Calling the Old Man Out

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"He said, "Son it's gonna hurt me more than it hurts you"
But somehow I couldn't help but have my doubts
'Cause I'd seen my older brothers crawl back in the house

Each time they called the old man out"

Did Mom and/or Dad leave you without an explanation, only to pop up years later expecting hugs and kisses? Are even YOU tired of listening to your Freudian Excuse? Is endlessly sucking up to the "Well Done, Son" Guy for a tiny crumb of respect really starting to get on your nerves?

Right. Time to take a page from Oedipus Rex and let your parental figure know how you REALLY feel.

It's time to Call The Old Man Out. Or the Old Woman, if it's your mother you have issues with. Time for a real shout-down with that dysfunctional parental figure. Possibly even a beat down, if you really get into it. (We suggest you try not to go any farther than that; killing a parent, even one who arguably deserves it, tends to put you in the villain camp by default. Even Oedipus got nailed for it eventually, remember. And he didn't even KNOW the man was his father.)

You see this trope whenever a child figure (who is most often actually fully adult in age, but in rare cases may still be a child or teenager) goes into full-on confrontational mode with a parent figure they feel has severely wronged them. "Child" and "parent" can be fairly loose here—it's the power relationship that's key, not the genetics. Although the confrontation can be quite longwinded as it plays out, the actual semantic content usually boils down to "Daddy, you SUCK!" Or, less often but still seen, Mommy. For some reason, father figures are far more often targeted for this, due to the general belief that most women tend to be better parental figures than fathers. Or maybe it's just not considered nice to yell at Mom. This can be a double whammy if the "parent" is also The Caretaker, since they're essentially the child's lifeline and are wronging them.

Also, for this trope to come into play, the parental figure must actually have transgressed, or the child figure must have good reason to believe the transgression has happened. If the child figure is not at least somewhat justified in their accusations, it's not Calling The Old Man Out—it's just throwing a temper tantrum.

Bonus points are awarded if the child is able to (correctly) point out that they have managed not to repeat the parental mistakes with their own offspring. Might be subverted if they have tragically repeated exactly the same mistakes with their own offspring. Of course, the parent may be happy either way.

Sometimes, the writer may not want the child figure to be the one actually doing the calling out. Maybe they want to keep the child figure Really Nice, so nice they won't even yell at an abusive parent. Maybe they want to show that the child figure is still so thoroughly whipped by the abusive parent that they are still incapable of facing them. Maybe the child is hoping that Daddy may still turn out to be good after all, despite the abuse and is therefore holding back on giving him the what-for. Maybe they feel that the accusation will seem less whiny if an outsider delivers it, thereby validating the abuse in the eyes of a third person. In such a case, someone who loves the child figure may step in and deliver the calling out vicariously -- "How dare you treat your child like that, you monster!" Spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, aunts/uncles, mentors, best friends, or possibly even older siblings may step in and take on this job for someone unwilling or unable to do it for themselves.

The actual results of Calling The Old Man Out can vary widely. Clearing the air might be a good thing, and result in some kind of parent-child reconciliation. (A common variant is when the parent can provide some kind of reasonable explanation for why bad things were allowed to happen that the child was not previously aware of.) It might result in a permanent break between parent and child. It might even provide a powerful catharsis for the child figure, allowing Character Development to take place through resolving that Freudian Excuse, Parental Abandonment issue, or "Well Done, Son" Guy obsession the character has been carrying around most of his or her life. In extreme cases, the parent, the child, or both, might end up dead. Or maybe nothing at all changes.

Just out of fairness, it should be mentioned that good old Oedipus himself is not truly an example of this trope, as he did not know he was killing his father when it happened, and was not intentionally doing it as revenge for his father spiking his feet and leaving him to die on a hillside as a baby; Oedipus killed the old man for cutting him off in traffic.

Compare Rage Against the Mentor.

Examples of Calling the Old Man Out include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Death Note inverted. Matsuda, who looked up to Soichiro, calls out the guy's son on his indirect father-killing.

Matsuda: What was it all for then?! What about your dad? What the hell did he die for?!
Light: My dad? You mean Soichiro Yagami? That's right, Matsuda! In this world, all those honest people like him fight for justice, they always lose! You want a world where people like that are made to be fools?! I know you understand, so kill the others! SHOOT THEM!!
Matsuda: You led your own father to his death. And now that he's gone, you call him a fool?!

  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai, Satoko Houjou pulls off one of these during Minagoroshi-hen, despite being terrified of the old man in question. It took all of Keiichi's fate-crushing oratory skills and all of Hinamizawa backing her up, but Satoko finds the courage to oppose her abusive uncle and ask for the help she so desperately needs. Doubles as one of the series' biggest Crowning Moments of Awesome, to boot.
    • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has a rather horrific one of these in its fourth arc. Maria, as a full-fledged witch, finally gets revenge on her abusive mother, Rosa. In between each round of bringing her back from the dead and killing her again in inventively horrible ways, the two of them are yelling about how much they hate each other and accusing each other of ruining their lives.
  • In UFO Robo Grendizer (one of the Mazinger Z sequels), Rubina, daughter of Big Bad King Vega, calls her father out TWICE in the same episode (and it was quite awesome): The first time she -rightly- accused him from lying to her -about her fiancé's fate-, and bluntly states finding out that lie had turned her life upside down. And later she told him his wars to conquer other planets were stupid and they just should find another world to settle on.
  • Despite REALLY deserving it, Gendo Ikari never actually got Called Out by his son Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion, although his wife's ghost did confront him about his behavior close to the end and his last words before dying were "I'm sorry, Shinji". But by then, everyone had a few words for him, including other dead people.
    • The manga version, on the other hand, has Shinji wordlessly lunge and punch at Gendo -- but is (unfortunately) stopped by Kaji holding him back. The audience does get to savor Gendo's look of complete shock, however, as the punch was less than an inch from connecting with his nose.
      • He does land a punch on old Gendo 20 issues later. But Gendo verbally owns Shinji over the next few pages, in fact that rant is the only hint of his motivations we've ever got to see in over a decade of (manga—the anime version does hint at his motives) Evangelion, and instead of being a Love Martyr, he turns out to be ugly indeed.
    • Shinji calls the old man out spectacularly in Rebuild of Evangelion by thrashing NERV HQ after the Dummy Plug that Gendou ordered activated nearly kills Asuka. Repercussions come after, but Shinji didn't regret his actions, not after that.
      • And then Gendo calls him out for it.

Gendo: Insubordination. Private appropriation of an Eva. Blatant extortion. These are all criminal offenses. Do you have anything to say for yourself?
Shinji: Yes. I don't want to pilot Eva ever again.
Gendo: I see. Then get out of here. (Shinji turns towards the door) Are you running away again? You need to sacrifice everything and use your own strength in order to fulfill your desires. It's not something others can do for you. Shinji - grow up.

