You Killed My Father

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"I was eleven years old. And when I was strong enough, I dedicated my life to the study of fencing, so the next time we meet, I will not fail. I will go up to the six-fingered man and say: 'Hello. My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die.'"

Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride. (See the Quotes page for the whole story.)

When one of the villains kills the parent (usually father) of one of the heroes, it'll be that hero who kills that villain in question, even if this isn't an explicit act of vengeance. Occasionally, it's the mother, but this is rarer, and usually crops up in cases where the father is unaccounted for. Sometimes the villain killed both parents, but the mother will barely get a mention. If even more Wangst is needed then expect a case of Luke, I Am Your Father. Mothers more frequently appear in Turn Out Like His Father, because they are afraid if the child tries to get Revenge, he will only die, too; the success rate in preventing this trope is very low.

Often, the villain will taunt the hero about the death of their parent. This assures the hero's victory. Other times, the villain just won't remember. Usually does the same, but funnier/more monstrous, depending on the circumstances.

Compare Dead Little Sister, Dead Partner.

A form of It's Personal. See also Best Served Cold, and Roaring Rampage of Revenge.

Examples of You Killed My Father include:

Anime and Manga

  • Tower of God: In a special case, it is Anak Zahard's mother that is killed (though her father is murdered alongside with her), because she, as a Princess of Zahard, got into a relationship with another man. Years later, Anak meets her parents murderer on the testing grounds and goes ballistic.
  • Mazinger Z gave us a You Killed My Grandfather in the first episode, when Dr. Hell gets Kouji's grandfather assassinated and Kouji swears finding and punishing the responsible. It happened literally in Great Mazinger when Kenzo Kabuto died because the Mykene and Kouji and Tetsuya his biological son and adoptive son, respectively went in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge him. Likewise, the parents of Duke Fleed and his sister Maria from UFO Robo Grendizer were murdered by the Vegan army, and he and she want to avenge their deaths. And Maria also wants avenging her adoptive grandfather.
  • Played straight in Afro Samurai when Justice kills Afro's father at the beginning of the series.Then Afro does the same shichigoro, leading to his son going for revenge on Afro.
  • Bleach
    • Ichigo want to kill Grand Fisher because he killed his mother, Masaki, in front of him. It then subverts this by Ichigo's father Isshin killing Grand Fisher for killing his wife.
    • In the Shusuke Amagai arc Shusuke Amagai himself wants to kill Head Captain Yamamoto for killing his father, but later learns that Yamamoto did it to free him from the bakkotou's control.
    • Played straight, then subverted, with Ishida Uryu, when he learns that it was Mayuri Kurotsuchi who killed his grandfather without authorization from Seireitei. Then he ends up working with the Karma Houdini in question multiple times, with Uryu having apparently forgotten his entire driving purpose.
      • That only happened once in canon, and Uryu was a bit too incapacitated to do anything about it at the time.
  • Averted by Son Goku from Dragon Ball Z when he can't bring it over himself to kill Freeza, who not only killed his father, but also almost extinguished his entire race. Played straight, however, with Trunks.
    • Played straight with Piccolo, who was literally born to hate and kill Goku. His father Piccolo Daimao created him moments after Goku dealt him a fatal blow and passed on his grudge to his newborn son. Piccolo actually does manage to kill Goku during their teamup against Raditz when Goku holds Raditz in place long enough for Piccolo to hit them both with new super move. Piccolo mellows out considerably afterwards since he felt no satisfaction from killing Goku. He just couldn't keep hating Goku after seeing him pull off such a badass Heroic Sacrifice. Bonding with Goku's son Gohan while training him cemented the end of Piccolo's grudge.
    • Gohan says something similar to Cell after he comes back in the Cell saga: "I'm glad that I can rip apart the one who killed my father with my own hands!"
  • Averted in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, when Kaito forgives Man Behind the Man Sara for killing his parents. She eventually commits suicide by collapsing fortress.
  • In the Tokyo Mew Mew anime is a mini-arc, just before the climax, where Ryou commands the titular Magical Girls against the Giant Mook that killed his parents. This was nowhere in the manga.
  • In a unique villainous example, this is Malik of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s motivation for trying to defeat the Nameless Pharaoh. Of course, it turns out that his Super-Powered Evil Side, generated by resentment towards his duty to the Pharaoh (specifically, his father carving symbols into his back), was the killer, and Malik's believing it was the Pharaoh was based on a misunderstanding.
  • Zeta Gundam features a rather harsh version of this in the case of Camille's mother. Jerid Messa, Affably Evil rival and already not on Camille's good side, is given orders to shoot at a capsule if anyone attempts to retrieve it. Having been led to believe it was a bomb, he destroys the capsule holding Camille's mother, killing her just as Camille had reached the capsule to retrieve it. Jerid is able to feel Camille's sadness as a sickening uneasiness, and when given the opportunity, actually apologizes for having killed his mother. He is still a bit too much of a jerk about it, though, and this death starts a vicious cycle of doom for anyone who gets close to either Jerid or Camille throughout the series.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub ends with Yagyuu Retsudou dying at the hands of Daigorou, after killing Ittou.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo averts/subverts this with Yuya, who, after a four-year hunt for the murderer of her father figure—her brother Nozomu—discovers that Kyoshiro was the one who killed him. She doesn't take her revenge, but she doesn't forgive him, either.
  • Gene Starwind from Outlaw Star has a vendetta with Ron McDougall over this act, which receives regular flashbacks throughout the series that drive home its impact, and tells him as much. Ron responds that he can't be expected to remember every murder he has committed, famous hit man that he is.
  • This is the reason behind Yuri Killian being a Smug Snake and betraying Kalos Eido, whom he blames for the "deed" in Kaleido Star. Ironically, Mr. Killian's death was a genuine accident. Kalos didn't defend himself because he felt guilty anyway.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Realising that tremors caused by the Beastmen-piloted Ganmen led to his parents' deaths enrages Simon into fighting them instead of running away.
  • A lot of the plot in Vinland Saga is derived from Thorfinn's quest to avenge his father's murder by Askeladd, who is fully aware of Thorfinn's grudge and uses it to his advantage on multiple occassions. It's eventually subverted; Askeladd is killed by Canute and Thorfinn refuses to finish him off.
  • Naruto
    • Sasuke Uchiha's entire clan, including his parents, were killed... by his brother, no less. So Sasuke's training to get strong so he can kill him. Of course, when he finally does, it turns out Itachi wasn't so bad after all, and did it so the Uchiha wouldn't rebel against Konoha, possibly causing a fourth Ninja War, for decades of oppression due to paranoia of the clan's power. That makes Sasuke's target of vengeance switch to the village of Konoha. Whee.
    • A slightly straighter example was recently implied: It was earlier revealed that Madara Uchiha had unleashed the Nine-tailed Fox on Konoha when Naruto was born. And recently that Kushina Uzumaki, Naruto's mother, was the previous container for it.
      • It may well get played even straighter. Via flashback, we've now learned that Madara tried to kill Naruto moments after he was born, so that he could separate Minato from Kushina, so that he could break the seal on the Kyuubi and take control of it. This all goes just as planned. Madara has already committed so many atrocities only 2 chapters in to the flashback that it is somewhat scary to think how far he'll go, and how Naruto will react upon meeting him again...
  • Edo Phoenix of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX searches for his father's killer. By prowling dark alleys at night dressed in monster costumes looking for criminals, no less.
  • Badass Action Girl Sherry LeBlanc of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has also been hunting for her parents' killer. She doesn't follow Batman's m.o. quite as closely as her predecessor, but she does have a Battle Butler Parental Substitute.
  • In the anime version of My-HiME, Natsuki's beef with the First District is largely due to their apparent involvement in her mother's death.
    • In the manga's storyline, Natsuki's reason for entering Fuuka is largely the same, with the exception that she believes another HiME was responsible for her murder. The whole story is later revealed to be a lie, as Natsuki's mother shows up at the end of Vol. 3 as the leader of the faction that takes over Fuuka Academy, and serves as the primary antagonist of Vol. 4.
  • In Koihime Musou, when Chouhi stops Sousou to say hello, Bachou suddenly tries to kill Sousou on the spot because Sousou had Batou (Bachou's father) killed.
  • Subverted in the Kirby anime. Knuckle Joe has dedicated years to tracking down the Star Warrior he was told killed his father. He arrives on Pop Star, is tricked by Dedede into going after Kirby, and is about to deliver the killing blow when Meta Knight shows up, claiming to be one Joe is looking for. He reveals he was forced to kill Joe's father, his best friend, when the latter was possessed by Nightmare. Joe is furious and refuses to believe Meta Knight at first, one would assume because he wants someone to direct his anger at.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch blames his father, Emperor Charles, for the death of his mother. It's one of his motivations for fighting the Britannian Empire -- In the end, Lelouch is at least partially responsible for his death by causing the Collective Unconscious to absorb him... Or something... he also ends up causing that same Collective Unconsciousness to absorb his mother, too, because she wasn't actually dead
  • In Gundam Wing, soon-to-become pacifist Relena tries to shoot Lady Une, the woman who killed her father (or, at least, the man who cared for her like a father). She fails. The next time the two meet, Lady Une actually offers Relena a gun to take her long-awaited revenge with, and Relena pushes it away, because ending the vicious cycle of bloody retribution was more important to her, in the end.
  • Subverted in Death Note: while Light plans to kill his father himself, he's ultimately killed by Mello. Light is visibly distraught at his father's death (he's not that good an actor; compare L's death), but he appears to deal with it by losing himself yet further in his dubious cause. He barely mentions Soichiro again, and never figures his death into his conflict with Mello - which, for such a proud guy who takes conflicts and slights so personally, is quite strange. In the end, it's Matsuda who ends up 'taking revenge', subverting the Trope even further.
  • Subverted in Ranma ½, Genma says he is responsible for wiping the Kumon school out so everyone thinks Ryu Kumon is here for the traditional you killed my father moment, only it turns out Ryu's father accidently killed himself practicing a technique and Ryu just wants the other half of it to rebuild.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn recently presented an interesting twist in this trope, in that it is not the hero, Tsuna, but the villain Kozato Enma who is using this as his battle cry, and makes it more interesting because apparently Tsuna's father Iemitsu was the killer of Enma's parents.
  • The Kaitou Kid of Magic Kaito and Detective Conan has this as his driving motivation once he finds out that his father was murdered. His motives for being a Phantom Thief shift away from 'having fun' toward 'bringing them out into the light,' and we might know more about all of that if his series was more than 28 chapters long. (His Detective Conan counterpart is after his evil organization because they killed him, instead.)
  • In the Ace Attorney manga for Miles Edgeworth, the son of Jose Montoya, a man Edgeworth sent to prison and who died while in there, accuses Edgeworth of killing his father and tries to attack him. Edgeworth stops him by (accidentally) blocking the knife with his cast and then gives him a Cooldown Hug and apology.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: The second Lockon Stratos, Lyle Dylandy, is the one who finally brings down Ali al-Saachez, who had killed Lockon's father, mother, and little sister in a terrorist bombing years ago, and his twin brother (the first Lockon) at the end of the first season.
  • Chirin no Suzu: Poor Chirin. His mother is killed by the Wolf. You can tell it's personal when a little lamb tries to kill a wolf!
  • This is defied in Kimba the White Lion where Kimba refuses to kill Viper Snakely for shooting his father and for indirectly causing the death of his mother because he believes that if he kills a human, he will be going against his wish for humans and animals coexisting in peace. However, Kimba has no problems fighting Viper Snakely if it means protecting his subjects from him.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Casval Daikun took his more famous identity of Char Aznable and joined the Zeon military to avenge his father, killed by Degwin Zabi. Char approach is a non-standard Kill'Em All: he plans to kill ALL the Zabi, starting with Degwin's favorite son (and Char's apparent best friend Garma). He fails: while he does get Garma killed, his brother Dozle dies in battle against the Federation, Degwin is disintegrated by his surviving son Gihren's death ray, and Gihren is killed by his sister Kycilia exactly because of Degwin's murder before he can take another shot and kill Kycilia with a rocket in the head. After the series it's implied that Char encounters Dozle's daughter Mineva but, having renounced his revenge even before killing Kycilia (he did the deed to prevent her from continuing the war), spares her.
  • In Rose of Versailles Rosalie's main reason to go to Versailles is to avenge her adopted mother, who died when a noblewoman's carriage ran over her, and discover who is her real mother. She finds the killer Mme De Polignac easily, but before she can kill her she discover that Mme De Polignac is her real mother.

