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 Baby Mama n.: The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved.
Urban Dictionary[1]
 "All those tragic heroines, I don't want to play them. *operatic voice* 'My man, my man did not come ba-a-a-a-ack... You went to America, you said you'd come baaaaack... And I'm still waiting for your aaaaaass... where you aaaaaaat... you're my babydaddyyyy....you lying mothafuckaaaaa' I don't want to be in any musical where there's gonna be a helicopter!"

The white hero (or sometimes villain) discovers he has a hithero unknown child with an exotic former lover. The hallmarks of an Asian Baby Mama are as follows:

  1. She's a peripheral or retconned love interest.
  2. She's presented as an Exotic Dragon Lady.
  3. She gives birth to an Eurasian child and keeps it secret from the father.
  4. She often has some sort of strange and twisted motive behind the conception of her child.

What separates this trope from a normal interracial relationship is that the Asian Babymama exists primarily only for angst and to give birth to an Eurasian child with l33t martial arts skills. Her relationship with the father of her child is rarely shown 'onscreen'; she's usually a footnote in his past. She may have some sort of twisted motive (actually depending on the society that person lives in it might be an entirely reasonable and sensible choice) for conceiving her child, such as providing an heir for a powerful male relative or to train to be the perfect killer. Basically, when you combine Exotic Dragon Lady and Sperm-Stealing Bitch, you get Asian Baby Mama. Unfortunate Implications may follow.

This trope largely has its roots in American service men bringing home Asian wives from U.S. wars in Asia. At the time there was a stigma to the servicemen there knocking up hookers and marrying Asian women that were pretty much seen as call girls. In other cases, said service men got the women pregnant and then rotated home, leaving said women and their children to face social stigma, especially once Vietnam was unified.

As those wars are less contemporary now and that stereotype is dying, this trope is becoming less common. Asian brides no longer have the same stigmas and stereotypes attached to them without setting a work back in that time period. As such it's becoming a Dead Horse Trope now.

Examples of Asian Baby Mama include:


Comics

  • DC Comics:
    • Cheshire (Vietnamese/French) is Arsenal and Catman's babymama.
      • Twist: Roy (Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow) actually takes full responsibility for raising Lian once he finds out. It was working well. Then, poor kid was Killed Off for Real. Now that didn't work well.
    • Moonday Hawke (Korean/black) is Oliver Queen's babymama.
    • Lady Shiva (Chinese American) and David Cain invert this almost as far as human reproductive biology permits. Sandra Wu-San gave her daughter to David at birth and did not see her again for nearly twenty years.
    • Talia Al Ghul (Chinese/Arab) is Batman's babymama.
    • Mindy Hong (Chinese?) is Trickster's babymama.
    • Lillian Worth (Cambodian) is Deathstroke's babymama.
    • Subverted in Watchmen: The Comedian had a Vietnamese woman who was presumably his babymama, but when he told her was NOT bringing her back to America with him (as he had promised), she slashed his face with a broken bottle and he killed her.
    • In DC's Elseworlds Superman/Batman: Generations, Superman's son Joel has a Vietnamese lover who eventually married Bruce Wayne, Jr. (who was supposed to marry Superman's Daughter, Supergirl). Their marriage was more for convenience so that they could raise Joel's son as Bruce's.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • Mantis was the result of one such union by a supervillain and a Vietnamese woman.
    • A group of New Warriors villains called the Folding Circle (as well as one of the Warriors, Silhouette) was formed by a cult of Cambodian sorceresses mating with American G.I.s so their super-powered offspring could fulfill a prophecy.
    • Puck of Alpha Flight had a half-Asian daughter, Zuzha Yu, who's mother was an unnamed Asian Babymama.
    • From X-Men, Iceman's ex-girlfriend Opal convinced him her baby was his in a miniseries. Turned out it wasn't, and she was just using the baby as lure to make him help her.
  • Ursula X. X. Imada, who is at least partly Japanese, was the mother of Nexus' (Horatio Hellpop's) twins Scarlett and Sheena.
  • The Seance from The Umbrella Academy makes a baby with an Asian Babymama. You don't see said Asian Babymama, just the baby, and the Asian Babygrandmama with whom he leaves the baby.
  • Elf Quest has (admittedly non-Asian) Kahvi playing this part with regards to (admittedly non-white...please move this if it fits another trope better) Rayek during the Siege of Blue Mountain arc, going so far as to lie to the father about their child being stillborn in order to get him out of her hair. (This comes back to bite her and her tribe when a temporarily supercharged Rayek returns just in time to get the next arc started...)


Films

  • The plot of the cult-classic film Wasabi kicks off with a French police detective finding out that his Japanese ex-lover has died and left him with custody of their daughter whom she never told him about.
  • The protagonist of The Yakuza finds out he left a daughter in Japan when he returns many years later.
  • Watchmen comes within a hair's breadth of this trope, but the Comedian kills her off first.


