Created By: TitoMosquito on April 13, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on May 11, 2014
Troped

Related In The Adaptation

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In a work, there are two characters who aren't related in any way. The creator may not have intended (at the time, anyway) for them to be relatives. But when that work is adapted to another form of media, suddenly the people in charge decided to make them relatives. This can be for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to):

  • A pragmatic change to eliminate some exposition; it's easier to introduce Alice and Bob as brother and sister than to introduce Bob as Alice's childhood friend staying at her house while his parents are off being the Hero of Another Story.
  • The characters have something that makes them very similar (be it Superpowers, appearance, motivations, what have you), and thus linking them together makes sense thematically.
  • By making the characters relatives the stakes are raised and there's a more personal connection between them than if they were just friends.
  • Avoiding the Unfortunate Implications of an adult being One of the Kids by making said adult a parent to at least one of the kids they're running around with.
  • Trying to stomp out homosexual undertones in the original work by making the affection characters share familial instead.
  • Adding a twist to a remake of a story that is subject to It Was His Sled.
  • The result of creating a Composite Character.

When it's specifically love interests being turned into family members in the transition, the casting equivalent would be Cast Incest.


Examples

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • Ultimate Spider-Man
    • In the main Spider-Man comics the name Spider-Woman has been used by a number of ladies, all of whom have almost nothing do with Spider-Man other than similar powers. In Ultimate Spider-Man Spider-Woman is Peter Parker's Opposite-Sex Clone.
    • Inverted with Ben Riley who is Peter's clone in the main comics (sometimes referred to as his "brother" or identical cousin), but is an unrelated lab assistant in the Ultimate verse.
    • In the Ultimate verse Liz Allan is made a Composite Character and thus is not only the alter ego of Firestar, but The Blob is now her uncle (or father).
  • Spider-Man: Chapter One makes Norman Osborn and Sandman cousins to explain their similar looking hair. Became this trope once the book was (very quickly) declared out of continuity and simply an alternate reality take on the Spidey mythos.

Film
  • In Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Raiden and Shao Kahn are revealed to be brothers. And later it's revealed that Shinnok is their father. Which isn't canon in the video games, except for the equally non-canon Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
  • May have been intended in the Transformers film franchise, when Optimus Prime calls his arch-nemesis Megatron "brother", even thought they're robots. Making this example a sort of Cain and Abel.
  • In Batman & Robin, Batgirl is made Alfred's niece (instead of being Commissioner Gordon's daughter).
  • Kirsty in Hellraiser was originally a neighborhood love interest for Larry/Rory Cotton in the novella The Hellbound Heart. In the movie she becomes his daughter.
  • The Doctor Who film Dr. Who and the Daleks had Susan and Barbara as Dr. Who's granddaughters (with the surname "Who" no less), with Ian being Barbara's boyfriend.
  • In the TV series of The Addams Family, Fester is Morticia's uncle. In the films, he's Gomez's brother.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine makes Sabertooth Wolverine's half-brother (as opposed to simply being another Weapon X experiment). Though it seemed to be Fanon before the movie was filmed, due to Dog (Wolverine's half-brother in the comic) having a resemblance to Sabertooth in the end. This makes him a Composite Character.
  • A variation of this trope. In the original The Addams Family TV series, Fester is Morticia's uncle. In the films, he's Gomez's brother. This is due to their dynamic chemistry in the TV series.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Professor Xavier and Mystique are step siblings, meanwhile there's an inversion with Havok who in the comics is Cyclops' younger brother but in the film there is no mention of any relationship.
    • Likewise in X-Men: The Last Stand there is no relationship between Xavier and Juggernaut while they are step brothers in the comics (with Juggernaut's hatred of Xavier being his major motivation).
  • Inverted in the V.I. Warshawski film, where Bernard "Boom-Boom" Grafaulk, who was V.I.'s cousin in the original books, was changed to a potential love interest. Considering he was the murder victim in both, it didn't get far enough to start getting weird.
  • On the original The Snow Queen, lead heroine Gerda and the Snow Queen are unrelated. On the Disney adaptation Frozen, the two equivalent characters, Anna and Elsa, are sisters.
  • Most scholars believe that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers in the original version of The Iliad, but they were made cousins in the 2004 movie Troy, and the insistence on this being the reason for their closeness, (and Achilles' Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Patroclus is killed) bordered on Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today? Cleolinda Jones mocked this change mercilessly in her parody of the film.