Comic Books

  • Spider-Man was raised by Uncle Ben and Aunt May. When Uncle Ben was killed, Peter wanted to get even, but when he realizes that the murderer was the same thug he let go earlier, he gives up on revenge because he realizes it was his own fault. In fact, the third movie is largely about his need to let go of his vengeful feelings.
    • When he finds out that the second Red Skull killed his parents (who where SHIELD agents) he wanted revenge as well. The second Red Skull ends up escaping.... only to be killed later by the original Red Skull. However, Spider-Man does kill the Finisher (inadvertently and in self-defense, but without any tears), the Skull's agent who actually did the deed. The Finisher's dying confession proved that his parents weren't traitors after all, which was what he really wanted.
  • Batman lost both his parents to a random mugger by the name of Joe Chill. Although this is the major cause for Bruce's decision to become a superhero, he's able to focus on the big picture. Naturally, Batman never kills Chill.
  • A variation occurs in Elf Quest, where Cutter's parents are among several elves killed by a monster. Since his father was chief of the Wolfriders Cutter inherits the title, and the first thing he does to prove himself worthy of it is to devise a strategy to kill the monster. However, whatever desire for revenge is mixed with the necessity to stopping the menace who threatens all life in the Holt. In addition, unlike his father who had wanted to kill the monster all on his own, Cutter relies on the whole tribe working together to trap it. (He both acts as bait and deals the lethal blow, though.)
  • The big reason why Wedge Antilles hates Loka Hask is because Wedge's parents sacrificed themselves to save the refueling station after Hask took off without unhooking, letting his thrusters ignite the fuel, in order to stall the police. Hask makes it worse by rejoining The Empire and telling Wedge that he did him a favor and gave him what all boys secretly want - to be rid of their parents! If only he'd had someone to do that for him - but no, he had to do it himself!
  • X-Men's Apocalypse, of all people. After being abandoned as an infant due to his obvious mutations, En Sabah Nur was rescued and adopted by Baal, the leader of a tribe of nomad raiders named the Sandstormers. Then one day the forces of Rama Tut (a.k.a. Kang the Conqueror) attacked the Sandstormers. Baal and En Sabah Nur survived the initial attack by hiding in a cave that collapsed. Baal eventually starved to death, but not before telling En Sabah Nur of Rama Tut's arrival and subsequent conquest of the land, and that he believed Nur was destined to stop him. Nur's desire to avenge his foster father, one of the only people who ever really cared for him and vice versa, was the main reason Nur rejected Rama Tut's We Can Rule Together offer (Especially ironic, since Rama Tut's goal for traveling to Ancient Egypt in the first place was to recruit the future Apocalypse). That and Nur wanted to rule the world by himself.
  • In Nikolai Dante, some time after Dante kills Sir Richard Hawksmoore, his daughter, Elizabeth, joins the royalist faction for the chance to avenge him. She is appointed commander of the Order of the Dragon by Konstantin Romanov, and on her first mission, attacks a refugee convoy commanded by Elena Kurakin - whose father she killed. And yes, there is taunting involved.
  • The Sword runs on this. After three demigods kill Dara Brighton's parents and sister in search of the titular mystical sword, she finds it and sets out to use it to avenge the death of her family.
  • Poor Jango. If you think Boba Fett had it bad, Jango lost two fathers. His biological father (and his mother and sister) was murdered by a group of mercenaries, and his adoptive father who trained him to be a Mandalorian (and whom he was possibly closer to) was gunned down before his eyes by the same man who killed his original family. Needless to say, Fett devotes a great deal of time to hunting down the murderer and finally enacts vengeance in a brutal fistfight.
    • And, in a way, the traitorous Mandalorian Montross was also responsible for Jango's second father's death: he abandoned him on the battlefield because he wanted to take his place as leader of the Mandalorians. Then years later, Montross killed Rozatta, a female Toydarian who acted as a mother-figure to Jango and was one of the few people he cared about. Shortly thereafter, Fett defeats Montross and leaves him to a particularly nasty death.
  • Space Usagi: "One cannot live under the same sky as their lord/father's murderer." He gets both. Personally. Sadly Miyamoto Usagi "proper" has yet to fight The Dreaded Lord Hikiji, who killed both Miyamoto senior and Lord Mifune.


