Even if they’re basically a walking corpse.
“They just keep knocking the crap out of me and waving a confession in my face. And I keep spitting blood all over it and laughing at how many fresh copies they come up with. Then along comes this worm assistant district attorney who turns the recorder off and says if I don’t sign their confession, they’ll kill my mom. I break his arm in three places and I sign it.”
Yep, even the biggest bad guy around can still have a soft spot for good old Mom. Sure you’ve killed scores of innocent people and commited several acts of terrorism but come on! She raised you and took care of you when you were sick!
A subtrope of Pet the Dog, this is when a tough or intimidating character is made more endearing via a loving relationship with their mother. It is usually just used for a quick punchline, but occasionally the concept is a bit more fleshed-out.
While this trope usually focuses on mothers and their sons, it can just as easily focus on mothers and daughters, or fathers and their children.
This trope is why Your Mom is a universal insult; villains from the petty thief to the serial killer don’t take kindly to abuse thrown at their mothers.
When the villain tries to keep their mama in the dark about being a bad man, then you have a case of Don’t Tell Mama. If she finds out anyway, she might react with Mama Didn’t Raise No Criminal. See Matricide and Self-Made Orphan for villains who really go out of their way to defy this.
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- An advert for a courier service had a hardcore tattooed criminal being mailed a hang glider by his mother so he could escape.
- This old commerical for 1-800-COLLECT revealed that Mr. T is a momma’s boy.
Mr. T: I pity the fool who ain’t one!
Anime & Manga
- In the film Dragonball Super Broly it is astoundingly shown that even a short tempered genocidal Bad Boss like Frieza cannot bring himself to even raise his voice, much less vaporize his lady in attendant Berryblue, for warmly teasing him about his height, but instead affectionately confides his insecurities to her with absolute sincerity. Since she is shown in the prologues to have being by his side since childhood (before he overtook Planet Vegeta, in fact), Berryblue is all but implied to be Frieza’s childhood nanny. As the closest thing he has to a mother, it’s only natural that she would be the one person that he would genuinely love, and dare to be sincere and vulnerable to.
- In the same movie Raditz (yes that Raditz) was very respectful towards Gine calling her mom despite Saiyans supposedly having no concept of family, and apparently Gine was very proud of Raditz becoming Vegetas partner. Dragon Ball Minus also implies Gine messaged Raditz about Goku traveling to Earth meaning Raditz mightve gone to retrieve his brother on her orders.
- Its noticeably that despite Raditz not getting along with his father Bardock when they meet in games, Raditz has nothing bad to say about Gine.
- In the same movie Raditz (yes that Raditz) was very respectful towards Gine calling her mom despite Saiyans supposedly having no concept of family, and apparently Gine was very proud of Raditz becoming Vegetas partner. Dragon Ball Minus also implies Gine messaged Raditz about Goku traveling to Earth meaning Raditz mightve gone to retrieve his brother on her orders.
- This concept is explored some in Yu Yu Hakusho.
- When Kurama, a fox-spirit, fused with his human mother’s still unborn child to continue his existence after nearly being killed. He planned to leave and continue his criminal ways once he regained his demonic powers, but found that he had come to love his human mother (Shiori) too much to abandon her, and was even willing to give up his life to save her from an illness. He’s willing to give up your life, too, if you threaten her safety in any way.
- At the beginning of the series, Yusuke is killed in a car accident through some grand cosmic accident: he performed a Heroic Sacrifice a delinquent like him was never expected to do, but his sacrifice was also an unnecessary one. As he is told in the afterlife: even had he not intervened, the car about to strike a young child who had wandered into the street would have swerved out of the way at the last moment. Because he has died both unexpectedly and needlessly, the bureaucratic afterlife offers him a chance to be restored to life, but the apathetic and bitter Yusuke isn’t even sure he wants his life back. He decides to take the chance after all when he attends his own wake and sees his mother is a miserable wreck, sobbing uncontrollably.
- Hayao Miyazaki‘s Castle in the Sky: Mother lovin’ hairy sky pirates. A whole band of them. And their mum is the most badass of all!
“All good pirates listen to their Mom!”
- Lelouch Lamperouge aka Lelouch Vi Brittania, the Magnificent Bastard from Code Geass, has as one of his motives to uncover the truth behind the really messy death of Marianne “The Flash” Lamperouge aka Marianne Vi Britannia, his beloved mother. When he learns that she is alive (albeit, as a “spirit” of sorts) and the Evil Plan she concocted with his father, he kills both of them, not only to stop the plan all together, but as revenge for abandoning him and Nunnally in a war zone to move that plan forward.
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure:
- Jotaro travels all the way to Egypt, enduring constant attacks by enemy Stand users, and then faces off with a time-stopping vampire, all to save his mother Holly. Jotaro’s Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality prevents him from ever really admitting that he loves his mother, but his actions speak volumes to her, as she has always has had faith in his inner kindness, and in the end, she was right.
- It’s In the Blood: in Part 2, Jotaro’s grandfather Joseph was brash and prone to picking fights, but even he feared reprisal from his grandmother Erina after accidentally using his Hamon to fire a bottle cap at a corrupt constable’s finger and snapping it, and he becomes quite cross with people who upset her.
- Believe it or not, Dio Brando himself counts. In Part 1, he harbors a fierce anger towards his father Dario because, according to Dio in his own words, he “made [my] Mother suffer”, and he said this to Jonathan when he could have just said that he made him suffer. He cried Manly Tears when his father ordered him to sell his mother’s old dress for booze. And shortly before becoming a vampire, Dio fought a duo of drunk Jerkass vagrants because they insulted his mother. Of course, it is possible he stopped caring after turning into a vampire, but it is quite surprising that, at least at one point, someone like Dio could have loved his mother, maybe even to the point of her death being his Start of Darkness.
- Steel Ball Run is even more explicit about this trope with Diego Brando, who actually gets a backstory with his mother. Unfortunately, this Mrs. Brando died from being mistreated and neglected at the farm, causing him to become vengeful and power hungry.
- In Fairy Tail, despite August repeatedly claiming not to understand the love between a parent and child, he ultimately ceases his suicide attack because he sees his mother suffering from it in the distance.
- Youkai leaderess Abi-hime’s main motivation to strike a deal with Big Bad Naraku was to get the human blood she needed to save the life of her mother, Queen Tekkei, who was not only old but also was poisoned after defeating and eating an ogre. Granted, she’s not portrayed as sympathetic and the mother is a giant bird youkai, but Abi’s devotion to her mother is still noticeable.
- Inuyasha himself enters into this territory in the beginning of the series. At this point, he’s still a Jerkass and very much an Anti-Hero (before his Character Development occurs). Despite all this, he is shown to truly cherish his memories of his dead mother, despite Kagome assuming he resents her for being human. In fact, Inuyasha’s love for his mother is what causes Sesshomaru to use her form to discover the secret of Tessaiga from Inuyasha.
- Downplayed with Sesshoumaru, who’s a jerk to anyone, but when he turns to his mother for help to master his sword, she gives him a somewhat unempathetic Die or Fly lesson in the value of compassion, the key to mastering Tenseiga, he seems to respect her even with all she put him through.
- Female version. Nao Yuuki from Mai-HiME is said to have been very close to her mother, having become a cynical “lone wolf” and child prostitute of sorts as a twisted revenge after said mother was seriously injured by thugs. This is brought up twice: when Natsuki whom she has attacked and kidnapped once accuses her of being selfish and cruel in her pursuits, causing a pissed off Nao to go into a Motive Rant and explain her backstory, and when Shizuru attacks Nao in retaliation for her attacking and kidnapping Natsuki (twice), killing Nao’s CHILD and Mrs. Yuuki, which sends the girl into a heartbreaking Villainous Breakdown in which she falls to the ground, screams and cries for her mother’s death. Who fortunately gets better when Mashiro intervenes in the Grand Finale, though, letting Nao start all over.
- Wholesome Crossdresser version. In Rose of Versailles, Oscar, a normally cool, passive, obedient royal guard, becomes quite outraged when Madame Du Barry, the mistress of the king, drags her mother into her high-stakes court battle against the then-dauphine Marie Antoinette. Oscar storms into Du Barry’s private quarters and threatens her at swordpoint [mind, Du Barry is the favourite of the king, and needless to say threatening of any manner should have been punished by death], her sudden display of bloodlust frightening Du Barry such that she gave up the entire scheme despite having the king’s protection. Although the very passionate Oscar has and would go on to lose his temper and do stupid/reckless/etc. things over other morally-charged conflicts -such as the murder of a child- this would remain by far the angriest and the stupidest, suggesting that she is a mama’s girl above all else.
- In the manga version of Chrono Crusade, the Big Bad has a very, very complex relationship with his mother, but he overall thinks highly of her—and, in fact, some of his motivation stems from an Awful Truth that she’s a part of.
- Askeladd in Vinland Saga. His mother — as well as the lineage he shares with said mother — is very important to him, to the degree that despite being an amoral bastard he’ll keep any oath he makes in her or his maternal ancestors’ name. If he makes an oath on his father’s name, however, there’s a very good chance he’s going to stab you in the back.
- Vanilla, the gruff and short tempered sheriff from Kaiba is revealed to have been struggling to earn enough money to buy a new body for his mother shortly before he dies.
- Also Popo, who has to take over the world in order to see his mother again. But then her memory chip accidentally gets destroyed…
- Fate and Lutecia, villains from first and third seasons of Lyrical Nanoha, who did what they did because the former wished to make her mother smile again and the latter hoped to awaken her comatose mother. Fate failed, as Precia couldn’t accept a clone as her daughter, and is later adopted by Lindy instead. Lutecia makes friends with the people that defeat her, reunites with her now awake mother, and is serving probation.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- The main reason the homunculi do what they do in Fullmetal Alchemist is because they love their father. Father just uses them for his goal, as their love makes them loyal to the end. Pride finally figures out that it was Mrs. Bradley who was the person that was giving him the love that they all crave.
- Averted in the 2003 anime version: Two of the homunculi are the resurrections of people whose biological mothers are still alive—Wrath is Izumi and Sig’s dead son and Envy is Dante and Hohenheim’s—but neither are particularly fond of at least one parent. Wrath instead forms a parent-child bond with Sloth, the homunculus of Trisha Elric, with whom he plays it straight. Envy can’t get over his hatred of Hohenheim, and would love nothing more than to kill Hohenheim and his sons with Trisha. Eventually Wrath does mend his bond with Izumi but they don’t have time to reconcile as Izumi dies due to her illness not soon afterwards. They end up Together in Death at least.
- Death Note: Teru Mikami is an inversion—he sees his mother as almost condoning the actions of evildoers by telling him that some things cannot be changed. When she is killed, he inwardly celebrates the death.
- Villain Protagonist Light Yagami counts as well, considering that he didn’t care that his dad Soichirou died, and in the live-action movie, he was even willing to put his name on the Death Note.
- Psychopathic Womanchild Misa still remembers her dead parents kindly, and in fact she joined Light because he killed their murderer. In the live-action there’s more emphasis in her bond with them, and seeing Light about to write Soichirou’s name on the Death Note shocks her to tears.
- In Trinity Blood, when Suleyman betrays and rebels against Empress Augusta Vradica, he nevertheless refuses to shoot her, instead Taking the Bullet himself. When she asks why he hesitated, all he replies before dying is: “Is there a child who doesn’t love his mother?” Although he was probably not related to the Empress by blood, most vampires in the setting harbor filial feelings towards her.
- Suleyman was actually more a Well-Intentioned Extremist who dearly loved the Empire and never discriminated Terrans (which casts him in a better light than most Methuselahs) in the novels, teaching this to his niece and ward Shahrazad. Also that Seth is rumored to be a monster to some people (including Lilith, who was a Messiah in the past, thought so). So their dynamic is much more complex than the anime lets on. There is a bit of parental incest on Suleyman’s side (who claims she’s the ‘woman’ he ‘loves’ earlier, but also the person he detests).
- Ayashi no Ceres: Aya Mikage’s villainous cousin Kagami is shown visiting his insane mother in one episode, and it’s implied that her legends of the ‘celestial maidens’ was the original driving force behind Kagami’s determination to find them. It’s one of the few Pet the Dog instances he gets in the entire series, between backstabbing everyone else.
- The whole reason why Kaioh from Fist of the North Star went Ax-Crazy in the first place. His hatred for the main Hokuto family comes from the fact that his mother died while protecting a young Hyoh and Kenshiro.
- Devil Rebirth, a huge monstrous convicted criminal was quite fond of his mother, who defended him despite the fact that he killed 700 people. Surprisingly she looked like a gentle old woman.
- In Bleach, the Espada Tia Harribel has an all-female Fracción. The three girls (Apache, Mila Rose and Sun Sun) fight all the time between themselves, but they’re very devoted to their mistress and she also cares for them. When they lose and get torched by Yamamoto, even after creating a fearsome Chimera by mutilating themselves, Harribel quietly and coldly goes Mama Bear on her current opponent, Hitsugaya. In the end, this is reinforced when the four women survive… and Apache, Sun Sun and Mila Rose beg Orihime to heal Harribel first, despite the horrifying injuries they also suffered.
- Kurei in Flame of Recca is usually Recca’s sadistic Aloof Big Brother. He has different mothers (blood and adopted) and boy does he respect them well. In fact, his adopted mother is actually his Morality Pet.
- Nakago of Fushigi Yuugi. She was the only family he had left, and watching her get raped—and accidentally releasing his powers and killing her in a manner most gruesome out of horror—was the reason he became a psychotic Magnificent Bastard in the first place.
- Played for laughs in Desert Punk, where the leader of a gang doesn’t even flinch when a letter addressed to him calls him a long list of scathing insults, but ends up “Hulking Out” when the postscript offhandedly mentions that his mother had a fat belly button. (or in the English dub that she was a “dirty whore”)
- There’s a quick example in Mahou Sensei Negima!. When Nodoka is being attacked by Bounty Hunters, she uses her artifact to read their minds… only to find that in spite of their threatening, inhuman appearance, they’re actually very typical guys. One of whom is mainly concerned about sending a portion of his money for the job to his mother, and wonders idly how she’s doing.
- Takenouchi of Cromartie High School, purported to be the toughest student in the first year class, is quick to point out that no matter how badass you are, you still have to respect your parents.
- One Piece:
- It turns out Portgas D. Ace took the last name of his mother Rouge to honor her for extending her pregnancy at the cost of her own life so as to prevent him from being associated with his father Gold Roger. Due to having been told from a young age that his father was a demon and any children he might have had deserved to die for his crimes, Ace hated his blood father and preferred to honor his mother instead. He’s not a villain, though he is a notorious pirate.
- One of the reasons Doflamingo hated his father for giving up his title as a World Noble, ultimately enough to kill him was because he believes the squalid conditions they were forced to live in contributed to his and his brother Rocinante’s mother dying of illness.
- Sanji similar to Ace, loathes his fathers Judge and generally acts like a Hot-Blooded jerk to most people he meets. Sora his mother, on other hand, Sanji adored with all his heart and likely contributed to his universal love and care for all women.
- All 46 sons of the Evil Matriarch Charlotte Lilin aka Big Mom are insanely loyal to her and despite her immense strength care greatly when shes in danger. Of course this love might also count as fearful respect since Big Moms sons are well aware how terrible she is during an Unstoppable Rage and how she wont hesitate to hurt her children.
