Needs a Better Title
? Alt titles: Time Travel Incest
(will be a redirect), Mack to the Future, Back to the Future Homage Incest, Crushing on Her Knowing Relative
There's a prevalent storyline out there, with many shapes and forms, involving someone who's visibly eager to mack with someone else. Y'know, flirt with them, make out with them, maybe even some stuff beyond the PG rating. Only, the person they so desperately want to mack with happens to be related to them. And the target, as well as us viewers, is perfectly aware of it, making it distinct from Surprise Incest
. However, It Makes Sense in Context
The situation generally plays out like this: there are two people who we first see having a normal relationship as family members with a significant age gap, and then something happens
. In some cases, one of them has used Time Travel
to transport themselves to the time period in which their relative is about the same age as them. Other cases involve the usage of Applied Phlebotinum
to make it so that the two relatives are apparently the same age. Exactly what
happens varies according to the work, but something
happens so that a pair of family members who we know to have a significant age/generational gap are interacting with each other as peers, but only one of them is aware of their true familial ties.
Along with how
it got to be that they're interacting with their much older or younger relative as a member of the same age group, the reason for this party's ignorance varies from work to work. Maybe the other person is a time traveler who isn't even born yet, or maybe the Applied Phlebotinum
altered their appearance to the point where they're unrecognizable.
No matter what has happened, one of the two people (or one of their friends) sees the other person as a potential mate and consequently accidentally develops a crush on their own relative (or else their friend who is likewise ignorant of their kinship is egging them on to get involved with them). However, this crush generally remains unrequited and we just see someone innocently crushing on their own relative, but thankfully never getting to consummate their feelings. However, if these two people do indeed end up having a relationship and consummating it, it may lead to My Own Grampa
. If Time Travel
is involved, then this will be an incestuous Time Travel Romance
- One of the strips from 2000 AD involves a Chronocop who got arrested by his partner for attempting to marry his own grandmother, inverting this trope.
- Back to the Future is the Trope Namer and one of the most famous examples. After Doc invents a time machine and he's testing it out with Marty in 1985, Marty accidentally sends himself back in time to 1955, where he meets his mother as a teenager by way of accidentally displacing his father in the scenario that had previously led to their first meeting. The rest of the film revolves around Marty fixing things so that Lorraine is dissuaded from her crush on him and gets together with George McFly so that Marty and his siblings won't disappear out of existence.
- One result of Mike O'Donnell getting to be 17 Again is that he has multiple teenage girls chasing after him, including his daughter Maggie.
- Played with in Meet the Robinsons. Lewis time travels to the future with Wilbur Robinson and likes Wilbur's family so much that he wants Wilbur's parents to adopt him. It then turns out that Wilbur's dad is Lewis, with the mom as his future wife. She then meets him as a young girl around his age at the science fair. Despite the fact that Lewis had spent a good amount of time thinking of Franny as, and hoping she'd agree to become, his mom, he presumably doesn't do anything to fight the possibility of romance between them. Thankfully, they aren't blood related, but still.
Live Action TV
- Time Enough for Love: Lazarus Long goes back in time to when he's a young boy and ends up having an affair with his mother. It starts when she flirts with him, not knowing that he is her son. He is well aware of this fact, but is perfectly willing to accept and return her attentions in this manner.
- A short story by Edgar Allan Poe called "The Spectacles" plays this for Black Comedy. The narrator sees a beautiful young woman at the theater and subsequently falls hard for and marries her. Once he puts on the eponymous spectacles, though, it turns out that she is a toothless old woman. It is further revealed that she is his great-great-grandmother. Fortunately, though, the wedding ceremony was a fake one.
- In one episode of Dollhouse, a woman's personality was uploaded into a much younger Active's body so she could solve her own murder. As she looks nothing like her real self, her own son tries to make out with her. However, it is subverted when it turns out that the son knows that his mother was imprinted in Echo's body, and still wanted her.
- Star Trek DS9 Trials and Tribbleations: Bashir want to get to actually know his great-grandmother... in the carnal sense... to ensure his own birth. Although it's not 100% certain that the woman is his ancestor - she just has the same surname as his great-grandmother. Sorta played straight in that she seems to be flirting with him, but it's more of an inversion because the one who is more clearly eager for them to get it on is Bashir himself.
O'Brien: You're being ridiculous.
Bashir: Ridiculous? If I don't meet with her tomorrow I may never be born!... You saw the way she looked at me. You can't just dismiss this.
O'Brien: I can try.
Bashir: All right - fine! But I can't wait to get back to Deep Space Nine and see your face when you find out that I never existed!
- The eponymous character of American Dragon Jake Long time travels to his parents' high school years and accidentally causes a falling out between them. When Jake meets his grandfather in the past, his grandfather is so pleased that his daughter Susan brought home a Chinese boy rather than a white boy like Jonathan that he eagerly suggests that she date Jake rather than Jonathan. Neither are keen on this idea (Susan because she still has feelings for Jonathan and Jake because of the whole Parental Incest thing)
- The main character of Futurama, Fry, goes back in time to Roswell, New Mexico as it was in 1947. He meets the people he's known his whole life to be his paternal grandparents, Private Enos Fry and his fiancee Mildred. Fry does everything possible to ensure Enos's survival and procreation with Mildred, only to accidentally cause his death. After Enos dies, Mildred becomes attracted to Fry because he reminds her of Enos. Fry correctly deduces that since Enos died without impregnating anyone with his father, then Enos is not his grandfather. He then decides that because Enos is not his grandfather, Mildred is not his grandmother, and starts having sex with her without any qualms, subverting this trope. It turns out to be a double subversion, as Mildred is indeed his grandmother and Fry has conceived his father with her, making himself his own grandfather in the process.
Indices: Incest Is Relative
, Time Travel Tropes