  • The Princess Bride gives us a truly iconic example: "Hello. My Name Is Inigo Montoya. You Killed My Father. Prepare to Die."
  • Star Wars
    • Famously Subverted with Darth Vader's reveal: "Luke, No. I am your father." And now that's a cliché.
      • And double subverted decades later, when the prequal trilogy revealed how Vader's misdeeds are responsible for Luke's mother's death.
    • Played straight in the the prequel trilogy, Anakin Skywalker goes into a berserk murderous rage over the death of his mother Shmi on Tatooine and slaughters a whole village of Sandpeople who had abducted and tortured her. The incident paves the road to Anakin's eventual fall from grace as a Jedi and his transformation into the evil Darth Vader.
    • Also in the prequels, Mace Windu kills Jango Fett in front of his son Boba Fett. Lucas avoids this trope in that case, and Boba never seeks revenge... At least. Not against Windu personally, but he became one of the most feared Jedi hunters during the Dark Times. Of course, Windu was already dead by then.
      • He did seek revenge, and they eventually fought, but Boba wasn't able to kill Windu (obviously).
  • In the 2009 Star Trek movie, main villain Nero is responsible for the death of Jim Kirk's father, George Kirk, only minutes after Jim's birth. Ironically, revenge for his father's death is never a main motive in Kirk's defeat of Nero, and he even offers assistance and fair accomodations to the Romulan crew before the Narada gets sucked into a giant blackhole. However, when Nero venomously refuses any help, Kirk wastes no time opening fire to make sure the ship doesn't survive.
  • The whole "you-killed-my-father" thing was hilariously parodied in Toy Story 2.
  • A similar thing happens in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. "I shall not rest until my father's avenged!" (He has no such motivation in the legends.) "Recognize this? It belonged to your father. Appropriate, don't you think, that I use it to send you to meet him?" So, so dead.
  • Such a handy, well-worn device that this trope gets inserted into things where it doesn't belong. In the 1993 version of The Three Musketeers 1993, d'Artagnan is all "DON'T TALK ABOUT MY DEAD FATHER THAT WAY! AAARGH I KILL YOU!" Of course, he ultimately discovers that the main villain murdered said dad, retrieves his father's sword from the villain, and then dispatches him. In the book, his father isn't even dead.
  • "Knox thinks Charlie killed his father."
  • Conan the Barbarian
    • The title character out for revenge for... well, let's just let him say it, shall we?

Conan: You killed my mother... you killed my father, YOU KILLED MY PEOPLE! You took my father's sword!

    • Thulsa Doom as well.

"You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered my servants, and my PETS! And that is what grieves me the most! You killed my snake."

  • In Mystery Men, Eddie Izzard, The Dragon to Big Bad Geoffrey Rush, killed Janeane Garofalo's father. Various villains are killed by various heroes, but she gets him. (More accurately, it's her dad who really gets him. From beyond the grave, as a skull in a bowling ball. It's complicated.)
  • The film version of Hellboy has Prof. Bruttenholm killed by Kroenen, causing HB to utter the magnificent line:

Hellboy: You Killed My Father. Your ass is mine!

  • Uttered by Johnny Blaze to Mephisto in the film version of Ghost Rider.
  • Escape 2000 (best known for being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000) has the hero's parents killed by Mooks working for the Big Bad. His quest for vengeance leads him to a certain uproarious gang leader.
  • In the Dystopian "Biffverse" timeline of Back to The Future Part II, Biff Tannen murders George McFly, presumably to widow Lorainne and get revenge for the humiliation in high school. He tells Marty this, but Marty doesn't take revenge directly, instead he repairs the timeline so Biff will be a loser (and George McFly still alive) again.
  • Averted in 28 Days Later. Hannah's recently Infected (as in, within seconds of contact) father is shot to death in front of her by a group of rescuing soldiers. She's naturally horrified and grieving, but not vengeful. When she thinks that Jim is uh, biting her would-be foster mom, though, she tries to bash his skull in.
  • Featured in the Hamlet section of Last Action Hero.

Claudius, you killed my father. Big mistake.

  • Basically the whole plot of the movie Nevada Smith, where the eponymous character systematically tries to find and kill the men who murdered his parents.
  • Tweaked in Daredevil:
    • It was actually Bullseye who killed Elektra's father, but she thought it was Daredevil. Therefore, she went on an angry rampage against Daredevil, which didn't end well when she figured out who he really was ...
    • Played straight, however, with Daredevil himself and the Kingpin.
  • Subverted in the 1972 Charles Bronson film The Mechanic. Arthur Bishop (Bronson) is a Professional Killer for The Mafia who kills one of its important lieutenants by inducing a heart attack. That man's son, Steve, ends up being trained by Bishop as his protege. At the end of the movie the sociopathic Steve poisons Bishop, who as he dies asks if this is revenge for his father. Steve replies casually: "Oh, you killed him? I thought he just died."
  • Subverted for in the Prince Caspian Narnia movie. Caspian, when he learns Miraz is responsible for killing his father, hunts him down for a dramatic interrogation scene—in the middle of a battle, no less. And later on is given the chance to kill him by Peter for this exact reason. Naturally, he decides to be noble.
  • True Grit, a 1969 western (adapted from a novel), is about a 14-year old girl seeking revenge for her father. She gets to face the murderer and shoot him, though he survives, and the business is finished by her companions who are much more badass.
    • In the 2010 version, she does get to finish the business herself, although she still needs her companions for almost everything else.
  • In the Street Fighter movie, Chun Li's motivation is that M. Bison, naturally, killed her father. On a Tuesday.
  • In Batman Forever, Robin's entire family was murdered by Two-Face, which prompts the young sidekick into a life of crime-fighting. A major plot is his need to overcome personal revenge, though.
  • In Sam Raimi's western The Quick and the Dead, this is the heroine's primary motivation for entering the pistol-duelling competition organized by the villain. Somewhat subverted in that The Lady is the one who shot her father, though this was because the villain gave her 8-year-old self The Sadistic Choice between letting her father hang to death or trying to cut the rope with a pistol. She missed.
  • Happens in Kung Pow with the Chosen One and Betty.

Chosen One: You killed my family. And I don't like that kind of thing.

  • In Saw VI, its main character William, an executive at an insurance company, was responsible for enforcing a corrupt policy and denied a man's application causing him his death. At the end of his game, William meets the wife and son of said man who had held an everlasting grudge on William for what he did and they get the choice whether to let him live or die. The mother cant bring herself to pulling the death lever. The son on the other hand...
  • In the Tim Burton Batman movie, Jack Napier, the man who becomes the Joker, is the man who murders the Waynes.
  • In the Icelandic historical film Revenge Of The Barbarians (Hey, I didn't make up the English name for that!) an Irish man is seeking for the vikings who murdered his father and pillaged his home village for revenge.
  • Averted in Push - Nick confronts Carver over his fathers death, but in the end it's Kira that kills Carver.
  • In the movie Batman Begins, Bruce (before deciding to become Batman) attempts to murder Joe Chill, the mugger that killed his parents but Joe is murdered on the orders of Carmine Falcone, who he is testifying against.
  • In The Sword and the Sorcerer, this is why Talon is out to kill Cromwell, and he isn't going to let Xusia do it first.
  • In The Godfather Part II, Vito's father was murdered by a Sicilian mafia boss, Don Ciccio, when Vito was a child. He escaped to the U.S., became an influental crime boss there, and eventually returned to Sicily to meet Don Ciccio.

Don Ciccio: What was your father's name?
Vito: Antonio Andolini.
Don Ciccio: You'll have to speak up. I can't hear you.
Vito: My father's name was Antonio Andolini... And This Is For you! (stabs him)

  • In Avatar, Neytiri's father is killed in the attack on Hometree. Sure enough, she gets her revenge using her father's own bow.
  • X Men First Class gives us an example of someone avenging the death of their mother, when Erik/Magneto kills Schmitt/Shaw despite agreeing with his Mutant Supremacist ideals because Schmitt killed his mother in front of him as a child.

Magneto: I want you to know I agree with everything you just said. But, killed my mother.

Jerry: You have your mother's eyes...and your father's aim.

    • Subverted: Peter helps (or tries to), but it's Charley who ultimately stakes Jerry.
  • At the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, after he mourns Esmeralda's "death", Quasimodo tells Frollo that even though Frollo told him that he raised Quasi because his mother rejected him as a baby for his disfigurement, Frollo was actually lying, admitting that Quasimodo's mother was very kind to her son, and Frollo killed her (the fate of Quasi's father is unknown however, though it's implied that he was presumably arrested and hung like the other Gypsies his parents were travelling with).
  • Guardians of the Galaxy; Drax seeks revenge against Ronan for the deaths of his wife and children. While he does achieve this goal in the end, he realizes Ronan was just a pawn of the one who is truly responsible - Thanos.