- Matriarch Mina, a Contractor introduced in the second season of Darker Than Black gradually comes across as an Anti-Villain, but is icily emotionless and kills without mercy (but also without taking any pleasure in the act). It’s implied that she was disowned from her family prior to becoming a Contractor (perhaps because of her lesbianism), and while she doesn’t get along with her father, she is taken aback when he tells her that her mother is on her death bed, and to her surprise, this distracts her during a fight with Hei.
- The eponymous Villain Protagonist of Kaiketsu Zorori. He seeks out a cute bride and Zorori Castle to make her proud of him And is more than a little overjoyed at the idea of reuniting with her in Heaven.
- Gender-flipped in Mobile Suit Gundam where Evil Princess and uberbitch Kycilia Zabi’s love for her father, Degwin, is her only redeeming trait.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED where Ezalia Joule, fascist politician and right-hand woman to Patrick Zala is spared from being irredeemable by her genuine love for her son, Yzak. Yzak, himself a colossal Jerkass, returns her affections.
- In MariaHolic, the only person that Mariya seems to truly care for is his dead grandmother. So much that he took the whole “spend a year crossdressing in an all-girls school” deal because it came as a last test of character from her.
- In the Area 88 manga, Kanzaki is a ruthless sociopath who lusts for power. However, he loved his late mother, and her suicide deeply traumatized him. When Kanzaki tells Ryoko about his mother’s suicide, the otherwise sensitive Ryoko responds that she must have been a weak woman — and the look in Kanzaki’s eyes afterwards is chilling.
- Kanzaki’s love for his late mother might be more than filial. He remarks that Ryoko looks like his mother, only to propose a scarpia ultimatum to her several pages later.
- Lucia Ravegroove from Rave Master is one of the most Ax-Crazy homicidal villains in the series, and he doesn’t care about his father at all. But he loved his deceased mother very much, to the point that he named the final form of his sword, Dark Emilia, after her.
- Done subtly in Cyborg 009. In the original manga and the earliest series, Joe/009 grew up to be a delinquent because his mother died and left him in an orphanage and he was ridiculed for being half-Japanese. When Joe is finally fighting Black Skull, he’s being strangled and has visions of the three women who were most important to him. The first two are his friend Helena (who he regretted being unable to save) and Francoise/003 (his Love Interest, herself a rather motherly girl). The last is his mother. Upon seeing her, he smiles and mutters “Mom…” before breaking free.
- Also done in the 2001 series. Carl “Sphynx” Eckermann was an Anti-Villain whose mother died when he was a child. He never recovered from the loss, and in fact he became a Mailer Daemon and Stalker with a Crush towards the aforementioned Francoise/003 because she looked a lot like his deceased mother.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, Jack Atlas (the Anti-Hero of the series) has no recollection of his real mother, who perished in Zero Reverse, but he’s very affectionate towards Martha, a maternal figure to all the children who were orphaned from the disaster. In one episode where he greets her during the Dark Signers arc, she asks him to greet her as he did when he was a child (which is the way a knight knees while addressing a queen) and he does, even though the other Signers are watching.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: Spectre, a man who delighted in psychologically torturing Aoi and undyingly loyal to the Knights of Hanoi. He also treasured the tree he claimed had raised him and in turn his Sunavalon monsters.
- In Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Escargon (or Escargoon in the dub) is The Dragon to despicable dictator King Dedede, and especially in the dub, is almost as cruel as Dedede. Nevertheless, he cares about his mother a lot, and passes himself off as a king so she won’t be disappointed.
- Giovanni speaks very fondly of his mother in the The Birth Of Mewtwo radio drama, despite her seeming emotionally abusive and referring to him as a “brat”. Madame Boss was the previous leader of Team Rocket.
- No matter how brutish and menacing a Pokemon is, you can expect them to still be infinitely loyal to their master. Jessie’s thuggish Seviper for example stuck by her side for three regions worth of Team Rocket pummellings, it looked elated when it finally managed to win a contest ribbon for it’s overjoyed master.
- Jessie’s Mimikyu is a vicious Pikachu-killing machine and a Dragon-in-Chief to Team Rocket for the large part, though its largest redeeming aspect is that it seems to begrudgingly care about its trainer, especially after she preserves its Pikachu disguise.
- A twisted example comes from Gaara in Naruto. He thinks of the Tailed Beast sealed in him – Shukaku – as his “mother” and when “she” tells him to kill people, he obeys “her”. But then, a few years after his HeelFace Turn, his resurrected father tells him that his real mother, Karura, actually did love him and she’s been with him protecting him all this time in the form of his sand shield.
- Marv of Sin City visits his frail old mother. Later he concedes to sign a confession for the villains when they threaten his mother, though he breaks the lawyer’s arm first.
- 100 Bullets: Remi and Ronnie Rome. Very much so.
- In a Golden Age story, Plastic Man convinced Woozy Winks to give up crime and make a HeelFace Turn by asking him what his mother would think of him being a criminal.
- Mirror Master, a regular Flash villain, regularly donates money he steals to the orphanage where he was raised.
- Doctor Doom, resident Big Bad of the Marvel Universe, spent years of his life trying to rescue his mother from Hell after she made an unfortunate Deal with the Devil during his childhood. Doom eventually succeeds, due to a clever plan but in the process sacrifices her love for him.
- In Lord Havok And The Extremists, this is the motivation behind Lord Havok’s turn to villainy. Born horribly deformed, his father, the Czar of Russia, rejected him while the Czarina harbored him and paid for his education overseas. When he receives word that the Czar killed his mother, the only person who ever cared for him, he returns to Russia to attend the funeral, kill his father, and utterly obliterate his home country as his revenge.
You see, Father,
can take, too
Havok is an Alternate Company Equivalent to Doom; his backstory has all the elements of Doom’s turned up to eleven.
- One issue of a Dutch comic Agent 327 has the villain defeated by one of his own mooks, after said mook heard the song “Always think kindly of your mother” being used to torture the hero.
- A couple of Marvel Comics villains use their ill-gotten gains to support their mothers or grandmothers, most notably the Wrecker, an enemy of Thor, and 8-Ball, an enemy of Sleepwalker.
- The first sign of Spider-Man and Fantastic Four villain Sandman’s eventual HeelFace Turn was a Christmas story where he broke out of jail to visit his elderly mom, who had no idea he was a villain. It’s later established that he changed his name so his mother wouldn’t know he was a crook. Much later, before he apparently dies, he asked Spider-Man to tell his mother he was sorry for not being a good-guy.
- Bork, a misguided, mutated criminal, in Power Company. Committing robberies to cover for his ailing mother’s medical bills, he surrendered only after Batman assured him that she would be taken care of.
- Spider-Man villain the Doppelganger is a pitiful mindless creature who knows only rage, confusion, and love for his surrogate mother Shriek, who dotes on him and refers to him as her “son.”
- This also applies to Spider-man villain Rhino. During the Fallen Son arc mourning Captain America’s death, Spidey is visiting the grave of Uncle Ben, and sees Rhino walking through the cemetery. He attacks, thinking he’s up to something (despite Rhino pleading that he isn’t here to fight), and their fight breaks a gravestone belonging to Rhino’s mother… which was the only reason he was there in the first place. When he realizes this, Spider-Man attempts to apologize, but Rhino is, understandably, far too angry to listen.
- Iron Man baddie Blacklash/Whiplash, after hearing of a vigilante targeting supervillains, went on a mad robbing spree in an attempt to amass enough money to take care of his mom once he’s killed.
- In the Carl Barks story “The Money Champ”, Flintheart Glomgold is sad for having betrayed his mother’s hopes when he used crooked means on his efforts to become the world’s richest duck and feels he must get the title so this betrayal won’t be in vain.
- Daniel “the Battler” Axum from the brief Thunderbolts retool was a colossal, superstrong ex-supervillain and ex-con who made a living out of metahuman fights and spent a lot of his earnings on gifts for his poor mother.
- Watchmen has an inversion of the trope. Nominally good guy/Ax-Crazy Knight Templar Rorschach hates his (abusive) mother. Upon learning that she died, forced to drink cleaning fluid by her pimp, he comments: “Good.” Even Good Men Hate Their Mamas, sometimes.
- Crutch from Knights of the Dinner Table.
- Walter in The Mask Dark Horse comics universe—we never learn anything about this mysterious mute killer in the series other than that he has a “♥ Mother” tattoo on his right shoulder.
- Subverted in Ms. Marvel. After Ms. Marvel defeats Moonstone, she ripped away the latter’s power source, leaving her to die in 3 days unless she can find it again. Ms. Marvel then puts it on Moonstone’s mother’s tomb, hoping that this trope would apply and Moonstone would pull a HeelFace Turn after apologizing to her deceased mother for what she has done. Turns out Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, so Moonstone reclaimed her power source… and smashed her mother’s tomb. Moonstone killed her own mother and thought she was a weak failure. She never loved her mother or anyone else except herself.
- In Wonder Woman, when Heracles was changed from a god back to a demigod, he wasn’t mad about his reduced power, because he was glad to have his mother’s blood back in his veins.
- Lucky Luke
- Joe, William, Jack and Averell Dalton love their Ma, and not just because she sends them… iron-enriched… cakes in prison.
- In Black Hills, a Dumb Muscle-type named Nebraska Kid is challenged to a swordfight which requires both participants to strip to the waist. He does so reluctantly, revealing a giant flower tattoo with “To My Mommy” written around it. He then warns the people watching that the first to laugh gets it good.
- The only thing approaching a soft spot the manipulative and amoral supervillain Daken from Dark Avengers seems to have is for his deceased mother, Itsu. He hates his father Wolverine with a passion, yet he seems to have a very loving memory of his mother, in spite of her dying shortly before his birth.
Ares: I’m wondering what woman in her right mind would crawl in bed with that ferret of a man—
Daken: That’s my mother you’re speaking of! Nobody present was aware that Daken was actually Wolverine’s son at the time. Their expressions were priceless.
- A sibling variation with Terra, of Teen Titans fame. Terra used everyone, hated good, and only cared for herself. The only times she showed true compassion were when she interacted with her long lost older brother.
- Played straight in The Punisher MAX comic. Leon Rastovich was part of a child pornography ring that was busted. He turned over on a lot of his partners for a lighter sentence, but no matter what the prosecution offered him, he never turned on his mother, who was suspected of involvement.
- In Luke Cage Noir, we never see it in action so much as get it spelled out for us. Josephine tells Cage that there isn’t a lot to like about a creep like Tombstone… but he was always a mama’s boy.
- The Hood loves his mother and part of the reason he got into crime (aside from being able to support his wife and daughter) was to take care of her.
- Out of all of the Terror Titans, the third Persuader, Elise Kimble, seems to have had a loving relationship with at least one of her parents. Her father utterly adored her, but her mother eventually drove him away, and it was because of her upbringing that Elise became a killer. She actually killed her mom when she found out. When she’s reunited with her father years later, he tells Elise that he wanted to take her with him, but she was a dependent, which meant she was worth money to her mother. Her mom threatened to make it look like he was abusing her if he tried to take Elise, so her dad tried to spare her a life of being on the run from the law by leaving. Their happy reunion is cut short when Elise’s boss, Clock King, kills her dad right in front of her.
- An issue of Wolverine revealed that Sabretooth of all people was this. Having his old mother living in one of the most expensive nursing homes in the world and often visiting her when he wasn’t out murdering people.
- An earlier instance happens when Wolverine calls him “A Motherless piece of—”, prompting Creed to slash him down the front, up the back, and send him flying with a final slash for bringing his mother into it.
- Fantomex, an amoral mercenary from the X-Men comic books, who was raised to become a heartless weapon, visits his blind, old mother regularly in her world.
- In the Havok & Wolverine miniseries, Wolverine gets into a barfight in Mexico after somebody called his mother a puta.note whore
who your mother
No reason not to treat her with respect.
- Loki, for all his Daddy Issues, even has this once in awhile. Tyr once got Loki to help him overthrow Asgard by saying Odin had dishonored Frigga (aka Loki’s adoptive mother). Loki switched sides the second he found out that wasn’t true.
- In The Ultimates, this is how everything got started… he just wanted Momma Laufey’s approval, and it all snowballed into Asgard getting destroyed.
- The first Dr. Ivo Robotnik from the Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog. He had two pictures of his mom, one in his bedroom and one in his office, and once the Freedom Fighters attacked, he said that he couldn’t run away as he was holding scissors and his mother always told him that he should never run with scissors.
- In Death of the Family, this is James Jr’s reason for selling Barbara (his sister) out to Joker.
- In Garfield‘s case, “bad” is subjective (it depends on the situation, really), but he does love his mother dearly. A very long series of strips had him run away from home, get lost, and end up in a touching reunion with her. (The later animated special Garfield on the Town was an expanded adaptation of this story.)
- Coldcast of Justice League Elite may be a Scary Black Man, but he still cares for his blind mother. He was also the reason for her blindness; his powers first emerged when he tried to save her from being raped by a gang, and well, he didn’t have very good control over all the energy he produced…
- Bloom County. Steve, crossed with an Oh, Crap! moment for Opus, from the October 14, 1985 strip. Opus tells Steve that a crazy woman is ransacking his room and bellowing like a “great, ugly, squat walrus.” Steve asks, “Squat walrus?” Opus says, “Yeah.” Steve yells upstairs, “MOM?” and Opus says, “Oh, but a very NICE squat walrus!” In future strips, while his mother nags him endlessly, she is one of the few people Steve is even polite to.
- Bohr in Sojourn. Even if this means to Mercy Kill her.
- The Penguin in Penguin: Pain and Prejudice is devoted to his ailing mother.
- Lady Death is a female example: An undead Dark Action Girl originally conceived a ’90s Anti-Hero who would overthrow Satan for the control of Hell. She is mostly driven to save her mother’s soul, who was sacrificed at the hands of LD’s abusive father.
- Black Moon Chronicles:
- Ghorghor Bey is a dreaded warlord who could snap a person in half thanks to his enormous size. However, he dearly loved his late mother, since she was pretty much the only person in his village who loved the half-ogre boy, a result of her being raped during an ogre attack. He makes a point to visit her grave when he and his army are marching through the area when he’s an adult.
- Wismerhill himself is an Anti-Hero at best, but his mother was the only person he knew for the first few years of his life, since she had to keep her bastard son hidden from her husband, who eventually finds out and kills her. Wismerhill repays him for this (and the abuse he suffered at the lord’s hands) years later by hacking off his fingers and letting him fall to his death.
- In Back to Brooklyn, Paul Saetta’s last words before dying is to ask his brother Bob to take care of their mother. Too bad their mother is just as bad as Paul, and Bob ends up killing her.
- Snivelitch from the Madballs comic published by Star Comics (a now defunct subsidiary of Marvel Comics) must have loved his mother a lot, since a picture of her can be seen on his desk in the second issue.
