• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

 "Vaughan was last seen working on a revival of Swamp Thing over at Vertigo, which is tantamount to wearing a sign around your neck saying 'I am not Alan Moore, please kick me'."

Paul O'Brien, The X-Axis


One fun aspect of being a fan is that you can ascribe the Word of God selectively. Sure, Alan may own the franchise, but it's Bob--the writer, the producer, whatever--who left such an indelible impression on the property that, in your opinion, Bob is who made it good.

This trope is, naturally, more common with long-running properties with have multiple creators, which is why there are so many examples from American Comic Books. When a character like Superman or Batman has literally thousands of stories told by hundreds of writers over a period of many decades, it's not surprising that this trope comes into play.

Compare Adaptation Displacement. Can't Unhear It and Covered Up. Contrast Running the Asylum, where such people are often regarded as evil step-parents, and Only the Creator Does It Right, where fans think a work is better when its creator is actively involved in it.

Examples of My Real Daddy include:

Anime and Manga

  • Uchuu Senkan Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers) suffers from an effective custody battle between its original creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki and the legendary Leiji Matsumoto (who rewrote much of the premise as soon as he joined the project, and has the critics and most of the fanbase on his side). Both creators have attempted their own Revivals of Yamato, with various degrees of success.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: The many Alternate Universes of the franchise tend to be associated with their creators. Masaki Kajishima is currently responsible for the OVA continuity, the most beloved by the fanbase; however, the mixed response to the newest set of releases has left some fans longing for Hiroki Hayashi, co-creator of the original six episodes and creator of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World.
    • Hayashi's an interesting case. He along with Naoko Hasegawa were largely responsible for setting the tone for the first OVA releases. After they left, fans have noted a downward slide in quality in the series. It could be said that Hayashi played Irvin Kershner to Kajishima's George Lucas. Whatever talent Kajishima has at creating ideas, he needs someone to keep him focused off of all powerful author avatars and an excessive focus on fanservice fantasy.
      • On the other hand, Hayashi is said to have had some spectacularly bad ideas for the continuation of the OVA storyline. It seems that Kajishima and Hayashi really need to work together so that each can veto the other's stupider concepts.
  • Getter Robo is a bit of a convoluted example. The basic premise was thought up by Go Nagai, but pretty much everything else was done by Ken Ishikawa. Most people usually think of it as a Go Nagai series, though, since a) he's more famous, b) it's produced by his company, Dynamic Productions and c) the art style Ishikawa used for the first few installments of the series is identical to Nagai's, though his artwork became slightly more Kirby-esque than Nagai's as time went on.
  • Pokémon: Jessie, James, and Meowth are a good, but little-known example of this. Takeshi Shudo, the show's original head writer, created Team Rocket. Even though the characters have appeared in all but a few episodes of the show to date, when you watch the episodes and movies he wrote, it's clear who created the trio and truly knows what they're all about. In fact, he's written many, many blog articles in Japanese concerning Team Rocket, their origins, personalities, and even philosophy (!):