  • An important plot point in the first of Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts novels. Gaunt's father was killed by the cowardice of Aldo Dercius. Years later, Gaunt gets his revenge... but even more years later, Dercius' dishonoured son Colonel Flense shows up and attempts - and obviously fails - to get his own back.
  • Taizu in C.J. Cherryh's The Paladin seeks revenge on Lord Gitu for the slaughter of her family, her village, and her Lord. His actual death is an anticlimax; the hard part was getting there, not the quick work she makes of him.
  • Harry Potter is the guy who gets Voldemort. Voldemort killed both of Harry's parents, who, astoundingly enough, are equally important.[1]
    • Subverted in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Sirius is built up as a traitor who sold out Harry's parents to Voldemort, but he's revealed to be innocent.
    • Subverted again in Deathly Hallows. Although many expected Neville to kill Bellatrix Lestrange, after what she did to his parents, it was actually Molly Weasley who finished her off.
  • Mordaunt, the villain (well, one of them) of Twenty Years After, apparently does everything he does just so he can avenge his mother, Milady.
  • Legacy of the Force has the rare "dead mother, living-but-badly-injured father" variant, with Ben Skywalker very nearly succeeding in killing his cousin (stabbed millimeters from his heart!) while trying to avenge Mara's death. Of course, his father, being the Jedi he is (this is Luke Skywalker we're talking about, people!), despite suffering after a nasty brawl with Jacen himself, and scared that Ben's Unstoppable Rage would lead into a Start of Darkness, forces him away before he can finish the job.
    • In Wraith Squadron, Kell Tainer hates and fears Wes Janson because Kell's father was a pilot in the Rebellion who chickened out on a covert mission, tried to flee and in so doing reveal that Rebels were there, and was shot by Wes to prevent that.
    • Comes up twice in Shadows of the Empire. Prince Xizor hates Vader for a variety of reasons, including the fact that there was an Imperial hazard lab on Xizor's homeworld; a flesh-eating bacteria escaped and Vader ordered that to save the planet's population - and potentially the populations of other worlds - from a horrible, rotting, always fatal infection for which there was no cure, the city and the two hundred thousand people there were "sterilized" from orbit. Including Xizor's mother, father, brother, two sisters, and three uncles.
    • Later an assassin who tries to kill Xizor does it because Xizor ruined his father and drove him to suicide. Xizor calls him an idiot and snaps his neck. Just because he's got a Freudian Excuse doesn't mean he's not a Complete Monster.
      • The reason Xizor considered the man an idiot was that he attempted revenge in a way that had absolutely no possibility of success. Of course, given his massive ego, Xizor also felt there was no way to oppose him that did have a chance of success.
  • At least part of the reason Richard goes on his quest in Wizard's First Rule is to get revenge for the death of his father, George Cypher. Then it turns out George was his adopted father. Who was killed by his real father (and the Big Bad), Darken Rahl, who Richard kills in the climax.
  • In CS Lewis's Prince Caspian, when Peter proposes that he challenge Miraz to single combat, Caspian wants to do it, because Miraz killed his father. Peter overrules him: Miraz would not take him seriously.
    • Amusingly, for the movie adaption, Ben Barnes, the actor of Caspian, practised his accent by watching The Princess Bride. He was highly amused when the line 'you killed my father' came up as part of his script.
  • Partially subverted in Mór Jókai's historical novel, Zoltán Kárpáthy. The Big Bad hires an assassin duelist to challenge and kill the titular character and his mentor. He kills the mentor, but looses his arm to a challenger, who took on him in order to protect Zoltán. Needless to say, the poor kid was pretty dissappointed.
  • Sansar in Wolf of the Plains hires the Tartars to kill Temujin's father. Temujin kills Sansar in a manner most ingenious, then unites the Mongols against the Tartars to massacre the lot of them. After all that, he becomes Genghis Khan.
  • Garion, The Hero of David Eddings' The Belgariad, gets some nice karmic vengeance on Asharak, the Grolim sorcerer who killed his parents when he was only an infant. Asharak burned them alive; Garion burns him alive in his first overt act as a sorcerer. In a possible Subversion, he immediately regrets it.
  • Fraternity of the Stone by David Morrell. The protagonist is the orphaned son of diplomats, killed by a bomb in Japan. Realising he's obsessed with revenge, a friend of his parents recruits him for a Heroes-R-Us group tasked with assassinating terrorists. After a Contract on the Hitman plot, the protagonist finally discovers his 'friend' is behind events, and confronts him with what he's always suspected—that his friend planted the bomb in order to discredit those protesting against US bases in Japan. The friend denies it, but the protagonist decides he's lying and kills him anyway.
  • Brutally deconstructed in A Song of Ice and Fire with Oberyn Martell's epic duel with Gregor Clegane. Clegane had raped and murdered Martell's beloved older sister after killing her infant son in front of her. Martell constantly repeats this during their duel, as a Shout-Out to the famous Trope Namer, and manages to spear and weaken Clegane, even delivering the final blow to his opponent's chest while shouting his sister's name. Then Clegane manages to grab Martell and unrepentantly admits to killing her before crushing Martell's head and killing him. Martell still got his revenge in the end, thanks to his poisoned spear.
  • Interesting Times gives us what is possibly the most polite yet tear jerking instance of this trope, when mild-mannered insurance underwriter Twoflower confronts Lord Hong, who is already surrounded and defeated, and asks him if he remembers a small dispute Lord Hong had that resulted in a minor commotion in Bes Pelargic several years ago, but Hong doesn't even remember. Twoflower explains evenly that it made him rather upset, and he'd like to fight him. When his daughter tries to talk him out of it, he calmly says "He killed your mother" and that someone has to stand up to him. Luckily, Twoflower wins thanks to Chekhov's BOOM-erang.
  • Defied in the Dale Brown novel Warrior Class, where the Big Bad Pavel Kazakov says that the strike he orders against an Albanian town is definitely not because Albanian guerillas killed his father.
  • In the brazilian book The Devil to Pay In The Backlands, Diadorim is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to kill his father's assassin and betrayer, Hermógenes.
  • Subverted in Guardians of Ga'Hoole, where Soren was maybe intending to kill Kludd, but Twilight swooped in and stole his kill
  • Seaver gets one while fighting Spidrens in 'First Test' from the Tortall books.
  • The 39 Clues: She doesn't get killed by them unfortunately, but Amy and Dan are pretty mad at Isabel Kabra for killing their parents. (And in Book 10, she DOES get sent to jail for life... unless she breaks out.)
  • Red Storm Rising: the Soviet Union uses this as an excuse when they stage a false flag bomb attack, kill a whole bunch of schoolchildren, and blame it on the Germans. You Killed Our Daughters, indeed. And then it comes around gloriously to bite the Politburo in the ass.

Major Sorokin: For my little Svetlana, who died without a face.

Jeb: You killed your own brother!!

  • Subverted in The Odessa File. Nearly 20 years after WWII, German reporter Peter Miller is working on a story involving a Holocaust survivor who committed suicide. After reading the old man's diary, he assists a group of Mossad agents in infiltrating a secret organization of Nazi war criminals intent on destroying the fledgling state of Israel. Miller, however, isn't interested in the Mossad's goal. His reason for joining the hunt is to track down and kill one of the leaders, a former SS officer who murdered his father, a Wehrmacht captain, during the war. Subverted by Miller making a blatant error that allows the officer to escape and go back into hiding in Argentina, nearly getting himself killed in the process.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Yoko Akio in Free Fall had a mother. Her mother was taken into the USA by Hollywood actor Michael "Mick" Lyons, and was used as a slave, prostitute, and other terrible things. Fortunately, Yoko had been taken away from this before she got subjected to the same fate. When she finally confronts Lyons, she pretty much tells him "You killed my mother!" He acknowledges that she died, but claims that he didn't kill her. Yoko points out that Lyons had put her mother on the "sex circuit", and that he most certainly killed her.
  • Inverted in Wayside School: The kids trick their Sadistic Teacher, Mrs. Gorf, into turning herself into an apple, which then gets eaten by Louis. Later, Mrs. Gorf's son tries to avenge her by becoming the kids' substitute teacher, stealing their voices, and attempting to frame them of making hateful phone calls to their own mothers.

Live-Action TV

  • Stargate SG-1 had a weird version of this with Cronos, the man who executed Teal'c's father in a You Have Failed Me... moment and exiled Teal'c and his mother. Teal'c finally get his chance for revenge in the episode "Double Jeopardy" where he fights his father's murderer in one-on-one combat only to end up losing. He would have been killed if his robotic clone hadn't shot Cronus in the back.

Clone Teal'c: For our father.