- In Batman Adventures, Mario serves as Scarecrow’s contact in a street gang (it’s possible, but never stated he’s their leader) doing the ground work to render Gotham City illiterate 1. for a ransom before he’ll undo the effect and 2. to make a social point about education. After escaping an encounter with Batman, he ends up fleeing back to his mother’s place, only to find paramedics half-useless in a room where she has lost the ability to read her medications; they can’t, he can’t, and then Batman shows up, saves her life and his loyalty to Scarecrow apparently wavers pretty quickly.
- The Alien Sultan, the main villain in the Kapitan Bomba series, sincerely loves his mom and keeps her portrait in his private chamber.
- This fic was the result of the author disliking fics in which Japan of Axis Powers Hetalia is portrayed as a monster towards his siblings while simultaneously not wanting to deny that the Japanese did very bad things to the Koreans and Chinese. Japan is technically not much less of a monster in it, but he does love his brothers. Possibly because they’re just as bad.
- This is a central theme in Past Sins. Another central theme is the question of whether Nightmare Nyx is really bad…
- Ultimate Sleepwalker has a male example that shows how Even Bad Men Love Their Papas. The supervillain 8-Ball, a sociopath who’s killed at least a dozen people during his armed robberies, and has also done such horrible things as firebombing a hospital for pay, uses some of the proceeds from his criminal activities to pay for the long-term hospital care of his father, whose drinking has nearly killed him.
- In the Pony POV Series, Dark World!Fluttercruel claims to still love her “mother” Fluttershy, despite having tortured her for five hundred years; due to her psychosis, she actually thinks that’s how she was expressing her love.
- Defied with the Shadow Queen’s childen in Yu Gi Oh: The Thousand Year Door, Redux. She’s such an abusive parent, that her current six children (known collectively as the Shadow Spawn) despise her and obey mostly out of fear; their predecessors were worse, having been behind several attempts on her life. (At least she strongly suspects so.) The whole focus of Stan’s “The Reason You Suck” Speech revolves around this specific Trope and how despicable the Queen must have been to make her own children hate her so, and it actually sends her into a brief Villainous Breakdown that is key to their victory in the Final Battle.
- In Frozen Hearts Prince Hans views his father as one of the few people he respects, and is deeply moved by how his mother still cares for him after everything he’s done.
- Pokemon fanfic Obsession shows Jirarudan (the delusional antagonist of Pokémon 2000) as idolizing his dead mother to the point of associating her with angels.
- The Stronger Evil: Drago, Shendu’s Kid from the Future, has a strained relationship with his father, but he hardly has bad memories of his mother Valerie Payne, saying that she did what she could for him. Though the present version of his mother has sided with his enemies, he avoids hurting her as much as possible, even saving her from Tarakudo’s Psychic Strangle.
- Paul in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Jerkass as he is, apparently misses his late mother.
- In the Frozen fic In Pain And Blood, Aksel is a power-hungry young man who kills his father and attempts to kill his older brother in order to take over the throne. Despite his malice and jealousy, Aksel genuinely cares for his mother Elsa. This is actually his undoing. One day, Elsa convinces him to go riding with her and kills him when his guard is down.
- Scar in Nala: My Father’s Madness was very attached to his mother. After she died, he changed for the worst and disowned his past self.
- In the Temeraire fanfic Black Wings, Black Sails, after William Laurence, the feared Gentleman Pirate, disgraces himself with the Tswana, he goes to bed unhappy and distressed, dreaming of his mother and being carried in her arms when he was a little boy, who he was certain he would never see again.
- From the Professional Wrestling series The JWL: Cody Rhodes did not like Samoa Joe calling him “the son of a moron” on Episode 73.
- Disney’s Robin Hood has a Running Gag of the evil Prince John remembering his mother and going sucking his thumb because he was The Unfavorite, compared to his brother King Richard. He even does it while attacking his snake right-hand man. And remember, Prince John is voiced by Peter Ustinov. Also an Historical Injoke, as Richard really was Eleanor of Aquitaine’s favorite child.
- Disney‘s Peter Pan: When Wendy is singing “Your Mother and Mine” to her brothers and The Lost Boys, Captain Hook and the other pirates overhear her. Anti-Villain Smee gets emotional, as he lifts up his shirt — and displays the “Mother” tattoo.
- The Shrek sequels show that Prince Charming is a complete and utter Mama’s boy. In fact, it’s his desire to make her proud that leads him to hatch another villainous plan in Shrek the Third. And his last word, before he gets trapped under a tower, is “Mummy?”
- Hopper from A Bug’s Life may have loved or at least respected his mother enough to honor her promise to not kill his younger (annoying) brother Molt when she was on her deathbed.
, if I hadn’t promised Mother on her deathbed that I wouldn’t kill you, I would
And believe me, no one appreciates that more than I do.
SHUT UP! I don’t want to hear another word out of you while we’re on this island. Do you understand me?
I SAID, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!
Well, how can I answer?
You said I couldn’t say another word! (Hopper growls with increasing rage and raises his fist)
(Hopper spins around and punches out another grasshopper who was standing behind him)
- A very cynical approach to the trope shows up in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. Zira treated all her offspring cruelly, but especially Nuka; yet Kovu and Vitani were the ones who actively rebelled, while Nuka went out of his way for Zira, such as when Kovu first refused to take part in an attack on the pridelands, and Nuka tried to take charge to win Zira’s attention, yet died in the process.
- Played with in Wreck-It Ralph when Sgt. Calhoun yells at her squad to make their mothers proud and Ralph shouts back that he loves his mother. Averted in that he’s only “officially” a Bad Guy, not a bad guy.
- Kadaj, Yazoo, Loz and eventually Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children won’t stand for anyone insulting their mother.
- Big Baby in Toy Story 3, while Lotso’s henchman, qualifies. Before turning, he called his previous owner “Mama”. It makes sense seeing that he’s a baby doll.
- The Bog from Strange Magic who while frustrated by his mother’s constant attempts to set him up with women, is also humanized by her badgering.
- Titan from Megamind has no qualms about stealing, killing, robbery or burning down an entire city for fun, but he’s genuinely upset when he figures that Megamind lied to his stepmom.
- Lilo & Stitch: Dr. Jumba Jookiba, a self-proclaimed Evil Genius, objects to Stitch (apparently) insulting his mother during one fight sequence.
Stitch: [alien gibberish insult]
Jumba: Oh! Leave my mother out of this!
- 3:10 to Yuma (2007). After a member of the posse transporting him to the eponymous prison train insults his mother, shackled Magnificent Bastard Ben Wade promptly throws him into a ravine, and utters this line to justify it.
Wade: Day I die, Byron, I’m gettin’ sprung from hell.
Byron: I might think that too, if I came from the seed of a drunk gravedigger, and the rancid womb of a whore.
Wade: [Whirls round, knocks back his captors, and grabs Byron from behind, holding a knife to his throat] I’ve always liked you Byron, but you never know when to shut up. Even bad men love their mommas. [hurls him over the cliff edge]
- American Gangster: Frank Lucas, drug king pin, uses his fortune to buy a Big Fancy House for his mother and fills her room with copies of furniture that was taken from them when he was five, which he had remade from memory. When the dirty detectives invade the house looking for Frank’s getaway money they assault his wife, shoot his dog and demolish the furniture. Frank’s mom talks him out of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge (“You don’t kill cops, even I know that”) by threatening to abandon him. It works, and they go to church instead where Frank is arrested by the un-corrupt cops who were investigating him.
- American Me: Santana may be a brutal gang leader but he loves his mother, as she’s always taken care of him even though he’s the product of a gang rape against her by a bunch of racist sailors.
- In Analyze This, mob boss Paul Vitti gets very angry when Dr. Sorbel suggests that he might have an Oedipus complex (clearly, Vitti doesn’t understand the term, and thinks that Sorbel is suggesting that he is actually sexually attracted to his mother). In a later scene, he’s still angry at Sorbel, saying that he’s been afraid to call his mother.
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy has this little exchange:
Champ Kind: I will smash your face into a car windshield, and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!
Wes Mantooth: Dorothy Mantooth is a saint! You understand me? Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!
Ron Burgundy: Hey, let’s leave the mothers out of this.
- Aquaman (2018): Gender Inverted. One of the main themes of this film is fatherhood, and most of the characters are seen to have close and loving relationships with their respective fathers.
- Arthur and his dad start the film off by sharing a Man Hug and having some father-son time over a beer.
- David Kane begins his first appearance by giving his son the family’s Ancestral Weapon, a diving knife his father carried in World War Two. His son, in turn, chooses to stay and die in a sinking submarine trying to save his father’s life, and only leaves when his father pulls a grenade.
- Mera is also clearly a Daddy’s Girl, and while he is willing to use her as a political pawn it is clear he cares a lot about her.
- Orm’s dialogue implies that he was pretty much raised by king Orvax, and that he sees his father as the epitome of what it means to be Atlantean and strives to emulate him.
- The Big House. Butch is a hardened killer who has committed who knows how many murders and is serving a life sentence in jail. He breaks down sobbing after receiving a letter telling him that his mother died.
- Noah from The Boy Next Door loves his deceased mother. He loves her so much that he declares that he could never hurt her in the climax, mainly because his father cheated on her and she was so devastated that she killed herself.
- In Brick, the Pin, a drug lord, lives with his mom. His mom even goes so far as to serve snacks during his business meetings.
- In Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the assassin known as The Thin Man has a soft spot for the orphanage where he grew up. He regularly donates money and gifts and the reason he gets involved in the plot is to protect Max since he was also raised at the same orphanage.
- The Craft: The Ax-Crazy witch Nancy Downs has a pretty good relationship with her mother. When her belligerent stepfather strikes the mother in a mild rage, Nancy uses her newly-received powers to give him a fatal heart attack, and ignores his suffering while checking to see if her mother is all right.
- Death Note (2017): Villain Protagonist Light Turner mourns his mother, who was killed by a criminal. When Light gets his hands on the titular Death Note and learns he can kill with it, one of the first things he does is kill the criminal responsible for his mother’s death.
- Deewaar: Vijay, although not strictly speaking evil, is a hardened criminal who nevertheless loves his mother very much and wants to give her a nice home and all the other things she deserves.
- Defied in Demolition Man. When Huxley is looking over the list of Cryo-Cons, she notes to John Spartan, “Most of these guys don’t like you.” He answers that most of them don’t even like their own mothers.
- In Fair Game, Evil Poacher Ringo attempts to assault Jessica after she disrespects his mother.
- The Fifth Element: Korben Dallas is a muscular blond hero, former soldier, who likes shooting at things and who is afraid of virtually nothing… except of his irritable mom’s phone calls, during which he never dares to talk back while she generously berates him as the worst son ever for not calling her enough. Although he probably is simply unable to.
- One particularly badass villain from the Fingerprints turns out to be doing everything to get revenge for her mother, who was murdered when she was a child.
- Four Brothers combines this with Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Saintly old lady Evelyn Mercer is shot and killed in a robbery, so her four dangerous adopted sons join forces to track down her killers.
- The page image is Jason Voorhees and his mother Pamela, who have a close and otherworldly relationship in the Friday the 13th series.
- In the first film, the mother kills off kids in vengeance for Jason. The iconic leitmotif “ki ki ki… ma ma ma” is Mama Voorhees imagining Jason telling her, “Kill kill kill… mom mom mom!”
- Before the events of Part 2, Jason made a little shrine for his mother’s decapitated head and presented his victims to it.
- In the crossover movie Freddy vs. Jason, Jason comes back to life because his mother tells him to do it. The “mother” was a image made by Freddy Krueger in order to start a killing spree on Elm Street. That kind of obedience can’t be faked. When he found out who his ‘mother’ really was, Jason was not happy…
- In The Godfather Part II, After Michael Corleone learns of Fredo’s treachery, he orders that nothing will happen to him while their mother is still alive. Once we see that shot of Mama Corleone in that casket…
- Joe Pesci‘s murderous psycho Napoleon-complex mobster Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas loves his mama.
- Michael Myers is quite fond of his mother in Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009). Not only does he kill the kids who insult his mom, he also has hallucinations about her wearing completely white and urging him on while he murders.
- Happy Gilmore can be a real Jerkass, but he’s always nice to his grandma. In fact, the whole reason he goes on the golfing tour is to raise enough money to keep her from losing her house.
- J.D. from Heathers outright admits he isn’t sure if he even likes his father, but he clearly loved his late mother, regarding her fondly when showing her picture to Veronica.
- In JCVD, The bank robbers get in multiple heated arguments over the brutal treatment of the hostages—two of them are Affably Evil, star-struck fanboys, who’d rather get Van Damme to show off his moves than extort the hostages, while the other one opens fire on the cops multiple times, and shoots an escaping hostage in the leg. The arguments become more heated as the film progresses, but they manage to keep it all together. Until the bastard insults another robber’s mother. A point-blank headshot is the response from the other robber. His reasoning? “We agreed. Nothing about our mothers.”
- Kindergarten Cop: Cullen Crisp deeply cares for his mother. This would be heartwarming… if she wasn’t a psychotic partner in his criminal schemes.
- In King of Thieves, Carl’s major concern on being arrested is what is going to happen to his mother, who has Alzheimer’s.
- The Ladykillers (2004): Despite having drawn the shortest straw and being saddled with the burden of having to murder Mrs. Munson, Gawain just can’t bring himself to do the deed because the bossy old lady reminds him of his mother.
- In the second The Legend/Fong Sai Yuk movie, when the bad guys kidnap Fong’s mom, Fong goes through hell and high water to get her back, including this scene, qualifying as one of Jet Li’s greatest fights, where he uses an arsenal of katanas to tear apart an alley full of mooks standing between him and where the bad guys have taken her. While blindfolded. His mother may be even more badass than he is. When he is defeated by his prospective mother-in-law in the first movie, it’s his mum who goes and restores the family honor (disguised as his brother).
- One of the first things Jeffrey Dahmer says in the 1993 biopic The Life and Times of Jeffrey Dahmer is that his grandmother might be the only person he ever loved. Indeed, he regularly brings over men to his bedroom in her house before killing them, but tries to hide this from her. He’s later brought to tears when his Missing Mom calls him up out of the blue.
- Ronnie from Little Children is a convicted pedophile who loves his mother more than life itself, and is fully aware that she is probably the only person in the world who loves him. The film is notable for making a pedophile into The Woobie upon her death.
- Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. from Little Shop of Horrors has a shrine dedicated to his deceased mother, who encouraged him to become a dentist due to his sadistic nature as a child.
- Long Pigs: Anthony may be a cannibal and murderer, but he’s still distraught when he learns his mom is dying.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- A gender-flipped version in Iron Man 2. Ivan Vanko, while bitter towards Tony, is perfectly willing to quietly take care of his invalid father, even though the film implies his father was abusive when he was well. But then his father dies
- Loki from Thor still loves Frigga, his mother. It’s implied she was the more attentive parent, and she gave Loki the throne in Thor when Odin was in the Odinsleep. According to his actor Tom Hiddleston, “Frigga is the only one who still cares; the only one who still sees good in him. Everyone else has let him go.”
- In Thor: The Dark World, Thor gets Loki to cooperate by reminding him that Malekith killed Frigga, knowing that as much as Loki wants power, he wants revenge more. When he is informed of the news, he waits until he’s alone before he lets his grief-inspired rage be shown by telekinetically destroying the furniture in his cell. For a character whose main trait is deception and playing with emotions, seeing a genuine reaction to an event is meaningful. It’s also revealed that it was Frigga who taught Loki a lot of his magic, so she was the more attentive parent.
