We raised you better than that
Bringing someone home for the holidays that your folks would not approve of is nothing new. A time-honored tradition of rebellion and experimentation as you search for who you are and who you will choose to walk that path with you. But there are times when the look on your parent’s faces when you introduce them to your significant other is well worth the price of admission.
It is in that decidedly petty spirit I bring to you, humble reader, ten fighting game characters you should definitely date if you want to piss off your parents.
Lord Raptor (Darkstalkers)
Look, Lord Raptor has a lot going for him. He’s funny. He’s charming. He’s an immortal punk rock zombie king. There’s a lot to check in the “plus” column for this guy. But the moment he walks through the door and, instead of a handshake, smashes his guitar through the buffet, your parents are going to be really upset. Then there’s the whole undead aspect. Do they just pretend not to notice the smell? Your folks could handle an earring, maybe even some tattoos but this guy, with a gaping maw where his stomach should be and his… Australian accent… well, not in this house.
Johnny Maximum (World Heroes 2)
A lot of parents would be thrilled to see their kid bring home the quarterback from a football team. Why that’s as American and wholesome as apple pie and re-runs of Cops on Spike TV! But Johnny Maximum is one football player mom and dad would dread to see walk through the door for dinner. The first red flag would be how he looks. He didn’t even bother to change out of his uniform, and he refuses to take his helmet off. Oh, and he has glowing red eyes. Seems a bit suspicious.
The dinner table conversation would be excruciating. After a fitful dinner, Johnny invites your dad to throw a football in the backyard as a way of breaking the ice. Your father, being a polite man and considering himself something of a football thrower himself, accepts. Johnny Maximum then creates a football made of raw energy in his hand and throws it hard enough to shatter your father’s ribs. Every winter, as the dull ache in his chest sets in, your father will think of the man you brought home and how it changed his life forever.
D’Vorah (Mortal Kombat X)
She’s mysterious. She’s exotic. She’s only dating you because your flesh will provide sustenance to the Hive. But it’s a mutual kind of arrangement because before a swarm of wasps eats your corneas, you will get to see the look on mom and dad’s faces when D’vorah sits down at the dinner table. Bonus points for watching mom absolutely freak out when she finds the dog cocooned to the bathroom ceiling.
Q (Street Fighter III)
Q is the epitome of the strong, silent type. And so few men can pull off a fedora today but damn if he doesn’t look dapper. The attraction is easy to understand but your parents won’t care. All they’ll see is a man in a trench coat wearing an iron mask who refuses to utter a word during dinner. Oh sure, he’ll grunt, and you think he mutters something about being an abomination but after further prodding by your father and he just acts like a robot shutting down. You finish your meal in icy silence as your mother’s sighs get louder with each bottle of wine she drinks. Mission accomplished.
Faust (Guilty Gear)
“You’re dating a doctor!” What parent wouldn’t jump for joy at that thought? But this is one doctor your parents will wish didn’t make house calls. The circus of anguish will begin the moment your dad opens the door and sees you standing next to… a man’s crotch? Yup, Dr. Faust is 9’4”. An impossibly long arm snakes down from the top of the door frame for a handshake. You’ve never seen your father so pale. Your toes curl.
After almost crawling through the doorway, Dr. Faust sits down on the sofa, hunched over in a decidedly spidery fashion. You watch as your parents, slowly getting over the shock of Dr. Faust’s height, notice that he is wearing a paper bag on his head. Their eyes glaze over. Is this what a mind-breaking looks like? You wish for this night to never end.
The door opens. You greet your mother. She asks where your date is. You smile and point down. There on the ground, slithering around your mother’s ankles is Voldo. His head upturned, he grins, teeth cracking against the metal bar in his mouth. Your mother screams then promptly faints. You step over her to find your dad at the top of the stairs wondering why your mother was screaming. In response to the query, Voldo spider-crawls backward towards him, codpiece thrust upward like a jeweled dagger. Your father screams then promptly faints. Closing the door as you leave, Voldo proceeds to do cartwheels around the mailbox. The sun is setting. Life is good.
Dan Hibiki (Street Fighter Alpha)
Do you remember when you were a kid and after karate class, your mom took you to the grocery? Wearing that karate gi, you thought that if bad guys showed up, you would karate the holy hell out of them and mom would totally buy you those awesome Ninja Turtle ice cream bars as a reward. Now take that feeling and translate that into an adult man. Now give him a ponytail. You’ve got Dan.
Your parents can just smell it on him the moment they open the door. He’s polite if arrogant. He owns his own business, but your parents have tuned him out, focusing on pushing peas around the plate. Even you’re bored by this. Watching the dog sniff Dan’s ponytail and then sneeze, you realize that no one will be upset tonight, just disappointed.
Hisako (Killer Instinct)
Look, some of us go through a Goth phase. It’s part of the journey. And sometimes, in that Goth phase, you meet a Japanese revenge ghost at a pop-up clothing store in Soho and end up dating them. It’s all part of the journey. The evening begins with mom and dad opening the door to greet you and having a gray hand with dirty fingernails reach out from the darkness to greet them back.
As Hisako jerkily lumbers to the sofa to enjoy drinks and light Hors d’oeuvres in the living room, you quietly explain to your parents that Hisako is an exchange student and to please respect her customs. They grimace and smile, like they just watched the dog eat its own vomit. The look does not leave their face.
Right off the bat, when your date walks into your parents’ house dressed like a nun and it’s not Halloween, you know this is going to get awkward. Oh sure, Double (Agatha is what she’s calling herself) is pleasant though your mother is already mentally saying Hail Marys. But something is off with Agatha. The family dog growls then whimpers as she walks by. The air around her feels off, cold and humid, and heavy. As the night goes on, your nerves get the better of you and you have a little too much to drink. You are asked to leave once you start referring to Agatha as your “meat goddess”.
Blue Suede Goo (Clayfighter)
An Elvis impersonator? In 2022? Remember when Joker burned all that money because he could? That’s what bringing home Blue Suede Goo would be like. Only it’s your dignity going up in flames.