Comic Books

  • Carl Barks is largely seen as the father of the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, to the point that Disney broke its tradition of not heavily featuring artists' names on its comic covers. This is buoyed by the fact that DuckTales, much beloved by nostalgic 1980s babies, is mostly taken from Barks' work. To better understand this, consider that before him, all Donald Duck stories run without Negative Continuity. Now, Barks stories are considered continuity that almost all writers follow.
    • The largest of Barksists is obviously Don Rosa, who, while not exactly crying Canon Dis Continuity at other duck artists, mostly only follows Barks' comics as Canon.
  • The team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez didn't create Teen Titans, but their much-celebrated run is responsible for the title as we know it today, and is the basis of the animated version.
    • Similarly, Roy Thomas is the adopted father of Golden Age DC heroes, with James Robinson, David S. Goyer and especially Geoff Johns taking over this role since the new millennium.
  • Many of the characters featured in the Giffen/DeMatteis era of the Justice League International were never as beloved before or since that run--so much so that the most recent Booster Gold series (which some consider objectively better than most of the stories told in JLI, although Your Mileage May Vary) constantly refers back to that time, as does Justice League: Generation Lost.
    • The JLI refrences in Booster Gold were even more prominent when Giffen and De Matteis themselves took over.
  • Similarly, Steve Ditko created The Question as a mouthpiece for Ayn Rand's Objectivism philosophy, but Dennis O'Neil's run on him in the 1980s is considered the definitive version of the character, a martial artist with insatiable curiosity.
    • Others simply consider this groundwork for the DCAU version. This leads to the conundrum that since the DCAU's Question is clearly inspired by Rorschach (who, of course, was written parly as an Expy for The Question), one wonders whether Alan Moore is in the running for the My Real Daddy status of a character he never actually wrote for.
  • Chris Claremont is the same for X-Men, pushing it from a failed Silver Age idea into the Marvel Universe's biggest cash cow. Magneto can especially be considered his "baby". While the character existed long before he came along (having been introduced in the very first issue), he was, in his original form, your typical over-the-top villain and then some. It was Claremont who fleshed him out into the Well-Intentioned Extremist we know him as today. To the fans, he's known as the "Father of X(-men)".
    • Subverted with Fabian Nicieza; while he is largely seen as the definitive writer for Gambit (writing his original series), Claremont's take on Gambit is still considered by many to be the superior version as far as the fact that Claremont's Gambit was a happy-go lucky thief as opposed to Nicieza's brooding angst-filled version. It also helps that Claremont loved pairing Storm and Gambit up together as a platonic duo whereas Nicieza preferred pairing Gambit up with Rogue for wangst-fueled storylines.
    • Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost didn't create the New X-Men (who were introduced as a relaunch of New Mutants), but their work on the characters has long since eclipsed that of creators Nunzio DeFillipis and Christina Weir.
  • Christopher Priest is this for Black Panther, to the point that it's made it nearly impossible for any other writer to have success with the character. Reginald Hudlin's series did ok... right up until he stopped copying Priest and started trying to do his own thing, at which point sales immediately tanked. This is an odd case, because Priest's run didn't sell particularly well, but has nonetheless become the go-to interpretation of the character.
  • French Belgian Comic Books: Most people who know Spirou and Fantasio consider André Franquin as the series' father, regardless of whether or not they know it existed before: Franquin made it the Spirou we remember, and artists Tome and Janry were faithful to that (except maybe towards the end).
  • Batman fans tend to be divided over which 'reboot' of the character best redefined him for the new generation; Frank Miller's bleak near-Deconstruction The Dark Knight Returns, or Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett's more family-friendly but still noir-flavored Batman: The Animated Series, which kicked off the DC Animated Universe.
    • It can honestly be said that Dini and Timm were Mr. Freeze's daddies for giving him a tragic backstory.
      • In this vein, also Mike Mignola's. He designed Mr. Freeze for the animated series.
    • Of course, we have to remember The Joker's origin story in Alan Moore's The Killing Joke.
      • Although Joker was already re-defined as we know him in the 70's, for example by Steve Englehart.
    • And before all of this, Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams brought Batman back from the silly camp of the 60s (both in print and on screen) to being the darker character people know him as today.
    • Bill Finger and Dick Sprang may have created The Riddler, but Frank Gorshin's portrayal of him on the 1960s Batman TV show is what made him a major member of Batman's rogue's gallery for years to come. Some portrayals of him have dialed back the camp, but without Gorshin's manic popularity, there would be no Riddler today.
      • Bill Finger actually did far more to create Batman himself than his more famous boss, Bob Kane. It was Finger who came up with the idea of Batman being a detective, of him wearing a cowl instead of a domino mask, and of the Bruce Wayne secret identity. Without such contributions, "the Bat-Man" most likely would be long forgotten by now, yet Kane is still usually given sole credit for the character.
    • Though Poison Ivy has been around since the 60s, before Neil Gaiman's Secret Origins issue about her she had little personality beyond being a Femme Fatale. Gaiman established her plant obsession and detachment from humanity, which have endured as her defining character traits.
  • Alan Moore was not the first or the last comics writer to work on Swamp Thing, but virtually everyone regards his run as the definitive one. Supreme, too.
  • Similarly, the character of John Constantine, who Moore created during his tenure with Swampy before being spun off into his own series, has this relationship with Garth Ennis.
      • Jamie Delano and/or Mike Carey are also in the running for this.
    • Ennis also has Real Daddy status for The Punisher, being one of the first to nail down a consistent characterization of the vigilante in his 2000 reboot.