- Menace II Society: If you value your life, do not insult O-Dog’s mom. He will kill you.
Store Clerk: I felt sorry for your mother.
O-Dog: What you say about my mama?
- In The Naked Gun 33 1/3, Rocco sees his mother fall off a stage, presumably dead, and shouts down to her, “I’m coming, Ma!”—possibly the most devoted mama’s boy on this list. It is parody.
- Julian Karswell, the Satan-worshiping cult leader from Night of the Demon, is very affectionate and kind to his mother.
- In Popeye, Castor Oyl vainly attempts to box the feared contender Oxblood Oxheart for a sizable amount of money when the Oyls are evicted. Oxblood is clearly shown to have a soft spot for his doting mother/manager, which Popeye uses to his advantage when he enters the ring.
- Norman Bates in Psycho has always had a special relationship with his mother, keeping her in the old family mansion and taking care of her needs and demands, even twenty years or more after she died.
- Tony Montana from Scarface (1983) somewhat loves his mother, even if there are rough edges to their relationship due to her being aware of his criminal activities.
- Scream (1996):
- After being informed by Sidney that she’s called the police, Stu (who has apparently lost all rationality and is bleeding to death) pathetically breaks down and sobs, “My mom and dad are gonna be so mad!”
- Another example would be Billy, whose motive for killing Sidney’s mother (and later Sidney) was that Mrs. Prescott had an affair with his father, which led to his mother walking out on them both. Sidney even calls him a “pansy-ass momma’s boy.”
- In Scrooged, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows to Bill Murray’s character one of his first Christmas evenings. Murray begins to cry. Earlier, the Ghost had claimed that even Attila the Hun had to cry when he saw his own mother. Murray then claims (unconvincingly) that he’s crying over the lump of meat his father got him as his Christmas present, which he didn’t appreciate back then.
- Jacob Goodnight of See No Evil has a very good reason to love (or at least respect) his mother: she’s the one who turned him into a serial killer in the first place! At first appearing to be a dotty old woman and one of Jacob’s potential victims, she is eventually revealed to have been controlling him all along. You see, she’s really a religious fanatic who believes that people deserve to die for having even the smallest of faults, and she uses her son as the vehicle for dispensing her twisted brand of justice.
- In the Silent Hill movie, after the terrible and bloody vengeance that Alessa Gillespie unleashed on Christabella and the whole town that burned her alive for being born out of wedlock many years ago, the only survivors are Action Mom Rose, her daughter Sharon, and Dahlia, Alessa’s mother. When Dahlia asks Rose why she is the lone survivor out of all the Silent Hill inhabitants, Rose tells her “Mother is God in the eyes of a child.”
- In Sin City, Marv has the crap beaten out of him by crooked cops trying to get him to sign a confession. Marv spits blood at every paper they wave at him, until a slimy District Attorney shows up and threatens to kill Marv’s beloved mother. Marv signs the confession almost immediately, but not before breaking the DA’s arm in several places.
- Star Trek (2009): Though he’s not exactly “bad” (more like a Jerkass) for the first half of the movie, the only way to make Spock react in the movie is to insult his mother or imply he doesn’t love her. You do not want to do that unless you want the shit beaten out of you. So they kill her off.
- Star Wars:
- A case of ‘Even Bad Men Love Their Fathers’, Boba Fett from Attack of the Clones was shown as this. He became the most feared bounty hunter in the Galaxy and recreated the Mandalorians to honor dear old dad. note It should also be noted that in the Mando culture, it’s the father who does the bulk of the child-rearing. And their second-worst insult more or less translates to “deadbeat dad.”
- Boba was a clone himself; his father’s price for giving his genes to make the clone army included one “unmodified” clone to be his son.
- Nearly all of Kylo Ren’s conflict comes from the love he still has for his parents. In The Force Awakens he actually kills his father to try and rid himself of it, and in The Last Jedi he’s ultimately unable to fire on the ship that has his mother on board.
- His grandfather, Darth Vader, also loves his mother very much. One particular moment that starts his jump off the slippery slope is when, while was still Anakin Skywalker, his mother Shmi was kidnapped and later killed by Tusken Raiders and he decided to Kill Em All in retaliation. note In Legends it is also revealed that his homeworld Tatooine would become Berserk Button of sorts after this incident, and so Anakin (and later Vader) never even goes near the Tatooine system if he can avoid it. This why he never personally leads the search for the Death Star plans beyond the Tantive IV in A New Hope.
- A case of ‘Even Bad Men Love Their Fathers’, Boba Fett from Attack of the Clones was shown as this. He became the most feared bounty hunter in the Galaxy and recreated the Mandalorians to honor dear old dad. note It should also be noted that in the Mando culture, it’s the father who does the bulk of the child-rearing. And their second-worst insult more or less translates to “deadbeat dad.”
- The HeelFace Turn of Eve Teschmacher from Superman is prompted by the threat of her mother becoming collateral damage. She’s all about being a vampy super-villain before that, too, with the big cape and the bigger boobies and everything else the job entails.
- Susano-o in The Three Treasures is a troublemaker, but he’s shown to have loved his late mother Izanami.
- Tragedy Girls: While we don’t see too many scenes of the psychopathic, murderous girls interacting with their parents, they do appear to care about them, at least a little, and act affectionately towards them. Notably, the girls don’t trash-talk them when they’re alone, the same way they do Toby, Jordan, and Big Al, implying that the affection is genuine.
- In We’re the Millers One-Eye is offended when Kenny sheepishly declines a gift basket filled with fruit (and a tarantula) from the former’s mother.
- In X-Men: First Class, Magneto is obsessed with taking revenge for his murdered mother. The whole “tortured in a Nazi concentration camp” thing didn’t necessarily help either, though.
- A Brother’s Price inverts this trope. Some villainous sisters boast with having killed their elderly mothers in cold blood when said mothers started to become senile.
- Lestat in Anne Rice‘s The Vampire Chronicles is a mother’s boy. He adores Gabrielle, revels in being her favorite son, and still resents every second she’s not paying attention to him. He also turns her into a vampire so he never has to live through her dying.
- In Beowulf, the mortally wounded Grendel returns to his mother to die. Grendel’s mother then takes up the vendetta against Beowulf.
- In Good Omens, Nanny Astoreth teaches about Vlad Drakula and Attila the Hun, but omits the points about Drakula always saying his prayers, or Attila being nice to his mother.
- Seen (to an extent) in Hogfather; the Lilywhite boys greatly respect their deceased mother, as much out of quivering fear as love. They turn on Mr. Teatime after he snaps and goes, “To blazes with your mam!”.
- Invoked unsuccessfully by Mrs Plinge in Maskerade, when she attempts to appeal to a gang of muggers by saying surely they have mothers. One replies that he did but he thinks he “must of et her“. Granny Weatherwax is relieved by this, since it means she doesn’t have to be nice.
- In The Three Hostages, when the villain learns that the heroes have discovered and captured the secret location where the third hostage was being held, overseen by the villain’s mother, his first reaction is fear for his mother’s safety, and only then concern for the failure of his plot and the security of his global criminal conspiracy.
- In the first Thursday Next book, The Eyre Affair, one of the main villain’s dimwitted henchman wants a motorway services named for his mother as his part of the ransom. It’s the only part of the ransom that is granted before the situation blows up.
- After being shot in a duel with Pierre in War and Peace, Dolokhov goes delirious in the carriage towards the hospital, murmuring about how he can’t die yet because his mother will be heartbroken.
- In the Sharpe series, the Drill Sergeant Nasty Obadiah Hakeswill keeps trying to kill Sharpe. He has a picture of his dead mother inside his hat. “Mother, spread your wings and lift me high!” is his catchphrase. He once justifies an act of rape by saying, “Mother, you always wanted me to be happy.” His mother helped to save him from the gallows, so he does have a point.
- In Second Apocalypse:
- Xerius’s mother Istriya is the only person he is not ready to execute at the first hint of a suspicion of possible treason. But then, Istriya is the person who made Xerius who he is, and they have a history of mother/son incest.
- Anasurimbor Kelmomas is a Child Prodigy and an Enfant Terrible who is obsessed with being the only one to receive his mother’s love, even if this means burning the whole world down.
- In Ken Follett’s A Dangerous Fortune, the death of Edward Pilaster (a minor villain and son of Evil Matriarch Augusta) receives the following commentary from the heroes:
- Downplayed in Crime and Punishment: at the beginning, Sympathetic Murderer Raskolnikov is very fond of his mother and sister, but, after his crime, he begins to feel uncomfortable around them and actually feels he is starting to hate them.
- In the Deepgate Codex, main villain Menoa’s Start of Darkness was triggered when he was killed protecting his mother during his parents’ war.
- In The Brothers Grimm‘s tale #50 (“The Devil And His Grandmother”), the Devil himself cares about his grandmother—and thus, the hero can outwit him.
- The last word of the mad god Torak in the Belgariad is “Mother!” It’s identified by Belgarath as a cry to the one thing in the universe Torak thought loved him. (Granted, as a god, Torak’s mother is the universe—long story.) He was right—for a split second after Torak’s death, everything stops, as the universe mourns her lost child.
- The Tamuli has Scarpa calling for his mother as he is dying. Subverted in that he had her—and all his sisters—murdered before the start of the series.
- In the non-fiction novel Inside Delta Force, the ex-Delta operator Hanley explains an incident from the training where he received a strike against him by the evaluating shrink for being “uncooperative.” The reason? He refused to complete the portion of the psych eval which asked selectees to complete the phrase “I love my mother but…” When questioned about this, Hanley replied, “I love my mother. No buts. Don’t project your issues onto me.” The strike was removed and Hanley went on to pass selection.
- Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read wrote in his first book, Chopper: From the Inside, that the best way to find a criminal that didn’t want to be found was either to wait outside their mother’s house or to put her in hospital. They would always turn up because their love for their mums was so predictable
- Dong Zhuo in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is possibly the most vicious tyrant in the book. When he finds out he’s going to ascend to emperor, one of the first people he tells is his mother.
- Paul Atreides in Dune. Even psychic demigod warlords love their mamas.
- The Inquisitor and powerful vampire Witeslaw in the Night Watch series is mostly completely stoic and utterly ruthless, and in his first meeting with the protagonist, casually mentions that he’s eaten children. However, in Twilight Watch, she shows a reluctance to interact with an elderly woman and to use the word mother. It’s explained that as a young vampire, he lost control of himself and killed his mother, something which fills him with great shame.
- Fëanor, in The Silmarillion. Don’t you dare thay Serindë. Also applies to Túrin. Insulting his mother, Morwen, is not a very good idea.
- Of all Fëanor’s sons, Maglor is closest to his mother Nerdanel. He’s arguably one of the least nasty of the bunch, though.
- In The Eyes of Kid Midas, sadistic schoolyard bully Bertram gets very angry if you insult his mother.
- In John C. Wright‘s Chronicles of Chaos, the very stoic Ares only becomes angry when his mother Queen Basilios is slandered. At which point, he offers to break the speaker’s kneecaps if they don’t shut up.
- Artemis Fowl:
- The title character may be a criminal mastermind, but he’ll do anything—including giving up half of his loot or traveling to the past to save an extinct species—to make his mother Angeline healthy and happy again.
- Butler invokes this in the first book when We Need a Distraction. He approaches a gang of hoodlums hanging about the area and taunts them relentlessly, capping it off with a sarcastic “your mothers must be so proud”, which is what finally provokes them into a fight.
- The Army of Helaman or Helamen’s Stripling Warriors from The Book of Mormon are in fact heroic young men who learned righteousness from their mothers.
- Clearly not the case with Left Behind Antichrist villain Nicolae Carpathia, as he and Viv Ivins had engineered Marilena Carpathia’s death when he was no longer in need of his mother.
- At one point in The Black Company series, Croaker and Lady are arguing about Dominator — former, believing in Gray and Gray Morality is trying to convince the latter that even he had to have a good side and uses this trope as one of the possibilities. Lady says he probably ripped his mother’s throat with his bare hands.
- The In Death series: Averted. A number of the murderers in the series murdered their mothers first.
- Peter Pan:
“See,” said Hook in answer to Smee’s question, “that is a mother. What a lesson! The nest must have fallen into the water, but would the mother desert her eggs? No.”
There was a break in his voice, as if for a moment he recalled innocent days when — but he brushed away this weakness with his hook.
- Septimus Heap: Simon Heap still cares about his mother while he’s trying to kill his siblings.
- In the third entry in The Sellswords by R. A. Salvatore, Artemis Entreri returns to his hometown of Memnon in Calimshan and butchers the corrupted priesthood of Selûne who made his life hell as a child. What sets him off is when he asks for a prayer for his mother’s soul, and the high priest tries to exact payment for it.
- One of the major unanswered questions of We Need to Talk About Kevin is what Kevin (a school shooter who seemed to deliberately cultivate the image of The Sociopath) really felt towards his parents. Despite seeming to have tried from infancy to make his mother, Eva, as miserable as possible, even if it hurt him too, many of his actions could be interpreted as a phenomenally twisted means of trying to bond with her in his own way. His relationship with his father is also quite difficult to fathom, as he hid his sociopathy from him and played the perfect son, and years later Eva still can’t tell if Kevin was trying to hurt her by causing her husband to mistrust her when she tried to tell him that Kevin was seriously disturbed, or whether Kevin was trying to please his father by concealing what he truly was, or was actually showing some sort of respect for Eva by letting her see his true self. She is also unsure as to whether Kevin’s reaction to his father being completely taken in by the charade was simple contempt for his stupidity or emotional pain that his father clearly loved the mask and never tried to look past it. The best example of this ambiguity is The Reveal that before he started the school shooting, he killed his father and his little sister (who hero-worshipped him,) while leaving his mother alive. Whether this was because he loved her more than them and so couldn’t bear to kill her, or because he wanted her to live on and suffer, is unclear. The fact that Kevin is a Consummate Liar and Eva is an Unreliable Narrator makes it even more difficult to form conclusions.
- Elmer in the novel Elmer Gantry is a self-absorbed sociopath and a religious huckster, who nevertheless speaks warmly of his mother. Part of the reason he became a minister at first is that he genuinely wanted to make her proud. Elmer admits to Sharon that she and his mother are the only women he’s ever respected.
- Female example: in the sequels to The Warded Man, Inevera is a Manipulative Bitch, Evil Sorceress and Lady Macbeth to a Knight Templar warlord, but she legitimately loves her mother, a humble basket merchant, and is even shown going to her for advice on occasion (Inevera, for the record, is a law unto herself and never takes advice from anyone—except her mom). Now, she hated her Father, on the other hand, which was in large part due to how he treated her mother and older brother (and she ended up exacting revenge on him for it).
- In the Carl Hiaasen novel Stormy Weather, mobster Ira Jackson goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the real estate agent who sold his mother a defective home and the roofing inspector who didn’t do his job properly, after a hurricane destroys the property and kills Jackson’s mother.
- Thinner: Mobster Richie Ginelli adores his Italian mother and loves to keep her around.
- Despite being a hammy bad guy, Hawkfrost from Warrior Cats loves his mother Sasha. In fact, he scolds the ThunderClan cats for chasing her and bids farewell to her when the Clans move.