  • Another weird version appears in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Data does eventually get his "father"'s killer...who happens to be his "brother", Lore.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, of course, has one of these. Season seven, Robin Wood discovers Spike is the vampire who killed his mother. ViewersFans (casual viewers wouldn't have followed the multi-season arc needed to know this) could guess it as it was known Spike murdered two Slayers previous to Buffy, and that one of them was a black woman who was active roundabout the time Robin would have been a child.
  • In Supernatural, the Winchesters fight against Azazel seems to be more about dead family members than the whole trying-to-take-over-and-or-end-the-world thing. John starts his whole mad quest thing when Azazel sets fire to his house and ceiling-kills his wife. The boys go with the whole you-killed-my-mother thing, and Sam adds on his girlfriend for good measure. In "In My Time of Dying", Dad gets added onto the list. Dean finally gets revenge when he shoots the Demon with the Colt.
  • Deliberately subverted in Due South, when Fraser refrains from killing his father's killer in favor of due process, both in the pilot and in the episode "Bird in the Hand" - the latter despite the strenuous prompting of Fraser Sr.'s ghost.
    • Of course he does. He's Just That Virtuous, isn't he?
      • The guy was trying to escape from jail and Fraser had known him all his life and so knew that being in jail was torture for the guy. The guy was really trying Fraser though, it's perhaps the only time Fraser acually mean his treat.
  • In Heroes, immortal Knight Templar Adam Monroe makes perhaps the biggest mistake of his immortal life when he kills Kaito Nakamura, father of normally happy-go-lucky Hiro Nakamura. When Hiro finally catches up to Adam, he buries Adam alive in the same cemetery where his father was buried as a result of Adam's actions. Do NOT piss off Hiro.
    • Mohinder's father being murdered by Sylar is one of the driving forces for this character, in season one at least. Hilariously mocked by actor Sendhil Ramamurthy in an episode commentary, when they talk about how some characters tend to have "standard lines" that they say a lot. When asked what his own character's standard line is, he replies (paraphrased) : "Who killed my father? My father's dead! Someone murdered my father! And variations thereof."
    • Sylar killed Elle's father, she proceeds to kill him repeatedly when Arthur locks them together in a cell while yelling 'You killed my father!'.
  • At the end of season 2 of Veronica Mars, Veronica is nearly driven to murderous rage when she thinks season 2's Big Bad killed her father. Thankfully, he hadn't, and another character stops the Big Bad from being killed in what would not strictly be self-defense.
    • Of course, many fans would've given her a pass since it turned out that he did rape her and had intended to kill her father, only there was a mix-up and her father hadn't (unbeknownst to them) got on the plane the Big Bad blew up.
  • Lost: When Sawyer confronts Anthony Cooper for the indirect killing of his parents, he finally is sure once and for all that Cooper is indeed the guy he's been looking for all his life when he confirms that he's been to Sawyer's hometown of Jasper, Alabama. Cooper grins and asks, "Why? Don't tell me I'm your daddy!" To which Sawyer, replying so gravely that it wipes the smirk off the man's face, says, " killed my daddy." You can imagine what soon ensues.
    • Ben kills Jacob, the closest thing to a father Ilana had, so she makes him dig his own grave at gunpoint, only for this to be averted. Not only does Ben survive, he's allowed to join the group after explaining himself.
  • Subverted in the Bones Season One finale, The Woman in Limbo. Brennan accuses a hitman from the strong-arm crew her parents used to belong to of killing her father, but as it turns out, her father is still alive. Said hitman did, however, strike the blow that caused bleeding in her mother's brain, which killed her about two years later.
  • At the end of the second season of The X-Files, Mulder's father is killed by none other than Alex Krycek. Mulder is already a little off-balance anyway, thanks to some LSD derivatives put into the water in his building, and this doesn't help matters. He runs into Krycek and threatens to shoot him for killing his father. Scully arrives on the scene, and tries unsucessfully to get Mulder to not shoot Krycek, no matter how much he deserves it, because Mulder is being framed for his father's murder and if he shoots Krychek, there will be no way to prove he didn't kill his father. Scully winds up shooting him in the shoulder, and Mulder will always be grateful that she's a good shot.
  • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman / Power Rangers Lost Galaxy - Black Knight Bullblack / Magna Defender is out for the villains' blood because they killed his little brother / infant son. The problem is, he doesn't care how much collateral damage he causes in the process...
  • Power Rangers Wild Force - Cole learns that the Big Bad used to be human, and a colleague of his parents...who murdered them both after they got together. After defeating him and reducing him to the bitter waste of space he once was, Cole decides he's Not Worth Killing and walks off. Of course, the season isn't over yet...
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm - Lothor killed Blake and Hunter's adopted parents at some point before the series began. The reveal is mainly done to clear Sensei Watanabe, who the brothers believed to be the actual killer thanks to Lothor. The fact that they're fighting their parents' murderer is kind of dropped afterwards, although it probably would've clashed with the season's general tone.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger - Episode 41 pits Ahim against the monster who killed her parents and destroyed her whole planet. Ahim, at any other time the nicest Gokaiger by far, snaps and tries to take him on single-handed. Her teammates talk her out of it.
  • Subverted in VR Troopers when Ryan Steele's father doesn't actually die but is badly injured but is played straight the rest of the way. Generally Ryan fights the mutants fairly and only uses his finisher as a last resort, but when they began attacking his recently rescued father he began killing them with the lightning hand without even giving them a chance to a fair fight. Even Decimator after seemingly mortally wounding his father, who usually defeated Ryan Steele fairly easily to that point, found himself overmatched and quickly fled on his go-kart. After that, Ryan would be the one delivering the beatdown to Decimator, and not th eother way around.
  • On the Darker and Edgier side of the Toku Coin, Kamen Rider Kiva has Yuri Aso, whose mother was killed by Rook, the Lion Fangire. Eventually, she gets her chance to exact revenge by becoming Kamen Rider IXA and almost killed him. He comes back 22 years later and was promptly finished off by Yuri's daughter, also in IXA's suit, by being hit in the exact same mortal wound that Yuri laid onto him.
  • Young Blades: In the opening of the very first episode, Cardinal Mazarin orders Jacqueline's father killed; she kills the henchman in revenge, and spends the rest of the series disguised as a man in order to avoid capture and hopefully get revenge against Mazarin.
    • In addition, the last episode features Jacqueline's brother being killed by Mazarin's new henchman; she promptly kills him, too. Amusingly, they're both played by the same actor.
  • The goal of the killer in the Unforgettable episode "Lost Things" is to carry out a Vigilante Execution on the leniently sentenced owner of a factory whose unsafe conditions led to a fire in which his father and brother died. The murder that started the episode was just an attempt to silence someone who would have compromised his plan.
  • Painfully deconstructed in Nikita: Alex's whole motivation is to get revenge on the organization that killed her parents. Not until the end of the first season does she learn that Nikita, the former agent who has been her mentor was the one who actually pulled the trigger.
  • Leverage: Nate's con-artist dad is double-crossed and blown up for good measure by Dubenich (the team's first client/target who double-crossed them and tried to blow them up) and Latimer (an amoral investor who wanted to use the team's good work to make money with insider trading). They utterly destroy Latimer's business by dumping invasive clams into his new dam, blowing up his prized possessions in front of wealthy investors, and sending him to the Cayman Islands with a briefcase full of cash and his not-really blown up possessions when he's supposed to be at a Congressional hearing. When Nate finally confronts the two after insinuating he's going to shoot them with his father's gun he winds up pointing out that neither one can let the other survive if other wants to remain free and lets them fight over the gun at the edge of a cliff instead.
  • Morgana discusses this with Uther in Merlin, having heard the rumors that Uther arranged the death of Gorlois, the man she thought was her father-this was long before she found out Uther was her father.


  • The Decemberists' Mariner's Revenge Song has lyrics that are all about why the person being sung to is responsible for the death of the singer's mother, and how he is now going to finally take his revenge.
  • Inverted in They Might Be Giants' spoken-word piece "Lesson 16" (a parody of those language-learning tapes), in which John Linnell reveals that he killed your father in order to get with your mother.

