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  • Truth in Television. Normally, adrenal glands and the brain's limiters make it so that you only use around 20% of your muscles and maintain a thought of self-preservation. Putting a loved one, child, or sufficiently close friend of somebody in danger is the fastest way to see the brain release said limits and let adrenaline kick in. All thoughts of self-preservation (and just about everything else that makes shy, meek people shy and meek) are overridden, and it is quite likely that several dozen of your bones will be broken (if you are lucky) before they let up. People who manage to enter Tranquil Fury instead of all-out anger are even more dangerous.
  • While wolves don't necessarily mate for life as it's been believed through the centuries, a male wolf who does have a mate and cubs will fight even to the death to protect them (in the last case, often in a tag team with Mama Wolf). He is also involved with raising the pups, taking charge of the youngsters, and teaching them how to hunt. (Hence, trope title.)
    • Swans also mate for life - they might look serene and peaceful and cute, but just try to touch a cygnet when Papa Swan is nearby. I dare you. (...Did we mention that the wingbeats of a mute swan can break a human arm?)
    • In contrast to papa wolves and mama bears, however, Real Life papa bears are more likely to kill and eat their cubs than anything else... usually causing their mates to go Mama Bear on them.
    • Forget Swans. Don't you dare bugger with the boncies, they'll swoop down and smash your skull with their beak. Without even stopping. Probably a good thing they ony live on isolated Scottish islands.
    • Male lions are protective of their own cubs. Other males' cubs, however, are fair game.
    • Same-sex couples do occur in swans and other monogamous birds, which sometimes get to raise kids. Now try getting anywhere near a cygnet with two Papa Swans.
    • In all ratites, large flightless birds like the ostrich, it is the male that has the sole task of incubating the eggs and raising the chicks, no input whatsoever from the mother, which is done with the family after laying the eggs. So the male, now with a bunch of eggs and later chicks to raise alone, gets monstrously fierce. All ratites, from emus to rheas and even the small tinamous, attck anyone and anything daring to get close to the eggs/chicks, but the cassowary is the one that genuinely earns the price, for it has been able to horribly maim and even kill people just to protect its young.
      • To elaborate, one of the cassowary's toes on each foot is essentially a STILETTO.
    • There's a very good reason Papa Goats have big horns.
    • True of piranhas, believe it or not. Piranha eggs are guarded by their father, who'll take bites out of anything that threatens them until they hatch.
    • Real life ganders aren't far removed from the one in Charlotte's Web mentioned above. The goslings are cute, fuzzy little things, but you must resist the urge to pet them if you don't want both the goose and the gander to tear you apart.
  • Buzz Aldrin did one of these! A conspiracy nut had been pestering him and other Apollo personnel, and he put up with that good-naturedly. But when said nut made an unfriendly move toward Aldrin's granddaughter, the 72-year-old astronaut threw one punch and knocked the guy ass over teakettle.
  • Dr. Liviu Librescu, Romanian-born Holocaust survivor, scientist and academic professor. During the Virginia Tech massacre, Librescu personally kept the door shut to prevent gunman Seung-hui Cho from entering the classroom while his students escaped out the windows. He was shot through the door five times before finally succumbing to a shot to the head. Of course, he had a history, since surviving the Holocaust takes a Determinator in itself...
    • He was frequently noted to have treated his students like his own children, making his Heroic Sacrifice and Papa Wolf reactions all the more heartbreaking. Unarmed and faced with a cold-blooded killer, Librescu did the only thing he could to protect his students and used himself to barricade the door.
  • Tom Wanyandie, a 78 year old Cree Indian wilderness guide who fought off a literal Mama Bear attacking his son while screaming every profanity of his native language.
  • Bruce Lee was known for taking challenges from aspiring martial artists. During the making of Enter the Dragon, a Too Dumb to Live challenger snuck into their home and scared his two children, Brandon and Shannon. An enraged Lee put the idiot in the hospital with one kick.
  • Vance Flosenzier, who fought off a motherfucking shark when it was attacking his nephew. Not only did Flosenzier immobilize the shark and free his nephew, he then dragged it to shore so that park rangers could shoot it.
  • Sun Quan, leader of the southern kingdom Wu during China's three kingdoms period. When Cao Pi declared himself emperor of the powerful northern kingdom of Wei, Sun Quan agreed to act as his vassal. But when Cao Pi requested that he send his son Sun Deng to the north as a hostage (and therefore a guarantee of loyalty), Sun Quan cut off relations with Wei, declared himself emperor of Wu, and basically told Cao Pi to bring it on.
    • Quite sadly, Sun Quan eventually did outlive Sun Deng, who died of an illness. Based on some of his irrational and self-destructive decisions in the following years, it appears Sun Quan came noticeably unglued as a result.
  • Supposedly professional wrestler Kensuke Sasaki actually adopted Katsuhiko Nakajima, who debuted in the business in his teens, to act as this both in physical presence and through the Kensuke Office organization, which is essentially a "brand name" for their family (Kensuke Sasaki and his wife, female legend Akira Hokuto also have two biological sons) and affiliated wrestlers.
  • An Inversion of this is when Scipio Africanus the great hero of The Roman Republic saved the life of his father at the Battle of Ticinus. According to another version it was a loyal slave which leads one to cynically suspect that the slave got shafted when the tale was told. Of course it could have been Scipio and the slave working together and in fact it is not unlikely. But in any case this story was an example of "cub wolf" saving Papa Wolf. Of course this cub had pretty sharp teeth and came from a Badass Family.
    • Another possibility is that the slave was adopted as his son, not unheard of in Roman times.
  • Paparazzi don't bother Johnny Depp's family at home. Why? Because he's told them in no uncertain terms that if he catches any of them sneaking around his home taking pictures of his kids, he'll bite their nose off.