- A fan asked on Vicky Holmes‘ Facebook page, “Does Tigerstar love his mommy?” The answer was “Oh yes.”
- Kalide in The Legendsong is quite devoted to his mother, although this is to be expected given that Coralyn is the one with the power and schemes. What is more surprising is the way that Tarsin puts up with her, despite knowing that she and his brother are plotting against him.
- The Charlie Parker Series has Jackie Garner and the Fulci brothers, thugs whose only real redeeming factor is their love for their mothers. Arguably, Louis also fits this trope, a hardened assassin whose love and respect for the women who raised him has led him to swear to never kill a woman.
- Guthrum the Unlucky from The Saxon Stories is a Viking warlord, a leader of The Great Heathen Army, who is quite willing to ruthlessly kill and then Rape, Pillage, and Burn in order to conquer England. He’s also a hopeless Mama’s Boy who pays bards to sing songs of his long dead mother, breaks down into sobs upon hearing the songs, and wears one of her rib bones in his hair to have her with him always. He’s also known to be a complete sucker for people complimenting his mother, and flattery of her can get him to do just about anything for you.
- Star Wars Legends: Han Solo’s cousin Thracken Sal-Solo was a greedy, power-hungry bigot who killed Corellia’s leader, seized power, wanted to force planets into submission with a space station, was willing to kidnap, betray and even kill Han and the rest of the Solos…but he loved his mother, Tiion Sal-Solo, and was known to be violently protective of her.
- How Not To Write A Novel discourages the use of this trope, as it can come across as a cheap way to humanize a villain. The example they use to illustrate this involves a character reminiscing about his mother as he gleefully forces young girls into prostitution.
- A Frozen Heart, a Tie-In Novel for Frozen, shows Prince Hans genuinely caring about his mother.
- In The Last Don, Dante Clericuzio is a sadistic bastard who enjoys torture, murder and rape, but he really loves his mother Rose Marie, and it is his love for her that leads him to murder his uncles and take over the empire of the Clericuzio.
- In The Dead Zone, Greg Stillson might literally Kick the Dog, terrify teenagers and threaten bankers’ families, he might eventually even bring about a nuclear holocaust, but he lived with and supported his mother until she died, and she was the only important woman in his life.
- The Affair: John Gunther, the sadistic prison guard stalking Noah throughout Season 3, gets incredibly pissed off after Noah visits his mother in his parents’ hunting store.
- Non-human example: On All Creatures Great and Small,two vets are chased up a tree by an enraged bull, which the farmer doesn’t dare approach for fear of being gored. To rescue them, he brings an elderly cow to the paddock, and the bull immediately calms down and became tractable in her presence. She’s the bull’s mother.
- Altered Carbon: Subverted with Reilein initially claiming to honor her late mother’s memory by keeping her necklace along with a picture of her, despite having becoming an immoral immortal over the centuries. She later admits that she actually hates her for not fighting back, and keeps it as a reminder never to let herself become like her mother.
- Gender Flipped on Angel with Lilah, an Amoral Attorney employed by the forces of Hell. Her mother has Alzheimer’s and Lilah pays for her to stay in a nursing home in another city. In one episode, the two have a phone conversation, during which the mother apparently starts crying when Lilah tries to explain that she can’t visit her that day.
- Even though he is not a “bad” man (just a scary black one), B.A. Baracus from the The A-Team loves his mother so much, he temporarily gives up his fear of flying to quickly get to his mother when she needs help.
- Battlestar Galactica has a zigzag.
- Cavil refuses to acknowledge that he loves Ellen as his mother but is implied to have loved her all along and sought her approval, only to believe that Ellen never loved him back. Ellen insists she always cared for Cavil but she can’t convince him because she never shared his more morally-grey beliefs and philosophies. The result of those differences make their relationship a supremely messed up one.
- The whole Cylon race counts really. They persistently refer to humanity as their parents, yet have gleefully justified their genocide at the same breath.
- Tuco Salamanca Better Call Saul. Though portrayed as a violent and psychopathic killer elsewhere in Better Call Saul and in Breaking Bad (and to some extent in this episode) he is surprisingly calm and collected around his abuelita (grandmother). Somewhat like his namesake, actually.
- Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory is incredibly stubborn, but he listens to his mother, who Leonard refers to as [Sheldon’s] Kryptonite. Sheldon is even more devoted to his grandmother, whom he calls Mee-maw. This comes to the forefront when Raj and Howard try to upset Sheldon with Your Mom jokes. When that doesn’t work, they start talking about his Mee-maw, which pisses Sheldon off pretty much immediately.
- Rather magnificently averted in Blackadder:
Blackadder: If I don’t make it back, please write to my mother and tell her that I’ve been alive all the time; it’s just that I couldn’t be bothered to get in touch with the old bat.
- Beautifully inverted by Bernard in Black Books. Whilst filling out his tax form: “Mother’s maiden name
Christ, what’s her first name? I just knew her as ma! That’ll have to do. Ma. [Beat] Possibly deceased.” Later in the same episode, while procrastinating on his taxes, he actually calls his mother, cue 11 seconds later.
Bernard: I know… I am… yeah, I know… yes, yes… yep… Yes I know, goodbye, I have to do my taxes!
- In Bones, Sweets tricks a sociopathic murderer into confessing…by telling him his mother had confessed, which caused him to panic and confess, providing details only the real killer could have known.
- Cesare Borgia of The Borgias. Domestic Abuser and Jerkass Baron Bonadeo had little to no chance of survival after calling Cesare’s mother Vannozza a “Spanish whore” twice. Cesare even gave him the opportunity to apologize, but Bonadeo didn’t take him up on it and gets his throat slit for his trouble.
- Doug Judy of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, an unrepentant liar, car thief, manipulator and all-around petty criminal, who, in spite of it all, seems to genuinely love his mom. And, yes, Don’t Tell Mama is in play here, too.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike gets along with Buffy’s mother, both because she treats him with courtesy (even commiserating when Drusilla dumps him) and because of his close relationship with his own mother, which ended badly after he made her a vampire so that he could live in blissful trinity with her and Drusilla (to Dru’s consternation).
- As Michael from Burn Notice puts it, “Thirty years of karate. Combat experience on five continents. A rating with every weapon that shoots a bullet or holds an edge. Still haven’t found any defense against Mom crying into my shirt.”
- In a later episode, Madeline goes to a man’s apartment to get something for Fiona, but instead of giving it to her, he terrorizes her and kicks her out of the apartment. So Madeline turns to Michael for help. Michael, having obtained what he came for, breaks the guy’s arm.
- Seen in Chuck when John Casey (not actually evil but not the nicest guy on the show) calls his mother during a hostage situation. Subsequently subverted when it’s revealed that his birth name is Alex Coburn. The call can then be interpreted as him reporting on the situation to Beckman.
John Casey: Mom? It’s Johnny Boy.
- Inverted in Criminal Minds in one episode: the killer’s mother was his first victim. However, in another instance, a serial killer’s entire spree was leading to the end game of being sent to the same prison as his father (who murdered his mother when he was a child by setting fire to their apartment), so that he could stab him to death.
- Clavo Cruz in CSI: Miami. He’s a drug dealer, murderer, and generally appalling person, but when his father makes a threatening move towards his mother, he instantly puts himself between them.
- Daredevil (2015):
- Wilson Fisk killed his abusive dad to defend his mother. In the present day, his love for his mother is still present, as he takes great care to watch his language and his behavior around her. He and James Wesley are also very protective of Fisk’s mother: Karen Page kills Wesley after Wesley finds out that she and Ben Urich visited Marlene and tries to threaten Karen into silence. Fisk later personally kills Ben after he learns of Karen and Ben’s visit from his mole at the Bulletin.
- In prison, Fisk buys the loyalty of the Valdez brothers by ensuring their mother’s financial well-being.
- Doctor Who: Played straight in “The Vampires of Venice”; Rory begins insulting Francesco in order to distract him from Amy, but it has no effect until he insults his mother.
Francesco: Did you just say something about mummy?!
- Many suspects on Dog the Bounty Hunter, even those with myriad felony charges against them, will often become emotional when family members or loved ones are mentioned when talking to them en-route to jail. Some will even take the opportunity to call them to apologize for their actions before being taken to jail.
- On The Drew Carey Show, Drew’s Bad Boss Mr. Wick does not take it lightly when when Mimi insults his mother over the phone:
Mimi, I may be power-mad, I may be a corporate weasel,
, but I am first and foremost a mama’s boy, and you NEVER
insult the mama of a mama’s boy!
- On an episode of ER, the normally Jerkass surgeon Dr. Robert “Rocket” Romano is gleefully describing the elaborate plans he has for his mother to celebrate Mother’s Day. At the stunned reaction from the rest of the ER staff, he quips, “I bet you didn’t even think I had a mother, did you?”. To which one of the nurses muttered, “Can’t imagine what she’s like.”
- Scorpius from Farscape genuinely loves his mother, in spite of having never met her for obvious reasons, and flies into a furious rage when he discovers that he was produced when his mother was raped as part of a Scarren breeding program, and it is this, as well as his own abusive childhood at the hands of the Scarrens, that fuels his deep hatred for them. Later, he is seen cracking a genuine smile as he caresses a flower that reminds him of his mother.
- In the British comedy sketch show The Fast Show, the incredibly posh-accented Cockneys go up north, and immediately prior to meeting incredibly-posh-accented Geordies and an incredibly-posh-accented Yardie from Kingston (near Richmond-upon-Thames), they announced themselves as “tough as old boots, but we love our old mums”. This is likely in reference to one or more of several real-life East End gangsters who were known to be in thrall to their mothers.
- Jayne Cobb, the Token Evil Teammate of Firefly, is seen in “The Message” to have a close relationship with his mother, judging by the letter (and the “cunning” knit hat) he receives from her. The other crewmembers are clearly amused by this discovery, but it also served as evidence that Jayne has some Hidden Depths. In the comic “Better Days”, his fantasy ship is called the “Radiant Cobb”. When everyone finds this amusing, he protests, “That’s my mama’s name!”
- Referenced in Friends when Monica and Chandler find out that their surrogate slept with two men- one of whom killed his own father with a shovel. Chandler is worried that if the criminal is the biological father, the baby will grow up to be violent. Monica is less concerned.
Chandler: That’s easy for you to say, you’re the mother! That guy probably loved his mother! He probably has a tattoo that says ‘MOM’ on his shovel-wielding arm!
- Game of Thrones:
- Unlike in the books, Cersei genuinely loved her mother and was saddened by her Death by Childbirth, blaming her brother Tyrion for it.
- A far more famous example would be the biggest of Daenerys’ dragons, Drogon. He is easily the most aggressive dragon compared to his brothers, and Daenerys sometimes has trouble controlling him. Despite that, there is no doubt that Drogon loves his mother and is incredibly protective of her. Because of this, he does not take kindly to anyone who gets between him and his mother or threatens her life. Jaime nearly learns this the hard way when he charges at Daenerys, only to see Drogon, still injured from a ballista bolt, ready to burn him alive.
- Carmine Falcone loved his mother, and connects with Liza, a young woman, over listening his mother’s favorite aria. Liza’s a Honey Trap set by Fish Mooney. Using his mother against him is also a Berserk Button, as he kills Liza when he learns the truth and plans to have Fish tortured.
- Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepott is utterly devoted to his mother, to the point that he lies to her about what he does for a living so that she won’t be disappointed in him. In Season 2, this is used against him, as new Big Bad Theo Galavan kidnaps his mother in order to force Penguin to do his bidding. And when Galavan ultimately kills her, Penguin has a terrifying Villainous Breakdown and swears revenge. Even though alliances come and go, and feuds are quickly put aside over the course of the series, Penguin never forgives anyone responsible for his mother’s murder.
- Gabriel Gray (or Sylar) from Heroes is revealed to be a mama’s boy in his Season 1 Back Story episode. His whole obsession to be special came from his mother constantly telling him that he was and he needed to prove it to himself. Too bad she got shocked at what he became, tried to attack him with a scissors, which he stopped, but accidentally stabbed her in the chest. To top it off after her death he finger-paints a vision of the destruction of N.Y. city with her blood. He even loves the mama he never knew so much that he tracks down his biological father so that he can kill him.
- House: Gregory House loves his mother; it’s his father he hates.
- House of Saddam: Saddam with his own mother at first, before telling her that she “gave him nothing” on her deathbed. Played straight with Qusay and Uday concerning their relationship with Sajida. Uday brutalizes a confidante for setting up his father with a new mistress to protect his mother’s honour.
- Danny from Hustle is very close to his grandmother despite being something of a Jerkass on occasion.
- Bound to show up eventually in Justified given the nature of the setting, and it did with Tanner Dodd, a thug and fugitive from Season 3.
- Kamen Rider Ghost:
- Adel is revealed to be this in episode #45 when he was still a child. After his mother dies, this motivated his father to create a perfect world until Adel himself dethroned and killed him. When his sister brings up their mother in said episode, he snaps.
- His brother, Alain, is an example of Even Bad Men Love Their Daddies. His sister, Alia, admittes that Alain is a brat, but still firmly believes that he would never do this.
- Garthe Knight from Knight Rider: When the mother is a sociopathic Doting Parent and the son is The Sociopath, things can get ugly. It should be noted that despite his setting into motion a plan to kill him, Garthe flies into a rage and attacks Michael after Michael off-handedly insults his Momma’s Boy status.
- Law & Order:
- When a convicted mass murderer escapes from prison, he visits his dying mom at the hospital and asks her to forgive him for his crimes. She refuses, and he goes to shoot a bunch of kids for no reason.
- In “Jeopardy,” a triple murderer accepts a plea deal for the maximum if McCoy doesn’t prosecute his mother for bribing a judge to get his first case thrown out.
- In an episode of Life, a scammer got murdered, because he scammed a biker guy’s mom.
- Midnight Caller: When a statue of the baby Jesus goes missing in “Do You Believe In Miracles?” goes missing, the mobster Nick Clemente is desperate to find it because his mother sees it as a symbol of her dead husband’s salvation and would be devastated if she found out it was gone.
- An interesting example in Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s clear that Dr. Forrester blames his violent, cruel mother Pearl for making him the hate-filled sociopath that he is. That said, in the episode where she is introduced, Forrester desperately attempts to gain his mother’s approval, and in later seasons where Pearl was a recurring character, he was almost HER lackey. Sadly, it’s also made painfully clear that Pearl’s feelings towards her son are significantly less than favorable. However, when he dies during the course of the series (due to the actor leaving the show), she responds with remarkably powerful grief and rage.
- New York Undercover. A recently paroled rapist is absolutely devastated when his mother is killed when a vigilante takes a shot at him.
- Gender Flipped on Once Upon a Time which gives us Even Bad Women Love Their Daddy not enough to not sacrifice him for revenge, however against Snow White.
