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I hate you right back you little shit! You and your mom took my life away from me. I just want it back!
Ollie, one of the least resentful examples, Jersey Girl
Who leaves a kid with someone like me? No way in hell!
Otto Heckel, Monster

Once upon a time, she was a genius with dreams, pursued by everyone, one of the guys, or content in screwing people over.

Then you came into the picture, and she hates you for it.

You might be a decent kid. A prodigy even. But that doesn't matter to the one that raised you. You stripped her of her goals in life. Whether or not that belief they hold has any factual basis doesn't matter, for your caregiver has become the Resentful Guardian. They may feel love and protection towards the child but they will have one eye on the past and what they could have been. They'll make attempts to get some of that old life back and it will end up with some neglect of the child.

This can often be the basis for an entire film: a person gets lumbered with a child via family death or similar and so they have to go on a personal journey of connecting with the child and learning to give up some of their old life's hopes and dreams to raise them properly. Expect some timetable clash between a job prospect and a play recital or baseball game.

At an extreme end, the resent may build up to loathsome levels. They may or may not go the full hog into Abusive Parents but it will be obvious to those around them that it will lead to some level of neglect. Here then, the focus is more on the child trying to get some happiness away from their parent.

Examples of Resentful Guardian include:

Anime & Manga

  • The main characters' aunt from Grave of the Fireflies.
  • In Paradise Kiss, Jyouji/George's Hot Mom complains that George's birth ended her modeling career.
  • Nico Robin's aunt, Roji, was not at all pleased about taking in her niece, who was the daughter of her husband's sister Olvia, excluding her from family outings and forcing her to do chores. Robin's uncle seemed to care about her more, but it's unclear how much he tried to offset or prevent Roji mistreating Robin, if at all.
  • Good Lord, Gendo Ikari. To be absolutely fair to the guy, if Shinji had never been born, his wife probably wouldn't have basically committed suicide in order to become a component of a Humongous Mecha so that Shinji could interface with it. It still doesn't justify the utter Hell that he put Shinji and others through, and Gendo himself acknowledges it at the end of his life.
  • Monster has Con Man Otto Heckel being ordered by Tenma to be with Dieter, much to his dismay.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has many examples, mostly pertaining to Satoko When her parents die, she's forced into her aunt and uncle's household, which causes them both to resent her and abuse her. The aunt loves to whip her and call her names while the uncle forces her to be his slave and go out and buy alcohol for his buddies.
    • Whenever Shion is asked by her love interest Satoshi to take care of his sister Satoko, she does not do so because she hates her for taking up all of his time and interests. She later brutally murders her by stabbing her to death on a cross and then later regrets it.
  • Elfen Lied has Mayu. Her own mother who slaps her in the face when Mayu tells her about her stepfather molesting her., because she only sees her as competition.
    • Lucy's caretakers at the orphanage are resentful of the fact that they have to take care of a sick child.

Comic Books

  • Rorshach's mother in Watchmen. "I should have had that abortion!"
  • Squee's father in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee. Probably his mom, too, though it's implied her neglectful parentiong is more because she's a drunk and a drug addict than anything.


  • Ollie from Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl ended up as a single father when his wife died in childbirth, he then lost his job when screwing up at work from the overloaded stress soon after. He then spends seven years working as a manual laborer, living at his dad's place, raising his daughter pretty damn well in fact but then he gets to thinking he wants his old public relations job back. Cue struggle to convince his family, cue arguments with daughter who doesn't want to move, cue page quote (wow!), cue moment where, after meeting with incidental stranger (who in this case is Will Smith, not played by, is Will Smith) realizes he should run back and attend his daughter's musical performance instead of going to his job interview.
  • Raising Helen is about a woman named Helen who receives guardianship of her recently deceased sister's three kids but as it turns out she's the one who ends up growing up in the end hence the hilarious (!) inversion in the title. She's got a high flying job at a modeling agency, a cool pad in Manhattan and is contractually obliged to party at 3 am in the morning. Next thing we know, she's moved to Queens, is handling school runs and is sleeping with a Lutheran minister to get them into a good school (note, cause and effect may not be as stated).
  • The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is so envious of her stepdaughter, a sweet girl who hasn't actually done anything to offend or upset her (other than being pretty), to work as a maid in the royal castle where she should be living comfortably, as it's her birthright as the princess of the realm.


