Created By: RossN on March 5, 2012 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on July 15, 2015

Fictional Character Non Fictional Relative

A fictional character is closely related to a real life person.

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A fictional character is revealed to be related to someone non-fictional and famous. Sometimes this is supposedly a distant ancestor - for instance Alice reveals she is the great, great, great, great grand daughter of Napoleon - while at other times the relationship is much closer in terms of blood and if that non fictional celebrity is still alive they might actually turn up as a guest star playing themselves.

Examples:

Live-Action TV
  • Rome implies very strongly that Ptolemy XV (Caesarion), in real life the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra was actually fathered by the fictional Titus Pullo.
  • In the first series of Blackadder the main character is the son of the historic Richard, Duke of York.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons has used this a few times; notably Krusty the Clown is half brothers with Luke Perry and Mr. Burns is the natural brother of George Burns.
Community Feedback Replies: 67
  • March 5, 2012
    arromdee
    What if the show is already fictionalizing a real person? (such as Jackie Chan Adventures--would Jade be considered an example?)
  • March 5, 2012
    RossN
    That's a very good question which to be honest hadn't occurred to me.

    Broadly speaking I'd say no but I can see debating it.
  • March 5, 2012
    chicagomel
    Seeley Booth on Bones is related to John Wilkes Booth. Obviously it isn't directly, since Booth presumably did not have children in that universe since he didn't in the real world, so it would have to be via one of the other Booth brothers. They haven't elaborated yet though. What *has* been said is, if the line is correct,
    Cam: Do not mention Booth when Booth gets here. He is related to Booth and he will shoot you.
    • And of course presumably Angela. We know Billy Gibbons is playing her father, though his name has never been said onscreen. So, IDK if this one should be posted or held back until we see if anything is ever said one way or the other.

    CSI had Doc Robbins' wife doing his family tree and in the end it's shown he's related to Buffalo Bill Cody.
  • March 5, 2012
    Catbert
    Good idea. I thought of this a long time ago and never got around to making it. I'm glad someone is starting it.

    Literature

  • March 5, 2012
    Premonition45
    Star Trek: It's said that Spock is related to Arthur Conan Doyle on his mother's side.
  • March 5, 2012
    CosmicOsmo
    This also happened on The Simpsons, when Lisa was looking at a tabloid while waiting in line at the Kwik-e-mart, saying "I wonder what cousin Jessica's up to."
  • March 5, 2012
    Jordan
    • Sherlock Holmes is supposed to be related to a painter named Vernet.
    • In the Gordianus the Finder series, Gordianus' friend Lucius Claudius is a member of the Claudius family (i.e. ancestors of the emperor detailed in I Claudius). Incidentally, in SPQR, being a Metellus gives the protagonist relation to that same group- guessing both authors are I Claudius fans.
    • Flashman is related to the Paget family. I'm not sure if there's Word Of God on this, but I learned that Lord Cardigan had an affair with a Lady Paget under fairly similar circumstances to Lord Cardigan's affair with Flashman's wife, so I wonder if that's where the choice of ancestry came from.