I wrung his neck. Like a duckling.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • In the original Greek myth, Elektra and her brother Orestes avenged the death of their father, Agamemnon, by killing his murderer, Clytemnestra. And she's their mother, who killed him for killing the other kid, Iphigenia. Now that is a Big Screwed-Up Family.
    • Well, actually Iphigenia didn't, technically, die. Her mom just thought she was dead.
      • Ipgigenia's fate depends on the version you are reading, in some she really dies, in others, for example in the play "Iphigenia on Tauris" by Goethe, she survives.
  • In Egyptian Mythology, Horus wanted Set taken down for murdering Osiris.
    • It was an accident!
      • Tearing him into thirteen pieces was an accident?
      • Note that Osiris actually died because Set sealed him into a sarcophogus and dumped it into the Nile. Set didn't tear his dead body apart until after Isis eventually retreaved it. Definitely no accident.
      • This was a relatively late story, which rose in prominence as the triad of Isis, Osiris, and Horus came to increasing prominence and Set became alienated. None of the versions of stories of Horus fighting Set are particularly concerned with this trope, though. Not even the ones where Horus ripped Set's balls off.
        • The Greeks recorded the whole story relatively late, because the Egyptians didn't want to admit out loud or in writing that Osiris died. But it's clear from paintings and other stories that the myth was very old indeed.


  • Hamlet — and, therefore, The Lion King.
  • In Electra, Orestes kills his mother and her lover, Aegisthus, for killing Agamemnon. Electra herself has spent years reminding them this is why she wants them dead.
  • In Der Ring Des Nibelungen, this is the most Siegfried ever learns as to the Wanderer's identity.

Video Games

  • Independence War 2: Edge of Chaos is set in motion mostly by Caleb Maas killing Felix Johnston over a supposedly-unpaid loan. A debt that apparently got inherited by young Cal Johnston, whom Maas decides to have imprisoned for life when he finds him again, recovering one of his father's items. (As if suddenly becoming orphaned AND inheriting a significant debt that was supposed to be paid off wasn't bad enough.) Cue Cal breaking out of prison with some other folks 15 years later to become a Space Pirate like his grandma, build up resources, and ultimately get cold, hard revenge on Maas.
  • In Golden Axe this is the motivation for all three protagonists, as Death Adder killed Ax Battler's mother, both of Tyrus Flare's parents, and Gilius Thunderhead's brother, along with their villages.
  • In Star FOX 64, Fox decides to go one-on-one with Andross because he killed his father. Or did he?
    • In the Starfox comic in Nintendo Power, a big part of the comic's backstory involves Andross and the Love Triangle that he had with Fox's father over Fox's mother. It turned out that Andross killed the mother with a car bomb that was meant for the father, and sabotaged the father's ship so that it would be lost in the Black Hole. Andross (or rather one of his clones) reveals this to Fara Phoenix, The Chick of the Star Fox team, after mistaking her for Fox's long-dead mother (this came about due to Fara getting into one of Fox's mother's outfits, resulting in Fox remarking that she could be his mother's twin sister). Fox hears Andross's reveal as well and goes well beyond furious and into Unstoppable Rage mode. Sporting a pair of Glowing Eyes of Doom, no less!
    • This piece of fanart is a brilliant parody of this section of the trope.
  • In Street Fighter II Chun-Li wants to kill M. Bison because he killed her father. The adaptations also usually have even in the Live Action movie and the cartoon series, Bison will say something badass about how trivial this is to him. Indeed, in the cartoon, Bison killed Cammy's parents and his own father.

Chun-Li: Monster! You killed my --
M. Bison: Yes, yes, I killed your father. What is it with you women anyway? I killed my father too, and you don't hear me whining about it!

  • Bison's line about this in the live action movie is the only unambiguously good thing in that film. It doesn't matter if you think that the movie sucks or if you think that it's So Bad It's Good, everyone thinks the One-Liner was awesome.

Bison: To you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.

Bison: Oh, c'mon guys, I killed your (Dhalsim) father and yours (Vega). And most of Zangief's extended family, it was a different time.
Zangief: They said that fire was an accident.

  • Also T. Hawk's father was killed by Bison, not that some of the fans care or Capcom played it up.
  • Also, Sagat killed Dan's father Go in a fight, presumably unintentionally, long before his turn to the Dark Side, and Dan swore revenge. Unfortunately, the master he found to train him, the same as Ryu and Ken's, refused to teach him if vengeance was his only motivation, leaving him half trained. When they finally met, Sagat, seeing how screwed up vengeance made him, lets him win anyway.
  • In Baldur's Gate you have to avenge the death of your foster-father, Gorion. Along the way, you find out that your real father is Bhaal, the now-dead god of murder, and that your foster-father's killer is one of your divine half-brothers. Exactly who kills him depends kind of which of your party members puts down the killing blow, but your party kills him so it counts.
  • Fire Emblem loves applying this to the lords. As early as the fourth game (Genealogy of the Holy War), you had Celice avenging his father by fighting Alvis (Sigurd himself sought to avenge his father) AND Leaf avenging his father Cuan by fighting Trabant, but it was in the ninth game Path of Radiance where Ike's fight with the Black Knight for killing his father was a significant part of the story. No one seeks vengeance for their mothers (if they're mentioned at all), although in Ike's case it's rather justified.
    • Joshua from The Sacred Stones does to avenge his mother, though you only see him doing so in Eirika's path. We never know what REALLY happened to Ismaire in Ephraim's path (or if Joshua is actually a prince, at all)
    • And Tinny from Genealogy of the Holy War. Seriously, if your Genki Mother (Tiltyu) becomes completely broken and dies of sorrow, all thanks to one Evil Matriarch standing right in front of you, who'd not want to? Apparently, if you do pit Arthur (Tinny's brother) with Hilda in the last scenario, he'd think the same.
    • Radiant Dawn has a rare villain-to-hero accusation if you make Ike fight Pelleas. Pelleas confronts Ike with "You killed my father" (Ashnard, PoR's Big Bad) and Ike just says Ashnard was a crazy dude that had to be put down.
      • Genealogy of the Holy War has a lot of Villain-to-hero accusations. Danan, Scorpio, Burian, and Ishtar all use this line, though in Scorpio and Danan's case the parents of the heroes killed their father, close enough. Also Blume is a badguy who uses the inversion "You Killed My Son."
  • In Persona 3, Ken Amada's motivation for joining the party turns out to be getting vengeance on his mother's killer. The 'killer' turns out to be a former member of SEES, who did it by accident, has regretted it ever since, and is fully aware of Ken's motives -- in fact, he rejoins you just to give Ken a shot at dealing with him. The trope is subverted; Takaya kills him in front of Ken's eyes.
    • It's even better. The killer took the bullet for Ken. Vengeance is totally ruined.
  • This is the motivation behind Christian and Crystal Devroe's hunt for Major Kreissack in One Must Fall: 2097. Come the final confrontation—in giant robots before a live audience, of course—Christian quotes Inigo Montoya verbatim. Kreissack responds with an introduction to the bigger-and-deadlier robot their father was working on...
  • Mother 3: In the first chapter, Claus tries to avenge the death of his mother, Hinawa. This is subverted at the end of the chapter, where it turns out that Claus was killed as well. He gets worse.
    • And maybe better after the ending during the credits
  • Done with a twist in Super Robot Wars 3 and Original Generation: The heroes are confronted by Lune Zoldark, daughter of Bian Zoldark, who was the Big Bad of the Divine Wars. After defeating her, she immediately lets go of the grudge, as she understood the circumstances, and only attacked in the first place out of familial duty.
  • In Tales of Phantasia the murder of Cless's parents serves as his entire motivation for wanting to destroy the Big Bad and, unknown to Cless and his companions, Well-Intentioned Extremist Dhaos. After the end of the first battle with Dhaos in the past, Dhaos escapes to the future of Cless's time period. Once Dhaos escapes, Cless screams in rage that someday he'll make Dhaos pay for murdering his mother and father.
  • Subverted by Tales of Symphonia where, after we learn that Quirky Miniboss Squad member Kvar was directly responsible for the death of Lloyd's mother by mutating her into a monster and forcing his father to kill her, he is instead stabbed to death by Kratos. Double subverted once we learn that Kratos is Lloyd's father, and thus had a higher rating on the hierarchy of 'giving this villain his Karmic Death' -- and no, Lloyd isn't very big on killing him once he finds out.
  • Inverted in Tales of the Abyss, where it turns out that the First Boss of the game was the adopted mother of Psycho Ranger Arietta. And you really can't blow it off because it really is entirely your fault (hell, the events leading up to it were caused by the Team Pet!), even if For You It Was Tuesday.
  • Metroid, and the unending battle between bounty hunter Samus Aran and Ridley, leader of the Space Pirates who killed not only her own parents, but everyone else on the space colony where she was born.
  • Subverted in Metal Gear Solid. Liquid really hated his father, so he blames Solid Snake for "stealing [his] revenge!"
    • Played straight with Naomi Hunter and Fortune in MGS and MGS2 respectively. The former implanted the Fox-Die virus Solid Snake because the latter sent her adoptive brother Frank Jaeger home a cripple and indirectly placed him within the Genome Therapy project (unaware that Frank Jaeger was the one who murdered her real parents in the first place) as well as killing her benefactor Big Boss, while the latter chases after Solid Snake believing that she killed her father, Commander Dolph.
  • In the Fatal Fury series, the Bogards, Terry and Andy, are out to defeat Geese Howard for killing their adoptive father Jeff. Ironically, after Terry kills Geese in Real Bout (Geese falls out a window and refuses to take Terry's hand), he raises Geese's orphaned son Rock, apparently to keep him from going through the same process.
  • In No More Heroes, Shinobu, the Rank 8 boss, seems relatively unemotional right up until Travis turns on his beam katana. When she sees that, she accuses him of having killed her father and goes ballistic. He didn't. He never even met Master Jacobs, though he did watch his training video until it broke.
  • Averted in Silent Hill 3. Heather desperately wants to kill her father's murderer, but said murderer dies before Heather gets the chance to exact her revenge.
    • As the player, you can give Heather her revenge, but doing so plays into Claudia's plan and allows the dark god gestating in Heather to overwhelm her for the Bad Ending.
  • In Dark Cloud 2, Gaspard kills King Raybrandt at the end of the opening scene of the game, right before Monica Raybrandt's eyes.
  • In Samurai Shodown Edge of Destiny, Galford D. Weiler personally hunts down Draco, this time around not just because the latter's evil, and the former is a champion of justice. But also because the latter killed the former's father.
  • In Fallout 3, you can choose to Kill Autumn for killing your father or let him live.
    • May be a slight subversion in that Autumn doesn't kill your father- your father kills himself in order to keep Autumn/the Enclave from taking control of Project Purity. Regardless, he's still, more or less the man responsible for your father's death.
      • Which the man himself points out, should you choose to call him on it:

