Let Her Grow Up, Dear

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Fathers in anime, and often in Sitcoms, tend to be borderline homicidal in protecting the celibacy and chastity of their daughters. To these endearingly overprotective fathers, their daughters will always be their little girls; for a boy to even hold hands with her, much less take her First Kiss or give her heavy petting, is as bad as rape in his eyes. And God help you if you are caught in bed with her, even if its Not What It Looks Like.

Mothers, on the other hand, often see things differently. The more zealous the father is about interfering with the awakening of his daughter's sexuality, the more likely it is that the mother will help it blossom.

An increasingly common subtrope of Doting Parent. Mothers who follow this trope enthusiastically play matchmaker and offer invaluable assistance, such as dressing her up for dates, setting up these dates (which will often include a keepsake from her mother for luck), offering advice to the would be knight in shining armor on her likes and hobbies, or setting up situations that will bring the two young lovebirds closer together.

And woe betides the invariably Henpecked Husband of the wife who follows this trope if he persists on his fascist crusade of chastity; a Megaton Punch or two or quietly dragging him off to a corner for a "nice long talk" on part of the missus will usually remove his obstruction to the romance in question.

If this trope occurs in a Western program, the daughter may resent her mom's well-meaning meddling even more than her dad's attempts to keep her from having a love life at all.

Examples of Let Her Grow Up, Dear include:

Anime and Manga

  • Even if the fearsome crime boss businessman Nogizaka Gento wants his little girl Nogizaka Haruka to stay "pure" forever, his very "convincing" wife, Akiho, isn't going to have any of that, oh no...
  • Compared to her borderline psychotic husband Seto Gozaburo, who has a tendency to send assassins after his son in law Nagasumi, Mermaid Yakuza Queen Seto Ren of Seto no Hanayome was absolutely delighted when she mistook his drying of her daughter San's fins as public sex ("My oh my, kids will do it anywhere these days.") She provides (not so) helpful love potions to speed up their blossoming marriage along with advice and encouragement, when she's not occasionally trying to seduce the boy herself, that is.
  • In Kare Kano, Yukino's mother Miyako figures out that she's pregnant before anyone else does (including Soichiro), and acts as her confidante. She warns Yukino that when she recently brought up the subject of her relationship with Soichiro to her father Takashi, his reaction was that "Yukino's too young to even kiss." Needless to say, when Soichiro asks her parents for permission to marry and explains why, her father's less than thrilled.
  • Ichigo of Tokyo Mew Mew has exactly this family. Shintaro's an Overprotective Dad but Sakura gives her all the help she needs and more.
  • Usagi from Sailor Moon, whose Hot Dad Kenji was very overprotective whereas Hot Mom Ikuko was all "bring your boyfriend home for dinner!".


  • One chapter of the Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic "A Mother's Love" (dealing primarily with the relationship between Mai and her own daughter, but containing the rest of the family as well) has this. As Ursa (the daughter, named of course after the Ursa) is both the youngest of four and the only girl, Zuko is incredibly protective of her to the point of severely frightening all her potential boyfriends. Mai reminds him that she was younger than Ursa when she fell in love with him. Zuko lightens up a little, but is still extremely protective.


  • Pam's mom in Meet the Parents is supportive of her daughter's relationship with Gaylord Focker, as opposed to her frighteningly Knight Templar Parent of a CIA-Agent Dad Jack.
  • George Banks in Father of the Bride is an example of this throughout the entire movie and into the sequel. He hates the idea of his daughter getting married, dislikes her fiance the moment he meets him and continues to do so despite the young man's many attributes—a nice guy with good looks/education/job/family, and when his daughter announces her pregnancy, is further incensed and completely convinced that the young man somehow took advantage of her. Needless to say, his wife's feelings are the complete opposite of his.

Live-Action TV

  • Roseanne warms up to her daughters' boyfriends much sooner than Dan, who's an Overprotective Dad to the letter.
  • Happens in The George Lopez Show when Carmen brings home Jason. George insists that they interview him and he seems perfect. Angie is okay with them dating, until they find out that Jason wants to keep ehr a secret.


  • The Trisha Yearwood song "She's in Love with the Boy" has a classic example of this in its third verse, where Katie's father is about to unleash his wrath upon Katie's boyfriend Tommy when they come home after midnight. Katie's mother breaks in and reminds her husband that he wasn't that much different from Tommy back in the day, and that they had faced just as much opposition from her father.

"My daddy said you wasn't worth a lick;
When it came to brains, you had the short end of the stick.
But he was wrong, and honey, you are too.
Katie looks at Tommy like I still look at you."


Visual Novels