  • March 5, 2012
    foxley
    We already have Famous Ancestor which covers some of these examples. Perhaps it could be expanded to cover those cases were the relative is not an ancestor.
  • March 5, 2012
    Catbert
    Famous Ancestor doesn't require that the ancestor be Real Life. Many of the examples are people with famous fictional characters has ancestors.
  • March 5, 2012
    TonyG
    On Just Shoot Me Kevin from the mailroom was a cousin of actor Ray Liotta, who sometimes appeared as himself.
  • March 5, 2012
    Bisected8
    • In Code Geass, Nina Einstein is the daughter (or some other relative) of that universe's Albert Einstein (who apparently studied something other than physics and never invented the bomb Nina does).
  • March 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The short-lived TV series The Rousters starred Chad Everett as Wyatt Earp III, a rouster for a carnival. Grandson to Wyatt Earp the First and not too pleased about it.
  • March 5, 2012
    azul120
  • March 5, 2012
    Jordan
    • Forrest Gump is a descendant of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK.
  • March 5, 2012
    Alvin
    A 'cutaway' joke (forgot real name) of 'Family Guy' had real-life Kathy Griffith as a cousin of the fictional Griffiths. On the show 'JAG' the first(?) female co-star would sometimes get info from her 'Uncle Ollie' played by Ollie North.
  • March 6, 2012
    TBeholder
    So it's "Beethoven's Cousin's In-law Was An Alien Spy"?
  • March 6, 2012
    ozzy63
    • Nathan Drake from Uncharted claims to be related to sir Francis Drake
  • March 6, 2012
    Duncan
    @Alvin- The cutaways on Family Guy are usually referred to as Manatee Gags. And it's Kathy Griffin who is related to the Griffins on the show.
  • March 6, 2012
    Duncan
    In an episode of Alice called "My Cousin, Art Carney", Art Carney is Vera's sixth-cousin, and comes for a visit. Mel tries to capitalize on that with a dish called "Chili Con Carney".
  • March 6, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    What about making this one of those 'Type 1" / "Type 2" tropes for fictional characters and fictionalised versions of real characters?
  • March 6, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Sandman Slim is distantly related to I forget, either Wild Bill Hickok or Billy the Kid.
  • March 6, 2012
    Alvin
    ^Thanks Duncan, and I'm always getting those names mixed up. I used to actually know a girl named Kathy Griffin, who I kept thinking was named Kathy Griffith (and one named Brenda Griffith, who ... you know.).
  • March 8, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    • Gary Corby's The Pericles Commission (2010) and The Ionia Sanction (2011) feature a young detective Nicolaos in Classical Greece who is the elder brother of Socrates. Yes, that Socrates, who is a boy of ten or so in the novels.
  • March 8, 2012
    foxley
    • Dusty Fog in the novels of JT Edson is a cousin of real life gunslinger John Wesley Hardin.
    • Wynonna Earp is the great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp.
  • March 8, 2012
    MiinU
    .
  • March 8, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Arthur: Francine's uncle is noted jazz musician Joshua Redman. Admittedly he appears not quite As Himself: he's credited "Joshua Redman as Mr. Redman" while Yo Yo Ma is "As Himself" in the same episode.
  • March 9, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    In the film adaptation of The Seven Per Cent Solution, Sigmund Freud is given a son. He had one daugther in real life, who was included in the book, but she threatened to sue if her image was used in the film (she had no power over uses of her father's image, however.
  • February 27, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • The Desert Peach is about the fictional brother of Erwin Rommel.
  • March 1, 2013
    Koveras
    • The Spartan mercenary commander Aeositeus in Thais Of Athens is a fictional younger cousin of the historical Spartan king Agis III.
  • March 3, 2013
    NESBoy
    • In South Park, Hong Kong singer Wing is portrayed in the show as the wife of City Wok owner Tong Lu Kim.
  • March 4, 2013
    DorianMode
    In the film version of The Beverly Hillbillies, at a wedding someone wonders "Do you think Cousin Bill got the invitation?" Cut to: exterior shot of the White House, and a voice wondering where he left the invite.
  • March 4, 2013
    robinjohnson
  • March 4, 2013
    robinjohnson
    The Blackadder example would cover all Blackadders, since each season's incarnation is a direct descendant of all the previous ones. Except that it's averted when the first Black Adder is implied to be the illegitimate son of the Duke of Argyll.
  • March 4, 2013
    foxley
    In JSA, the superhero Lance (later Magog) was the great-grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • March 5, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the Gor series protagonist Tarl Cabot may be related to the Italian naviagor John Cabot.
  • March 5, 2013
    SharleeD
  • October 15, 2013
    Catbert
    Bump
  • October 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced and sorted the examples by media.
  • October 15, 2013
    MetaFour
    Mystery Science Theater 3000: In the episode Werewolf, Mike and the bots are surprised to see that the film features Martin Sheen's lesser-known brother Joe Estevez. Inspired by this, they start discussing "Who would you cast in your werewolf movie?", and all of their choices are the (fictional) obscure relatives of real actors. And Tom Servo's last choice is Chip Hitler.
  • October 15, 2013
    SharleeD
    It's been implied that Mr. Spock of Star Trek is descended from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on his mother's side.
  • October 15, 2013
    Niria
    Good trope idea, bad trope name. Fictional Character Real Relative would be at least a bit of an improvement, or maybe just Real Life Relative (as the trope obviously would only apply to fictional characters). Something wittier would be even better.
  • October 15, 2013
    Niria
    Well, oops: Real Life Relative is already a trope. Scratch that suggestion, I guess.
  • October 16, 2013
    KantonKage
    The Ferari sisters in Galilei Donna are direct descendants of Galileo.
  • April 22, 2015
    Chabal2
    • Hikaru No Go has Fujiwara no Sai, whose relative position in the Fujiwara clan is never stated other than having sufficient means to dedicate himself to a lifetime of playing Go.
    • Touhou has Fujiwara no Mokou, the daughter of a Fujiwara noble of high enough rank to be a princess' suitor. However, due to the princess humiliating her father by refusing his proposal, Mokou swore revenge and now fights her whenever she can (since both are immortal).
  • April 22, 2015
    Illemar
    In Promethea, the protagonist Sophie Bangs briefly meets John Kendrick Bangs, her ancestor, on the house-boat on the Styx which he wrote about, while searching for her dead predecessor.
  • April 22, 2015
    DAN004
    ^^ Is Fujiwara someone existing in Real Life?
  • April 22, 2015
    Rjinswand
    Comic Books
    • X Men: Piotr and Illyana Rasputin are revealed to be descendants of Grigory Rasputin.
  • April 22, 2015
    Kartoonkid95
    • Several instances on ''Family Guy
      • A cutaway showed that Peter is related to Kathy Griffin.
      • "The Griffin Family History" shows that Peter's ancestor Peter Hitler was brothers with Adolf.
  • April 22, 2015
    DAN004
    This would be related to my Same Surname Means Related ykttw.
  • April 22, 2015
    DAN004
    (Edited by DAN 004 so as not to bug the page with spaceless long words in mobile)

