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TV Tropes Monday: “Well Done, Son” Guy



Tweet of the Day: On ‘The John Green Effect,’ Contemporary Realism, and Form as a Political Act


This trope is a catch all for Parental/Children issues, specifically dealing with the need of children to be, at the very least, acknowledged by their parents or parental figure. Hence the, “Guy” in the trope. The page says that this trope can go one of two ways: a) Parental figure shows its pride to the child in question or b) child realizes that it doesn’t need said parental approval.

But I would not write a post if that was all there is to the trope.

What happens when the parental figure is missing or dead? That makes closure all the more difficult when the child in question can not confront the parent. ? Often the problem with the trope is that the child holds an idealized view of the parent. The absence of the parent makes dispelling the illusion that much harder, specially if others also hold the parent in high regard. Often children within the same family have different views of their parents. The missing parental figure fills an imaginary/memory space shared multiple people with conflicting views of that inhabitants of that space.

Other times the child simply finds a new parental figure to follow, abandoning the old one in the process. But there is no guarantee that the new parental figure would do a better job than the older one. Villains manipulate their victims by invoking this trope with a heavy use of isolation and a barrage of innuendo to manipulate the child. It then falls on the actual parents to reverse the influence of the interloper and somehow restore their family.

To wit, parents casts long shadows over the children, even from the grave.


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