      • Simply put, Gendo followed up stunting Shinji's emotional growth/development by ordering Shinji to do the one thing Gendo had spent all of Shinji's life since his mother's death rendering him incapable of doing.
  • In both the anime and manga versions of Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric berserks all over his runaway father, Hohenheim. In both continuities he went so far as to punch him with his automail arm. They sort of get reconciled later.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Judai first calls Manjyome's older brothers on the way they mistreat and disrespect him, and Manjyome later finally gives them what they have coming in a duel.
  • Fate Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, after years of abuse by her mother Mad Scientist Precia, subverts this when instead of calling her mother out, she tries to redeem her to the very end. Instead, Nanoha and Lindy Harlaown are the ones to call her out. Psycho lady is so far gone that she just shakes their insults off and commits suicide with the jar containing the dead body of little Alicia, the daughter Fate was supposed to replace.
  • Although Ranma and Genma from Ranma ½ routinely fight as part of both their training routine and their personal interaction, the former really let the latter have it when he recalled that his father regularly bullied him for food... merely because Ranma was still comparatively weaker and couldn't stop the then-older, stronger martial artist from taking his meal. And let's not forget the incidents with the Cat Fist or the very fact that Ranma turns into a woman because of him...
    • In a rather surprising instance, Kasumi, of all people, gets angry enough to yell at Genma and demand explanations for why he took Ranma to a place as dangerous as Jusenkyo.
    • In the anime, an exclusive episode has Tatewaki Kuno call out his father, when the latter attempts to return to their estate and retake command after having abandoned them to their own devices for at least three years. Between this and the downright abusive way that his father treated him early in life, Kuno refuses to allow this to happen, actually challenging his father to a fight. Kuno technically wins the fight, but the principal decieves him and kicks him off the roof when Kuno has him almost beaten. While this doesn't do anything serious to Kuno, the principal declares that he will not return to the estate and goes back to Furinkan High, possibly afraid after having realised that his son A: truly hates him, and B: is quite capable of kicking his ass. The two do seem to get on a little better afterward, but they're still a dysfunctional family to the core.
      • Also revived in the anime, when the Principal goes back home to attend Kodachi's school conferences instead of Kuno, whos had to raise his little sister himself ever since Daddy left. Kuno, no matter how he can't get along with Kodachi and how she actually is a Daddy's Girl, refuses to just take it and again challenges his dad. Again, Kuno wins.
    • Noticeable in how these two episodes are among the very few times when Kuno, nornally a Jerkass Ted Baxter who's hated even by the plot, comes out favorably. Very much.
  • In Digimon Savers, Touma calls his father Franz out for never standing up to his grandmother for him, for further endangering his half-sister Relena's life, and for being manipulated by the Manipulative Bastard Kurata.
  • Ryuunosuke in Urusei Yatsura does this to her father on a regular basis. Considering that he's raised her all her life as a boy and goes to great lengths to keep her away from anything feminine, this is somewhat understandable.
  • Code Geass: The whole point of Lelouch's rebellion is to call his Social Darwinist Old Man The Emperor out. And after he fails epically at the first attempt, he starts it all over again in the second season.
    • However, when he does finally get to call out the Emperor (and his own mother!) in person, it becomes one of his many moments of pure awesome.
      • Lelouch does it before the series even starts. Unfortunately, that tells you exactly how it went down: He gets abandoned in a war zone.
    • Also, Lelouch's Forgotten Friend, New Foe Suzaku tries to do that to his dad, Japanese Premier Genbu Kururugi, when Genbu decides he'd rather sacrifice the whole Japan than surrender. It horribly backfires as young Suzaku kills his father in the process, which allows Britannia to invade the country. Suzaku himself is so traumatised that, despite never being formally punished, ends up with Trauma-Induced Amnesia and attempts to become The Atoner... with even worse results.
      • In the Suzaku of the Counterattack manga, Genbu does the opposite; he schemes with the Emperor to eliminate the remaining Japanese officials who supported continuing the war. Suzaku overhears it and ends up killing his father. In the Knightmare of Nunnally adaptation, this is averted. C.C. kills Genbu when he's about to kill Lelouch.
  • Near the end of Princess Tutu, Rue rebels against the Raven--who had raised her after he kidnapped her as a child--by saving Mytho from him and shouting at him "You're not my father!" Later, Mytho and Rue deliver the final blow to the Raven together.
  • Calling the Old Man Out is a regular occurrence between Hachimaki and Goro Hoshino in Planetes, because the latter pretty much abandoned his family on Earth to pursue his career as an astronaut. Not that it actually works, since Hachi shares Goro's all-consuming passion for space.
  • In Narutaru, Akira Sakura eventually calls out her father, who is heavily implied to have sexually abused her when she was younger, by stabbing him to death. This is a Shrinking Violet we're talking about here, by the way.
  • Bunny Drop's Daikichi calls out his entire family after each and every one of them are either unable or unwilling to take in his grandfather's illegitimate daughter Rin (age 6) by telling them that she'll grow into a much better adult than any of them, then asking Rin if she wants to come live with him.
    • One of the subplots is also finding out where Rin's mother Masako has gone and call her out on her abandonment of the little girl.
  • In chapter 440 of Naruto, Naruto calls out his father Minato Namikaze (quite physically at first), the 4th Hokage, (or the spirit of the 4th, it's not really clear) on his decision to seal the Nine-tails in Naruto, which led to his early years of loneliness and becoming a target of Akatsuki. Minato goes on to explain his reasons (which are pretty good, by the way), but he does acknowledge that he caused Naruto a great deal of pain and that he probably doesn't have a right to act like a father anymore.
    • Considerably earlier, we have his chewing out and literally calling out Tsunade as a drunken coward unworthy of the title of Hokage after Sarutobi dies. As the whole reason he and Jiraiya found her was that she was supposed to be his new boss, this would have to count. Admittedly, she does smack him around in the fight, but he makes her go beyond her boast of doing it with but a single finger. Naruto's a master of taking every victory he can.
    • As of episode 546, it's Gaara's turn to call out his abusive father, recently revived via Edo-Tensei.
  • In Oishinbo the main character and his father are rivals and the relationship is not pretty.
  • Full Metal Panic!. Seina, the leader of the A12 terrorist group, spares Andrei Kalinin because he reminds her of her own surrogate father, a former mercenary who trained the group of delinquent youths in survival and warfare, but who failed to prepare them to live in a Japan at peace. Her dying words as she's cradled in Kalinin's arms are "You speak like you know everything. I hate you. You make me sick." It's obvious who she's really referring to.
  • The second major arc in Fairy Tail, dealing with the rival guild Phantom, was set in motion by Lucy's father. Lucy doesn't get to do much during this arc and instead spends most of the time being depressed about how she's causing them problems. After the end of the arc, she decides to go home... whereupon she tells him to go to hell and stop interfering with her life and her new family or they're going to declare war on him.
  • In Oban Star Racers, after Don Wei tells Molly that he knows that she's really his daughter, Eva, she unloads on him for abandoning her at a boarding school for most of her childhood (without so much as a letter) and not even recognizing her when she first joined the team.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi (especially the manga version), Miaka Yuuki's very strict single mother is screaming at her for "seeing a guy" instead of studying for high-school entrance exams (after reading and misinterpreting Miaka's diary.) In the manga, Miaka screams back at Yuuki-san about how she can't possibly pass the exams despite studying hard, and that she's tired of playing her mother's agenda to get her praise, and that it's not fair of her mom to criticize her for being interested in a guy Tamahome when her mother is seeing someone herself. Yuuki-san responds with an Armor-Piercing Slap, causing Miaka to run away and go inside the Book. When she return to Tokyo after the first part of her adventures, after some tense moment her mom apologizes to her.
  • In the second part of Kaleido Star, Rosetta Passel wants to join the Kaleido Stage but her Stage Mom won't let her. She first runs away from home and hides in Sora's dorm room, then Mrs. Passel comes searching for her and she has to confront her mother on how she wants to start taking control of her own life and decide what she wants to do. It ultimately works and Rosetta is allowed to stay at the Stage.
  • Subverted in an early episode of Pokémon. Flint presents himself upon his son Brock after having abandoned him and his nine siblings some time ago, and tells him he's going to take care of them again. Brock approaches Flint while he braces himself, preparing for the worst, when Brock gives him...a needle and cloth. Brock then proceeds to list all the tasks his father has to do daily to care for the children, while Flint struggles to take notes of them all. Afterward, Brock is free to leave with Ash and Misty.
    • Not so much subversion as letting the facts slam Flint for him..
  • In Mens Love, after years of working for his father doing everything he's been told to, Daigo finally stands up to him with regards to an Arranged Marriage and keeping him from going back to Japan. With a conveniently timed threat from another CEO about Daigo's father threatening his employee (Daigo's lover), it works pretty well.
  • In One Piece, one of Whitebeard's allies Squardo stabs Whitebeard and angrily calls him out for selling out his allies to the Marines, which was a lie that Akainu made up. His bitter resentment towards Ace's father (who had eliminated his crew, leaving him the sole survivor) and discovering just who Ace's father was also led to the calling out.
    • In Chapter 620 of the manga, Sanji angrily confronts Jinbe over the fact that he (Jinbe) was responsible for letting Arlong run loose in East Blue, which led to Nami's Dark and Troubled Past. Jinbe doesn't try to deny it, and apologizes for Nami's anguish even as he reveals the series of incidents that led up to Arlong's actions.
  • Horribly and massively subverted in Soul Eater. Medusa starts treating Crona kindly after s/he kills Tsar. Crona is so shocked that s/he kills Medusa brutally, saying that his/her abusive mother wouldn't treat him/her so kindly ever. But actually, it was a Thanatos Gambit from Medusa, who by making him/her throw away the last one s/he relayed on by killing her (Medusa), Crona completed the whole Black Blood process, thus making Crona crazier than ever Just like Medusa wanted. Hoo. Lee. Sheeeeeet.
  • Kaoru of Nana to Kaoru does this twice for Nana. First he barges into a police box and yells down a phone at her police chief mother to come home and take care of her sick daughter. Then, because Nana is The Ace, everyone at school relies upon Nana to do their activities - so much so they go round to her house when she isn't answering her phone. Going over to Kaoru's house, Kaoru chews everyone present out for not taking care of their own business, even the teacher. The fact that he's hiding a Nana in full bondage gear underneath his sheets while pretending to watch porn is almost beside the point.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Invincible calls his father out for lying to him and for the whole "world domination" bit. They eventually come to blows and they wreck a few continents in the ensuing, bloody brawl. It later turns out that said Calling Out ended up in the old man's Heel Face Turn.
  • This is the entire driving motivation for Jesse Custer in Preacher (Comic Book), except instead of calling out his father, he wants to call out the Father of all Creation.
    • It's true that the overall Rage Against the Heavens plot of Preacher fits this trope, but long before the end of the series there's another example of it. Jesse had a great, happy childhood until he was around six or maybe even younger, when Jesse's father was killed in front of his eyes by Jesse's uncle Jody. Jody raised Jesse brutally for the rest of his childhood, also taking Jesse's mother aside to shoot her and using horrific child abuse. All this is revealed in the third or fourth story arc of the series, and by the end of it Jesse has finally killed Jody and everyone else on that side of the family responsible for his misery.
  • X-Men: Scott Summers' father was abducted by aliens when he and his brother were fairly young; when Dad showed up many years later, Scott vented his displeasure that a) he hadn't bothered to come back and look for them earlier, despite having plenty of opportunity, and b) he'd become a ruthless space pirate in the interim. The animated series used a similar storyline, with even more shouting on Scott's part.
  • In Astonishing X-Men Cyclops "fires" Professor X after he finds out that Xavier knew the whole time that the Danger Room had become sentient, and that he continued to use her (and keep the secret to himself).
  • Happens with distressing and perfectly typical regularity to Batman. The ones doing the calling out tend to be Nightwing and Oracle—the oldest son and the not-quite-daughter with the most equal standing with Batman. Oracle criticizes him openly a lot more than Nightwing does, whereas Nightwing's are more violent. Stephanie Brown unleashes on Batman in the Road Home for all the manipulation crap she's been through. Jason Todd has called him out on his moral selfishness.
  • In a recent Spider-Man story "American Son" Harry Osborn finally does this to his father Norman Osborn (aka Green Goblin, aka Iron Patriot, aka Worst Father in Comics).
  • Rose Wilson aka Ravager does this to her father Deathstroke every time they meet. She never really got over the whole " injecting me with Psycho Serum and shoving a piece of radioactive Kryptonite into my eye socket" thing that Deathstroke pulled the last time she trusted him. That, and he's an amoral and ruthless mercenary who inevitably ruins the people close to him. In Blackest Night, after circumstances force them to fight side by side again, Rose calls him out one last time. While Rose acknowledges that part of her will always love him because he is her father (and only for that reason), she never wants to see him again. Rose also swears that if Slade tries to track down Rose's Missing Mom she will kill him.
  • Captain Cold, one of The Flash's staunchest foes, had a violent confrontation with his father after the old man had been abducted by the New Rogues. To teach everybody a lesson, Cold and his team searched for the impostors, trouncing each with their own weapons until Cold found his father in a meat locker. He proceeded to call him out for every indignity he had ever visited upon the family. The old man, clearly not impressed, shot back with his own opinions on how weak Cold and his mother were for not taking it. Cold, furious but unable to kill him, asked fellow Rogue Heat Wave to incinerate him.


Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • Past Sins has a heartwrenching scene that plays with this trope...
  • In Nine Months, April does this to her mother, Artemis.
  • The Treasure Planet fanfiction "Picking Up the Pieces" [dead link], Jim pulls an excellent one of these on his Disappeared Dad, with whom he briefly and bitterly reunites through a chance encounter. Summing it up, he basically says "I wanted your love but you never did a thing for Mom and I; and I found out I didn't need it to be awesome, and it's because of that I'm graduating from the most high-class academy in the galaxy. And it's after all this when you want to be my father again. We don't need you anymore, so screw you, in-name-only Dad." Wow.
  • Naruto fan fictions often have a habit of calling out Naruto's father on sealing the Kyuubi into him, Naruto's mother depending on if they see her as alive or dead, and Naruto's erstwhile godfather, Jiraiya, who failed to carry out his duties as guardian for twelve years. Results vary from heartfelt reunions to permanent shattering of familial bonds depending on the author's inclination.
  • This occurs in the KaBlam! fic Goodbye June. June's dad reveals that he's been fired from his new job for stealing money (in order to take her to fun places that he wouldn't be able to afford otherwise), and she snaps and chews him out for moving them to New York just to go and get himself in trouble. Sure, they make up later, but it's still quite an outburst.
  • There are a few Dragonball Z fics that had Gohan calling out his father for constantly leaving. Like No More Forgiveness by The Masked Otaku.
  • Averted in a CMOH for DC Nation. Connor Hawke discovers the pictures and birth announcement that proved Ollie knew about him. He's not exactly pleased about the knowledge that Ollie had never made effort to find him, and while Ollie braces for the chewing out...

Connor: "If I'd found this when I was a boy at the ashram, I would never have partnered up with you. If I had found this when I was the only Green Arrow, then I would have been VERY angry. But, now? ... Because of those things, I've had a chance to know you, to follow in your footsteps, to be the son of a good man. Because I didn't know, and because of those things I didn't trust, I have what I always wanted."

  • Almost every Evangelion fanfiction where Shinji has a spine.
  • The My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fancomic "Perfect Harmoneigh" (which can be found here on Deviantart). Octavia brings her girlfriend to a party her overbearing mother is throwing in order to find her a husband. Things are going badly, and then mum demands to know "Why don't you want to be happy?!" and it. Is. ON.
  • Subverted in The Basalt City Chronicles. In Daniel Clydesdale's backstory, he was utterly different from his father and ran away from home at 13 because Theodore (the father) wanted Dan to be part of the Clydesdale political legacy, while Dan was always itching for a fight. When they meet up again, Daniel's in Juvie. When he hears his father has come to visit, the kid's ready to let loose—but Theodore unwittingly yanks the rug out from under Daniel by begging for forgiveness.
  • Ember does this to Terrador in the Spyro Madness Saga. After Terrador puts her through hell and completely destroys her life, up to and including kidnapping her before she even sees her children, Ember has a chance to kill him, which everyone says she should. Instead, Ember gives him a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech and allows the authorities to deal with him.
  • In the Katawa Shoujo fic Lilly Epilogue (Good Ending): Family Matters, Akira reminds her father that he had left her and Lilly to fend for themselves in Japan when he and their mother had moved to Scotland, when he tries to persuade Lilly to return to Scotland, resulting in an argument. After a little while, even Lilly gets in on it, as she is infuriated by her father insulting Hisao and Hanako, and at the peak of her anger, yells "YOU HARDLY RAISED ME AT ALL, YOU BASTARD!!" before ordering him out of her apartment. She later reconciles with him, though.

Film[edit | hide]

  • A subplot of the well-cast film The Quick and the Dead. Leonardo diCaprio's young, confident gunslinger spends most of his time in a gunfighting tournament provoking his father (Gene Hackman) into a duel. Hackman asks diCaprio not to duel him, but when diCaprio refuses to back down, Hackman shoots him down immediately.
  • Satine to Harold Zidler, a man who has been like a father to her, when he tries to prevent her from running away with Christian. Naturally, her outburst prompts him to make The Reveal (known to the audience already) that she is dying of tuberculosis.
  • A somewhat Kick the DogKick the Son of a Bitch example is found in the end of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, where a father in his deathbed is slapped around and insulted by Gay Perry for sexually molesting his daughter. Harry at the end justifies this by saying, "Don't worry, he was creepy."
  • For a female example, Christina Ricci's character Rae in Black Snake Moan calls out her mom in the middle of a Quick Stop over her mother willfully ignoring years of sexual abuse. This leads to a full out brawl in the middle of the store aisles.
  • Dr. Ruth in Scanners doesn't get this treatment until after he's dead. Once Cameron learns that Dr. Ruth was his father who had him kept as a street-wandering pariah his whole life, he is horrified, and does nothing to defend Ruth from the insults of Big Bad Darryl Revok ("That was Daddy."). And when the inevitable Not So Different moment comes up, it's not Revok comparing himself to Cameron; it's Cameron comparing Revok to Ruth. And Revok is outraged.
  • In Peter Jackson's Braindead, Lionel finally stands up to his manipulative, possessive mother. Unfortunately he's waited until she's turned into a gigantic monstrosity, but he's still properly equipped to take her down the old-fashioned way.
  • In The Generals Daughter, this is the entire reason for Campbell's undermining of her father's position by seducing most of his staff, as revenge for the cover-up of her rape at Westpoint.
    • Subverted by Brenner in an offhand comment when questioned if he likes his own father.

My father was a drunk, a gambler, and a womanizer. I worshipped him.

  • Joshua in Little Odessa does this several times to his father, with escalating hostility and violence. The reasons are numerous: his father is a strict, belt-wielding figure, harsh on his younger son and even harsher on the elder (for good reasons, though). Moreover, he cheats on his wife. However, Joshua is definitely not the victimized party: he was banished from home for being a hitman and not due to some insignificant offense.
  • Used in The Addams Family with Fester/Gordon after his fake mother pushes him just a little too far...
  • The whole of When Did You Last See Your Father? is a flashback onto this guys life story which basically (?) leads up to a massive subversion where he should have called his father out but forgives his father on his death bed.
  • In Finding Neverland, Emma spends most of the movie trying to control the lives of her daughter and school-aged grandsons, attempting to keep James Barrie out of their lives. Near the end of the movie, George, the eldest brother, finally takes a stand against her meddling.
  • Citizen Kane sees one delivered to Kane's adoptive guardian, Mr. Thatcher.

Kane: You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man.
Thatcher: Don't you think you are?
Kane: I think I did pretty well, under the circumstances.
Thatcher: What would you like to have been?
Kane: Everything you hate.

    • Note that this is displacement. Kane's really angry at his mother, for sending Kane away when he was young, and putting him into Thatcher's hands. Implicitly, Thatcher is a decent (if very conservative) middle-aged banker who did his best while (ahem) raising Kane.
  • In Cherrybomb, Luke steps in to prevent his raging alcoholic father from killing himself and the father responds by punching him. At this point Luke snaps completely (having put up with a LOT of crap by this point), hitting his dad back and berating him for being such a useless parent. As if to illustrate this point, the next day the father uses this incident as an excuse to leave town and abandon his son (who is 16, and has no mother) entirely, despite Luke apologising for what he'd done and pleading with him to stay.
  • John Prentice (Sidney Poitier) delivers a scathing speech to his father in one of the only dramatic scenes in the comedy Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

"You listen to me. You say you don't want to tell me how to live my life. So what do you think you've been doing? You tell me what rights I've got or haven't got, and what I owe to you for what you've done for me. Let me tell you something: I owe you nothing!"

  • In City Slickers Mitch (Billy Crystal) asks his buddies Ed(Bruno Kirby) and Phil(Daniel Stern) to describe "the best day and the worst day in your life". Ed recalled when stood up to his father, a serial adulterer:

Ed Furillo: I'm 14 and my mother and father are fighting again... y'know, because she caught him again. Caught him... This time the girl drove by the house to pick him up. And I finally realized, he wasn't just cheating on my mother, he was cheating us. So I told him, I said, "You're bad to us. We don't love you. I'll take care of my mother and my sister. We don't need you any more." And he made like he was gonna hit me, but I didn't budge. And he turned around and he left. He never bothered us again. Well, I took care of my mother and my sister from that day on. That's my best day.
Phil Berquist: What was your worst day?
Ed Furillo: Same day.

Mama Boucher: (furiously) You gonna lose all your fancy foosballs games! And your gonna fail your big exam! Because foosball and school are-
Bobby: (interrupting, bitterly) The devil?
(Mama is taken aback)
Bobby: Everything's the devil to you, Mama! Well, I like school! And I like football! And I'm gonna keep doin' them both because they make me feel good!
(Bobby grabs his things and walks to the door)
Bobby: And by the way, Mama. Alligators are ornery 'cause of their "Medulla Oblongata"!
(Bobby slams the door behind him, but he opens it a few seconds later)
Bobby: (almost in tears) And I like Vicki, and she likes me! And she showed me her boobies, and I like them too!
(Bobby slams the door for the last time)

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Carmen in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Her dad definitely deserved it, seeing as he didn't tell her he was engaged, living with his fiancée and her two kids, and getting married that August before she came to spend the summer with him for the first time since the separation.
  • William de Worde does this to his father at the end of the Discworld novel The Truth.
  • In the Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling allows Dumbledore to do the honors in calling out the Dursleys for their shabby and abusive treatment of Harry in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
    • Harry himself throws a Grand Mal fit in Dumbledore's office at the end of Order Of The Phoenix over a combination of the shock of Sirius' death, Dumbledore's misguided avoidance of him for the entire book, and the revelation that Dumbledore had been hiding even more information from him than he suspected (Information that might have helped avert the aforementioned death). To his credit, Dumbledore does let him vent his rage before apologizing and promising to tell Harry the whole truth (Which still wasn't the whole truth, but still things he admits he should've told Harry from the start).
    • And in Deathly Hallows Harry gets to confront Lupin, who just abandoned his wife and unborn child.
  • In The Gunslinger, Roland calls out Cort for the ritual coming-of-age challenge of every gunslinger. Due to a plot by Walter, Roland is only 14 when he issues the challenge. Walter expects Roland to be disgraced and exiled. Some creative thinking on Roland's part plays a key role in the outcome of the challenge.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the unfairly despised but worthy youngest son Tyrion Lannister finally tells off his father, Lord Tywin Lannister. And then kills him. Tywin deserved it.
  • In The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri Karamazov calls his father out and ends up beating the everliving crap out of him in a fit of rage. It's part inheritance money and part Love Triangle which spurs him.
  • In one of the Teenage Worrier books, Letty mistakenly believes her father is planning to leave his family for a male lover. She imagines confronting him in a humorous scenario, finishing with:

And the great noble Hand of God will wag its finger at Dad and say "Look after your kids, punk."