  • And just like Moore is remembered for Swamp Thing, Steve Gerber's reimagining of similarly-swampy hero Man-Thing is considered definitive.
  • Before Garth Ennis came along, Chuck Dixon's lengthy run on Punisher's solo title cemented the character who started out as a guest appearance in Spider-Man.
  • Similarly, Animal Man isn't much talked about where Grant Morrison isn't involved.
  • For Iron Man, the original creators like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck created much of the elements of the character, it was the team of David Michelinie and Bob Layton in the late 1970s and early 1980s who established the definitive modern take of the character. This includes inserting Jim Rhodes, the specialized armors, and Stark's emotional frailty problem, especially concerning alcohol.
    • Rhodey is especially notable for taking over as Iron Man for a while after their run. Michelinie clearly didn't like this idea (the first thing he did when he returned to the title was get Rhodey out of the Iron Man suit), but it stuck; Tony soon gave Rhodey a unique suit with the codename War Machine, which he still uses today.
  • Likewise, Stan Lee and Bill Everett (with some early later additions by Wally Wood) may have created Daredevil, but today, Frank Miller's vision of him is unquestionably the definitive one.
  • Greg Farshtey started out as the writer for the LEGO Bionicle comics (in addition to writing for Lego's magazine and catalogs) before expanding to almost all of the line's written story material, from the novels to online serials. Not only that, but Farshtey lets fans contact him personally with questions, leading to a few Sure Why Nots. He will also reveal tidbits of info before they "officially break" if someone asks the right question.
  • Deadpool was created by Rob Liefeld as an Expy of DC's Deathstroke. Joe Kelly gave 'Pool the personality and insanity we all know and love today.
    • Fabian Nicieza is said to be Deadpool's real daddy, since he injected most of the randomness and humor into the character that made him popular enough to warrant the regular series that was written by Kelly. He also made several of Liefeld's other characters go from one-dimensional to complex and interesting such as Cable, Shatterstar, and Domino.
    • Some fans like to say Kelly and Nicieza are both his daddies.
    • Subverted with Daniel Way. Though Way has written character probably longer than any other writer his run is often cited as the prime example of what's been wrong with Deadpool since being brought back: an over-reliance on "wacky" humor 4th wall breaking and less emphasis on the more tragic or heartwarming parts of the character... an attempt to appeal to the people whose knowledge of Deadpool begins and ends at the Shoryuken page. The complete absence or underuse of well-loved supporting cast members such as Weasel and Blind Al is usually another knock against Way's run.
  • Nick Fury = Jim Steranko.
  • Flash writers tend to have, appropriately enough, long runs. Cary Bates was the Barry Allen writer, with around 150 issues to his credit during his 13 years on the title. And although Wally West owes a lot to Bill Messner-Loebs and Geoff Johns, his Real Daddy is without a doubt Mark Waid. Waid added Jay Garrick and other speedsters to the supporting cast, brought an epic feel with the introduction of the Speed Force, and made Wally one of the most relatable heroes around; he brought The Flash back from B-list to A-list status, and the title has stayed there ever since.
  • The Fantastic Four will always be defined by the immortal hundred-issue starting run of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Second place goes to John Byrne, who wrote and drew the definitive modern FF.
  • Wonder Woman was created by William Marston, but for the modern take on the character, George Perez and his Post-Crisis recreation of the character is definitive. A number of fans also put Greg Rucka or Gail Simone's run on a similar level.
  • Walt Simonson. Thor.
  • Fans are divided on just who Spider-Man's Real Daddy is, both in terms of the artist and the writer. Depending on who you ask, Spidey's definitive artist is either co-creator Steve Ditko or John Romita, Sr., and Spidey's definitive writer is either co-creator Stan Lee or J.M. DeMatteis. And then there's the endless debates over whether Stan Lee or his artists (primarily Ditko and Romita) deserve more credit for the original Silver Age stories. All three debates have a tendency to turn quite vicious.
    • If alternate continuities are allowed, the Brian Bendis is in the running for writing Ultimate Spider-Man. His quality on other titles is debated, but nearly everyone agrees that USM is consistently pitch-perfect.
  • Speaking of Bendis, while the character can be polarizing, Luke Cage has become more of a mainstream character under his pen.
  • Steve Ditko may have created Squirrel Girl, but it was Dan Slott that made her into the character that she is today.
  • Paul Levitz is frequently considered this for The Legion of Super Heroes. Occasionally Jim Shooter is cited.
  • Peter David often gets this with The Hulk, adding a lot of depth and characterization to Bruce Banner and other supporting characters.
  • Between adding her to replace Ben Grimm in the Fantastic Four and her solo title, which was one of the longest running featuring a female character as the star, John Byrne better defines She Hulk than her creator, Stan Lee.
  • Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker's run on Immortal Iron Fist, which laid down a lot of new ground for the character and was almost universally praised.
  • Madrox the Multiple Man was originally a purely gimmicky character, his power being that he could make multiple clones of himself. Only Peter David ever bothered to take full advantage of this concept and turn Madrox into an interesting character.
  • The Image/WildStorm team Stormwatch was originally created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, but Warren Ellis' Darker and Edgier run on the title is considered the point where it Grew The Beard. The Authority spun off from characters, plotlines, and themes introduced in Ellis' run — which basically speaks for itself.
  • Marvel's Transformers Generation 1 comic was originally written by Bob Budiansky, but it was the work of Simon Furman, who started out writing Filler strips for the UK reprint, that is the most celebrated and respected today. In fact, Furman has probably had more influence on the entire Transformers mythos than any other writer.