Literature

  • In You Only Live Twice. Kissy Suzuki knows she's pregnant, but doesn't tell Bond.
    • Blast from the Past is a short story by former Bond author Raymond Benson that features Bond's half-Asian son, James Suzuki.
  • Flashman discovers he had one of these in Flashman and the Redskins. It's a rather odd parentage though, the mother is part-African American/part Caucasian, but the son is able to pass as a Native American, perhaps a product of his father being a Master of Disguise.
  • In a short story by Kelley Armstrong, it is revealed that Jeremy's mother was a Japanese Asian Baby Mama, who seduced his father in order to have a child with her psychic abilities. Her plan ended badly when the father freaked and killed her.
  • In Diamond Chariot "Rybnikov", an undercover Japanese agent undermining the Russian war effort in the Russo-Japanese war, is revealed to be the protagonist Erast Fandorin's son, a product of his relationship with a Japanese woman in the days of his service in the Russian consulate in Yokohama. She feigned her death to Fandorin and gave birth without him ever finding out. Although the "angst" part is inverted in that it is the father who gets abandoned in a rather cruel way, the "martial arts" part is played straight, since the son grows up to become a Ninja.


Live-Action TV

  • Pick a series in which a Vietnam veteran is a prominent character.
  • Hunter: Rick Hunter, the title character, a police detective in 1980s Los Angeles and a Vietnam vet, finds out that he has a teenage son from a one-time Vietnamese girlfriend.
  • NCIS: Subverted. In the distant past, Gibbs travelled to a South American country to snipe an evil drug lord/murderer/rapist fellow. He has a brief love affair while there. That woman's son eventually comes to him asking for help. The team speculates that Gibbs has a kid . . . only for the last minute Reveal that the boy's father was the guy Gibbs sniped. Add in the fact that the guy was mentioned to be a rapist, and we have some sad Fridge Logic on our hands.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles has an episode from Season 3, "The Dragon and the Fairy", where it emerges that A domestic servant living in slavery-like conditions in LA was in fact the daughter of an American translator who was helping on the case.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Seska, the Cardassian who was disguised as a Bajoran claimed to have stolen Commander Chakotay's DNA and impregnated herself with the child. It was revealed at the end of the story arc to be the child of her new lover, the Kazon Culluh (originally it apparantly was supposed to be Chakotay's, but the producers changed the baby's parentage because they weren't interested in having Chakotay raise a kid for the rest of the series and because they couldn't have him callously abandon his own son).
  • Scrubs Chief of Medicine Dr. Bob Kelso pays tuition for his half-Vietnamese bastard son Thong Tri.
  • Maurice Minnifield in Northern Exposure suddenly discovers that he has a half-Korean son, conceived during the Korean War. What adds to hilarity is the fact that Minnified and his son don't understand each other's languages.
  • There was an episode of Diff'rent Strokes that revealed Mr. Drummond had an Asian Babymama. (One of few episodes were Arnold wasn't the star.)
  • Dodger in China Beach presumably had an off-screen Asian Babymama, though it's never totally confirmed that the baby handed over to him by a random orphan kid in a bar is biologically his. Still, he takes the boy home to the states with him.
  • An episode of The A-Team features a man who goes with the Team to Vietnam, where he apparently has a child from a wartime lover.
  • Played with and averted in the Seinfeld episode "The Understudy". Whilst stationed in Korea, Frank Costanza has a brief affair with a Korean woman. However the relationship never gets very far because he refuses to take off his shoes whilst in her parents' house, which they see as disrespectful. It turns out she is living in New York by the point of the series, something which was completely unknown to either of them. She works in a manicure parlor. Elaine brought Frank to the parlor because he speaks fluent Korean and she had suspicions the Koreans were insulting her in their language. It turned out she was right, as they ended up insulting Frank too, which led to him shouting at them, leading his ex-girlfriend to recognise his voice.


Music


Theater

  • In the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes, several characters (Reno, Billy and Moon) are trying to break up the impending wedding of Hope, who Billy is in love with, and Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, who is in love with Reno. At one point, Evelyn mentions that he had an affair with a Chinese girl named Plum Blossom. In the finale, Reno, Billy and Moon dress up in Chinese costumes and bad accents to break up the wedding. This leads to several great lines, including "Lord Evelyn take Plum Blossom into rice paddy and bring back Plum Tart. Pretty soon, along come Little Plum Pudding... *baby-rocking motion*" This prompts Hope to break off her wedding with Evelyn, and offer herself to Billy (aka "Plum Blossom's Uncle"), who insists that Evelyn "join club and right wrong done poor Plum Blossom." Evelyn takes the hint, proposes to Reno, and a double wedding ensues. Can have Unfortunate Implications, depending on how it's staged, and how much Billy and Moon ham it up with their accents.


Western Animation

  • One episode of King of the Hill had Hank discovering a Japanese half-brother who was the product of Cotton having leave in Japan during one point of his military service. No martial arts skills in this case, just a down-to-earth Salaryman type, although somewhat better adjusted then Hank, given that he didn't grow up with Cotton as a father. Although Cotton did apparently teach Hank to be assertive.
    • Nor was his mother a Dragon Lady; she and Cotton were really in love, and the fact that he had to return to the United States (against his will) was rather tragic for both of them.


Real Life

  • US law allows for the sponsored immigration to the United States of those fathered by Americans between 1951 and October 1982 in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Significantly, it does not cover the Philippines and Japan.

Notes

  1. Here.
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