  • In the Jumper novel, the Abusive Parents subplot culminates in an epic Calling Out. Davy jumps his father to his mother's grave and then subjects him to a Hannibal Lecture. While using Daddy Dearest's whipping belt as a prop to emphasize just how horrific and wrong the abuse was.
  • Not sure if this was included in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but Cao Pi (son of Magnificent Bastard Cao Cao) ordered one of his concubines (Zhen Ji, for those of you familiar with Dynasty Warriors) to commit suicide on the pretext that she was too jealous of his other wives. One day he takes his heir apparent (and Zhen Ji's son) out for a hunt and manages to bag himself a nice doe; in high spirits, he tells his son to capture the fawn as well, at which point the son answers: "You have already killed the mother; I see no need to murder its child as well".
  • Prince Roger, near the end of March Upcountry. Prince Roger's father tried to pull off a coup before Roger was born. Roger, unfortunately, looks almost identical to the man. Worse no one ever told Roger what happened, or why his father was banished - or even why his mother seemed to hate and distrust him. The resulting spoiled-lonely-brat-who-wants-some-loving-attention behaviour did nothing to improve anyone's attitude towards him. And to top it all off, once he finally finds all this out...he can't even Call Out his mother for her actions, because she's several solar systems away—so he has to settle for throwing a tantrum of epic proportions, ending up trashing his room and mistreating his sword badly.
  • Mercedes Lackey does this one to a turn in Magic's Pawn: after losing his first love and acquiring a huge array of powers he doesn't really want, Vanyel is barely conscious but able to pull a mild Carrie on his abusive father, telekinetically pushing him around, knocking him down and saying, in essence, "How do you like it -- getting smacked around by someone bigger and stronger than you are?"
    • The "calling the mentor out" version happens in Winds of Fate, when Elspeth realizes that her companion Gwena is herding her, fat, dumb and happy, toward a Glorious Destiny while trying to foist Skif on her as an ideal mate. Her response, paraphrased: Screw Destiny, stop manipulating me, and if you don't like it, you can go back to Haven without me! Gwena is so shocked at Elspeth's behavior that she actually acquiesces (more or less). It turns out pretty well for all involved.
  • In Percy Jackson and The Olympians, Luke is...very ticked with his father.
    • And in The Last Olympian, Percy does this to all the gods, telling them they should accept all demigods (including checking in time and time on their children) and take responsiblity for their actions. And he even extends it to telling them that even the minor gods and their children should have a place at the camp.
    • Also in The Last Olympian, Hades calls out his father.

"And if there is one thing we agree on - it's that you were a TERRIBLE father."

      • Leo does this to his dad, Hephestus, in the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, to a degree that not even Percy would have.
  • Mark does this to the Emperor, his biological father, when he finally meets him in the Third Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen. Since the Emperor is really God, it is not very surprising that His response is, in effect, when you're as old as I am and know as much as I do, you can question what I do and why I do it.
  • Coin of the Realm: Rosalind calls out her father, The Ruling Monarch and The Man Who Thought He Knew More About Everything Than Anyone Else, upon assassinating her newly-wed husband at the wedding itself, in front of everyone, and boldly claiming her prize as his new royal assassin.
  • In The Dresden Files book Proven Guilty, Carlos Ramirez pretty much confirms his brass-balls-itude by calling out the Merlin himself - the single most powerful wizard in the world - on how much of a hypocritical Jerkass of a bastard he's being. It's also done movingly by Molly, to her mother Charity.
    • Harry himself calls out his de facto father, Ebenezar McCoy, several times in the series. He later finds out that McCoy is his grandfather, making it "Calling the Even Older Man Out."
  • I, Lucifer has many instances of Lucifer calling out "The Old Man" on a few of his perceived jerkass qualities and actions.
  • Senna Wales, when she finally meets up with her mother during her Villain Episode book, Inside the Illusion. Apparently, she's been imagining the moment since she was a small child.

Senna: How have I been? For the last ten years after you dumped me off? How have I been, the only one like me stuck in a world full of deaf, dumb, and blind fools? Fine, Mom. Fine. How have you been?!

  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, Ungannis declares that Humans Are the Real Monsters because her father didn't give her everything she wanted when she was a child. It does not go over well.
  • Inverted in Leven Thumps when resident Complete Monster Elton calls out his son Leven for killing his wife Maria in childbirth. Then they fight. Afterwards, it's played straight as Leven gets to call Elton out.
  • In the second Night Huntress book Cat tries to call her father out. Unfortunately vampire politics get in the way.
  • While still a child, Jane Eyre eventually calls out her aunt and caretaker for being abusive and unfair towards her, and it actually seems to have some effect.
  • In The Corrections, all three of Alfred and Enid's children try to call them out on their various issues and problems. It does not take.
  • The Star Trek Expanded Universe novel The Captain's Daughter has Admiral John "Blackjack" Harriman, father of Enterprise-B captain John Harriman, and heavily implied to be the reason such a young, inexperienced officer is in command of the Enterprise, accompany his son's ship. He spends the entire time boasting about how he got his son such a prestigious command, complaining about James Kirk, and overriding the captain at critical moments. When Captain Harriman finally stands up to him, the admiral unloads on him, calling him names and saying he's worse than Kirk ever was, before sitting in the command chair. The captain's response is to beam him to the brig.
  • In The Last Unicorn, Molly does this to the titular character. Double as a tear jerker:

Molly: "Where have you been? DAMN YOU, where have you been?!". "How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?!"

  • Jenna from Septimus Heap does this to Milo Banda, her father who's always absent, in Syren:

Jenna Heap: "And you are not my father. Dad is".

  • Count and Countess tells the story of Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory, who, though living 100+ years apart, start writing to each other in childhood. At the start of the story, Vlad's father, Vlad II Drakul, has surrendered his three sons to the Ottoman Empire as war hostages. Vlad and his brothers endure unspeakable cruelty while there, and only Vlad survives it seemingly. When Vlad escapes life as a Janissary and walks all the way home to Wallachia, he calls the old man out by murdering him.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • One moment from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air pops up in "You cry, you lose" threads on forums more than possibly any other scene in TV history: Will's father deciding to abandon him once again, leading Uncle Phil to deal him a scathing remark before Will walks in. After his father leaves, Will vents his anger to Phil, calmly at first, before eventually breaking down into tears and hugging Phil as the episode ends--"How come he don't want me, man?"
  • Sam and Dean Winchester spent about half a season calling out their father John for his various sins toward them on Supernatural, until eventually he died, saving Dean's life in the process. Well, that's one way to make it up to the kid.
    • Bobby gets a moment like this in "At Death's Door" as part of his Dying Moment of Awesome. As he lies comatose from a gunshot in the previous episode, Bobby is forced to watch/relive many of his memories. Through this, we learn that his father was a total asshole who physically and emotionally abused Bobby and his mother until young Bobby shot him in self-defense. Near the end of the episode, Bobby full interacts with a memory and confronts his father in a conversation that ends with the below (paraphrased) dialogue:

Bobby: I was so afraid of becoming like you, I never had kids of my own!
Bobby's father: Good. You break everything you touch.
Bobby: Oh yeah? Well, as fate would have it, I adopted two boys, and they grew up great! They grew up heroes! So you can go straight to Hell!

