Created By: chicagomel on January 25, 2012 Last Edited By: chicagomel on March 22, 2013
Nuked

Expansion Pack Family

A Character with a family starts out with a set family, only for more to pop up later

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Is This Tropeable?,Needs More Examples

A subtrope of Expansion Pack Past. When a series begins, we usually find out the character basics fairly early on, including their family background. But sometimes, a creator will add in other family members later on in the series, sometimes surprising the audience a bit. Note that this doesn't include in-universe things like Missing Parents,Disappeared Dad, ect, it's cases where we aren't told about the family members until they show up. Often overlaps with Mysterious Past.

Compare to Cain And Able And Seth. When overdone, can result in Tangled Family Tree.

Live Action TV
  • CSI did this with its new lead, D.B.Russell. The background info in the beginning stated he had four boys, but several episodes into the 12th season, a throwaway line reveals he's got a daughter too.
  • Will and Grace :Grace from Will And Grace has two sisters who were never mentioned before they showed up for one episode each, then were never heard from again. Will also had a number of brothers who showed up when convenient.
  • Wizards Of Waverly Place: Started with just two parents and the three kids. Then the father's brother shows up (a couple of times). Then the father suddenly has a sister (who gets mentioned once in the finale but otherwise forgotten). And the mother has a brother who is only mentioned in one episode.
  • ''Charmed: When Prudence is killed off, there just HAPPENS to be a 4th half-sister to complete the trio. Justified as the girls didn't know, and was written in because Shannon Doherty left the show. (I forget if it was voluntary or firing. She was nicely killed off in the 3rd season finale.)
  • The Sorpranos was guilty of this from time to time
  • The Golden Girls was guilty of this occasionally in regards to the number of kids each of the ladies had.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a subversion of sorts with Dawn. She was added in season 5, but the other characters' memories were changed so it seemed she was always there.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons spoofed The Cosby Show's tendency to bring on random black entertainers as a long-lost relative for a cameo.
    Bill Cosby: Hey, kids! Meet Grampa Murphy.
    Girl: We have three grandpas already!
    Bill Cosby: This one's a great jazz musician.
    Girl: Oh, they all are!
    • Also did this with the titular nuclear family by bringing Abe, Patty and Selma into the show early on and Mona much later.
  • South Park In the South Park episode "Cartmanland," we see Cartman's extended family, who except for Cartman's mother Liane, all have Cartman's obese body shape.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • January 25, 2012
    wanderlustwarrior
    Consider Cain And Abel And Seth, as well.
  • January 25, 2012
    chicagomel
    • The Simpsons spoofed The Cosby Show's tendency to bring on random black entertainers as a long-lost relative for a cameo.
      Bill Cosby: Hey, kids! Meet Grampa Murphy.
      Girl: We have three grandpas already!
      Bill Cosby: This one's a great jazz musician.
      Girl: Oh, they all are!
  • January 26, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    The Simpsons itself did this with the titular nuclear family by bringing Abe, Patty and Selma into the show early on and Mona much later.

    In the South Park episode "Cartmanland," we see Cartman's extended family, who except for Cartman's mother Liane, all have Cartman's obese body shape.
  • January 26, 2012
    Duncan
    Grace from Will And Grace has two sisters who were never mentioned before they showed up for one episode each, then were never heard from again. Will also had a number of brothers who showed up when convenient.

    In many cases on Sit Coms, this will be an excuse for The Cameo.
  • January 27, 2012
    Rognik
    • Wizards Of Waverly Place: Started with just two parents and the three kids. Then the father's brother shows up (a couple of times). Then the father suddenly has a sister (who gets mentioned once in the finale but otherwise forgotten). And the mother has a brother who is only mentioned in one episode.
    • Charmed: When Prudence is killed off, there just HAPPENS to be a 4th half-sister to complete the trio. Justified as the girls didn't know, and was written in because Shannon Doherty left the show. (I forget if it was voluntary or firing. She was nicely killed off in the 3rd season finale.)
  • January 27, 2012
    AP
  • January 29, 2012
    PaulA
    When overdone, results in Tangled Family Tree.
  • March 6, 2012
    abk0100
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer bla bla bla sister Dawn bla bla Subverted Trope bla bla bla
  • March 6, 2012
    chicagomel
    So not sure how I forgot that one lol
  • March 6, 2012
    rjung
    Isn't this just Remember The New Guy?
  • March 7, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    The Simpsons also had Homer's brother Herb.

    I think it's *like* Remember The New Guy but specifically to do with family and there being several members?
  • March 7, 2012
    abk0100
    Looks like it. If were to launch, half the examples from Remember The New Guy would have to be moved to it. What about just splitting the example section?
  • March 7, 2012
    chicagomel
    Can you elaborate? I hope I don't sound too dumb, I'm just not sure what you mean exactly.
  • March 8, 2012
    abk0100
    It seems like most of the examples of this are already in Remember The New Guy, so is there a point in making a whole new trope?
  • March 22, 2013
    chicagomel
    Eh, maybe not...I'll discard it.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=lf9j17yy3nbtdncc2bshrq16&trope=DiscardedYKTTW