Player Character: You killed my father, you son of a bitch!
Autumn: Technically, your father killed himself. His loyalties lay with the wrong people, and he paid the price.

  • Mega Man ZX pulls this one in Vent's story - in it, Purprill points out that he was just another Maverick until he helped lead the attack on Area H ten years ago, and was remodeled into a Pseudoroid for his work. Need I remind you just WHO happened to be there at the time?

Vent: Your story about ten years ago eased my conscience. Now there's nothing stopping me from taking you out!

    • Aile implies, although not outright states, in her story that she was also aware of Purprill murdering her parents and witnessed him doing it from this exchange.

Purprill: Ook! Ook! So a Maverick has come to take me back eh? Lord Serpent just doesn't understand how to treat his employees!
Aile: So you're the one with the Biometal! I'm sorry but I'll be taking it now.
Purprill: Oh, so you're not one of the Mavericks? Then get out of my park!
Aile: I'm the one with the memories here. You get out of my park!

  • In Baten Kaitos, Kalas seeks to kill Giacomo for this reason.
  • Inverted in Skies of Arcadia Legends: Bonus Boss Piastol repeatedly attempts to duel Vyse to the death because she has identified him as part of a pirate band who invaded her father's ship, killed him and her little sister and set the ship on fire. Vyse's seeming inability to remember this only aggravate her further. In reality, her father was killed by his second-in-command Ramirez (The Dragon to the current Big Bad) who also sat fire to the ship, her sister survived the ordeal, and Vyse was part of a Blue Rogue crew who just happened to be passing by and tried to rescue survivors off the ship—Vyse doesn't remember the event because he was almost killed by an unknown assailant who threw a knife at his face, scarring him for life, just as he was getting aboard (Piastol was trying to fend off the 'invaders').
  • In Maple Story, the Black Mage is responsible for the deaths of Athena Pierce's father, both of Kyrin's parents, and the Demon's brother and mother. Although, in the last case, his brother actually still lives - as one of the Black Mage's henchmen.
  • In The Godfather game, your killing of Don Emilio Barzini is partly on orders and partly because he ordered your father's death. It even gets a Lampshade hung on it when you finally catch up during the baptism assassinations, with Barzini saying that he knew it would be you.
  • Looking for his father's killer is Siegfried's motivation in the first Soul Blade game. Subverted - it was Siegfried himself.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Kay Faraday gets one of these in Turnabout Ablaze, when she faces Shih-na, after finding out that she is really Calisto Yew in disguise - the woman who killed her father in the previous flashback case. She tries to attack her, despite Edgeworth's objections, and ends up getting held at gunpoint in what is arguably the highlight/climax of the case.
  • Final Fantasy XIII example. "Moms are tough", but not tough enough to escape death. His failure in regards to the counterattack at Hanging Edge continues to metaphorically haunt Snow even as he tries to rescue Serah. It also physically haunts him in the form of Hope, the son of the woman who volunteered to assist him and misinterpreted that failure as Snow leaving her to die. It gets to the point where revenge is Hope's sole driving factor, and he almost exacts his revenge before a Sanctum mech blows them both to the streets below. They manage to smooth things out from that point forward.
    • Another Final Fantasy example comes from Final Fantasy VII. It is heavily implied that Professor Gast was the father of Aerith Gainsborough, to which he was murdered by Professor Hojo shortly thereafter, and Hojo then subjects Ifalfna and their daughter, Aerith, to seven years worth of horrific experiments, to which they ultimately took its toll on Ifalfna when they eventually escaped. Aerith doesn't seem to know Hojo killed her father, though.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins one of the origin stories available involves your parents being betrayed and killed. Naturally, later in the game you get to take vengeance on his murderer (you fight the guy no matter what, but It's Personal with this origin). Subsequently, in the expansion you meet a prisoner who had been captured in an attempt to kill YOU for murdering his father. You can then recruit him and show him his father deserved it. It's the son of the man who killed your father in the previously mentioned origin story, meaning it was a thankfully thwarted Cycle of Revenge.
  • Jack Marston hunts down and shoots Edgar Ross dead for the betrayal and murder of his father in the Playable Epilogue of Red Dead Redemption.
  • Inverted in Mitsumete Knight : it's not the player character, but one of his enemies who invokes this trope to his face : after you kill Final Boss Wolfgario the Ravager in his unmasked version, Raizze Haimer, one of the winnable girls of the cast, will reveal herself as her daughter and as one of the enemy generals, and will challenge you in a duel to avenge her father. However, if she's deeply in love with you, she'll waver between her duty and her love, allowing you to save her. If she's not enough in love, on the other hand...
  • Pretty much the case in Assassin's Creed II, as Ezio's original motivation is the framing and execution of his father, along with Ezio's brothers at the behest of the Big Bad. After he avenges himself upon the prosecutor/judge though, he finds out about a conspiracy against the city which his father had collected evidence against, and considers the conspirators partially responsible as well.
    • And the opening of Brotherhood ends with the killing of Mario Auditore by Cesare Borgia to conclude the Siege of Monteriggioni.
  • In The Matrix: Path Of Neo, there is a scene in which you (as Neo) are fighting Seraph and wind up fighting through a cinema in which the same scene is showing on the big screen. The lone member of the audience shouts out things such as "Oh, I get it: You killed his Master and now you must die!"
  • After Sepulchure's death in Adventure Quest Worlds, his daughter Gravelyn becomes sad and angry over it, and guess what? She will never forgive Drakath for killing him. Hence, the reason why she formed a truce with King Alteon to deal with his threat and that of the 13 Lords of Chaos.

Gravelyn: Drakath will pay for what he has done! Then... My army of darkness will conquer this land. We are unstoppable!

  • This is the main plot element of the iOS game Infinity Blade: in the opening tutorial, your character is killed by the God King and the main game starts 20 years later with you controlling his son. You fight your way through the God King's castle before reaching the man himself...who is much more powerful than you and will most likely kick your ass and kill you. Then time furthers an additional 20 years with you controlling the son of the previous character (who for some reason retains the same level and equipment as his father) and so the game continues as you go through several generations until you manage to kill the God King.
  • The line is said in Outlaws (1997 video game) by Marshal Anderson to Bob Graham, who's holding him at gunpoint, and gloats about finishing him off. In an interesting twist the one who actually kills the villain is not Anderson but rather his little daughter Sara.
  • Let's not forget Shenmue; Only in this case, Ryo Hazuki barely ever gets around to avenging his father becuase the story was Cut Short after the second game...
  • In Valis II, the Big Bad Magus is the brother of Roglas, the first game's Big Bad.
  • Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction be sure to pour on the backstory for our main character. The Big Bad Percival Tachyon establishes a vendetta against the Lombax species, as he either killed or caused all remaining Lombaxes in the universe to flee using the Dimensionator. Tachyon, however, makes sure to point out that one two Lombaxes stayed behind while the rest fled-- The keeper of the Dimensionator and his infant son. He tells Ratchet that he took great pleasure in killing his father, and that is was a shame that he was sent to the Solana Galaxy before Tachyon could find him, as well.