  • For some reason, this happens a lot on Heroes:
    • In the first season, Nathan Petrelli made it clear what he thought of his mother for her willingness to sacrifice her younger son, Nathan's brother Peter, for the "greater good". They're still on (somewhat strained) speaking terms in Season Two, however.
    • Matt Parkman found out he shared mind powers with the father who abandoned him at age 13. He then engaged his father in a mental battle in which he locked the man in a mental version of the very apartment where the abandonment took place many years in the past. Matt added a "And unlike you, I'M a good father!" kicker to all of this as well.
    • Claire Bennet read the riot act to her father when his increasing paranoia caused serious problems for his family and particularly for Claire. While she made some good points, the unfortunate truth was that his paranoia was actually justified...
    • Sylar does this to his biological father. Though he pretty much failed at that. He goes in ready to kill him for killing his bio-mom only to find that he's dying of cancer and he'd be doing him a favor. He learns that he has already made the same mistakes as his father and when he demonstrates that he's already surpassed him in terms of power and is effectively immortal Samson simply replies, "You just have that much longer to suffer." In the end he is still living in his parents' shadow by going after the "Big Game" to prove him wrong.
  • In a surprisingly serious moment in an otherwise pretty funny episode of a pretty funny series, Charlie of Two and A Half Men, having been bugged all day by his mother to try and get him to tell her why he hates her, finally calls out his mother on how horrible she was to him and Alan and blames her for their father's death. Evelyn, true to character, acts as if Charlie is being a whiney brat and walks out.
  • Rita in Dexter lets her mother have it after her mom moves in and starts rearranging her life.
  • Lee Adama's closing speech at Baltar's trial on the new Battlestar Galactica included Calling The Old Man Out (for a twofer, as father and as "the Old Man" as commander of the ship) for some of Adama Senior's actions (however justified they might have been), not to mention at mother-figure Laura Roslin.
    • Lee has called out his father several times - for example, he believed Adama was the main cause of the death of his brother Zak - pressuring him to become a Viper pilot despite his lack of aptitude. Lee also opposed his father on the issue of martial law to the point of being sent to the brig for it.
  • Sawyer unknowingly does this for Locke's father in Lost which culminates in Sawyer killing him. When Sawyer learns of this revelation, he finds out that's precisely why Locke wanted him to meet him since the man had done terrible wrongs of the same nature to the both of them.
    • More recently, Sun has done this to her father, chewing him out for his treatment of her husband. She also informed him that she had bought a controlling share in his company. It was awesome.
  • Comes up many, many, MANY times in Alias. To the point where it's maybe half of Sydney's interactions with Jack, Sydney's interactions with Irina, and, eventually, Nadia's interactions with Sloane.
  • Lex Luthor does this to Lionel every other Sunday in Smallville. Well, he did it before he threw the old man out a window.
    • The Voice of Jor-El's been called out a few times as well, both by Clark and by Jonathan on Clark's behalf.
      • In the episode "Abandoned", Lois called out Jor-El's voice as well for abandoning Clark, at one point shouting, "You're not one tenth the Kryptonian he is! He's lucky to be rid of you!". When the Fortress's computer systems threatened her in response, Clark angrily announced to Jor-El, "After this, we're done!"
  • On Frasier, the reverse is usually true; Martin (the Old Man) often ends up calling out his two sons Frasier and Niles for their poor behaviour, especially towards him. Martin isn't the perfect father, however, and on occasion Frasier and Niles call him out with justifiable complaints; such as the time Martin berated Frasier and Niles for not welcoming a woman Martin liked with open arms because they didn't like her, only for Frasier and Niles to angrily point out that Martin himself never bothered to make the effort to be welcoming to any of their love interests if he didn't like them.
  • Near the end of Oz, Ryan O'Reilly confronts his father, whose abuse arguably shaped him into the sociopathic Manipulative Bastard that he is and probably led to the current conditions that he and his brother Cyril are in. He promptly tells him that if he ever comes out of prison, he will immediately hunt him down and murder him.
  • Parodied on The Colbert Report - when mentor and father figure Bill O'Reilly makes a derogatory comment about how badly the show is coping during a writer's strike, saying that Colbert "can't even find the cameras", Colbert reacts with a violent "FUCK YOU, OLD MAN!!" tirade... to the wrong camera. He realises this, and immediately apologises - "Busted."
  • Done for laughs on Titus. Titus has a flashback, when he tried to do the 'coming of age' thing by picking a fight with his father. Cut to the 'fist cam' of dad knocking Titus on his ass. Dad happens to be played by Stacy Keach. If you have ever seen the film The Ninth Configuration, you know what a bad idea it is to mess with 'Killer Kaine'.
    • Having seen his run as Mike Hammer, it always was a bad, bad idea.
  • In one episode of Wings, Joe and Brian's mother, who abandoned them as children, returns to the island. Brian is thrilled to see her, but Joe is not so forgiving:

"I was twelve years old; you left me with a sinkful of dirty dishes and two kids to take care of, Brian and Dad. I have taken crap my whole life for being too serious, for being a worrier. Well, why do you think that is, huh?"

    • Made stronger by the fact that, just after arriving, the mother makes light of Joe's non-forgiveness, saying he was 'anal even in the womb'. She slinks out of his anger by admitting the stunningly obvious - that she's just a lousy mother. One basic rule of Wings: Joe is never allowed to successfully call out anyone, ever.
  • In the last ever episode of The Fast Show Competitive Dad's father comes round for Christmas, and is an even worse bully than his son. In a touching moment for a comedy sketch show, the grandson snaps and tells the old man off... only for his dad to start with the 'How dare you talk to my father like that' routine. A moment later when granddad has left he finally tells his son he loves him.
  • Dinah does this to her mother, Black Canary, in Birds of Prey when she comes back and says she wants to "make things right."
  • In an episode of HBO's True Blood, Tara's alcoholic mother will not bail her our of jail after she had done the same thing for her many times before. "The first time I'm in trouble you turn your back on the one person whose stood by you. After all the times I cleaned you up? All the times you beat me, and stole my money? My whole life is shit because of you! You're not my mother. Get out my sight you evil bitch!" Tara's mom tries to say, "I love you." Tara won't have it. "No you don't. You never did."
  • Subverted in The Sopranos: After Tony finds out that mother tried to have him killed, he goes to her retirement home to Call The Old Woman Out, only to find that she's had a stress-induced stroke, and is probably unable to consciously hear any of his rage-fueled confrontation.
    • This continues in later seasons, as Tony tries to call her out more than once about her attempt at killing him, and the heaps of psychological abuse she's put on him and his family over the years. Each attempt never comes to any kind of definitive resolution of their issues. In the end, she dies at the beginning of the third season, leaving Tony psychologically scarred with no clear picture or resolution of his feelings of his mother, and this affects him for years afterwards.
  • In the second season finale of Weeds, Shane uses the occasion of his elementary school valedictory speech to Call Out The Entire Community.
  • In Firefly, Simon calls out his father on his callous disregard for River's abuse at the Academy.
  • South of Nowhere has Spencer calling out Paula after the latter has spent too much time at the hospital (fueling speculation that she may actually be having an affair).
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Bashir calls out his father for not only running away from his problems, but for having him undergo an illegal genetic enhacements operation so as to avoid the shame of having a special-needs child.
  • Not entirely sure that Gregory House is physically capable of going a week without calling the parent(s) of a young patient insensitive, incompetent, overprotective, a Jerkass or any of a thousand other kinds of general idiot.
    • When it came to calling out his own dad though, Greg did it when he was twelve, point-blank telling Daddy-House he wasn't his father. Greg half-deduced, half-convinced himself this was true after taking years of borderline-abuse of neglect. After this happened, his father didn't speak to him for months, and their relationship never improved before Daddy-House's death.
      • He was right.
  • On That '70s Show, Eric gets a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he finally stands up to his overbearing father Red, who is particularly bitter over having sold his Corvette to raise money for what he thinks is his wife Kitty's pregnancy, only to realize he did it for nothing when Kitty's actually going through menopause. After Red snaps at Eric one too many times, Eric finally loses his temper and tears a strip off Red for whining about losing his Corvette, when Kitty is extremely upset and needs his support. Eric concludes by reminding Red of all the times he'd told Eric to "be a man", and then tells Red to practice what he preaches and "be a man" for his wife.
    • Also, when Hyde's father comes back to town. Hyde eventually calls him out on abandoning him, but it's subverted when he readily acknowledges that he pulled a dick move. It ends with them calmly discussing it over a beer, then getting smashed.
  • Hugo's Crowning Moment of Awesome on The Vicar of Dibley is when, after being told by his emotionally and mentally abusive father David that if he marries Alice then "you will no longer be welcome in this house, you will no longer be my son, and as this will attests, you will have nothing!" he actually stands up to David (a rare feat for him), shoves the will back at him, and says, respectfully but coldly, "On the contrary, sir, I shall have everything in the world that I desire."
  • Happens a few times on Veronica Mars, given how common terrible parenting is in Neptune:
    • Logan hates his Dad, and is calls him out a few times - once on Lynn's death, which Aaron is held accountable for, given how he cheated on her until she couldn't take it, and threw herself off a bridge. Later, in season 2, the two are put in a jail cell together, and Logan yells at Aaron about the fact he slept with then killed Logan's girlfriend, then tried to kill Logan's next girlfriend, despite Aaron's denials.
    • Dick gets a pretty epic one in season 3, when his Dad suddenly returns and he calls Dad out on the way they treated Cassidy, how much responsibility they have in Cassidy killing a dozen people and throwing himself off a hotel roof, and why Dad didn't come back for Cassidy's funeral.
    • In the season 1 finale, Veronica has become completely disillusioned with her mother, yells at her for not going through the rehab Veronica put her in, and making Veronica's college money a waste. She's so angry she kicks Lianne out.
    • In season 2, Trina finds out who her biological father is, and calls him out for abandoning her in a bathroom at the school he taught at.
  • Gloria Stivic does this a lot on All in The Family. She chides Archie for his treatment of Edith, and takes him to task for his bigoted remarks, particularly against women. At times she hits him on top of the head.
  • Parodied on Buffy the Vampire Slayer when all the Main Characters are hit with a memory erasing spell, and amnesiac Spike starts thinking Giles is his father. (They both have British accents, physically they're the right ages...)

Spike: Oh God, how I must hate you.
Giles: What did I do?
Spike: There's always something.

Spike: I knew there was a reason I hated you!
Giles: Randy's...a family name, undoubtedly.

  • On the Angel end, we have Connor, who spends most of season 4 doing this repeatedly to Angel.
  • Done with a slight twist in one episode of Mash. Colonel Potter calls out Margaret's father for making her feel, in spite of her excellent service record and profound diligence as head nurse, like nothing's ever good enough. Daddy Houlihan had actually fled the operating room because the blood made him sick, but Margaret mistook it for his being disappointed in her. She didn't have the heart to call him out herself, so Potter did it for her.
  • NCIS- Cementing his status as Papa Wolf to his team, episode 7x12, "Flesh and Blood" features Gibbs calling out the elder Anthony DiNozzo, on Tony's behalf. Specifically for one incident, and implicitly for a lifetime of neglect.

Papa DiNozzo: We keep in touch.
Gibbs: Really? Four years ago, Tony almost died of pneumonic plague. I expected to see you then. I didn't.
Papa DiNozzo: He never told me he was sick.
Gibbs: Well, Tony gets his personality from somewhere. I'm betting there's a lot of things in your life you don't share.