    • He once swung at a paparazzo with a piece of wood for trying to take pictures of partner Vanessa Paradis while she was pregnant with their daughter.
    • Alec Baldwin once punched out a paparazzo for taking a picture of his infant daughter Ireland. Too bad he didn't stay that way...
  • A man finds his daughter being choked by her ex. The father shoots the man in the groin.
  • This Papa Wolf in Florida stormed onto a school bus to confront his daughter's bullies. Read more about it here.
  • A boy named Jody Plauchet was abducted and raped by his karate instructor. Jody's father Gary planned for 10 days to kill his son's rapist and did so as he was being walked through an airport terminal. Despite a clear cut case of 1st degree murder Gary Plauchet only plead guilty to manslaughter and served 5 years probation.
  • There are some quite gruesome stories about what the Russian government does when a Russian diplomat is kidnapped. Things like mailing them a photo of each of the hostage takers-inside a crosshairs. Or reciprocally kidnapping an associate of the original kidnappers and then sending a package to the hostage takers containing-a finger. The Russian government is not the most benevolent of governments, but when it comes to situations like this You do not want to mess with Mother Russia.
  • May 31, 2011, a bank robbery took place in Sarasota, Florida. As soon as the incident began, US Staff Sgt. Eddie Peoples placed himself between the robber and his young sons, then advised them to hide under some chairs and moved other chairs to cover them. Eventually the robber pointed his gun at one of the sons and said that if anyone tried anything, he'd shoot the kid. After the man left, Peoples followed him and used his own van to block the escape vehicle, then disabled the robber with hand-to-hand combat. In an interview with news sources, Peoples said "You don't threaten people's children."
  • This Ohio man who, after hearing his three year old son's screams upon falling into a well more than 40 feet deep, scaled the well's walls down to the bottom to ensure that nothing bad would happen to his little boy before the fire department arrived.
  • Zorro the Doberman won't let other dogs touch the baby he's protecting! As mentioned in Mama Bear, animals raised around young children from a few weeks to around a year old often develop incredibly strong attachments to them.
  • In 1871, seven-year-old Mary Winchester was kidnapped by Burmese tribesmen. At this, the Lieutenant Governor of India sent guess who after them and persuaded them to release Mary in about three months. Queen Vicky considers hurting her subjects to be Serious Business.
  • Male deinonychosaurs were the ones that brooded the nests.
  • An Ethiopian girl is kidnapped and beaten by some guys who wanted to rape her and then force her to marry one of them. Three lions mistake the girl's cries for a lion cub's cry for help. They chase the kidnappers away and guard the girl for half a day. This allows guards and policemen to protect the victim and chase after the criminals.
  • A man from Turkey saw his four-year-old son fall from a fifth story balcony and immediately jumped after him Pushing against the balcony to gain momentum, the man grabbed his son mid-fall, wrapped his arms around him and then turned his own body over so that he would hit the ground instead of his son. The child was left completely unharmed while the father suffered from a broken shoulder and ribs.
  • A Kenyan orphanage caretaker named Omari sees the place he works in raided by thugs. He takes a beating and a machete to the face to protect the kids. He lives to tell.
  • A very dark example (crosdsing with Knight Templar Parent) is Vitaly Kaloyev. He was a grieving father whose wife (Svetlana) and children (Konstantin and Diana) died in an horrible plane crash in Switzerland, apparently caused by a "negligent" travel operator who was absolved by the law system. (See below for details) The mentally broken Kaloyev reacted via... searching for said operator with help of a private detective, and stabbing the one he blamed for everything to death two years later.[1]
  • Stuart Chaifetz is worried because his autistic child behaves oddly in school. He puts a recorder in the kids's clothes and finds out he's horribly bullied and abused by the staff. He's now on a crusade to protect all kids in such a terrible situation.
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino is said to have given a SEVERE verbal/written lashing to some racist assholes who tried to shame the lady who played Loran in Turn a Gundam, Romi Park, due to her Korean ancestry.
  1. In regards to the above troper's entry about Vitaly Kaloyev, I would like to point out that what happened wasn't really the travel operator's, Peter Nielsen's fault but rather the fault of the company he worked for, Skyline. He was the only operator for that section of the sky that night, his fellow travel operator having taken a very long break, leaving him in charge of two work stations where the monitoring screens were relatively far part so he kept having to move in between them to monitor them. Maintenance of the phone systems and a ton of other stuff was going on at the company that night, disabling a lot of his resources, and he had a ton of other flights that were going on that needed his attention at the same time so he was very distracted. In particular, an Airbus was having problems and consuming a lot of his attention so he didn't notice that the two planes were getting too close. Also the main phone lines were down due to the maintenance and the backup system malfunctioned so other control areas that had noticed the problem couldn't contact him in time to report the two planes were heading toward each other. And an important instrument that would have warned him that the two planes were getting too close had been shut off for maintenance as well. And the other control areas that had noticed the problem couldn't warn the two planes because they didn't have contact with them. So he was basically having to handle ALL of the flights over his area which covered Switzerland by himself with several problems coming to him at once and with a lot of his resources cut off from him. And Peter Nielsen didn't get off easy after he was absolved by the courts. He had to live with the guilt of not having noticed the danger and needed medical attention for the trauma he suffered from the incident. It is still a Papa Bear reaction by Kaloyev that I really don't blame him for especially considering that he found the body of his little girl, Diana. But the ones he really should have been mad at were the people in charge of Skyline who thought that it was perfectly all right to let one person handle an area that encompasses a country with a ton of flights going through it while leaving them bereft of a lot of their equipment that is supposed to help them and their communications with other traffic control centers. Here's where I got the info from: (WARNING: This video will make you CRY).
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