Created By: Nazetrime on November 2, 2012 Last Edited By: Nazetrime on November 1, 2013
Troped

Our Phlebotinum Child

Applied Phlebotinum causes the birth of a sentinent being by mixing something from two characters.

Name Space:
Main
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Trope
So, you want two of your characters to have a child, but going through a normal pregnancy isn't an option. If the story is Speculative Fiction, the universe's Phlebotinum may be sensitive to the Power of Love or able to generate a new life form by using some kind of contribution from two different people, thus bringing their Phlebotinum child into existence.

Having such a child means both that the couple can get it in much shorter timespan and it can age much faster or just be born partly or fully grown. As an extra bonus, the child's nature can explain Plot-Relevant Age-Up, Absurdly Youthful Mother, the female variant of Luke, You Are My Father and Homosexual Reproduction. It can also bypass one of the obvious side effects of Can't Have Sex, Ever.

An essential element of this trope is that the Phlebotinum child wouldn't have existed, or at least been in the same plane of existence as the other characters, without something from each of its "parents" combining or getting mixed together one way or another. The nature of what got mixed can include anything that is NOT an actual sperm and egg or the natural conception means of the parents's species. The way these got mixed can include anything that is NOT the parents mating in a way that would have a decent chance of producing offspring without the Applied Phlebotinum. Note that this excludes in-vitro fertilization or any obvious fantasy or science-fiction counterpart to it.

If more than two people are involoved in the child's conception, this trope can be the supernatural counterpart to Extra Parent Conception. Pregnancy will be either absent from the child's generation process or shorter than what would be normal for the mother. In the absence of pregnancy, the parents may have Doorstop Baby-like scenario with the child before finding out the truth. In the latter case, the child may or may not have been generated in a Uterine Replicator or something similar.

Another essential part of the trope is that the parents accept the child's existence. They can take care of it, show it affection or at least keep an eye on its well-being if it can take care of itself. The child will usually love them back. Parents for a Day is a frequent consequence of this. However, Rule of Drama rarely stops here when it comes to these children.

They are frenquently in Uncanny Valley, Sentient Phlebotinum or a Living MacGuffin. Any of these or just plain Fantastic Racism can cause them to be mistreated at best and their life to be in danger at worst. Their very nature may keep them from existing for very long in the first place or be a danger to themselves and/or their parents. Phlebotinum Children at any rate tend to have a death rate much higher than natural born ones, and their end is usually seen as less tragic by writers. The ones that get to live can still be Put on a Bus or have other problems linked to how they were able to exist in the first place.

That trope has apparent overlap with, yet is different from Bizarre Alien Reprouction, aka non-humans that reproduce in a strange way : it may be an unusual means of reproduction to the audience, but it's still the natural way of having babys from the "alien" point of view. If a human gets pregnant (female or not) or is the father, the only weird thing is the the lack of biochemical barriers. However, nothing keeps non-humans from having Phlebotinum children of their own. The trope can still apply if it's established that the child's orgins have something supernatural or strange considering the parent's species or nature In-Universe.

Specific cases can fall into :

  • Love Imbues Life: In cases where the love is given by two people or more.

  • Wonder Child: If natural conception is impossible due to the mother being too old.

  • Mix-and-Match Man: In cases where at least one of the parents exists as a seperate entity from the child.

  • Mystical Pregancy: The supernatural conception variation.

  • Whether Designer Babies and in general Phlebotinum using genetic material that is not sperm and egg can qualify is very context-sensitive. If a child born of it is enough of a freak event to qualify as a Plot Point, it falls into this trope. If actual sperm and eggs are used and/or the Phlebotinum is routinely used to produce children, it doesn't qualify. Too much is when pepole born that way are so frequent that it's considered normal by at least some people In-Universe.

Compare Convenient Miscarriage that is the closest non-Speculative Fiction seems to be able to get if the child dies. Compare and Contrast That Thing Is Not My Child!, where the child can have similar birth circumstances, but gets rejected by whoever involuntarily contributed to its existence (usually for a good reason).

Beware of unmarked spoilers.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Reinforce Zwei in Lyrical Nanoha is a Unison Device, a type of magitek Robot Girl, who was "born" from Hayate's Linker Core (magical "heart"). The "conception" part comes from the fact that Hayate's Linker Core previously merged with that of her late Unison Device, Reinforce Eins, so Zwei bears resemblance to both of her "parents".
  • In Sword Art Online, the child-like AI Yui was able to exist in the game's main world thanks to the love Kirito and Asuna have for each other, and considers them her parents. Kirito and Asuna consider her to be their child, but the plot kept her from lasting very long as she ended up making a heroic sacrifice to save them. Also a subversion of the death outcome as her data got saved and got to be restored later on. On an additional note, Kirito and Asuna are both in their mid-teens.

Comics
  • In The Avengers Scarlet Witch used magic to get pregnant from her husband The Vision. The magic she had drawn on however turned out to be from a demon who decided to erase her twin sons from existence.