    • He also does this for Ziva, although he delivers the speech to a messenger instead of the actual father.
  • Malcolm in the Middle. Francis's final words to Lois before moving to Alaska were nothing short of hateful.
    • Hal also berates his dad. It starts out with how his entire family is being horrible to Lois at his dad's party and and his dad is doing nothing about it. It then extends to how his dad doing nothing is a running theme; while his dad was always joking around with him, they never had an emotionally close relationship because of this. He goes on to list problems he had while growing up that were made worse because they were ignored (Interestingly, Hal himself ignored one of these same problems in Francis, Reese, and Malcolm just a few episodes before.).
  • It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Eric Van Der Woodsen when his father reappears, after having been gone for fifteen years.

Eric: Please stop acting like you and I have any kind of relationship.
Will: You're right, I have a lot to make up for.
Eric: I'm sorry. The window for that closed somewhere between my twelfth birthday and my suicide attempt. Don't worry, I'm fine now. Going through all that without a father made me realize that I don't need one.

  • The Magnificent Seven: Resident gambler and con man Ezra Standish does this the first time his mother—from whom he learned all his less savory skills—shows up.

Ezra: You didn't raise me as well as a...as a stray cat raises a litter. You-you dumped me. Remember? At every aunt and uncle's house you could find. Unless, of course, you needed me... for a con.

Dad: You don't look like me anymore. You used to - people always said so.
Reid: They say people look like their dogs, too. They put it down to prolonged mutual exposure - if you live with someone long enough, you start to mimic them. So it's really not that surprising that I don't look like you. I haven't seen you in twenty years.

  • In the first episode of the Seventh Season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Sophie confronts her father, Gene, about how he was always with gorgeous scantly clad women and that it hurts her and family. She told him that she loves him but she doesn't have to talk to him.
  • Doctor Who - Shows up in "The Idiot's Lantern" (the full exchange is on the quotes page). The son finally giving his dad the put-down he deserves encourages his mum to throw the dad out at the end of the episode.
  • In the Beverly Hills, 90210 sequel series, when Navid tells a school counselor that an underage student from the school starred in one of his father's porn films, the police investigate his father. His father blames Navid for that, who retorts that his father broke the law.
  • Inverted in a season 4 episode Sons of Anarchy, when Opie's father Piney calls him out for cheating on his wife by punching him in the face.
  • On Merlin, Arthur has called out Uther a time or two, although since Uther's the king, it didn't make a whole lot of difference. Morgana did this in a way as well after she found out the truth in season 3, and it ended with Uther in the dungeon.
  • Catherine has gotten into this a time or two on CSI...once, she didn't hesitate to call Sam a murderer for ordering a showgirl killed, and another time, when her daughter was kidnapped by one of Sam's rivals, Catherine angrily calls him a "thug in thousand dollar shoes".
  • Ray Vecchio on Due South "North". He gives it to his (dead ghostly) father big time when Vecchio Sr won't stop belittling and annoying him about his actions in the woods.
  • Nathan Young delivers a spectacular one of these speeches to his father in a second-season episode of Misfits, after finding out that he cheated on his mother, went on to abandon his illegitimate son, Jamie, once the affair was over- and refused to even speak to Jamie when they met again. It's one of the few times in the entire show Nathan sounds genuinely emotional and not just sarcastic:

You know what? He's better off not knowing you! I wish I was him!
(A pause, and then Nathan's father leaves the room)
Where're you going? That's right, dad, walk away with your tiny little legs, you FUCKIN' midget!

  • Boyd Crowder goes all Badass Preacher on his father by calling him out on how his drug peddling has ruined Harlan County in Justified.
  • In the Game of Thrones tv series, there's a scene which wasn't in the books where Theon Greyjoy calls out his father Balon for his hypocrisy in complaining about the way Theon's changed during his time with the Starks (despite Balon being the one who gave him to them as a hostage,) and for calling Theon weak for not espousing the Might Makes Right traditions of their people (despite Balon being comprehensively defeated on his own terms and clearly considering his conquerors wrong). Balon clearly looked guilty about this (a really big deal for him), and the fact that he immediately backhanded Theon for his impudence in no way detracts from Theon's awesomeness in this scene.


Mythology/Religion[edit | hide]

  • A recurring theme in Greek Mythology. Cronus does it to his father Uranus, as punishment for imprisoning his children, and Zeus does it to his father Cronus in turn, for doing his damnedest to swallow all of his own children at birth. In both cases, it ends in a rather permanent Groin Attack.
  • Achilles does it to Agamemnon, the commander of the Greek forces at large, in The Iliad. Agamemnon responds by taking Achilles' war prize, kicking off the plot.
  • In the Book of Job, many terrible things (loses his family, gets sick, storms destroy his property, etc.) happen to Job causing him to wonder why God would allow all this evil to befall him which brings up the classic case of the Problem of Evil; an argument that states it is logically inconsistent for a perfectly good God to have created a universe with so many evil things in it like pain and sin. Job gets into a deep existential discussion with a few of his close friends regarding the nature of God and how He is good yet is strict against evil stating that Job's sin must have been what invoked God's wrath, Job despite the mystery of what has befallen him refuses to give up on God and cries out to him for an answer. God hearing this finally responds: "Where were you when I created the universe, and just what do you amount to that you can question My decisions?" God explains that as the creator of an entire universe His job is to keep the entire fabric of reality in balance, God must provide for His creations so that they can survive and He must work all things for good, some times even bad things like what has befallen Job can be worked for good. God would not expect a lowly human such as Job to comprehend the scope of His benevolence, mercy and justice, only God can see the bigger picture and understand the full significance of everything that happens in life and Job not having the same world view as His creator has no right to question God in how He achieves His aims. God is sovereign over the universe He created and everything happens for a reason, most importantly though God reminds Job that no matter what happens good or bad in everyday human life God is with us and there to help us. Job satisfied, but no less mystified, utters in awe of God's grandeur: "The Good Lord gives, and the Good Lord takes away." God rewards Job by giving him back everything that he lost twofold for staying faithful.
    • He also gives a Shut UP, Hannibal to Job's "friends" by telling them to make a sacrifice, and Job (the one they'd been haranguing) would pray for them.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The name of this trope comes from the Garth Brooks song "The Night I Called the Old Man Out", in which the narrator and his father come to blows. It's never quite revealed what exactly the father is being called out for, but by the end of the song the son relents, realizes his father is right, and "prays someday he's half the man he is."
  • This editor believes either a songwriter, singer, or someone closely associated with the band Simple Plan must have had some serious father issues, because a fair number of their songs are about just this: "Shut Up", "Perfect", "One Day", "You Don't Mean Anything"...
  • The Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" deals with a man on a search to find his old man, who abandoned him at a very young age and left him with the titular name (which led, as you might expect, to a lot of bullying for the kid). When Sue finally finds his father, he calls him out with "My name is Sue! How do you do! Now you gonna DIE!", then starts throwing punches.
  • Skillet's song "Open Wounds" is essentially about a young man calling his father out for being emotionally distant in his life (with lyrics like "How could you hate me/When all I ever wanted to be was you?") The song is based on frontman John Cooper's rocky relationship with his father after his mother died of cancer, but they've since made up.
  • Dream Theater's "Honor Thy Father" is pretty much exactly this. Directed towards a stepfather, but a pretty venomous rendition of the trope nonetheless.
    • Drummer Mike Portnoy wrote this song about his stepfather. He explained, "I'm not very good at writing love songs, so I decided to write a HATE song!"
  • The Mountain Goats song "Lion's Teeth" describes a terrifying confrontation with the singer's abusive stepfather, imagined as a literal lion.
    • Never mind the song, pretty much the whole album is an example of Calling the Old Man Out. There's a reason why the album is dedicated to those who are living in broken homes.
  • Metallica's "Dyers Eve" is mostly this, with both parents being called out.
  • Reversed in Ayreon's "Day 16: Loser" off "The Human Equation". Here we have the abusive, alchoholic, jerkass, complete monster of a father berating and calling out his own son while in the hospital. He goes on about how weak, helpless and pathetic his son is before leaving. The closest we get to a response is when the son's rage persona freaks out and screams at the father.
  • Pearl Jam's "Better Man" is a good example. It's inspired by Eddie Vedder's abusive stepfather, whom he referred to as "the bastard who married my mama".
  • Lifehouse's "Walking Away" and "Blind" are both good examples of this.
  • Nickelback Never Again: "Father's a name you haven't earned yet / You're just a child with a temper / Haven't you heard you don't hit a lady / Kickin' your ass would be a pleasure."
    • Not surprising, the wife busts a cap in her abusive husband.
  • 3 Doors down. Sarah Yellin' at the whole family.
  • Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild".
  • Korn's "Daddy"
    • There has been some confusion over this one, given the title. Jonathan Davis has clarified (in the few interviews where he discusses this song) that his father did not abuse him; rather, the song is about a neighbor who abused him, with the line "I'll be your daddy" being some sort of sick come-on and not at all literal. The reason he was so ticked off at his parents was because they didn't believe him when he told them about it.
  • Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness", though done symbolically - the "mother" in question represents society.
  • The whole point of Everclear's "Father of Mine."
  • Just about any Eminem song about his mother, especially "Cleanin' Out My Closet".
  • 2Pac's second album has "Papa'z Song", featuring 2Pac and his half-brother Moprene raging at 2Pac's stepfather and Moprene's father at abandoning his family.
  • Martha Wainwright's "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole" is about her father Loudon Wainwright III.
  • Death Cab for Cutie's "Styrofoam Plates" consists entirely of a boy/young man calling his father out in the bitterest way imaginable at said father's funeral. Naturally, averts Never Speak Ill of the Dead.
  • Demi Lovato's song "For The Love Of a Daughter" is about her biological fathers drinking & abusiveness, directed at him. Including lines like "Lied to your flesh & your blood, put your hands on the ones that you swore you loved." and says "You're hopeless" is part of the chorus.
  • A bittersweet example is Martin Simpson's Never any good, where the narrator is basically saying his dad was no use, but without those traits he'd have never been born

You were never any good with money / couldn't even hold a job / not steady enough for the office / not hard enough for the hod ... If you'd have been a practical man / If you'd have been forewarned / you would have seen that it never would work / And I would have never been born

  • James Durbin's song "Screaming" has him calling out his parents for being "liars" because they said that his life would improve with time.