  • Superboy-Prime has Geoff Johns. During the Sinestro Corps War, Superboy-Prime was one of the scariest, most sympathetic and yet unforgivable villains. He actually came across as a person who was so lost he might never be found. He was also the villain who you WANTED to see killed by the real Superman.
  • Also, Hank Henshaw, under Geoff Johns' capable stewardship (Also part of the Sinestro Corps War), is one of the best villainous tearjerkers EVER.
  • While Siegel and Shuster created Superman, Mort Weisinger had the biggest influence over what Superman would become during the Silver Age and Bronze Age. John Byrne then ReTooled Superman for the modern era (setting his selection of powers pretty much in stone, though the power seep didn't stick.
    • Max Fleischer has as much claim to the character as the aforementioned three - from his works do we get "Faster than a Speeding Bullet, More Powerful than a Locomotive, Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound," and even the fact that Superman can fly (animating the super-jumping he'd originally been intended to do was a pain in the arse, so Fleischer just said "forget it - he's Superman, so he can fly!")
    • Elliot S! Maggin for the Bronze Age Superman. He was the only comic writer who also wrote novels about the character and tried to greatly expand the mythos of Superman.
  • Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created Marvel's Hercules, no question, but Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak have really made the character their own in the pages of The Incredible Hercules.
    • Before Van Lente and Pak, Real Daddy status probably would've gone to Bob Layton whose Hercules: Prince of Power miniseries in the early 1980s established Herc as the loutish, womanizing Boisterous Bruiser we all know and love.
  • While Marjorie Henderson Buell created Little Lulu for the Saturday Evening Post, it was John Stanley's nearly 15-year run on the Little Lulu comic books which in-arguably defined the character.
  • Birds of Prey has Gail Simone. She pulled the series out of the nosedive caused by Chuck Dixon's departure and used it to make Black Canary, Huntress and Oracle three of the most well-developed heroines ever.
    • Simone also has this distinction for most of her Secret Six team, but especially Cat-Man.
  • Jim Starlin didn't create Captain Marvel or Adam Warlock, but his interpretations of the characters eclipse what came before.
  • Geoff Johns is undoubtedly this for the entire Green Lantern mythos. This is especially true for Hal Jordan and Sinestro, who Johns had turned into one of the most complex and prominent villains in the DCU.
  • A minor example: when Mike McMahon started drawing Judge Dredd, he gave the Judges a chunkier, more menacing look than Carlos Ezquerra's original vision. This look proved so popular that even subsequent Ezquerra-drawn strips used it.
  • Green Arrow has had three major parental adoptions in his career: Dennis O'Neill and Neal Adams, whose teaming him with Green Lantern transformed him from a rip-off of Batman to the social conscience of the DC Universe. Mike Grell whose Longbow Hunters series made him an urban Robin Hood fighting the villains of the 80s. And Kevin Smith, whose mini-series of him effectively removed all the detritus that had become attached to the character during the Dark Age.
  • Larry Hama's run on Wolverine's solo title pretty much created the character as he is today. He delved into the psychology without over-elaborating backstory. Since his run ended the backstory has been elaborated into oblivion.
  • Nova was a forgotten B-list hero before Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA) took over the character for the original Annihilation crossover. They effectively transformed what was a Green Lantern expy into a deep and interesting character, taking him from guilt ridden survivor all the way to becoming a grizzled war veteran and even later on the social conscience and oftentimes Only Sane Man of the cosmic side of the Marvel universe.
    • DnA are pretty much trying to do this with the entire cosmic side of Marvel, starting with their revival of the Guardians of the Galaxy using both B-list cosmic characters and the original members and their later adoption of the Inhumans and later former X-Men staples, the Shiar.
  • Renee Montoya was originally just a minor character from Batman: The Animated Series who got lucky enough to get introduced into the main canon. However, it was only when Greg Rucka started writing for her that she slowly turned into an awesome, multi-layered detective.
  • Dick Grayson was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger shortly after his mentor in 1940, and he was well-defined in his "Robin" persona until he was turned into Nightwing during Marv Wolfman and George Perez's successful run on Teen Titans in 1984. He struggled to find a niche after that, but it is Chuck Dixon's run on the 1996 Nightwing series, that is considered to be the defining run that codified the character ever since.
    • Likewise Chuck Dixon is undoubtedly considered this for the third Robin, Tim Drake thanks to three miniseries and a 100 issue run on Tim's ongoing title.
  • James Robinson's Starman and Neil Gaiman's Sandman put those two names on the map.
  • Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the Captain America character, but it wasn't until Stan Lee (also working with Kirby) brought him back from obscurity and created his signature "Man Out of Time" story that Cap really became a character people could relate to. Modern Cap writer Ed Brubaker is credited with reinventing Captain America again for the modern comics world the same way Lee reinvented him for the Silver Age. Typically, this isn't universal, and others might give that status to Mark Gruenwald or Mark Waid for their own lengthy runs on the character.
  • Possibly similar to Brubaker, Judd Winick didn't create Jason Todd, but he did bring him back from the dead as the Red Hood while writing for Batman, and even made him totally badass and a little sympathetic, but Your Mileage May Vary on that last part.
  • Blackhawk was created by Will Eisner, Chuck Cuidera, and Bob Powell, but the Golden Age Blackhawk is most often associated with artist Reed Crandall.
  • Peter Milligan for Shade the Changing Man. He completely reinvented Steve Ditko's character, and now hardly anyone remembers what the original was like.
  • Inverted for Len Wein, who co-created Wolverine, the "All-New" X-Men, and Swamp Thing, only to see them achieve greatness under other writers.
  • Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost created X-23 and wrote most of her early adventures in New X-Men but Marjorie Liu's run on Laura's solo title definitely did a lot to make fans like a character that had previously (often derisively) been called Girlverine.


