every waking moment.
    • Alternately, Carl is a Self-Made Orphan.
  • Subverted:
    • Carl's parents seem to be abusive towards their son at first, but when he is in actual danger through outside forces, it turns into a Papa Wolf and Mama Bear team up.
    • Or, Carl's parents seem neglectful at first only because they are Hippies, and as the story progresses, it becomes obvious that they all love each other very much.
    • Carl claims he is brutally abused by his parents, but it's all a lie for attention.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ... But when the threat is gone, the reset button is pushed.
    • While Carl's claims of physical abuse are false, psychological abuse and neglect are plentiful.
  • Parodied: Carl's parents are stated to deliberately abuse him to make him grow up to be an angsty superhero. Carl kills them and becomes a villain.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed: He instead grows up to try to be different from his abusive parents and becomes a loving and caring father, raising/becoming the next hero
  • Zig Zagged: Neither Carl nor the audience can tell which days his parents will abuse him and which days they won't.
  • Averted: Carl's parents are at least competent and fair.
  • Enforced:
    • Carl is an antagonist, and the writers are writing an Anti-Villain.
    • The writer is writing to vent about his childhood and his own abusive parents.
  • Lampshaded: "Man, your parents suck, Carl." "I know. Though it's kinda funny, in a way."
  • Invoked: "HIT ME!"
  • Defied:
    • Carl solves his problem by calling child protective services
    • Carl solves the problem by murdering his parents.
  • Discussed: "That villain must have been abused as a child."
  • Conversed: "What is with all this stuff? If they did that to their son in Real Life, they'd be locked up!"
  • Played For Laughs: Hilariously Abusive Childhood
  • Played For Drama:
    • One or both of Carl's parents were abused as children themselves, spurring them to abuse Carl in turn.
    • Carl's Panicky Expectant Father antics take a turn for the dramatic when he voices concerns about hurting his child like his parents hurt him.
    • Carl does end up being as bad a father as his parents.
  • Plot Foundation:

No! Please don't hit me! I'm sorry...