Subverted, however, as Tachyon seems to use this as more motivation than Ratchet. Ratchet plans on defeating Tachyon to take back the Dimensionator and keep the galaxy safe either way, whereas Tachyon looks at killing Ratchet as a way to "finish the job." Perhaps more of a case of "I killed your father?"

  • In Deus Ex, Bob Page is revealed to have been responsible for killing you and Paul's father. He even sends the man who did the job to kill you near the end of the game, allowing you to exact sweet, sweet revenge, in addition to getting revenge on Page himself in the ending.
  • Averted in RuneScape. A villain in a major storyline ends up killing a particular hero who happens to have a daughter who is an extremely powerful warrior in her own right... Yet while the villain dies in the end, it is not by her hand. Perhaps understandably, she is unhappy about this.
  • The Force Unleashed, unlike the main Star Wars classic trilogy above, plays this straight with Starkiller's father murdered by Darth Vader right in front of his very eyes; he even says the line himself during his fight against Vader. It's also strongly implied that Palpatine was also involved in Vader murdering Starkiller's father.
  • In Tomb Raider: Underworld, Natla reveals that she killed Lara's father.
  • This is the motive of several opponents in the sequel to Fantasy Quest, set 20 years after your first "rampage."
  • In a doujinshi of Rosenkreuzstilette called Rosenkreuzstilette Afterstory, better known as Tearis, Zorne Sepperin is extremely pissed off at her adoptive sister, Iris for having killed her adoptive father, Graf Michael Sepperin, in the first game. Not willing to forgive her for making her suffer by doing just that, she vows to eliminate her. Cue Freu trying to stop her through a heated battle involving her rage-born power, and Iris, knowing of the battle between the two, desperately asking Tia to kill her in order to truly end the chaos.
  • In Fallen London, this is the player's motivation if the "Ambition: Nemesis" storyline. He seeks revenge for the murder of a loved one, which can be (at the player's discretion) a brother, daughter, spouse, or lover. Your loved one was not the first victim, nor are you the first loved one of a victim to seek revenge - to the killer, that's the whole point. Interestingly, if you complete the whole quest to the point the where the killer is at your mercy, you can choose to spare him - the reward is far better if you do.

Web Comics

  • In The Order of the Stick, Eugene Greenhilt (Roy's father) swore a blood oath of revenge on Xykon for killing his mentor (Eugene's own father was alive or had died of natural causes at that point, but in either case the two were estranged). However, it's utterly subverted as Eugene eventually ditches that ambition and dies of natural causes.
    • Let's not forget that Roy's own motivation to take out Xykon is the Blood Oath passed down from his father.
    • Belkar is confronted here by Yokyok, the son of a kobold he murdered earlier in the story. Actually a parody of the trope since, while Belkar is on the protagonists' side, he is Chaotic Evil, while Yokyok is Lawful Good but was recruited by the villains specifically because he's Belkar's opposite. Finally, it's subverted in that Belkar wins.
  • In Flintlocke Vs. The Horde, Rok'Tar swears revenge against Flintlocke for this very reason, oblivious of the fact that his father is an NPC who regenerates after a few minutes.
  • A variation in this strip of Schlock Mercenary:

Gasht'g'd'g'tang: I'm Gasht'g'd'g'tang. Your gate-copy killed my son. Prepare to die.

Grace: He had to of been my father, and you killed him right in front of me!

  • Olgaf plays with this in one strip where it ends where the father-killer is, himself, a father, starting the process over again with his son.

Web Original

Bison: Oh, c'mon guys, I killed your (Dhalsim) father and yours (Vega). And most of Zangief's extended family, it was a different time.
Zangief: They said that fire was an accident.

Western Animation

  • Played completely straight in Batman Beyond. Corrupt Corporate Executive Derek Powers arranged to have Terry McGinnis's father killed, so Terry becomes the next Batman, and not only gets the guy who actually did the job, but ends up nearly getting Powers killed, causing him to become his archenemy Blight. When Terry later finds out that Blight is Powers, he confronts him again in the season finale:

Blight: Who are you?!
Batman: ...You really want to know?
Blight: Yes!
Batman: You killed my father.
[Slight pause]
Blight: Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?!
Batman: Too bad. It's all you get.

Terry: "So...I made Blight?"
Bruce Wayne: "You may have, in part."
Terry: "Good."
Bruce looks at him funny.
Terry: "Hey, this guy had my father murdered and all he's done since is hide from the law. Well, no more hiding for Mr. Derek Powers. Now everyone can see what he is... even in the dark.."

  • Parodied in the South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft". After giving Stan the Sword of a Thousand truths in World of Warcraft, Stan's father's character is killed by the episode's Player Killer antagonist. Stan confronts him dramatically with "You killed my father."
  • In the Ben 10 Alien Force episode 'Vendetta', A villain named Ragnarok is revealed to have killed Kevin's father. Kevin quotes Inigo's famous line when he first find Ragnarok. Kevin makes sure Ben and Gwen don't interfere in his final confrontation with Ragnarok; the latter's ship falls apart, and Kevin removes the item that kept Ragarnok's ship around; Ragarnok dies in space.
    • Later, in Ultimate Alien, Charmcaster confronts the tyranical ruler of her home dimension and killer of her father, who says "My might has long since cowed any resistance that once dared challenge me.", to which Charmcaster replies "Is that your way of saying you killed my father?!"
  • During the mostly Narmful Street Fighter cartoon, one particularly awesome moment pops up near the end, with Chun Li attacking M. Bison because he killed her father. M. Bison coolly dodges all of the attacks, and strikes back with:

M. Bison: Yes, yes. I killed your father. What is it with you women anyway? (eyes begin glowing) I killed my father too and you don't hear me whining about it!!!!

  • In the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, the leader of the Purple Dragon gang, Hun, killed Casey Jones' father when Casey was a kid; unsurprisingly Casey is packing a grudge against Hun and everyone wearing the Purple Dragon colors. Averted insofar as Casey refuses a couple opportunities to kill Hun, however.
  • Towards the end of the third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara tracks down her mother's killer, intending to kill him until she discovers he is literally Not Worth Killing. Although nothing close to Inigo Montoya's speech is used, "My name is Katara of the Southern water Tribe. You killed my mother. Prepare to die!" still eventually became a meme.
  • Parodied (like everything else) in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series. Facing an army of homicidal love apples, pizza shop owner Wilbur Finletter voices his rage at the global ban on tomato cultivation, which has forced him to sell tomato-free pizza: "You killed my business, prepare to die!"
  • Subverted in "Futurama". Leela, after crossing paths with some suspicious cloaked figures in the sewers of New New York, gives chase to them, as she thinks they have information about her past or her parents. After confronting them, she comes to the conclusion that they killed her parents, to which the cloaked figures agree and prepare for her to kill them in revenge. Thankfully, Fry shows up just in time to reveal that the cloaked figures ARE her parents.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Frank Grimes' son tries to kill Homer since Homer's idiocy indirectly killed Frank in an earlier episode.
  • A villain-on-villain example: Spider-Man: The New Animated Series featured a pair of psychic twins out for revenge on Kraven the Hunter for the murder of their parents. Since they weren't powerful enough to take on Kraven directly, they used their powers to trick Spider-Man into believing that Kraven had murdered Mary Jane. Kraven was very nearly killed by Spider-Man's Unstoppable Rage, and only survived when Spider-Man realized what was happening.

Real Life

  • In the days of The Wild West The Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin was famed for his bloodthirstiness and had killed two dozen or so men. Even so he ended up being released from prison because his term was up and was free to wander about doing mischief (yeah, that's The Government for you). The brother of one man he had killed slipped up to him and shot him In the Back. This Vigilante Man was given a pardon from the governor because the governor thought, with a lack of lawfulness but not completely without logic, that John Wesley Hardin "needed killin".
    • This wasn't necessarily extralegal. Many states used to have "needed killin'" laws, a sort of area-effect 'self defense' out. It's not uncommon now for people to (jokingly or not) lament the fact that such laws no longer exist, particularly when somebody is perceived as having gotten away with a particularly vile crime.
  • The Khmer Rouge seemed to be aware of this trope. When they executed someone, they also made sure to kill their children afterwards. The reason: "to stop them growing up and taking revenge for their parents' deaths".
  1. To Harry, that is. The plot, on the other hand, considers Lily to be far more important than James.