  • While Tomoyuki Tanaka is credited as being the creator of Godzilla, it is often director Ishiro Honda who gets the most praise amongst the fandom regarding the film series.
    • And also often special effects supervisor Eiji Tsuburaya.
  • While Ian Fleming created James Bond, his version was very much an Anti-Hero (Daniel Craig is very close). Terence Young was really the creator of the suave Sean Connery Bond we all love. His instruction to Sean was to imitate him.
  • Nicholas Meyer's work on the second, fourth and sixth Star Trek movies; he's credited with pretty much defining the original series movie era, with his overall tone and atmosphere showing anytime that time period is shown in the subsequent TV shows.


  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Timothy Zahn. He basically invented it, after all, with The Thrawn Trilogy - there had been things like Splinter of the Minds Eye and Marvel Star Wars and the Han Solo Adventures, but they were largely on a smaller scale than what he wrote, and set much closer to the movies. Unfortunately, most of what authors following him wrote was not on the same level, leading to a genre of fanfic called the "Zahn fix". Although for Star Wars, mileage always varies. There are EU fans who despise Zahn's work and put Luceno or Hambly or Traviss in this trope.
    • Hell, Karen Traviss practically invented the clone troopers and Mandalorians from the ground up. Before her, there were a few odds and ends about them, but nothing definite. She even invented the Mandalorian language. There's a reason there was such an uproar when Star Wars: The Clone Wars tried to take the Mandalorians and retcon them into something else.
      • The creators of the Star Wars Essential Atlas very quickly exercised damage control and introduced a retcon that explained the massive discrepancies between Traviss' Mandalorians and the Mandalorians of The Clone Wars. The fact that for the most part those in charge of the continuity of the Star Wars franchise are waiting for the animated series to end before introducing retcons to fix canon and revising the Clone Wars timeline, but very quickly provided explanations for the Mandalorian contradiction, speaks volumes of how much Traviss' take on the Mandalorians, controversial though it is, has become popular.