- Only Fools and Horses: Bad is perhaps pushing it, but Lovable Rogue Del Boy Trotter is absolutely devoted to the memory of his now-deceased mother Joannie. He sees her as truly Too Good for This Sinful Earth, never allowing a single bad word to be said about her in earshot and completely obliviously ignoring several details suggesting she really wasn’t all he cracks her up to be – like the fact she was the first woman on the estate to smoke menthol cigs, and that she was often seen in the pub hanging with shady looking men. And in the spin-off Rock and Chips where Joan is the main character, you find out she was every bit as devious and cunning as Del is now, though also Closer to Earth and quite a bit more kindhearted. She has an affair with Reg (though Reg’s neglectful, crude, lazy and at times abusive attitude allows Joan to be painted sympathetically for it) and uses the resulting pregnancy (Rodney) to secure the family a better home at Nelson Mandela House.
- In an episode of The Outer Limits (1963), a group of Earth soldiers are captured by an alien race. They are tortured and subjected to hallucinations. A young Martin Sheen plays a loud, bigoted soldier who is reduced to tears (and possibly treason) by a visit from his mother (visible only to him).
- Prison Break:
- The Company implicitly threatens Bagwell’s mother. This leads to him threatening dire vengeance should they follow through.
- When T-Bag returns on Breakout Kings, he demonstrates just how far he’s willing to go to deal with the two former orderlies who sexually assaulted his mother in a nursing home.
- At the end of the first episode of Sherlock, Mycroft and Holmes bicker over who upset their mother more. Given that they’re a pair of High-Functioning Sociopaths, this may not be entirely based in fact, but Watson appears to believe it.
- Badass biker Jax Teller does not hesitate to kill people when needed through the run of Sons of Anarchy However, he still shows a great deal of deference and respect towards his mother, Gemma. His devotion towards her does not allow him to see how toxic her influence really is. When her manipulations lead to the death of several club members and club law demands that she die, tough guy Jax breaks down crying.
Jax: After everything she did, all the lies, the death and the wreckage… I still love her, you know? She’s my mom. How could she do this to Tara? note Jax’s wife, who Gemma murdered in a jealous rage How could she do this? [dissolves into sobs]
- The Sopranos:
- Paulie Walnuts is so nuts about his mother that he gets violent when other wise guys insult their mothers in his presence. That is, until he finds out his “mother” was really his aunt, and his real mother was a nun who broke her vows. Then he goes crazy on both of them. He later makes up with her though.
- Played with with Tony and his deeply troubled relationship with Livia. He goes through a lot of effort to take care of her even though she’s a cold, manipulative Evil Matriarch. He eventually severs ties with her after she tries to have him killed.
- A female example in Stargate SG-1 with Season 10 Big Bad Adria. Even though Adria knows Vala was impregnated against her will, Adria maintains a fondness for her mother, going out of her way to find and protect Vala despite Vala’s clear opposition to Adria’s regime. Vala, on the other hand, firmly believes That Thing Is Not My Child! and eventually tells Adria this to her face once it becomes clear their relationship will not persuade Adria into a HeelFace Turn.
- Star Trek: The Ferengi are a zigzagged trope. Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #31: “Never make fun of a Ferengi’s mother.” The Expanded Universe adds, “Insult something he cares about instead.” However, Quark and Rom are both mama’s boys. It doesn’t hurt that Quark got his lobes for business from his mother. As such, once his mother’s business acumen is out in the open, and Quark is willing to accept a female earning profit, she’s his only family member who shares interests with him. Ishka is no saint. While she does push for equal rights for women, it’s the equal right to be just as greedy as the men. The love of greed only gives her and Quark more to bond over.
- Worf may not be a bad guy, but he is gruff and less friendly than his human comrades to the point of coming across as a jerk sometimes. He is, however, always nice to his adoptive parents.
- The one thing guaranteed to piss off the Alpha vampire is to insult his mother Eve.
- We learn in Season 8 that in human life Crowley’s mother was a witch. He speaks of her in passing, but she did pass some of her magical knowledge on to him (which also explains how he came in contact with demons before becoming one himself), implying a close bond. Subverted in “Inside Man” where he kicks his real mother Rowena to the curb. It’s clear that she doesn’t care at all about him, either.
- Grinning maniac Judge Frasier of This Is Wonderland. Although his own mother is probably long dead, he has a great respect for the bond between mother and child, and tends to be more lenient when moms are on trial.
- In Tyrant, one of the few people that Jamal Al-Fayeed listens to is his beloved mother. Which makes it all the more tragic when she’s killed off as a result of one of his paranoid machinations.
- The Walking Dead:
- The convict Big Tiny expresses concern for his mother after learning of the walker apocalypse.
- The twist in “Vatos” when a grandmother comes out of nowhere and manages to defuse the impending shootout between Rick’s group and the Latino gang. It is revealed that the gang were actually good people all along trying to protect the residents of an elderly home.
- Omar Little of The Wire is a stick-up boy, an armed robber who targets drug dealers and other criminals for his heists. He was also raised by his grandmother, inherited a strict moral code from her, keeps her ignorant of his criminal activities, and takes her to church on Sundays. When a pair of gunmen open fire on him during one of those Sundays, their bosses are horrified. Even Evil Has Standards after all, and those standards include not shooting at a man taking his grandmother to church on Sunday, even if you have a grudge against him. What’s worse is that Omar’s grandma’s Sunday hat (or “church crown”) was hit by bullets, so they send the grandma a new crown as an apology.
- Insane Clown Posse, best known for excessively weird, violent lyrics and their constant swearing, gave us the surprisingly heartfelt “Mom Song”.
- Nas, a famous rapper who’s made several very dark/violent songs, made a tribute song to his mother on his album God’s Son named “Dance”. May induce tears.
- Ghostface Killah, a rapper from the Wu-Tang Clan (self-explanatory), made a song “All That I Got Is You” dedicated to his “mommy” on his first album.
- The Decemberists‘ “Mariner’s Revenge Song” tells the story of a young gentleman whose mother is seduced by a conman and left to die penniless. He spends the rest of his life haunted by visions of his mother imploring him to hunt down and slaughter the man. Even when he and his quarry are swallowed by a whale, doomed to certain death in its belly, he’s almost giddy that he has the opportunity to tell the conman why he’s about to torture him to death as his final act.
- Lil Wayne:
“And mama don’t cry, ya son can handle his/ I got her out the hood and put her in the hills/ Yeah when I was fourteen I told my mom we will see better days/ And sure enough I got Miss Cita in a better place”
- Merle Haggard:
And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole.
No-one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried.
Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading, I denied.
That leaves only me to blame ‘cos Mama tried.
- …and before that, “Sing Me Back Home,” where a death-row inmate recalls—on the day of his execution—his winsome, carefree days, many of those memories including his mother, before he turned to a life of crime. A church choir had been visiting the prison that morning, and as they pass through the condemned prisoner’s cell, they perform a hymn that he notes was one of his mother’s favorites.
- A fascinating version comes off of Tool‘s 10,000 Days album. Though Tool certainly doesn’t classify under “bad men,” the song “Wings of Marie”, is certainly a representation of something like this trope. A two part, seventeen minute long Epic Rocking tribute from Maynard James Keenan to his mother, who lived approximately ten thousand days while paralyzed and wheelchair-bound from a severe stroke, it’s arguably the most loving and emotionally wrenching song Tool has ever done.
- Angry (Feet) by Tim Minchin both plays with this trope.
My mother was a
She taught me all I know
Although I was a little slow, she never gave up
She never let me
Although she spent a lot of time at the neighbor’s house
When my dad was out of town…
- Mr. T‘s “Treat Your Mother Right” vid.
- Tupac gave us the song “Dear Mama”. While Tupac didn’t grow up in the best of backgrounds, his undying love for his mother bleeds through in the lyrics. Whether it’s her supporting him through the best (and worst) of times, or vice versa, the mother-son bond never broke.
- Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?” has the protagonist’s Start of Darkness triggered by seeing his witch mother burned.
- The Lonely Island‘s “Mama” parodies the tendency of otherwise “bad boy” type rappers to make sensitive shout-outs to their moms. They’re in the middle of recording such a song when one of the guy’s mothers enters the studio unannounced, and she repeatedly gets verbally abused by the guys for doing so.
- Run The Jewels’s Oh Mama is halfway between a Boastful Rap and this trope; the refrain lamenting the toll that their criminal acts take on the mother’s psyche.
My mama said that I’m not living right
She said, “I’m crying on you”
She said, “I waited up for you all night”
I said, “I’m trying mama”
- The Undertaker. In 1998, during the introduction of Kane and the revelation of Paul Bearer being Kane’s father, the Deadman received quite a few beatings and insults. But it wasn’t until Paul Bearer called Taker’s mom a whore live on TV that he sprung into action and gave his former ally the asskicking he deserved. Even the Lord Of Darkness loves his mama.
- Shane McMahon. Not quite as evil as his father, but harming Linda is a surefire way to set him off.
- In Ivory‘s segment on the WWF Divas: Postcard from the Caribbean 2000 VHS release, she says that when she was growing up her grandmother would always refer to her as “her little SNOT! She’d say, ‘There’s my little snot, my little brat’. So when I’m being Ivory with her big mouth, cutting someone up on the mic, I think of my grandma. I’m thinking, ‘Yeah grandma, here’s your little snot, doing it again.'”
- In “The Franchise” Shane Douglas‘ promo after winning and then throwing down the NWA World Heavyweight Title, at ECW‘s August 27, 1994 event, he said, “I stand before all of you here tonight with God and my father as witnesses.”
- “Sweet ‘N’ Sour” Larry Sweeney started his promo at CHIKARA Planet of the Grapes, June 19, 2005, by mentioning advice that “Mama Sweeney” gave him.
- In this post from Taeler Hendrix‘ Instagram, she says that her body is all natural due to genetics and that “Momma knows best” when it comes to dealing with bullies.
- As if Eddie Kingston didn’t treat everything as incredibly serious already, if he mentions his “beautiful mother’s eyes” in his promo, then, as he said in his promo before CHIKARA High Noon, November 13, 2011, “get ready for a war.”
Religion, Mythology and Fairy Tales
- King Oedipus. (Not like that!) He left home at once when told he was going to kill his father and marry his mother, which he thought meant the people who’d raised him. It didn’t work out, but he tried.
- Stretching “bad” a bit (if you consider someone bad simply because he was a heavy drinker who liked to party all the time), but Dionysus loved his mother Semele enough to rescue her from The Underworld once he reached adulthood. Plus the excessive revenge he took in Bacchae when his mortal family insulted her…
- In The Story of the King, Hamed bin Bathara, and of the Fearless Girl, the titular king has instituted a literal No Woman’s Land, exiling every female in his kingdom…except for his mom, who advises him about the traveler whom he suspects (correctly) of being a Sweet Polly Oliver.
- Not bad, per se, but pretty bloodthirsty and violent, Huitzilopochtli, the War God from Aztec Mythology, was born a fully armed adult and proceeded to slay most of his 400 siblings. The reason? They were going to kill their mother Coatlicue because they thought her sudden pregnancy was a dishonor on her.
- Can even an Archdevil, a ruler of Hell who is, for all practical purposes, Made of Evil, show love for her mother? If the case of Glasya, the ruler of the sixth layer of Hell in Dungeons & Dragons cosmology, definitely. Her mother was the consort of Asmodeus, the Overlord of Hell (her father, naturally), who was murdered by Levistus, the ruler of the fifth layer of Hell centuries ago (a treasonous crime that caused Levistus to become both the ruler and a prisoner of his domain). It’s no secret that Glasya utterly despises Levistus for the death of her mother, and one of her biggest goals since becoming ruler of her own layer is revenge, possibly by finding enough evidence of Levistus’ treachery (or planting some) to convince her father to eradicate him completely.
- Another extreme example from this cosmology is Bahgtru, the orcish god of strength and the son of Gruumsh, the chief god of the orcs. Bahgtru is known for being incredibly stupid, but he has Undying Loyalty towards his father; and one source claims he has even greater loyalty towards his mother, Luthic. (Given that orcs tend to be misogynistic as a species, and Luthic is willingly submissive to her husband, that’s really saying something.)
- Similarly, books have suggested that Luthic is the second-most revered deity of the orc pantheon, since she’s the goddess of motherhood and therefore the thing that keeps the orc hordes going.
- Warhammer Fantasy: You can find bad guys loving their mommas. Malekith is the king of possibly the most evil race in Warhammer (which tells you something), but he is nothing if not absolutely devoted in loving his eternally young mom/concubine Morathi.
- A milder and gender flipped version with the Chaos Marines in Warhammer 40,000. Despite their treacherous, cutthroat, and back stabbing nature, some of the Chaos Marines do still hold some measure of reverence and loyalty to their Primarchs.
- In Dead End, gangster Baby-Face Martin returns after ten years to see his mother… and is genuinely hurt when she rejects him for being a killer.
- The indie play Murder’s in the Heir features handsome Manipulative Bastard and Casanova Jordan Starkweather, a greedy, selfish, enormously cocky playboy who tries to con several people into killing his great-uncle Simon Starkweather for Simon’s multibillion dollar estate. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone but himself—and his mother, Fiona, the only person in the show he shows genuine affection and caring towards.
- Just like his film counterpart, J.D., the villain of Heathers, dislikes his father but loved his mother, even if he doesn’t talk about her much. The reason he doesn’t like to talk about her is because she committed suicide (implied to be because of her husband’s abuse), and he still misses her terribly.
- In the musical I Can Get It For You Wholesale, the Villain Protagonist has a whole song about how much he loves his Jewish Mother, albeit while bribing her with a silver fox wrap.
- Not quite played straight, but in Final Fantasy VII and the sequel movie Advent Children Jenova’s “children” (Sephiroth and the White Hair, Black Heart threesome) are doing their best to fulfill their “mother”‘s desire to
destroy life on earth.
Mother, schmother It’s
I will not have you refer to Mother that way!
- Final Fantasy X, Seymour’s mother sacrificed herself when he was a child and he didn’t take it well).
- And if you want to twist the knife even further, try summoning Anima, the Aeon created by his mother’s sacrifice, during the final battle against him.
- Teyrn Loghain and his daughter Queen Anora in Dragon Age: Origins serve as each other’s Morality Pets. No matter how much of a self-serving power-hungry Jerkass either is, they still love each other, though power never stops being a conflict between them.
- Shown also in the Human Noble origin, where no matter what personality you assign to the Warden, s/he loves both his/her parents very much. S/he’s very clearly father Bryce’s favorite child, and a large chunk of the origin story is spent protecting mother Eleanor during an invasion. This makes the ending of the origin especially heartbreaking, since the Human Noble is the only origin who has two good, loving parents. They both get murdered.
- The Dwarf Noble gender-flips the trope by being the favorite child of King Endrin, the ruler of Orzammar. The love between the father and his middle child is so well-known to the citizens of the dwarven city, most of them expect Endrin to name the Dwarf Noble as heir to the throne rather than firstborn son Trian.
- The sequel has Anders – while not an outright villain, by the end of the game he’s willing to get a lot people killed to expose Meredith’s brutality. Even at his lowest point, however, his most prized possession is the embroidered pillow his mother made for him, the only thing of his parents’ he was allowed to keep when he was taken by the Templars at age twelve and imprisoned in the Circle Tower as a mage. His giving it away to Varric is a good sign that he’s become a Death Seeker. This is probably why Varric refuses the gift and insists that Anders keep the pillow.
- Also in the sequel, no matter how hard-ass, violent, or outright psychotic Hawuke is played, his/her voice still trembles and sounds as if he/she is holding back tears while searching for their mother Leandra after she had been abducted in Act 3.