Fanfiction
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic My Little Mommies, the mane six explore an old mansion that turns out to be an abandoned base of an ancient villain. A mirror enchanted to perform LEGO Genetics, which the villain used to create monstrous hybrids, activates in their presence, mixing genes from each pair of mares and creating 3 female foals for them.

Literature
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Danerys may have been invoking this trope when she decided to hatch her dragons on Dorgo's pyre while she was also inside it. Mirri Maz Duur can be considered to be a "third parent" in the process.

Live-Action TV
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, the Droid "One" existed due to a combination of Seven's nanobots and the Doctor's mobile emitter and self-terminated to keep the Borg from assimilating him. Both the Doctor and Seven were more or less parenting him during his almost Overnight Age-Up.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise} A hybrid clone child was produced using apparently stolen DNA (unspecified what kind) from Starfleet Commanders Trip Tucker and T'pol. Neither parent was even aware of the child's conception, but once they found out they accepted her quickly enough.
  • In Game of Thrones, Danerys may have been invoking this trope when she decided to hatch her dragons on Dorgo's pyre while she was also inside it. Mirri Maz Duur can be considered to be a "third parent" in the process.
  • In Doctor Who episode "Journey's End", the hand the Doctor lost soon after regeneration produces a clone after it is touched by Donna Noble. This creates a clone of the Doctor that is half-human.

Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • November 3, 2012
    Sligh_Br
    Scarlet Witch and Vision from the Avengers comic books.
  • November 3, 2012
    arromdee
    Does the child of the main characters in Twilight count? She was conceived naturally, but rapidly aging saves the inconvenient process of changing diapers and such.
  • November 3, 2012
    Nazetrime
    No. Having the child age quickly could probably be a trope on its own. This trope deals with the non-naturally concieved children as an often disposable plot device, which can include the rapid aging.
  • November 3, 2012
    KingZeal
    If more than two people are involved, may be Extra Parent Conception.
  • November 3, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic My Little Mommies, the mane six explore an old mansion that turns out to be an abandoned base of an ancient villain. A mirror enchanted to perform Lego Genetics, which the villain used to create monstrous hybrids, activates in their presence, mixing genes from each pair of mares and creating 3 female foals for them.
  • November 3, 2012
    TheHandle
    ^ Is it worth reading?
  • December 6, 2012
    Chernoskill
    This is hinted at in Zager & Evans' famous song "In the year 2525": "You pick your son, pick your daughter, too/from the bottom of a long glass tube". Other mentioned technological achievements depict society as living in extreme comfort (no human needs his limbs or even teeth anymore, everything is being done by machines ans meals consits of small pills), so it's probable that the glass tube babies represent humanity having overcome the drawbacks of pregancy and birth.
  • December 7, 2012
    Nazetrime
    ^ That seems more like Designer Babies to me. I know the Laconic is slightly misleading, but let's just say that if a sperm and egg were involved in the conception, the child has a 90% chance of not qualifying for the trope.
  • December 7, 2012
    Chernoskill
    Fair enough :)
  • December 12, 2012
    Koveras
    Not sure, but maybe this counts...

  • December 12, 2012
    Nazetrime
    ^ This actually excatly the kind of stuff I'm looking for, thanks.
  • December 12, 2012
    shimaspawn
    You really go way too far into all the possibilities in the description to the point where it becomes hard to figure out what the trope is and it's very hard for people to figure out if their example fits.

    You meander on so much I'm not sure if this example fits or not. I think that's part of why people are so confused what you're looking for. Trim out all the sometimes.

    • In Star Trek Voyager, Q touches index fingers with a female Q. There's a flash of light, and they're holding a baby. Having omnipotence means that you can just skip all that pregnancy stuff.
  • December 12, 2012
    Nazetrime
    Taking out the initial laconinc as the new one is closer to what I have in mind. I just realised skipping or accelerating the pregnancy tends to be a secondary effect of the way the "conception" happened. Otherwise, my initial description of the trope draws both from the 3-4 examples I knew of and personnal speculation. The sometimes parts are here because I'm drawing them on single examples I know of, without being sure how frequent they are. They are still symptoms that may be associated with the trope. If they turn out to actually be quite rare overall, they'll go. If they turn out to frequently (but not systematically) be associtated with the trope, they'll stay on the ground that Tropes Are Flexible.

    I want more examples precisely so I can better trim it down to features shared by all of them. "Not sure" cases are welcome and thinking about if yours qualifies or not helped me get a better grasp of it.
  • December 12, 2012
    Omeganian
    Does this count?
  • December 12, 2012
    Nazetrime
    No. They do adopt the child, but its birth is closer to Spontaneous Generation. I'm however quite sure that there is a lot of Folklore and Mythology that qualifies out there. But please give the actual titles of the stories instead of the link to Wikipedia articles since the summation can leave out the detail that makes the story qualify and full text can usually be found on the Internet for these.
  • February 2, 2013
    sgamer82
    Not entirely sure if these qualify or not so I'll throw them in for consideration. Of the two the second is closest.