Live Action TV

  • While Shouzou Uehara was the original head writer of Super Sentai and the franchise was conceived by Shotaro Ishinomori, Hirohisa Soda was responsible for it Growing the Beard in 1985 and then keeping its beard for years. Soda was head writer of every Super Sentai series from 1982 to 1990, and the shows of 1985-1990 are widely considered to be the definitive Super Sentai, far more than Uehara's shows.
  • Although the original version of the Film script was written by Joss Whedon himself, director Fran Rubel Kuzui made Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Movie what it is: a So Bad It's Good "comedy/horror" that is actually neither. The TV series actually created by Joss Whedon is what the fans know and love, and people pretty much prefer to ignore the movie. This makes Joss Buffy's Dad at TWO points.
  • Russell T. Davies for Doctor Who fans who didn't watch the original run of the show.
    • And now, Steven Moffat. This one is especially popular for that section of fans that are convinced that ol' Rusty has never written a single competent syllable in his life EVER, and that only the tender embrace and flawless wordsmith-ery of the Grand Moff can prevent Who from being Ruined FOREVER... again.
  • Power Rangers fans informally divide seasons by showrunner or writers at the time. While the contributions of Haim and Cheryl Saban, Shuki Levy, Tony Oliver and others have been noted for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, any PR fan will tell that the shows that Judd "Chip" Lynn and Jonathan Tzachor produced, alongside head writer/story editor Jackie Marchand, are among PR's Golden Era (1995-2001) and may also include Eddie Guzelian's RPM in the mix (with Lynn returning to wrap up RPM in 2009).
  • Gene Roddenberry created and wrote most of the episodes for Star Trek but it was later revealed that a co-producer on original series, Gene Coon, was nearly as important to the series' narrative excellence such as creating the Prime Directive, the Klingons, Khan Noonien Singh in his own stories as well as doing rewrites for others. Later, it's generally agreed by the fans that Next Generation and the movies got better once Roddenberry was promoted to executive consultant. While the Trek shows have all had numerous writers, Michael Piller and Ronald D. Moore are typically credited with setting the bar for Next Generation and Deep Space Nine respectively.
  • In the Saturday Night Live 25th anniversary special, the trope was played for laughs during the Weekend Update segment with three popular, former anchors. It begins with Chevy Chase talking about how he originated the sketch and how he did it "the best ever." Then Dennis Miller enters and takes issue with that, comparing Chase's one season to his six. ("You might've knocked her up, but I married her.") And then Norm MacDonald shows up. (Though in a nod to his infamous firing, Norm says he didn't know about the special and just saw them on TV.)

