Open-Minded Parent

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"At least Kimmy's just lost in the timestream and not staying out late with some boy."

Mr. Dr. Possible, Kim Possible

When a character spends a long time trying to think up a proper explanation/excuse/lie to tell his parents, he expects them either to be floored or to completely misunderstand. When he finally does, the parents already know about it and wonder what the big deal is. Occasionally, the person almost lied about shows up at the house with his own explanation, omitting certain truths.

Sometimes the parents actually knew a lot more than they were letting on. Or they genuinely just accept it with frightening ease, telling us they're pretty cool (if weird) people. Due to their overly receptive behavior and their innate parental philosophy to let their kids be themselves without too many rules to constrict them, they are often portrayed as Good Parents.

The alternatives are not that much better: Overprotective Dad, Education Mama, Hands-Off Parenting, or even outright Parental Abandonment. Compare Parental Obliviousness, where the secret still has to be kept- but it's strangely easy. See also Doting Parent, Milholland Relationship Moment, Reasonable Authority Figure.

Examples of Open-Minded Parent include:

Anime and Manga

  • Hazumu in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl worries about the reaction to his accident, then finds his parents happily chatting with an alien in their kitchen.
  • Tenchi's grandfather in Tenchi Muyo! very quickly accepted a whole flock of strangers moving into his house, although this was related to his secret identity, too.
    • Rather the house belongs to Tenchi's father Nobuyuki, but then he probably likes the idea being surrounded by pretty woman. And of course he's really aware of everything.
  • In the Marmalade Boy anime, Miki and Yuu spend the entire series worrying about their parents' reactions to the two of them dating, only to learn that all four parents knew about it the whole time and thought it was cute. In the manga, things weren't that easy since they really didn't know and Yuu's father even gave him an Armor-Piercing Slap for not asking, but it ended up fine anyway.
  • To a greater extreme, in the end of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, it's revealed that not only did her parents know Sasami was Pretty Sammy, but so did her entire school class. They just collectively decided to go along with the whole secret identity thing, because Sasami seemed to want it that way.
  • In the first episode of Keroro Gunsou, Aki Hinata encounters Keroro the moment she gets home from work, and not only accepts him into the Hinata home, but uses him as inspiration for a new manga character.
  • Akiko, the Hot Shounen Mom in Kanon, approves the presence of any haremettes in her home, much to Yuuichi's initial disbelief.
  • Ichigo's father Isshin in Bleach doesn't really seem to mind that a girl is living in his son's closet. It is later revealed that he is a former Shinigami, and all along was far more aware of his son's supernatural activities than Ichigo thought.
  • Kagome's mom, grandpa, and brother are all very accepting of Kagome's time-traveling to fight demons in the feudal era in Inuyasha. They seemingly think it's better to accept and support Kagome's unavoidable destiny - Mrs. Higurashi is Genre Savvy enough to even buy presents for the rest of the group.
  • In Kyou Kara Maou Yuri is deeply worried about what will happen when he shows up at home with his entire boy harem, including fiance, from another magical world where he is king. Much to his surprise, his parents already knew he was going to be king, and are merely disappointed that he didn't tell him sooner. His (male) fiance then proudly announces their engagement, despite all Yuri's protests, only for his mother and fiance to plan a shopping trip to buy a wedding gown, much to Yuri's horror.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, when the time came for Nanoha to explain to her family that she's a mage and how she plans to officially join the Time-Space Administration Bureau, the only one who appeared even remotely shocked upon finding out that magic and different dimensions existed was Nanoha's sister, Miyuki. This might have more to do with the ferret she's been adoring as a pet turns out to be a guy.
    • Even before that, during the first season, Nanoha has to join the TSAB for a few days to help out in their investigation, which necessitates missing school and staying onboard the Cool Ship rather than at her house. What exactly did she tell her parents she was doing during this time? Well, no one's really sure,[1] but whatever she told them, it was enough for them to allow their nine-year-old girl to run around with people they've never met for a few days.