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH

    Why didn't somebody tell me we already had this YKTTW? Because I started one up much more recently that's pretty much the same as this, and it has more examples than this one does . . . can a mod or anybody merge 'em?
  • April 22, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Somebody asked about this in Trope Finder and somebody else linked this. So I bumped this.

    Now where's your ykttw? Link?
  • April 22, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books

    Western Animation
    • In one episode of Family Guy, Peter told his family that one of his ancestors was the brother of Adolf Hitler.
  • April 22, 2015
    Chabal2
  • April 23, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Literature
    • Irving Wallace wrote The Word about the discovery of a new gospel, scribed by "James, brother to the Lord Jesus Christ." It's revealed to be an ingenious forgery that fooled many analysts and historians, making it a work of fiction within a work of fiction.
  • April 23, 2015
    justanotherrandomlurker
  • April 23, 2015
    Hodor2
    Couple of examples:

    • Another Series/Blackadder example- Edmund's "friend", Percy is a fictional member of the House of Percy, an English noble family that had great power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In the first series, Percy is identified as the Duke of Northumberland and in the second series, he's Lord Percy Percy, the heir to this title. In what is possibly a deliberate error, although the Percy family were Earls of Northumberland for a long time, the title of Duke of Northumberland didn't exist until the 1550's and no one with the last name of Percy held it until 1766.

    • Gary Corby writes the Athenian Mysteries series about Nicolaos, the fictional older brother of Socrates (who in the novels is Nic's Annoying Younger Sibling). The historical record gives the name of Socrates' parents and in Platos' Dialogues, Socrates mentions being taught by a Diotima, who in the novels, is Nicolaos' girlfriend.

    • The Golden Age Mystery character Albert Campion of the Albert Campion books and Campion is implied but never stated to be the illegitimate son of King George V. Campion is a Rich Idiot With No Day Job with an undisclosed source of wealth and is indicated to have some connection with the royal family. George V, like other members of the House of House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha/Windsor had Albert among his names, and Campion's real name, Rupert, also fits in with the German origin of the family.
  • April 23, 2015
    randomsurfer
    re Blackadder: The first Blackadder himself is a fictional son of the mostly fictional King Richard IV, who in real life may have been killed in the Tower as a boy by his uncle Richard III and at the very least was never King.
  • April 23, 2015
    Quatic
    On Thirty Rock, disliked writer Lutz turns out to be closely related to hunky actor Kellan Lutz (who cameos on the show as such relative).
  • April 24, 2015
    Hodor2
    Ooh, that reminded me:

  • April 25, 2015
    Chabal2
    • The Three Musketeers' take on The Man In The Iron Mask is that it was the (real) king Louis XIV's (fictional) twin brother. Aramis learns of this and uses it to advance in the Jesuit ranks along with trying to replace Louis with his twin, hoping he'll be a better king.
    • The Count Of Monte Cristo: the (real) general Quesnel is given a fictional son (Franz) so as to provide a You Killed My Father moment (in real life, his death was unsolved). In the book, he's killed in a duel with Villefort's father Noirtier, with Noirtier keeping this interesting little tidbit as a trump card to prevent Franz' marriage with his granddaughter Valentine.
  • July 4, 2015
    Chabal2
    In Universe in Gastro Phobia: Phobia's (possibly half-)brother is Alcides, better known (after the bout of divine madness during which he killed his family) by the name Herakles.
  • July 4, 2015
    Dalillama
    • The vampire Henry Fitzroy from the Blood Books is the illegitimate son of Henry VIII.
  • July 15, 2015
    HowlingSnail
    • In Assassins Creed II, Ezio's teenage girlfriend, Cristina Vespucci, is the cousin of explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
  • July 15, 2015
    SolipSchism
    ^^ Not An ExampleHenry Fitzroy was a real person, who died at the age of 17, and fictionalized accounts of him are popular. Mercedes Lackey had a story where he was kidnapped by faeries and I'm sure these aren't the only two fictionalized versions of him.

    That is Beethoven Was An Alien Spy, not this trope.

    ^^^^ I think you want Man In The Iron Mask. The Man In The Iron Mask redirects to the 1998 film.
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