Video Games

  • Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai didn't work on all of the Kirby titles, and since Air Ride no longer works on the series. Pretty much his whole (original, platformer) work in the series is the first Dream Land, the NES Adventure, and the fan-favorite Super Star. The other platformers developed during his stay at HAL (Dream Land 2, Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64) all feature a different antagonist and a few characters exclusive to the series. Sakurai is still treated as Kirby's owner despite his separation from the company, as evidenced by his signature (which features Kirby) and his input to new titles.
  • Obsidian Entertainment are seen as this by quite a few Fallout fans, considering the company was primarily made up of former Black Isle employees. These fans were all too thrilled to find out that the next game was going to be made by them.
    • Chris Avellone, in particular - even though he wasn't involved until Fallout 2, as the editor and compiler of The Fallout Bible, he's accepted by many to be the true father.
      • A large part of the reason for this is because Fallout 1 is very short and only has a couple of factions. Most of the Fallout universe concepts actually originated in Fallout 2. Fallout 1 set up the general idea for the series, but Fallout 2 took that idea and fleshed it out. Also keep in mind that there is a character in Fallout 1 named after him, so it isn't like he was a new hire for Fallout 2. He just wasn't directly working on Fallout 1 when it was in development.
  • Michael Kirkbride, a former writer on The Elder Scrolls team, is often considered this.
  • While Shigeru Miyamoto created The Legend of Zelda, it was a series of loosely connected games with no real storyline until Eiji Aonuma took over after Majora's Mask. From then on, the plots became more cohesive and continuity nods became more frequent. The games also started to come out more frequently, with a game a year being released from 2000-2008. Of course given Miyamoto's status amongst gamers, Aonuma has to share the spotlight a bit, but most fans only take his Word of God as canon.
  • The Castlevania series were only a string of loosely-connected titles made by various teams within Konami until Koji Igarashi took over as producer for the series after Symphony of the Night and became the godfather, of sorts, of the series canon. The canon may now be split, however, as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was developed without involvement from Igarashi and is basically a Continuity Reboot[2]
  • The Darkness. The Image Comics version of Jackie is nothing more than a Nineties Anti-Hero Canon Stu, but the video game incarnation is actually a complex and interesting character.
  • Keiji Inafune is often identified as the "father of Mega Man" due to his involvement with the franchise since the original NES game. However, Inafune was only an assistant character designer in the original game. Akira Kitamura created the actual character, while Tokuro Fujiwara designed the game itself.
  • While most of the original credit to the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog goes to Yuji Naka, this is actually divided between him as the programmer of the original game, Naoto Oshima, the true creator and designer of the hedgehog, and Hirokazu Yasuhara, the designer of the first game's stages. Sadly, they have all since left Sonic Team during certain points of their careers, there.
  • While the very first Street Fighter was planned by "Finish" Hiroshi Matsumoto and "Piston" Takashi Nishiyama, who both left Capcom and to work for SNK in many of their early fighting games (including all of The King of Fighters games until '99), the Street Fighter series didn't really take off until Street Fighter II, which was planned by Akira "Akiman" Yasuda and Akira "Nin Nin" Nishitani (who both previously worked on the original Final Fight). Even then, most of the games during the series' "golden age" were planned by Noritaka "Poo" Funamizu, who worked on Super, Super Turbo, and all of the Alpha series.
  • With the release of Metroid: Other M marking the first new game in the series since Metroid Fusion, creator (or technically, living co-creator) Yoshio Sakamoto has essentially banished the Retro Studios-developed Metroid Prime series to more or less Spin-Off status. After seeing his idea of moving the series forward after all these years, many fans decided that they preferred it when Retro was in charge. The fandom is now split over whether Sakamoto or Retro are better caretakers of the series.