  • In Digimon Savers, Daimon Sayuri was perfectly all right with her son bringing home a small dinosaur Digimon, calling him "Agu-chan" and scolding Masaru for fussing when he took the last of the fried eggs. She comes across as kind, but rather simple minded, until she reveals that she knew about DATS and Digimon all along, as that was why Masaru's Disappeared Dad Suguru... well, disappeared. She had accepted long ago that Masaru would follow in his father's footsteps, and so was utterly unsurprised.
  • In Digimon Tamers Ruki's grandmother was not the least bit surprised about Renamon, apparently she just assumed that she had picked up a kitsune fox spirit protector.
    • Also, Takato's parents are quite okay with Guilmon's presence. Mrs. Matsuda is more apprehensive, but not reaching the other extreme.
  • Shizuku's parents in Whisper of the Heart are surprisingly open minded about their daughter choosing to spend examination time writing her first novel instead of studying—especially when you consider that she refused to tell them what she was up to.
  • Mrs. Ketchum has no problem with allowing her son Ash, age 10 (we think), to travel the Pokémon world - with or without any traveling companions and amass a small personal army of creatures who protect him; it's a custom that borders on Rite of Passage, after all. Plus, his friends sometimes crash at his place for arbitrary lengths of time as well; again, she's cool with this, and dotes on them almost as though they were her own children.
    • In the second movie, she's slightly annoyed with him being right in the middle of the end of the world. But she loosens up later.
    • Ash does, eventually, have a loyal companion who can throw thunderbolts at will.
  • Pokémon Special. Gold's mom asks where her son is, but turns around and says "Oh well, he'll be back when he wants to." before getting an answer.
  • When Miyako, Kanon's mother in Umi Monogatari, finds out that a mystical talking turtle and two girls from the sea claiming to be her daughter's friends are going to be staying at her house, she's perfectly fine with it.
  • Shinichi's parents in Detective Conan don't seem to mind that he's staying as a child so he can be with his girl friend more.
    • Not exactly in the beginning, where Yusaku and Yukiko played a Batman Gambit to try force Shinichi/Conan come with them to the USA, so he'd get his condition cured and then testify against the Black Organization. He had to talk with them quite a bit to convince them otherwise.
  • Keita's parents in Kiss×Sis are almost insanely open-minded. His step-mom has a bet going with the neighbors about which of his stepsisters he's going to take as a lover, and his father consistently tries to hint that he should take advantage of the situation. Not to mention the parents even seemed to be comfortable with Keita being with his teacher.
  • Sosuke's mother in Ponyo is awfully quick, if flabbergasted, to accept the reality of Ponyo as a transforming goldfish girl, not to mention when the nursing home she works at is covered by the sea protected by a magic bubble and she has a heart to heart chat with the Queen of the Sea who wants her to adopt Ponyo if she chooses to become human.
  • Kyu's mother in Tantei Gakuen Q. When Kyu is back home one day, she tells him a "cutie" (his childhood friend Kaoru) has come to meet him, and wonders if she is Kyu's girlfriend. She then leaves the home to buy groceries to leave Kyu and Kaoru alone. Later, when she sees Kyu and Kaoru holding hands (for an entirely different reason), she apologises for disturbing them.
    • It's later hinted that Mrs. Renjou is actually in a similar, but more down to Earth situation as Sayuri Daimon. She married Satoru Renjou fully knowing that he was a policeman who lived constantly in danger, took it in stride even when Satoru had to almost completely disappear from her and little Kyuu's lives to protect them, and ever since his tragic death she's sensed that Kyuu will want to follow in his footsteps. Hence why she offered little resistence when Kyuu said he wanted to go to the DDS, and supperted him and his friends as much as she could. She even lets Ryu live with them for awhile.
  • Keima's mother Mari accepts Elsie relatively quickly in The World God Only Knows. However, she's quite pissed off at her husband as Elsie states that she's an illegitimate child of his.