Tabletop RPG[edit | hide]

  • The Horus Heresy, where Calling the Old Man Out resulted in a galaxy-splitting civil war which left trillions dead, trapped a comatose Crystal Dragon Jesus on life support, and started ten thousand years of the worst regime imaginable as mankind slowly shudders its way towards extinction. Never let it be said that Warhammer 40,000 does anything by halves.
    • Well, it does a few people by halves, but only after the chainswords have been shut down.
  • Very common in a game of Bliss Stage, where someone is almost certainly going to get sick of the Authority Figure's crap and tear them a new one.

Theater[edit | hide]

Hamlet: Now, mother, what's the matter?
Gertrude: Hamlet, thou hast thy father much offended.
Hamlet: Mother, you have my father much offended.

    • And again, a few lines later:

Gertrude: Have you forgotten me?
Hamlet: No! By the rood, not so. You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife, and -- would it not be so! -- you are my mother.

  • Into the Woods: The Baker does this to The Mysterious Man at the end of act two, resulting in the eleven o'clock number "No More, in which the absent father helps his son to not repeat his mistakes.
  • The Glass Menagerie: Tom tells his mother off before leaving.
  • Wicked: "Defying Gravity" is an indirect example, as the requisite Old Man isn't there to call out. Not that that stops Elphie...
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: "Gethsemane". The Old Man in this case being God, although Jesus relents and goes along with the original plan.
  • In You Can't Take It With You, Tony tells off his father for giving up on the dreams of his youth, including being a trapeze artist and a saxophone player. Tony Sr. still has the sax in the back of his closet, though.
  • At the end of Mrs. Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren calls out her mother for not being very maternal and for her *ahem* profession.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The father and son of Final Fantasy X set up a Calling The Old Man Out throughout the entire game (case in point: in a Flash Back where a young Tidus doesn't show any grief for his missing father and wishes that he'll never come back, his mother asks him if he won't wish for his return so that he can tell him how much he hates him). Near the end of the game they subvert it when Tidus, who has sympathized too much with his father to resent him anymore, tries to call out Jecht despite the tears from his eyes and the knot in his throat. To his credit, Jecht had already acknowledged what a horrible father he had been.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy changes their dynamic a bit; Jecht is more or less something of a Posthumous Character (kind of, it's complicated) in Final Fantasy X, but in Dissidia, he's fully alive and his normal self. Tidus's showdown with Jecht has Jecht initially beating the tar out of Tidus, only for Tidus to recover and yell, "There's no tomorrow for me until I beat you today!" It's actually pretty cool.
  • In the last chapter of Max Payne 2, checking Senator Woden's phone messages will reveal a recent one where Vlad, who saw Woden as a father figure, rants about having never received a word of thanks from him. This is a rather extreme example of the trope, as Vlad was planning to kill Woden.
    • Vlad is also pretty egotistical about it. "Would it have killed you to say 'thank you' for once in your life? 'Vlad, my son--can I call you my son, because I sure do love you like one. Vlad, my son, you are a true prodigy. Everything you touch turns to gold!'"
  • Kazuya Mishima from Tekken, after being thrown to a ravine by his father Heihachi, when in tender age of 5 nonetheless, made a Deal with the Devil to get back up, build up his strength, topple his father, and then throw him back to the same ravine he was thrown.
  • Oswald does this to Odin at the end of the first episode of Odin Sphere.
    • Velvet and Ingway had a few moments of chewing out their illegitimate daddy Odin as well, although they went about it in entirely different ways: Velvet outright rejected him; Ingway whipped up an army of Netherworld denizens, learned a secret transformation, and then stormed his kingdom and tried to kill him.
      • Cornelius arguably has a moment like this with his dad: After one royal blunder too many, King Edmund tries to abdicate the throne and give the crown to his son. Cornelius tells him that he can't - the people will never accept a cursed Pooka as their king - and while Edmund never deserved the crown in the first place, now is the time for him to stop being a coward and act like a true ruler.
  • Balthier attempts to call out his father in Final Fantasy XII, but Cid basically just ignores it.
  • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the protagonist Alucard does this to his father Dracula:
  • You have exactly one chance to do this in Fallout 3 after rescuing your father from Tranquility lane, but dissapointingly it changes nothing.
    • This is chiefly due to the disappointingly small range of dialogue options that would allow you to truly Call The Old Man Out. You're never able to mention that his leaving created too much turmoil and danger for you to remain in Vault 101 as he intended and the option that comes closest requires you to have performed one of the game's more evil acts (blowing up Megaton, which allows your father to maintain the moral high ground. Similarly, you're unable to explain to Doctor Li why you left the Vault against James' wishes, except with a childish "I do what I want" kind of answer.
    • You can also do this when talking to Sentinel Cross. She calls you an Ungrateful Bastard and is so offended and will not be your companion.
  • In Dragon Quest VII, Winged Humanoid Pendragon gets called out by his elderly mother on behalf of his adopted daughter, Firia. Who isn't adopted, mind - she was just born without wings, and he pretended she was just an abandoned orphan because he was too scared to admit his 'flesh and blood was flawed'. This included standing by while his other daughter treated Firia like a slave, and while the other kids in Gorges mocked and abused her -- at one point their 'pranks' almost cause her to fall to her death.
  • Inverted in Dragon Quest VIII by King Clavius and Prince Charmles. Having given his son every opportunity to grow into a good heir, only to watch the Entitled Bastard screw the rules, he finally calls him out by publicly revealing he knew all along that Charmles had bought his Argon Heart instead of finishing his Rite of Passage, and had kept silent as a Secret Test of Character and declaring he had proven himself incapable of serving as heir.
  • The penultimate mission in Oni is something like this: Konoko raids the TCTF headquarters in an attempt to call out Griffin (her nearest thing to a father figure, save her dead uncle, after years of systematically lying to her and using her, and ultimately trying to have her killed. Once he is cornered, the player is given a choice: you can kill Griffin or let him live. If you choose the latter option, the fianl boss is much easier as a consequence, and Griffin redeems himself at the very end.
  • Two of the "messenger quests" on Knights of the Old Republic have this trope, and a third has an arguable variant on it. The most literal one is Carth's seems the son he thought dead has actually joined the Sith. Cue one awkward as hell moment in the Korriban academy with two hot-headed Onasis. Bastila's is a female version her terminally-ill and rather ill-tempered mother on Tatooine needs help retrieving a data holocron made by Bastila's late father. The arguable one is Mission's, as her deadbeat brother was the one who more or less raised her. She finds out it was his idea to abandon her at the age of twelve. Cue a lot of players wanting to kick the guy's blue butt into orbit!
  • In Mass Effect 2, Jacob's personal mission has him learning that after being promoted to acting captain and crash landing on a planet where the local flora leads to mental decay, his father eventually set up a Lord of the Flies-esque "paradise" for himself, killed off his fellow officers, made the women his personal harem and sabotaged attempts at outside contact. Jacob for his part is absolutely disgusted, no longer accepting the man before him as his father and depending on what Shepard recommends him will either have him arrested by the Alliance, leave him to the survivors, or force him to commit suicide.
  • Not necessarily calling the Old Man out, but the Old Woman out. In BioShock (series) 2, Eleanor Lamb is being turned into a one-person hive mind by her mother, and is terrified of what she sees as a plot as mad as Andrew Ryan's. With her "Father"'s help (IE: You, her former Big Daddy), she frees herself. The kind of person she becomes depends largely on your moral choices concerning Little Sister disposal and a few Kill/Spare choices along the way.
  • In Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, you discover that Philemon helped orchestrate the events of the series up to this point to test whether he or Nyarlathotep was truly the more powerful aspect of humanity. Events that involved creating an ill girl, the deaths of numerous people -- both innocent and not-so-innocent -- and an Earthshattering Kaboom before he offered the opportunity to perform a Cosmic Retcon that made that an alternate timeline. The game gives you the option of punching him for what he's helped put everyone through.
  • Raziel has this trope as one of his primary motivations throughout Soul Reaver, the first half of Soul Reaver 2, and continues as a lingering issue right up until the end of Defiance in regards to Kain, his vampiric "father".
  • Krista Sparks has this in her Twisted Metal: Head-On ending to her father, Calypso.

Krista: What's the problem? You didn't want to help me! You just want another contestant to kill all those innocent people! You destroy everything and run around like you own the world!

  • In Seisen no Keifu, there are many examples:
    • First Generation: Lex calls out his father, Langobalt, if you make them fight.
    • Second Generation: If Levin is the father of Phee and Sety, they call him out for abandoning their mother Ferry. If Nanna's father is Fin, she will also call him out on letting her mother Lachesis leave Lester and try crossing for the Yied desert in search of her eldest son Delmud. And last, Altenna calls out her adoptive father Trabant and mixes it with You Killed My Parents.
    • Thracia 776: Averted, as Mareeta isn't upset with her father Galzus, and in fact she's overjoyed to see him and manages to recruit him for the group. Justified as Galzus had saved her life before and tried to hide it, but she could see through him anyway.
  • In Chrono Trigger, if he's present, Magus tells Queen Zeal how pathetic she really is, and that killing her would be the merciful thing to do. She doesn't know he's her son, though.
  • In the manga version of Tales of Symphonia, Zelos tries this by calling out Lloyd's father Kratos for betraying his own son and pushing all his problems onto him. It's not very effective as he receives the brush off and Zelos admits he was channeling his anger at his own parents who would do the same thing to him and his hatred towards himself for having the same tendencies.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Roy does this several times over the course of The Order of the Stick to his father's ghost, most recently in comic 500. Which ends up being a variation: Roy only gets to, "You pathetic little--" before stopping himself, clming down, and calmly explaining that he won't be bullied by his father anymore.