Western Animation

  • Butch Hartman may have created Danny Phantom, but most fans give major props to the stories and Character Development to Steve Marmel who wrote the basic outlines of the first two seasons and contributed scripts to many of its episodes.
  • Greg Weisman, creator of the Disney Gargoyles series, is an example of the loyalty fans can have to the "real" teller of an ongoing story, when it separates from official sources. When the third season of the show was written largely without his input, altering the tone of the series, fans pretty much discarded it entirely, in favor of a short-lived comics-based revival that was written by Weisman and launched from the end of the second season (starting with a comic-transcription of the one third-season episode he DID write).
  • Craig McCracken or Genndy Tartakovsky in regards to The Powerpuff Girls, depending on who you ask.
    • Can't we just say the show has two daddies? It honestly wouldn't be the same without either.
    • Likewise, both Mc Cracken and Tartakovsky, along with the less celebrated Paul Rudish, were all equally repsonsible for the creation and success of Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Then there's Bugs Bunny. While an early version first appeared in "Porky's Hare Hunt" by Ben Hardaway and Carl Dalton, and his first "official" appearance was in "A Wild Hare" by Tex Avery who went on to direct a number of vintage Bugs Bunny cartoons before moving to MGM, the directors who fleshed him out most were Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson and perhaps most notably Chuck Jones. To say nothing of the contributions of others at Termite Terrace, like writer Michael Maltese and voice actor Mel Blanc. In "The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie", Bugs commented that, "instead of having millions of children, like your ordinary run-of-the-mill rabbit, I have several fathers."
  • Ruby Gloom, including most of her supporting characters, were created by illustrator Martin Hsu. And while his designs were excellent (except for his version of Misery), it was the writers working for Nelvana who turned Gloomsville's residents into well-defined, fleshed-out characters.
  • Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and made the original comic a Cult Classic. However, when the first animated series was being developed, it was writer David Wise[3] who turned the Turtles from grim and gritty crimefighters into the comical, pizza-loving heroes who made the franchise a smash hit. And Mirage staffers like Dan Berger and Steve Murphy (who both wrote many of the most beloved TMNT comics, both in the original gritty Mirage series and the kid-friendly cartoon-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures) and Jim Lawson and Ryan Brown (who respectively created the fan-favorite supporting characters the Rat King and Leatherhead) also put their own stamp on the franchise.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic will always belong to Lauren Faust, who has been ascribed near-godly status by the fandom. After she voluntarily stepped down to creative consultant, most fans have done their best to still turn a warm eye to the new showrunners, but she's still considered number one and the ultimate Word of God. Faust has even tried to invoke God Does Not Own This World. Repeatedly. The fans still regard her as the final word.
  • As something of a stock fact, some consider Ub Iwerks the true creator of Mickey Mouse due to the fact that he originally drew and animated him. Yet others still attribute the character to Walt, since he did give Mickey his personality.
  • Batman: The Animated Series. Kevin Conroy is Batman. And Mark Hamill would still be The Joker if it weren't for Heath Ledger's stunning performance in The Dark Knight Saga.
  • Kim Possible: The show is generally considered to have Grown the Beard when Steve Loter began directing the series.
  • The Ben 10 franchise can fall into this or Only the Creator Does It Right, depending on who you ask. Those in the latter camp view only the original series, made by the original Man of Action Studios team, as canon, counting the sequels as Fanon Discontinuity. Those in the former, however, prefer Glen Murakami and Dwayne McDuffie's sequels, Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, for making the characters more mature (and, depending on your opinion, more likeable as a result), and the darker and edgier tone. In turn, Fans of Alien Force and Ultimate Alien dislike Omniverse for Pandering to the Fanbase of the original series, as Omniverse is Lighter and Softer, Denser and Wackier and the fact that Omniverse counts UAF as Canon only in Broad Strokes (not to mention de-canonising several Alien Force and Ultimate Alien episodes). And the 2016 Reboot (also by Man of Action)...That's a can of worms we won't get into here.

Real Life

  • You!
  • Bill Walsh was this to the San Francisco 49ers, winning 3 superbowls under his command. Then George Seifert was chosen to replace him and he never got out of Walsh's shadow.
  1. Suffice to say, if you call them the JLA (and not for the sake of expediency), you're a Morrison fan. If you call them the Justice League, it's the DCUA or others
  2. Although in actuality, the game is--by Konami's own admission--an In Name Only installment that was supposed to have been an original (i.e., non-Castlevania) game.
  3. no relation to the musician who once worked at Rare Ltd.