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police — Season 1 Episode 3: The Mole, The Mob, and the Meatball has a professional card shark who is very fond of his late mother. When he gets on the protagonists’ bad side and decides to withhold information, they decide to interrogate him with ‘Yo Mama‘ jokes.
- Downplayed on Grand Theft Auto III—if you listen to the Chatterbox radio station, eventually you’ll hear Tony (the local Mafia boss) call in and complain bitterly about being smothered by his ‘ma’.
Tony: It’s my ma. She don’t think I’m a real man. Can you imagine that? I mean, I do a man’s job and all, but she treats me like a little boy! All I get is ‘Your pa’ this, and ‘Your pa’ that, and ‘You’re not a real man, Tony!’ And it’s driving me freakin’ nuts!
- Umberto in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Umberto: I love women chico. I love my mother!
- Oddly enough, Dr. Eggman pulls this near the end of Sonic Adventure 2.
“As a child, I looked up to my grandfather for all the great things he accomplished in his life. He was my hero, and I wanted to be a great scientist like him.”
- Halo‘s Sgt. Johnson, who is devastated when he returns home from a long mission to find his elderly aunt dead, as shown in the Expanded Universe novel Halo: Contact Harvest.
- EarthBound: This is actually a huge part of Giygas’ backstory. Earthbound Zero implies that his insanity was caused by his inability to understand or cope with his feelings toward Maria, the human who raised him.
- Porky Minch in MOTHER 3. His favorite restaurant is staffed with robots in his mother’s likeness. Sure, it’s creepy, especially when you consider the fact that she hated his guts, but that’s about as close to love as he’s capable of.
- In Fallout 3, your character can be a living, walking embodiment of good, or Satan’s favorite mortal. Either way, you’ll goes through hell and high water just to find your dad. This being Fallout 3, you have the choice of why. At one point in the game, you also can, if you choose, express explosive anger over your mother dying in childbirth.
- “Skinny” Malone’s gun moll Darla from Fallout 4 is normally a violent psycho, and if you talk Skinny out of fighting, she chews him out for going soft and ditches him. However, if you appeal to Darla directly by reminding her that her parents are worried about her, she’ll have a brief My God, What Have I Done? moment and realize she’s better off going back home to her family.
- Kanji from Persona 4 is an odd example. He loves his mom and he feels sorry for her for all the stuff he puts her through. To make up for it he beats up a biker gang that kept her up at night.
- Warden, the Man Behind the Man in House of the Dead: OVERKILL, has an unsettlingly carnal relationship with his aging mother, and developed the zombie virus in an effort to keep her alive.
- Team Fortress 2:
- The Sniper. Although considering his father has essentially forsaken him as a “crazed gunman”, it’s more or less by default.
I’m not a crazed gunman, Dad, I’m an assassin! There’s a difference! … Well the difference is one’s a paying job and the other’s mental sickness! … Dad? … Dad! DAD! Put Mom on the phone!!!
- The Scout too: he is a major Jerkass and a Sociopathic Hero but gets majorly pissed off when he finds out that the enemy Spy is having sex with his mother. Further in-game quotes also suggest he loves his mother very much. Although that freakin’ Scout was the Spy, so that would probably have been the Scout’s reaction to seeing the pictures anyway.
- The Demoman bought a mansion for his mother, and makes her tea.
- He holds down three multi-million dollar jobs just to make her happy. She doesn’t need the money, having those jobs are her requests.
- The Heavy is very protective of his mom and his sister, not that they aren’t capable of taking care of themselves.
- The Sniper. Although considering his father has essentially forsaken him as a “crazed gunman”, it’s more or less by default.
- Dead or Alive: Ayane, generally a cold and bitter girl as a result of her upbringing and the prejudice against her for the circumstances of her birth nonetheless lets the armor crack and the tears slip when she’s forced to kill her adoptive father(and the only person that ever showed her concern growing up besides Kasumi and Hayate), Genra, after DOATEC transforms him into the demonic Omega.
- Dead Or Alive Dimensions reveals that Ayane also has a good relationship with her biological mother.
- Malik of Wild Arms 3. After all, he chose life technology as his field of research was to find some way to resurrect his mother.
- The remake of the original Resident Evil gives us Lisa Trevor, a humanoid abomination subjugated to numerous tests for a slew of viruses for years. Although she’s chronologically forty and devoid of sanity, she still just wants to see her mother.
- In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, the death of Laharl’s mother is one of the main reasons he’s so emotionally messed up. Likewise, in Disgaea 2, Axel’s primary motivation for his acting career is so he can take care of his sick mother. And according to The World of Disgaea 2, the jacket he wears was made by her as well.
- Left 4 Dead‘s resident Badass Biker Francis, when he isn’t screaming like a little girl, sometimes calls out for his mama when he gets killed.
- In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Enemy Chatter reveals that at least one of the Joker’s mooks is nervous about dumping a suspicious contaminant into the Gotham City water supply because his beloved mother, who lives down by the docks, might get affected by it. The other men laugh at him, and imply his mother is an ugly whore.
- Averted by Calendar Man in Arkham City. In his own words
“M” was for the murderous look she gave me.
“O” meant only that she was weak and old.
“T” is for her terror as she fought me.
“H” is for her heart that I now hold.
“E” is for her eyes swiftly dimming.
“R” means rot, and soon rotting she will be.
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER”, a word that means a corpse to me. Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy.
- Averted in the sequel game, where one mook tells of how he killed his mother with a poisoned birthday cake. Played straight with another conversation in ”Harley Queen’s Revenge”” DLC where a mook wanting to make a name for himself is said to have killed a whole family on Thanksgiving only to take their turkey because he promised his mother a new one.
- Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the Glukkon race of the Odd World games is their absolute devotion to their mother. That “Mother” singular, as every Glukkon is the child of Lady Margaret.
- The reason main character Batsu gets involved in the events of Rival Schools: United by Fate is because his mother Shizuku is one of the school kidnapping victims. The kidnappers happen to be Batsu’s estranged father (who to be fair is Brainwashed and Crazy) and his previously unknown cousins (and one of them ultimately joins Batsu’s cause).
- Red Dead Redemption: John Marston is a pretty polite guy, but still a hardened outlaw through and through; the only people in the game that he doesn’t see as either a means to an end or as a disposable nuisance is Bonnie MacFarlane, and his wife and son.
- Walter in Silent Hill 4 became a Serial Killer precisely for a ritual he was told would allow him to be reunited with his mother. Then again, he thinks his mother is the room he was born in, having been abandoned by his actual one not long after.
- In a side quest in Tales of the Abyss, Asch temporarily joins the party to get a mushroom that will cure an illness with which his mother (and Luke’s) has been afflicted.
- Kratos from God of War: Ghost of Sparta. He is shown to care for his mom. When she was turned by Gods into a monster which Kratos had to kill, thus killing his own mother, he was shown to be very devastated by her death, and outraged at Gods. He took her body into his arms. And he also did her will, and decided to look for his brother.
- Coincidentally, in God of War III Kronos’ main motive for attempting to kill Kratos is to avenge Gaia. In mythology, Gaia is the mother of Kronos. If this holds true in God of War lore, this means the reason you fight Kronos is because the latter thinks his mother died by Kratos’ hand.
- The Agorian Leader in the Battle of Zanifar in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, when you shoot down his ship, ends up sinking into the water, during which he promptly screams for his momma to save him because he can’t swim.
- Muggshot from the Sly Cooper series. When Bentley is trying to lure him into a fight in the third game (a trick to get him to fight Sly’s police officer Love Interest and eliminate both as a threat to their current scheme), all of his insults Muggshot either brushes aside, either with surprising wit, bashing through them with raw ego, or outright dismissing what he said because it was too complicated. Only when Bentley insults Muggshot’s mother does he become angry enough to agree to the fight.
- Dante from Dante’s Inferno is shocked to find his mother condemmed in the Wood of the Suicides. Granted, he had been led to believe that she died of a fever, but it’s still a Tear Jerker moment. Especially considering that she did it out of desperation, no thanks to her husband’s abuse and mistreatment of her and Dante.
- In Double Switch, Eddie loves his mother very much, possibly to Oedipus Complex levels.
- In Mortal Kombat X, Takahashi Takeda is on the good guys’ side, but he’s clearly an example of Good Is Not Nice, and he gets really mean if anybody, even his own father says something bad about his now-deceased mother, who died protecting him.
- In Scarface: The World Is Yours, when Tony’s mother is killed by enemy gangsters, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against her killers.
- The Elder Scrolls
- In Morrowind‘s Tribunal expansion, King of Morrowind Hlaalu Helseth is a Manipulative Bastard of the highest order with no qualms about poisoning rivals or siccing assassins on threats to his authority. Despite this, he is still highly protective of his mother, Former Queen Barenziah, and, though she publicly maintains that she has backed away from politics, it is believed that she still wields massive influence through Helseth.
- In Oblivion, Mathieu Bellamont of the Dark Brotherhood loves his mother very very much. So much, in fact, that he is actually a traitor with a lifelong vendetta against the Dark Brotherhood, planning to assassinate the Night Mother and bring down the Brotherhood from the inside, because his mother was killed by Lucien Lachance. He even keeps his mother’s severed and mummified head in his cellar. Bringing the head to the place where Lucien was executed and kicking it around the room nets an understandably shocked reaction from Mathieu.
- Clive Barker’s Undying: Lizbeth kept the animated corpse of her mother in her lair, seated at a dining table and presumably “keeping her company.” Becomes somewhat more tragic (but no less creepy) when you remember that Evaline Covenant died while giving birth to Lizbeth, making Lizbeth the only one of the Covenant children who never actually knew their mother.
- In his arcade intro in Ultra Street Fighter IV, Hugo is challenged by a crowd of rogue Mad Gear members. He stomps out of his trailer, making the ground shake with every step. He looms over his foes, and slurps down an entire can of potatoes. There’s an ominous moment of silence… and then Hugo starts bawling because he misses his mother’s home-grown potatoes! It must be seen to be believed. Turns out that making fun of potatoes is Hugo’s Berserk Button.
- Kazuya Mishima from Tekken, despite being an unabashed asshole and an incarnation of Devil himself, has a soft spot to his mother, Kazumi. While at first only shown in the non-canon movie, Tekken 7 reveals that he LOVES his mom, and the fact that Heihachi killed her, according to him, was just one of the reasons why he hates his old man.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic has a couple cases in the Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne expansions; one is that the Trooper’s Token Evil Teammate Tanno Vik is found running a black market in a pirate sanctuary. Typical for Vik, but one way to get him really mad during the conversation is to bring up his mom. She died in the process of smuggling him to Nar Shaadaa as a small child. He even tells the Trooper (his former CO) that he wouldn’t hesitate to murder them if they made that mistake. And in a case of “even mothers love their murderous children,” Senya signs on with the player’s party to try and redeem her surviving kids that happen to be the nutcases ruling Zakuul at the moment. And while it seems to be completely defied in their case you can eventually bring Arcann to heel because he regains enough sanity to at least listen to his mother and killing Senya will lead to him going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against you.
- Borderlands 2:
- A mercenary/hunter named Taggart is the subject of the mission “Stalker of Stalkers”. While not a villain, he was certainly bloodthirsty and badass. Collecting pieces of his journal, you learn that he was a man who really loved his mother, naming a particularly impressive stalker after her—which means that his mother’s name is Henry. He met his doom by going after Henry (the stalker) for eating his Mother’s Day present.
Taggart: This will be the best. Mother’s Day. EVER! Do you hear me, Henry? You hear that? MOTHER’S DAY!
- Another character who is not a villain but is an acute case of Testosterone Poisoning is Mr. Torgue. In the Thanksgiving mini-DLC “The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler”, Mr. Torgue offers the Vault Hunters an important task: Say hi to his grandmother, who is a big fan.
Mr. Torgue: I LOVE YOU, GRANDMA!
- A mercenary/hunter named Taggart is the subject of the mission “Stalker of Stalkers”. While not a villain, he was certainly bloodthirsty and badass. Collecting pieces of his journal, you learn that he was a man who really loved his mother, naming a particularly impressive stalker after her—which means that his mother’s name is Henry. He met his doom by going after Henry (the stalker) for eating his Mother’s Day present.
- In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it was the death of Amalthus‘ mother that started his descent to villainy. Not only that, but his last words involved seeing his mother again after so long.
Amalthus: Mother, I’ve… missed you…
- Apricot Cookie(s)!: The Director of Darkness buys flowers for his mom.
- Female example: in Boy Meets Boy, Tabitha’s mother is the Devil. Tabitha loves her and it appears the only thing she fears is her mother being disappointed in her.
- Drip, the Sin of Lust in Jack, utterly perverts this in the form of his relationship with his grandmother. Her constant emotional and sexual abuse towards him as a child shaped him into becoming the sadistic rapist we met him as, so it’s no surprise she ended up in Hell, too. She’s now imprisoned in a wall of Drip’s infernal lair, but that doesn’t stop her from continuing the same abuse—all of it—right where she left off, nor does it make Drip any less cowed by her.
- The darker-haired Mystery Solving Teen from Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant “Fuckin’ loves [his] grandma, so fuck off.”
- Achewood: Ray Smuckles may at times be a bad dude with a rich elitist streak. But true to the trope, he loves his mama so much that when she tells him to back down from running for President, he backs down.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Redcloak, the Lawful Evil Knight Templar, loved his mother and still wants to avenge her death decades later.
- Xykon, the Chaotic Evil Card-Carrying Villain, is hinted at this in his Start of Darkness by keeping and reanimating first his pet dog, then the corpse of his grandmother… and a few pages later he orders Grandma to kill and eat his parents.
- Slightly Damned: Iratu is a General for the Legions of Hell and is leading an invasion of the mortal world but he still loves his long dead (not really) angel father Darius and adoptive sister Sakido but in a subversion he hates his adopted brother Buwaro.
- It’s not being puked on by a possessed game cartridge of Super Mario Bros. 3 that results in The Angry Video Game Nerd bringing out the big guns. It’s said possessed cartridge insulting his mother.
- Brian Goldstein, the Big Bad Pirate King in the Union Series exemplifies this. When the ship carrying his mother is seized by a Colonial frigate So they can use his mother as a bargaining chip. causes him to take a level in Badass just to rescue his mother, ultimately being shot for his trouble. His last words to his mother, as she cradles his broken and bleeding body. “Mama, it hurts.” Heartbreaking, even for a Big Bad.
- While he’s not evil, Angry Joe is, well, angry often, as well as Trigger Happy. However, when Spoony‘s subconscious implies that he has mommy issues in To Boldly Flee, Joe replies “Hey! I love my momma!” The actual Joe (the actor, not the character) has confirmed that he’s a momma’s boy himself, so there’s a good chance it translated into the character. On the commentary for his Man of Steel crossover review, he got extremely pumped up when Superman (one of his idols) defended his mother with extreme force, saying he could empathize.
Angry Joe: You don’t mess with my momma!
- In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, J. Geil doesn’t care about Joseph when he got infected with the Lovers Stand. He cares about Enya Geil’s welfare and takes her to the hospital with Dio after Steely Dan uses the Lovers Stand on her.