Roy: "Yeah? Well, I think there may be a flaw in your plan, Dad, because... Well, because screw you."
Roy: "I just want you, personally, to know: If it weren't for the threat to the entire world, I would tell you to shove your 'blood oath' against Xykon up your wrinkled incorporeal ass."

    • When Elan finally realises what a Complete Monster his father is, he calls him out on causing the suffering of countless slaves, and when he learns that he fought and exiled Nale, not solely because he betrayed him, but because he did not do it the way Tarquin approved of, he draws his sword, outraged.
    • Haley gets in on it in the same arc after being reunited with her father. He raised her never to trust anyone except family, and she lets him know in no uncertain terms how close that came to wrecking her life.
  • Sluggy Freelance - Any time Riff and his mom are in the same room together. Still waiting for Zoe to do the same, though
  • Fairly early on in Sabrina Online, Sabrina tells her passive-aggressively controlling mother, Endora, gently, but in no uncertain terms to quit trying to control her life or sooner or later, she'll find herself completely shut out of her life.
  • In Flipside, Crest lets his former mentor, Orransong, know exactly why he dropped out of Knights of La-Shoar training: because he saw Orransong strike his (Crest's) blind mother for daring to question the Knights' prohibition against magic (magic that could've restored her sight years ago). That he was expected to emulate and uphold that sort of behavior was too much for Crest, and he lets Orransong know it, in so many words.
  • Roast Beef, after one insult too many from Grandma K, finally snaps at her for being a control freak and leaves her to take care of herself.

Roast Beef: "Old woman listen to me. You have forbidden me from pleasure since the day I was born. Now I pay for this house and I pay for your wine. So as of this day I am the LAW and I am the LASH do you hear me!"

  • Will Erixon of Fans has a confrontation with his abusive wife murdering father after he gets sprung from jail as part of a greater conspiracy against him and his friends. To add insult to injury, after Will beats the bastard into the ground, he gets shot full of bullets by FIB agents, and then his corpse gets pistol whipped by Will's girlfriend Shanna.
  • Fred, who later becomes Monette's adoptive father, gives her derelict biological father a beautiful chewing out when the bastard shows up at the MacIntire residence for Thanksgiving and treats her terribly, in one arc of Something*Positive.
    • And then there's Jason's father. When he shows up again, Jason remains dumbstruck, untill his father says he finds some form of physical greeting appropriate for a 'long lost parent'. Jason immediately punches him.
  • Dominic Deegan. Here, Miranda Deegan calls both of her parents out for their behavior (and their attacks) on Donovan for him being her choice of a future husband.
  • In The Dreamer, Freddy Knolwlton does this in issue #8, stands up to his father and voices his own opinions about the war, and the eventual burning of New York.
  • Butt Monkey Syphile from Drowtales gets what possibly may be her one and only moment of awesome in her entire life when she finally tells Quain'tana what a truly godawful mother she is. Then she gets killed.
  • In Goblin Hollow this occurs at Lily's family reunion with Ben and Lily's grandfather. The old man makes a threat to Ben to "get out of the picture or else". But Ben indeed DOES call the old man out, not once, but twice, with Ben telling the old bigoted codger that he won't tolerate him making threats.

Ben: "When it comes to threats, don't bring a tomahawk to a shootout."


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Firestorm's defining character trait seems to be that he hates his father Napalm in LessThanThee Comics' 'Brat Pack'. Firestorm has to be held back from attacking Napalm when he finds out they have to work together.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's (not Lindsay's) real father is a distant alcoholic who never gave her any love. She gets him back by gushing over manly overprotective Disney fathers like Mufasa and Triton.
  • I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC's version of Harry Osborn seems to be less angsty and more bitter than in most incarnations; he's only ever heard when arguing with his father from off-screen.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In the King of the Hill episode "Death Picks Cotton", Peggy Hill finally gets to chew out her father-in-law, Cotton, for how much of a complete jerk he's been to his son (Hank) for all of his life. The kicker? She waits until he's on his deathbed to let him have it. (And then, as soon as she's done, Cotton dies.)
    • However, as part of her speech Peggy made the repeated point that she hoped Cotton would live to see the hell he created for himself. Cotton's last words are, "Do ya now?" Cotton dying on the spot was probably his last act of spite to Peggy.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara loudly vents her pain and frustration at her father for leaving her and her brother behind to fight in the war; Hakoda, loving father that he is, takes it like a man, expresses his regret and asks her forgiveness, which she finally gives to him.
  • Legion of Super Heroes: Timber Wolf was calling out his father twice in the series, the first time where he confronts him in the lab after the Legion helped restore his humanity (also counts as his CMOA), was when he points out that his father wasn't a good parent to him and destroys his lab, the second time he was Brainwashed and Crazy and was confronting him at a science convention in front of a huge audience, where he accuses him of manipulating people around him and experimenting on sentient beings as well as destroying their lives and families. This time he makes himself into a Self-Made Orphan kills him or rather his clone
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has Jackie's Hyde side doing this in one episode.

Dark Jackie: Pull your tongue out of your mouth and wring out the spit.
Uncle: (gasps) You call Uncle an eel!

  • In Justice League Unlimited, upon his resignation, Captain Marvel does this to his former idol Superman, citing how the man of steel and the team, or rather organization, as a whole have become infatuated with their power, distracted from their original purpose, and forgotten how to be heroes.
    • Invoked then derailed in Season 4's last episode, "Epilogue", which kept the title as it also served as the series ending for Batman Beyond; A grown Terry imagines himself reaming Bruce on his control issues and emotional distance. In the end, he doesn't actually go through with this.
  • Clay Puppington, Moral Orel's father, got double-whammied. Already a less-than-stellar father, in the second season's finale he sunk to new depths. He got progressively drunk throughout the day, went into a mad rant that night, accidentally shot Orel, blamed Orel for it, tore Orel's lucky shirt for a tourniquet, then drank the rubbing alcohol Orel had brought for exactly that kind of emergency. The drinking alone had gotten Orel to anxiously tell his father he didn't like it when Clay drank, but all the other stuff forced Cheerful Child Orel to utter the three magic words: "I hate you." Clay's response: "Hate away, Sister. Hate away..." The second whammy comes at the end of the third season's premiere, when we learn he overheard the tail-end of a conversation between Orel and his mother, in which Orel sincerely questioned why his mother married his father, and his wife dismiss Orel's claims that Clay became a different man when he drinks as "his true nature coming out." Clay got into bed soon after with an expression this troper hopes meant he was thinking "My God, What Have I Done?".
    • Most of the season tries to show Clay getting worse, up until finally the only man who cared for him decided to abandon him, forever dooming him to a miserable marriage, though his kids do grow up and have relatively happy lives.
  • The Teen Titans' Raven got in on the act, too, in her CMOA for the final act of "The End, Part 3." Anything else would be Spoileriffic.
    • Unless you read the comic it was based on, then you already know how it goes.
  • In the Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo gives an incredible speech to Frollo, the churchman who raised him.

Frollo: Now- now, l-listen to me, Quasimodo-
Quasimodo: No, you listen! All my life you've told me that the world is a dark, cruel place! But now I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like you!!!

  • As mentioned above, the '90s Animated X-Men series condensed and distilled Cyclops' resentment of Corsair (originally a 3-issue-long storyline) into one Tear Jerker of a rant to a shamefaced Corsair, even as he helps him escape a crooked Shi'Ar cop.
  • Possibly, the final reaction of Timmy toward his parents near the end of the episode Freaks a Greeks in The Fairly OddParents.
    • Also in The Fairly Oddparents movie Wishology, Timmy Turner directs this, combined with What the Hell, Hero?, at both Jorgen Von Strangle and Turbo Thunder about always attacking the Darkness because it looked "scary", not because it did anything. Keep in mind that both Turbo and Jorgen are at least thousands of years old, making it kind of calling the really old men out.
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Jake gets fed up with his job after two years of endless mind-numbing training and threats, repeatedly getting grounded by his father (who isn't in on The Masquerade and thinks he's just been goofing off—which, to be fair, sometimes he is), and ultimately losing his girlfriend twice while still being expected to face all the trouble of youth with without any time to enjoy himself whatsoever and deliberatly gets his responsibility removed so he can relax for a week. The reins get passed to Haley, who goes from a calm collected child genius to a frazzled, gibbering mess within days. When Haley overhears Lao Shi start to criticize Jake for being irresponsible and not flawlessly rising to the job, she snaps and tongue-lashes the hell out of him declaring that it wasn't selfish for him to want to actually want to be a kid for a few days—generally considered her finest moment in the series.
  • Nemo has done this to his Overprotective Dad Marlin.
  • Five words, just five magical words: You. Will. Never. Be. Mufasa.
  • Metalocalypse plays with this trope in season 1. The Bandmates are forced to deal with their overbearing parents/guardians who force them to spend quality time with them. When the band is confronted with the idea of a Family Album, they angrily state that they are the most brutal band in the world, and that their parents know nothing about being brutal. Suddenly, the trope becomes an Inversion and all the parents berate their kids for taking them for granted.

Grandma Murderface "You little bastards think you know about brutal? Let me tell you something, there is nothing NOTHING in this world more brutal than raising a child!"

  • In Tangled, once Rapunzel is dragged back from Corona and realizes she's the lost princess, she calls Mother Gothel out on stealing her and claiming to protect her when she was using her all along.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Harry actually throws his father across the room in "The Uncertainty Principle," screaming that it was his fault that he took Globulin Green and became the Green Goblin. Harry doesn't go much farther with it, though, because Norman actually listens to him and starts acting like a decent father for once. Or at least, he seems to be...
  • Family Guy: In "Seahorse Seashell Party", Meg finally blows up at her family during a hurricane. While Lois gets attacked pretty hard, Peter gets the brunt of it. What she essentially says is that Lois is a callous jerk and Peter is a self-centered failure of a man.