    • Modern Doctor Who gives us two examples:
      • "The Doctor's Daughter" features the Doctor having his arm thrust into a machine which produces an Opposite Sex Clone which views herself as his daughter.
      • In "Journey's End", hand the Doctor lost soon after regeneration also produces a clone after it is touched by Donna Noble. This creates a clone of the Doctor that is half-human.
  • February 2, 2013
    Nazetrime
    The whole idea of the trope is that the new being can be considered to have two parents (or more) because (at least) two people contributed to the process generating it, so only the second qualifies. That's why there is "Our" in the working title. When only one person is involoved, it would rather be the Missing Supertrope to Truly Single Parent.

  • February 16, 2013
    KZN02
  • February 16, 2013
    Lophotrochozoa

    The first paragraph of the description should define the trope. Because Tropes Are Flexible trope descriptions should make clear what is the definition and what is merely typical.
  • February 16, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
    Homosexual Reproduction, Mix And Match Man, and Uterine Replicator may or may not apply.

  • February 17, 2013
    PaulJohnson
    The Bible: Jesus was an early example. Greek, Roman and Hindu mythologies provide others, although I'm not sure if gods count.
  • February 17, 2013
    Nazetrime
    Of course, how did I miss Jesus with that christian upbringing of mine? @Lophotrochozoa: This exactly the kind of feedback I've been wanting to get, thanks. Will be taking it in account when I'll be in the mood to make major corrections.

  • September 7, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    What about the Delivery Stork? (There are probably loads of fairy tale variants where a couple cursed by the Law Of Inverse Fertility get a foundling child through supernatural means).

    Of course, if this happens, the parents might not always be pleased with the result. See That Thing Is Not My Child.
  • September 7, 2013
    DAN004
    In Real Life, we have: Sperm donor + ovum donor + a tube = in-vitro fertilization. Does that count, though?
  • September 7, 2013
    DracMonster
    The end of 2001, the star child... could that be shoehorned in comfortably? Not really two parents unless you count the unseen aliens but it seems like it fits in every other way.
  • September 7, 2013
    SpocktorWho
    • Star Trek Enterprise A hybrid clone child was produced using apparently stolen DNA (unspecified what kind) from Starfleet Commanders Trip Tucker and T'pol. Neither parent was even aware of the child's conception, but once they found out they accepted her quickly enough.

    I'm not positive if this is an example because the DNA type was unspecified. Sperm and egg would make sense, but I'm not entirely sure how the hell they would have been able to steal that.
  • September 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized some work names.
  • September 8, 2013
    Nazetrime
    Now let's see:
    • Delivery Stork : more of myth about baby being born, no implicit or explicit contribution from parents.
    • Sperm Donor + ovule : does not qualify and is more than frequent enough in some regions of the world. The very reason for which I put the frequency clause for Designer Babies.

    • Star Child from 2001 : could be an example, but need the full title it has a TV tropes to check the page and more detail on how it happened.
  • September 26, 2013
    henke37
    • Another MLP fanfic, "Two's Company, Three's a Crowd". This time it is two mares who have a child. Apparently (most ponies didn't know) unicorn horns can be a suitable replacement during mating. The entire story is about the dram of having a child, but the child itself hasn't even been born in the latest chapter and it still has drama about it.
  • September 26, 2013
    NimmerStill
    From Star Trek Voyager, does Tuvix count, a hybrid of Neelix and Tuvok, even though he was formed from an organic alien plant of some sort rather than technology?
  • October 6, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature:
    • In h2g2, So Long And Thanks for All The Fish and Mostly Harmless, there is Random, the daughter of Arthur Dent and Trillian, who was born by sperm donation and wished on Arthur by her mother.

    Live Action Television
    • The whole vexing question, in Red Dwarf, of Dave Lister's conception and birth - Lister was found as a baby under the pool table at the Aigburth Arms in Liverpool (a real pub, btw). His origins are shrouded in mystery until it is revealed that his parents are Kochanski and... Dave Lister. Lister is his own father...
    • Also, the birth of Lister's twin sons, a hangover from a visit to an alternate universe where Lister had sex with his female alter-ego and, according to the laws of that universe, the male (Lister) gets pregnant. So Lister, multiversally, is both father and mother of twin boys... as well as being his own father. Untangle those genetics...
  • October 7, 2013
    DAN004
    Does not (necessarily) grow into Living Phlebotinum, Sentient Phlebotinum or Phlebotinum Girl.
  • October 31, 2013
    Weaver
    Heh. Just thought I'd mention that this is the first time I've come across a suggested trope and known of a pending example for it. As a bonus, as far as I know the Laconic description fits perfectly with what happens in the example in question. A slightly weird moment of synchronicity.
  • November 1, 2013
    DAN004
    BTW we already have a YKTTW called "Mystical Pregnancy". Just thinking that it's related to this one.
  • November 1, 2013
    Nazetrime
    ^ Thanks for the reminder. Just so you know, this YKTTW is actually older than "Mystical Pregancy" (late 2012 if you would mind checking the dates). I just happen to only find time for it once every couple of months (e.g plenty of time to get it buried where most people don't look). The two are indeed related, and Mystical Pregnacy actually covers stuff that people have offered in this trope's early days, but didn't qualify.
  • November 1, 2013
    Koveras
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4rbx2sjtq552vfgex2obvcv7