Comic Books

  • Sort of, for Spider-Man. Aunt May is on her deathbed and reveals that she knew of and approved of Peter being Spider-Man for some time now. Then she dies. Of course, this later turns out to be a big Mind-Screw (she was... an actress?). When Aunt May does find out for real, she has a difficult time accepting this; once she does, though, she is Spider-Man's biggest fan. Having Mary-Jane to talk with helps. And of course, Peter isn't a kid anymore. Thanks to One More Day, the poor woman's back in the dark.
    • In Ultimate Spider-Man, Aunty May has a much harder time dealing with Peter being Spider-Man. This was more because that was dropped on her at the same time she was informed that Gwen Stacy and her brother (Pete's father) turned out to be clones, the latter being an aged clone of Peter who later died.
  • Blue Beetle: Bianca and Alberto Reyes, so much.

Bianca: Homework done?
Jamie: Yes ma'am.
Alberto: Go. Be careful. And, let's say, when it's a natural disaster, not school hours, you can just go.
Bianca: But if you're going to be late, call.
Jamie: Thanks, dad.
Bianca: And no monster fighting unless they start it.

  • Played with in Young Avengers. Billy wanted to tell his parents that he was a superhero, but when the time comes, they reveal that they had already guessed that Billy was gay. They then welcome his boyfriend, there for support, to the family and offer breakfast. They don't learn about the Superheroing until some time afterwards.
  • The character Lacuna from the Peter Milligan run on X-Force comes from non-mutant parents who love that she's a mutant and support whatever decisions she makes in life. This annoys her because she only wants to disappoint them like all children do. She finally achieves her goal by becoming a talk show host.
  • Most characters in Elf Quest, because the elves have Eternal Sexual Freedom. A nice example is when main character Cutter realizes that his virgin daughter Ember (aged 16-ish) is sexually frustrated, and asks his best friend Skywise to take care of it. (Skywise refuses, but mostly because he knows he's not really Ember's type.)
    • The human characters are not particularly open-minded, though.


  • The live action Ben 10 movie characterized Ben's parents this way to a creepy degree. To the point where Ben has to insist on referring to them as "Mom" and "Dad" rather than by their first names, which is what they want Ben to do.
  • Olive's parents in Easy A... almost to the point of being creepy. They're also Good Parents.


  • The Young Wizards series, Nita's parents seem to be awfully accepting of the fact that she's made herself a personal enemy of the Lone Power by becoming a foot soldier for the Cosmic Forces of Good. But then this might just be resignation in the face of the fact that there's absolutely nothing they can do to stop her: grounding your daughter is pretty futile when she can both walk through walls and teleport.
    • Apparently, Kit's father took it amazingly well. "My son's a"
    • Don't think that it was easy though. At the time they decided to come out to their parents (during Deep Wizardry), Nita had volunteered to take part in an undersea ritual with the whale wizards without fully understanding that the role she had taken required her to sacrifice herself to complete it. Telling your parents you're probably going to die in the course of your work never goes over well. However both the terms of the ritual and the Wizard's Oath entail that she can't go back on her commitment without serious consequences - at best, the surrender of her wizardry and a boost for the Lone Power, at worst, if the ritual fails, the destruction of the Atlantic seaboard. She makes it out alive because someone was able to Take a Third Option. By the same token, it's dishonorable at best to use wizardry to get out of something like being grounded, and Tom and Carl, the local Seniors, cooperate with parents in on The Masquerade and aren't above restricting the powers of a misbehaving wizard if they absolutely have to. (Nita's sister Dariane gets grounded from interplanetary travel in A Wizard's Holliday—worse than it sounds, since she has close friends in parts of the universe too far away to observe using conventional astronomy.)
  • In Shadow of the Hegemon, Peter is flabbergasted when his parents tell him how proud they are of his secret double life as a famous columnist. They then gently chide him for not realizing that his genius is genetic especially given the intellects of his own siblings.
  • This is very much the parenting style of the Moomin family, emphasizing independence, individuality, and acceptance.
  • The Pale King: Chris's mother defends her son's actions while dealing with her own issues with regards to feminism and individuality.