- Black Jack Justice: While being held prisoner by a crime boss, Jack taunts one of his goons as part of an escape plan. The boss manages to hold the goon in check until Jack brings his mother into it.
Jack: Never fails with these big dumb types. If you can’t get ’em with the manhood, get ’em with the mother.
- Jane, a murderous teenage girl and the villain of The Veronica Exclusive, obviously loves her mother. Or rather, loved.
A genie offers you three wishes. What do you wish for?
New trenchcoat, personal
machine, and… one more day with my mom.
- Two Saiyans Play:
- During Krillin’s playthrough of Among the Sleep, he compares the nightmare-mother to Vegeta’s mom. Vegeta eventually catches wind of this, and is not happy.
- Reinforced during Vegeta’s playthrough of Undertale he says this after Toriel tells him to go to his room:
- Later on, when he finds out he has to kill Toriel, who had been like a mother to him, in order to proceed with the game, he is visibly shaken, and after she dies, he quits the game out of saddness. Let me clarify that for you: VEGETA quit a game not out of rage, but out of shame.
- Eventually carried over into Dragon Ball Z Abridged itself when Cell works a Your Mom joke into his Cell Games broadcast.
Cell: And much like Vegeta’s mother, I will accept all comers.
Vegeta: HOW DARE…
- Inverted in Gargoyles with Demona and her daughter.
- From the Planet Sheen episode “Is This Cute?”:
Emperor: He once fed an entire village…
Sheen: Oh, that’s nice!
Emperor: To his mother.
Sheen: That’s… less nice, but at least he cares about his mama!
- Johnny Bravo loves and cares for his mama; in fact, it’s one of his few redeeming qualities. He’s not so much a bad person so much as he’s an obnoxious, vain Casanova Wannabe who is so clueless it can warp the laws of time and space, but he loves his mom.
- This extends to de facto mothers as well. While lost in an Australian wildlife sanctuary, Johnny is temporarily adopted by a female kangaroo (who he names “Kanga-Momma”). This leads to one of his few bouts of competence when a poacher named Boomerang Jack threatens her, leading to Johnny beating the crap out of him.
Johnny: You just made a big mistake, Frenchie! No one threatens Johnny’s momma!!
- DuckTales (1987):
- Ma Beagle is loved by her criminal boys.
- Defied in one episode; after Launchpad is accidentally stows away on a space probe that lands on Mars, the tyrannical ruler of the planet, Emperor Ping the Pitiless (an obvious parody of Ming the Merciless) has him arrested and thrown in prison. While there, he meets an old woman who claims she was arrested for jaywalking. This makes Launchpad angry, and he says he’d bet Ping would “throw his own mother in the slammer”. To which the old woman replies, “I am his mother.”
- Mom, of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company. All robots love her, so much that it’s sickening — and we do mean all of them, from the animated gift cards to the Destructor, a Robotic armor-tank whose very use in battle has been ruled a war crime, and including the Gender-Bender robot who wears a pink tutu.
- The closest Bender has to a “mother” is the industrial robot who built him. Still, he gets kind of choked up when he gets an X-Mas card from “her” in one episode.
- Spoofed in the Looney Tunes short “Deduce, You Say”, in which the little old flower seller Dorlock Holmes [Daffy] harasses turns out to be the hulking Shropshire Slasher’s beloved mother. After the ensuing melee dies down, they head off down the street:
Slasher: I told the nice gen’lman I’d give meself up now, mother.
Mother: You always was a good boy, Slasher.
- The Simpsons
- Averted with the Springfield Mafia:
Louie: Man that’s a spirit lifter. I could whack my own mother now.
Fat Tony: Funny you should mention that…
Louie: What?! Aw, but she makes such great pasta sauce!
Fat Tony: It comes in a can.
Louie: She’s a corpse.
- In the episode “Sweets and Sour Marge”, the day planner of an evil CEO consists of nothing but “Evil Deeds”, except for an hour break for “Lunch with Mom”.
- Bart Simpson is proud to be America’s Bad Boy, but he really does love his mom Marge. Examples:
- In the World of Warcraft-expy where he was a Dark Lord and, despite her being incredibly annoying and ruining his image as The Dreaded, he protected his mother’s character from goblins and revived her.
- Then there’s the real world where he’s willing to defend Marge from an Ultimate Martial Artist.
- In “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” Bart asks his parents for a tattoo for Christmas and Marge said no. Later, Bart gets a tattoo with “MOTHER” written on a heart, hoping it would flatter her. (It didn’t, logically.)
- In “Hurricane Neddy”, after Ned Flanders, of all people, lashes out at Marge, Bart immediately jumps to his mom’s defense: “Hey, back off, man!”
- He also knows when his antics goes too far when they upsets her.
- “Fears of a Clown” shows that Bart will stop a prank if Marge is in danger of becoming a victim.
- A variant: in “I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” the criminal Dwight’s problems seem to stem largely from being abandoned by his mother as a child. He latches onto Marge as a Parental Substitute after she shows him some compassion during a hostage situation and becomes hurt when Marge doesn’t want to visit him in prison.
- Averted with Mr. Burns. He never forgave his mother after her affair with President Taft.
- On the other hand, he does get very angry with Homer later in the same episode for impersonating her, and at Smithers for putting him up to it.
- Whether Krusty counts as “bad” or not is subjective, but he does seem to have a soft spot for his mom. In “Krusty Gets Kanceled”, when it is revealed that Luke Perry is his “worthless half-brother” whom he hates, Perry convinces him to let him have a part on his special “for mom’s sake”. (Of course, he’s close to his formerly estranged father too, the entire plot of “Like Father, Like Clown” dealing with that.)
- Continuity regarding Nelson’s parents tends to vary, but he does tend to at least respect his mom. In one episode when Milhouse’s parents divorce, Nelson actually sympathizes with him, and is nearly brought to tears remembering his own mother’s addiction. In a later episode, Nelson’s dad picks him up and says he’s taking him to Hooters, and Nelson is a little upset, saying, “Aw, I don’t wanna bother mom at work!”
- In Evil Con Carne, Hector is terrified of disappointing his elderly mother. All these years he’s been telling her he’s a dental hygienist as opposed to an international arch-criminal. Apparently, his mother never watches the news, because Hector’s charade works for far longer than it should, even when his mom visits his lair.
- In truth, she knew, she just didn’t say anything.
- Averted with Skarr, who hates his mother.
- South Park: At times, when it seems like Eric Cartman zigzags on this trope.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
- In the 1987 version, Shredder was revealed to have a still-living mother on the show, whom he presumably loved but who really cramped his style. By the end of the episode he teleports her out of the Technodrome and back to her retirement home, then laughs triumphantly and with great relief.
- Rocksteady loves him mom too, even if she does scream and run away every time she sees him.
- In the 2003 series, the horror-filled/Tear Jerker episode “Insane in the Membrane” focuses heavily on Baxter Stockman’s loving memories of his dead mother.
- Kim Possible:
- Dr. Drakken. Despite being out to rule the world and loudly bragging about his supervillain status to anyone who will listen, he still hasn’t managed to “come out” to his mom about being a maniacal power-mad villain. She thinks he has his own radio show — his real name is Drew Lipsky, and it’s implied she mistakes him for Dr. Drew Pinsky.
- Professor Dementor has a soft spot for his mother.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Female version: Princess Azula, otherwise a prominent Evil Overlord, completely loses it in the Grand Finale, hallucinating a vision of her Missing Mom. Her latent Mommy issues are exposed, leading to one HELL of a Villainous Breakdown.
- And by the same token, her brother Zuko, when he’s evil. However, the flashbacks show that Zuko was very devoted to their mother, Princess Ursa, who doted on him. The finale gives us a scene of Zuko asking his father, in prison, a question to which we still don’t know the answer: “Where is my mother?”note We eventually got an answer in the comic book “The Search”
- The series also has an aversion. Yon Rha is not very fond of his abusive hag of a mother, at one point suggesting that another character kill his mother so as to Pay Evil unto Evil. He is very obviously excited by this prospect.
- The Legend of Korra: When Noatak AKA Amon rebels against his father, he leaves and tells his brother Tarrlok to come with him. The latter doesn’t want to leave his mom despite his father’s cruelty.
- Sperg from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has gotten upset when Mandy has called his mother a “respected and worthy person of the community” (which is bad in Sperg language) and in another episode where Billy calls her ugly and makes her cry (which also turns out to be quite ironic, incidentally).
- Inverted to humorous effect in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Robotnik has a mother, but she’s bats-in-the-belfry insane and he hates her! He’s absolutely terrified of her as well, since she’s even worse than he is.
- Ugly Americans:
- Gary the Rat goes well out of its way to avert this. Gary is often seen talking on the phone with his mother, who will be suffering some important malady, and all he’ll do is make a crass remark about how much worse her situation will get, or that he can’t wait for her to die, or what-have-you.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: Don’t talk bad about Varg’s mommy.
- On Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Superman is temporarily affected by Red Kryptonite, leading to some very serious instances of Super Dickery. Though perfectly willing to let Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen fall to their deaths, he goes into a Tranquil Fury when Batman asks “What would Ma Kent think?”
- In an episode of Darkwing Duck, the villain-vanquishing vigilante is trying to improve his public image, and as a result is not allowed to use his gas gun or karate skills to take down some criminal thugs. He resorts to threatening to tell their mothers, which turns out to be an incredibly effective tactic.
- In Season 5 of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, in a bid to get Scorpion to release Aunt May from his grasp, calls the green-garbed crook a coward who would probably send his own mother to fight his battles. Now, this might not seem like much on its own, but it had been established as far back as Season 1 that Scorpion’s Berserk Button is being insulted and called names, so one would think that Spidey calling him a coward would have been enough. However…
Scorpion: That does it! …Callin’ me names is one thing, but nobody talks trash about my mother!
- Which is a ridiculous reaction and shows his blind aggression since Spidey didn’t even badmouth his mother but him. For him mentioning her was bad enough.
- Averted on Phineas and Ferb during the L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N. Pageant of Evil. The first event was upsetting a Mom Bot. When Lawrence is nice to her, the announcer proclaims in shock, “He’s serving her tea! Without irony!” Doofenshmirtz wins the event with a single sentence: I’m getting married again.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Gender-flipped in the episode “Family Appreciation Day,” wherein obnoxious brat Diamond Tiara seems to at least be enough of a Daddy’s Girl to be genuinely interested in her dad’s speech about how his business succeeded, even while said speech left the rest of the class asleep.
- On the flip side, it’s later revealed in “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” that Diamond Tiara has a very strained relationship with her mother.
- This is evidently a very effective technique for Fluttershy to use against dragons.
- The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat: The Cat in the Hat discovers that the Grinch’s mother is his soft spot.
- In Justice League Unlimited, Supergirl clone Galatea shows a bit of affection for her “father” Professor Hamilton before she goes on her mission against the Justice League in “Panic In The Sky”.
- Jackie Chan Adventures: Sure, Tohru’s Mom wasn’t even mentioned before his HeelFace Turn but the fact that he kept his criminal life a secret from her even then shows the Don’t Tell Mama aspect of the trope.
- In Moral Orel, Clay Puppington is shown to have loved his late mother. He actually has a bit of an Oedipus Complex
- Young Justice: One of the New Gods poses as a thug’s mother. When the rest of the New Gods + Superboy show up, he’s actually moves to protect her and tells her to get out until the New God in question drops the disguise.
- Arktos, the Big Bad of Tabaluga, an Evil Overlord snowman. In a movie adaptation “Tabaluga and Leo”, it was revealed that Arktos motivations for the conquest of Greenland were because his mother wanted to do it and he wants to do it all for her. He even sheds icy tears.
- In a Flashback episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, there was this exchange between three demons as they discuss their Evil Plan, when one of them produces a very powerful magical scepter:
First small demon:
Uh… Where’d you get the scepter?
Swiped it from my mum when she fell asleep watching the telly.
Second small demon:
You stole from your
Yeah, and we’d best do this and get it back before she wakes up for tea, or she’ll have a fit!
Second small demon:
You stole from your
- In the Ben 10 episode “Last Laugh”, Ben faced the villain Zombozo’s three henchmen, the Circus Freak Trio, one of which was named Acid Breath, a deformed man who was able to spit caustic acid and exhale acidic vapor. There was this dialogue between him and Ben:
Ben: Didn’t your mom ever tell you not to spit?
Acid Breath: Who do ya think taught me in the first place?
- Double gender-swap in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) where Evil-Lynn is a case of “even bad girls love their daddys”. She’s very hesitant to help Skeletor steal the Ram-Stone from it’s protector the Faceless One, claiming she doubts she can defeat him. The true reason is, the Faceless One is her dad who she still has feelings for, despite the fact that he clearly shows disappointment in her working for Skeletor. This plotline is important later, when she double-crosses Skeletor and finds herself over her head; her father is the only one who can provide help (or rather, find someone who can).
- Family Guy: Inverted by Stewie Griffin. His mother Lois is his worst enemy, although she doesn’t see it that way. It’s pretty hard to take a one-year-old seriously. Ironically, this trope is played straight with him in an earlier episode where he sings a song about how much he misses her since she spends too much time campaigning against his father for school president. Even getting an ‘aww’ from the audience before he blasts them.
- In ¡Mucha Lucha!, Ricochet was able to make a three-headed troll guarding a bridge upset by insulting his mother.
- In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, it was revealed that Gung-Ho, a US Marine who is a large man that is known for being an expert bare-knuckle brawler and knife fighter is a total Mama’s Boy.
- A subversion is the one-shot villain Black John Licorice Codename: Kids Next Door, who would “do anything for candy, even steal it from his mom.”
- Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars gave us Bruiser, the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon. Space Marine by trade, One-Man Army by inclination, broke enemy resistance across entire planets by yelling at people on TV on two separate occasions and unrepentant Mama’s Boy. However, there is a darker tone to all this, since it’s heavily implied that his mother is all the family Bruiser has left (his father is never shown, and his brother is outright stated to have fallen in the line of duty).
- Celebrity Deathmatch: The fight “Nick Diamond vs. Zatar the Alien” was kicked off when Peter Mayhew attempted to do a Chewbacca noise. Zatar misinterprets this as an insult in the language of his home planet and screams “Nobody talks about my mother that way!” and quickly kills Mayhew and Mark Hamill.
- Gargamel is clearly close to his identical mother in The Smurfs.
- Kaeloo: Mr. Cat, despite being an Ax-Crazy psychopath and a jerkass, clearly loves his mother. Unfortunately, he wound up developing an Oedipus Complex towards her.
- Bojack Horseman: Diane’s brothers dearly love their Ma, and she smothers them—a stark contrast to how she herself treats Diane.
- In Biker Mice from Mars, Lawrence Limburger’s dim-witted goon Greasepit would occasionally speak fondly of his mother.
- In Peter Pan & the Pirates, Captain Hook keeps a portrait of his sainted mother in his cabin, and, in “Hook the Faithful Son,” is tricked into believing his mother wished for him to be a pilot, not a pirate.
- In Cosgrove Hall‘s adaptation of Soul Music, Anti-Villain Satchelmouth Lemon has an identical tattoo to Smee in Peter Pan, revealed in similar circumstances (although the song isn’t specifically about mothers).