Created By: SonicLover on June 15, 2011

Brother's Niece

"I'm your uncle's father's grandson's cousin's spouse." "My brother-in-law?"

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Do We Have This One?? Seen It a Million Times. Rolling Updates.

A comedy trope, wherein someone makes up a convoluted family relation that turns out to be a lot less convoluted than it's intended to be, as is almost immediately pointed out by the listener.


  • The Trope Namer is a deleted (but revealed in a storyboard pitch in the DVD extras) line from Monsters, Inc., where Mike introduces Boo as Sulley's "brother's niece." "Which would make her my daughter," Sulley adds, then lampshades Mike's idiocy in private.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 15, 2011
    ^Can lead to Fridge Logic when you realize that the simplified version may be oversimplified. For instance, your brother's niece might be your daughter, but it might also be your sister's daughter or your brother's brother-in-law's daughter.
  • June 15, 2011
    • Yzma from The Emperors New Groove claims to be Pacha's third cousin's brother's wife's step-niece's great aunt. Twice removed.
  • June 15, 2011
    • From Spaceballs:
      Dark Helmet: I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's FORMER ROOMMATE!

    Note that while Dark Helmet himself says that there is no connection between Lone Star and himself, if you work through the linguistics, there is a possibility that he was Lone Star's former roommate. Father's Brother's gets you to Lone Star's uncle, Nephew's get's you to Lone Star's male cousins, and Cousin's gets you to Lone Star, any siblings of his, as well as any other cousins he might have.

  • June 15, 2011
    While it wasn't called out by anybody, one installment of The Story Keepers had Ben infiltrating Nero's palace on the pretense of bringing cakes to celebrate "The birthday of...uh... Caesar's mother's uncle's third cousin, twice removed." (I forget the exact sequence, actually)
  • June 15, 2011
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed what Dark Helmet was saying.
  • June 15, 2011
    To prevent Trope Decay of people just posting any long string of relations (i.e. strings that don't lead back to someone closer than you'd think), you may want to request that examples list what relation the string (possibly) leads to... unless you think that would be spoiling the joke.
  • June 15, 2011
    • A riddle goes "2 fathers and 2 sons splits $24 dollars perfectly. How?". The answer is that there are 3 men, a son, his father, and the grandfather.
  • June 16, 2011
    ^ where's the joke? Four men could split it perfectly into 6 dollars per head.
  • June 16, 2011
    Yeah, better change this into "three chickens" or so.
  • June 16, 2011
    The trope specifically mentions that the long string of relations is a lot more direct than it's made out to be.
  • June 16, 2011
    ^Yes it does!
  • June 16, 2011
    Do we have a trope for just the long string part? If not, this pretty much has to be broadened, otherwise it's going to attract all kinds of misuse to do Square Peg Round Trope. The "simplification" part can be noted as a common variety.
  • June 17, 2011
    ^I agree.