Live-Action TV

  • The recurring character Doug in MTV's sketch comedy The State had a father who was a producer for a record company, and who was impossibly cool—to the point where Doug's friends preferred to hang out with him than with Doug.

Dad: Doug, are these your cigarettes?
Doug: Yeah, and what if they are? You gonna send me out to Grandma's house so that she can teach me pinochle and make me bland?
Dad: No. Can I bum one?

  • Richard Castle is one of these towards his daughter Alexis. Amusingly, Alexis is in any case actually far more mature and grounded than her father ever was, and perhaps even over-responsible.

Castle: When I was your age I... wait. I can't tell that story. It's wildly inappropriate. Which, oddly enough, is my point. Don't you want wildly inappropriate stories that you can't tell your children?

  • Lisa from Supernatural is most likely an open minded parent. Exhibit A:

Lisa: When someone shows up on your doorstep after saving the world, you expect them to have a few issues!

  • On Gossip Girl Lily is this with Chuck. She's a lot less open minded when it comes to Eric and Serena though.
  • Smallville's Johnathon and Martha Kent sometimes lean to the overprotective side, but mostly they are perfectly fine with their son racing around saving lives and fighting mutants. They also tend to be the ones who help him get a handle on his new powers.

Newspaper Comics

  • Calvin's parents in Calvin and Hobbes turn out to be an example of this when he wrecks the car and runs away. Apparently when the kid takes a saw to the coffee table you're allowed to blow your top, but when he puts himself in genuine danger you have bigger things to worry about.
    • Actually, that's a pretty standard and reasonable parental standpoint: when you only have something to be angry about, you get angry, but when you have to deal with anger and concern for the child's well-being, the concern wins. Not to mention the difference between Calvin being wilfully destructive and not being in any real physical danger, which is the case most of the time, versus causing an accident he genuinely never wanted to happen and the possible dangers that could have resulted.


  • Saisyu Kusanagi from The King of Fighters, who apparently didn't notice that Kyo went missing for at least half a year after beating Orochi, and even then didn't bother to talk to him afterwards.
    • The KOF: Kyo manga and other side materials explain that Saisyu and Shizuka (his wife and Kyo's Hot Shounen Mom) have known for several years that their son was destined for BIG battles and accepted said fact since there's no way they can avoid it. They'd rather let him fight and help him out than actively oppose to something no one can really escape from.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations-- Mr. Amano is surprisingly cool with the idea that his son faked his kidnapping, was in massive debt, and murdered Colin Devorae.
  • Parents of most Pokémon protagonist have no problem with their children wandering around the world, taming dangerous monsters and taking down crime syndicates. Adverted with Bel’s father, who even forbids her to start her pokemon journey, so that she has to run away from home. Later played straight, when he is convinced otherwise.


Mrs. Dunkel: It affects our ability to plan supper and alibis.