  • The Dursleys of Harry Potter are like this to Mrs. Dursley's nephew Harry acting with nothing but fear that revelation of what he is could ruin their quiet little Middle England life.
    • For Petunia Dursley, this resentment is based partly on the fact that her older sister Lily was a witch and got to go to Hogwarts and she didn't, which she attempts to mask and compensate for through excessive middle-class snobbery. Again, no excuse for keeping an innocent child in a cupboard for a good part of his early life just because he is the orphaned son of the sister she envied.
    • Dumbledore is an even greater example, according to back story in the final book. His parents died right around the time he graduated from Hogwarts, and despite being a prodigy he was forced to stay home to raise his younger brother Aberforth and younger sister Ariana, who had severe problems. It Got Worse when Gellert Grindelwald came into the picture...
  • Ingrid of White Oleander is brutally frank with her daughter Astrid about feeling this in their final confrontation. "...clinging to me like a spider..." is a quote that references toddler Astrid, and sums up the overall feel of the rant.
  • In the first book of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Dr. Underwood resents having to put up with an apprentice, although apparently every magician is expected to do the same to ensure the production of new competent magicians. His instruction technique mostly consisted of shoving him in a room with a lot of books and telling him to get on with it. His apprentice Nathaniel resents him in turn for being a failure as a teacher, magician, and parental substitute, and considers private study more useful than his infrequent and glacial-paced lessons.

Video Games

 *Hope trips along a bridge after a long hike*

Lightning: This isn't working. I mean, you're a liability. You'll only slow me down.

Hope: What?

Lightning: I'm sorry, but I can't protect you when- *grunts, collapses to knees, l'Cie brand glows through uniform*

Hope: You can't just leave me here! You gotta take me with you!

Lightning: ENOUGH! The whole world is against us. I can barely keep myself alive; let alone some helpless kid! *another grunt* I don't have time to baby you. You want to get tough? Do it on your own! *grunts one last time before rolling out of circle as Odin emerges*

*Hope is laying back on his rear and hands, visibly frightened of Odin*

Lightning: This cannot be happening. *Hope cowers as Odin prepares to cut him down* Look out! *parries Odin, prepares for battle as Hope rises to a stand*

Web Comics

  • Lifelong sexual hedonist Charisma of Penny and Aggie had Marshall unexpectedly as a teenager. Although she sees more than adequately to his material and educational needs, even paying for private school, she views him as an obstacle "put on this earth to slow me down." Some time after Nick, the first man she truly loves, overhears this outburst, he asks her to look him in the eye and assure him she didn't really mean that. She can't.

Web Original

  • In Homestuck, Rose and her mother hold up a passive-aggressive oneupmanship contest with each other. Rose sees her mother as being resentful in nature, and her somewhat quirky personality as hateful. May or may not be a huge misunderstanding on her part.

Western Animation

  • Family Guy: Lois Griffin has been shown to have feelings of contempt towards her oldest daughter Meg for being unable to have an abortion and therefore getting disqualified from participating in the Olympics. Instead she is now stuck raising her.
    • Lois has actually made it clear in several episodes that she never wanted any of her children, even claiming that she attempted to miscarry Chris before she chickened out half way. She even called him a mistake once, and it's implied any appreciation she has for him was that suing the condom company that led to his conception bought her and Peter their current house.
    • And yet the moment a Straw Feminist mocks her three kids... cue the catfight.
    • Meg realizes Peter is this in one episode, too. He wanted to be a podiatrist, but ended up with three kids and had to take a bunch of minimum-wage jobs to support them instead of following his dream. Oddly enough, this actually leads to a heartwarming moment between the two.
  • Moral Orel: Clay Puppington AND his father. No explanation necessary.
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