  • Carrie's mother proves to be more tolerant than expected towards homosexuals in this strip of Loserz.
  • Ace's mom in Too Much Information is impossibly cool and open-minded. The fact that she doesn't have a problem with her son shacking up with a lesbian and a gay transvestite hardly even registers on this scale. This strip exemplifies it nicely - as here, Ace is frequently mortified by what his mom can get up to. (Note that there are certain things she's somewhat less open-minded about. She kicked Ace out of the house for camping the Quad in a Quake Deathmatch.)
    • One, renting a room in a huge house is not the same as shacking up with people. Two, Ace's mom is far wilder than Ace is ever going to be: Ace has no last name because his unmarried mom got knocked up and didn't want to admit who the father was. And if you think that's wild, consider: risk taker, Air Force sergeant, knows lots of languages, can't talk about what she does when she goes back into the Air Force, self-image is that of a superheroine... yep, you guessed it.
  • Charlie's mother in Khaos Komix is okay with her son dressing up in womens clothes, though she thinks they're a bit excessive.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, when Bob gets chased around by a deadly-looking robot lion that Molly built on a lark, he seems more annoyed than actually angry about it, and doesn't tattle on her to Jean.
  • Ye Thuza from Sandra and Woo does not have a problem with her son Cloud exploring an abandoned factories for treasure, unless he forgets to pack the rope. She named her son after an RPG Adventurer Protagonist after all.
  • The black dragon in The Order of the Stick mentions that she tried to keep an open mind here.
  • In Spinnerette Evil Spinnerette's parents seem entirely unperturbed by her becoming a Super Villain, worshipping an evil goddess, or transforming herself into a half-human, half-spider drider.
  • Hasuki from Moon Over June was sufficiently annoyed at her parents over her name that she got into lesbian porn for the express purpose of getting back at them. Given that her mother is the sort of person who, during a telephone conversation in the middle of a shoot, reminds her daughter to pace herself so her jaw does not get tired; it is clear that it did not work.
  • Maria Delacroix from Eerie Cuties apparently deems most shenanigans to be no more than mild amusement. Being an old and wise vampire who already raised 13 children certainly helps. When during a sleep-over party the girl who was in Layla's room ended up with a bite mark on the inner thigh, she only commented that girls "going through the phase" is nothing to worry about and she herself was there, done that... with the mother of another guest, actually. And when one evening Nina returned suddenly looking more mature than her older sister, Maria expressed joy at how her daughters inherit her figure and took a golden opportunity to play dress-up... and to tease Layla much the same way Layla teased her little sister about this matter before. The only problem with her is that most people involved are not nearly as worldly and look strange merely at mentions of how whose blood tastes, let alone her wild youth.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara and Sokka have no living mother and their father is off at war, so it is their grandmother Kanna who calmly wishes the 14 and 15 year old kids well when they head off on a planet-spanning quest to aid the long-missing Avatar in mastering his powers and help bring down the Evil Overlord. What people forget is that the Avatar world is still basically medieval: 14 and 15 year-olds are young adults, not children.
    • Further, when their father learns of it, he congratulates them on choosing to travel with Aang instead of him. In fact, encourages it. Seeing as they've already made a huge difference to the shape of the world and should be as well protected as they would be at home considering they're hanging out with a twelve-year-old Physical God.
  • Jane's mom in Daria is open-minded to a potentially unhealthy degree. Examples of this behaviour include letting her youngest son live in a tent in the back yard for over a month, never punishing her children for ANY infraction, and remaining in her kiln room for weeks on end. However, repeated exposure to all her children and husband at once does fray on her nerves a bit.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Ferb's father and all four grandparents have participated in their creations at some point or another, none of them even once questioning the massive, overdone creations they manage to put together. Their mom, on the other hand...
    • Ferb's father is a special case. He thinks that the (step)mother gave them permission to do the things they do (which is true, only that she doesn't understand what they meant.)
  • Kim Possible's parents are completely supportive of their daughter's Super Villain-fighting activities and don't bat an eyelid over her flying halfway around the world to stop Dr. Drakken's latest scheme and risk life and limb in the process, so long as she's doing well on the home front. Dating boys, though, they aren't so happy with.
  • Same deal with Danny Phantom during the times where his Secret Identity has been revealed to his folks (before the Reset Button, that is). They're always shocked at first, but they happily and unquestionably accept that their son is both a hero and half ghost, despite their prejudice towards them. In the Grand Finale, Jack goes as far as claiming Danny should be his partner.
    • Sam's parents however averts this as they can't imagine anything their daughter does is for her own good.
  • Transformers Animated: Professor Isaac Sumdac doesn't seem to mind his daughter having adventures with giant alien robots. Then again, he knows she's half-Cybertronian herself.
  • After an incident with Scarecrow, Barbara Gordon in Batman: The Animated Series decides to come clean with her father, Commisioner Gordon, about being Batgirl. Before she can tell him, however, he interrupts her and explains that while he can't approve of what she does he's still proud of her.
  • The parents of Brainchild in The Tick (animation) take this to an absurd degree, viewing their son's plan to crash the Moon into the Earth as "a phase he'll get over"... Hopefully within, say, the next five minutes or so.
  1. she says she explained the situation, but without mentioning magic... which really doesn't leave very much left to explain