Live-Action TV
  • In Arrow, Shado is the daughter of Yao Fei. The comic book counterparts have never even met. Also Thea Dearden Queen is basically Mia Dearden reinvented as Ollie's sister.
  • In the Sky1 adaptation of Going Postal, "Princess", the very young clacks tower operator, becomes the granddaughter of Grand Trunk engineer Mr Pony.
  • The David Suchet adaptation of the Hercule Poirot novel Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie adds a mother-daughter relationship between two of the suspects, partly in order to make the older woman's protection of the younger woman more plausible.
  • Freddy Martinez and Cara, best friends in the Goosebumps book Vampire Breath, are said to look like siblings. When it was adapted into a TV episode, they are actually siblings. They learned that they're vampires and Count Nightwing is their grandpa. While in the book, only Fred is a vampire, while Cara becomes a werewolf...

Theater
  • In the stage musical of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Triton and Ursula are siblings. (This was part of Disney's original concept for the movie, but it was dropped in development.)

Western Animation
  • Cheshire in Young Justice becomes the sister of Artemis, and therefore the daughter of the original Huntress and Sportsmaster. This entails Artemis and Huntress getting a Race Lift.
  • In Martin Mystery the main character and his female partner in paranormal investigating are step siblings. In the comics the show is based off of she's his unrelated Love Interest.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man
    • In the Spider-Man comics Silver Sable and Silvermane are a completely unrelated mercenary and gangster. In The Spectacular Spider-Man Silver Sable is Silvermane's villainous daughter. Thus her real name was changed from Silver Sablivona to Sable Manfredi.
    • The series also combines this trope with Composite Character. In the comics Uncle Ben's killer is a nameless street thug. In the cartoon he's Black Cat's father The Cat.
    • Molten Man gets upgraded from Liz Allan's step brother, Mark Raxon, to a full brother. Accordingly, he gets a last name change to Allan and a Race Lift to match the one Liz got for the series.
  • Spider-Man (1967) had Mary Jane Watson as Captain Stacy's niece. Which of course would have also made Gwen Stacy her cousin. Unfortunately, we never get to see Gwen, so we don't get to see how being related would have reflected on their usual Betty and Veronica dynamic.
  • In Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch, Shinji is Enchantra's son.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Karai in the original Mirage comics was simply Shredder's top agent. In the 2003 cartoon she is his adopted daughter. In the 2012 cartoon she appears to be Shredder's biological daughter, but it's later revealed he kidnapped her in infancy and raised her, but she's actually Splinter's biological daughter (making her the turtles 'step'-sister.)
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002). The 2002 He-Man series made Man-At-Arms and Fisto brothers. Also there was some implication (though never confirmed) that either Man-At-Arms or Fisto was Teela's biological father. In the original cartoon Teela was Man-At-Arms' adopted daughter and her biological father was an unnamed soldier who had died years before.

Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • April 13, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    The Remake of Hawaii Five O.
  • April 13, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Zero Context Example. I assume you're talking about Chin Ho and Kono.
  • May 14, 2013
    DaibhidC
    Live Action TV
    • In Arrow, Shado is the daughter of Yao Fei. The comic book counterparts have never even met. Also Thea Dearden Queen is basically Mia Dearden reinvented as Ollie's sister.
    • In the Sky One adaptation of Going Postal, "Princess", the very young clacks tower operator, becomes the granddaughter of Grand Trunk engineer Mr Pony.

    Western Animation
    • Cheshire in Young Justice becomes the sister of Artemis, and therefore the daughter of the original Huntress and Sportsmaster. This entails Artemis and Huntress getting a Race Lift.
  • June 19, 2013
    foxley
    In Batman And Robin, Batgirl is made Alfred's niece (instead of being Commissioner Gordon's daughter).
  • July 14, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    In Martin Mystery the main character and his female partner in paranormal investigating are step siblings. In the comics the show is based off of she's his unrelated Love Interest.

    In Spider Man Silver Sable and Silvermane are a completely unrelated mercenary and gangster. In The Spectacular Spider Man Silver Sable is Silvermane's villainous daughter.

    Spectacular Spider-Man also combines this trope with Composite Character. In the comics Uncle Ben's killer is a nameless street thug. In the cartoon he's Black Cat's father The Cat.
  • July 14, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Does it count if the relationship between two characters is changed in an adaptation? If so:
    • In the TV series of The Addams Family, Fester is Morticia's uncle. In the films, he's Gomez's brother.
  • July 14, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Also do clones count as relatives? If so: The name Spider Woman has been used by a number of ladies, all of whom have almost nothing do with Spider Man other than a similar name and animal theme. In Ultimate Spider Man Spider-Woman is Peter Parker's Opposite Sex Clone. Inverted with Ben Riley who is Peter's clone in the main comics, but an unrelated lab assistant in the Ultimate verse.
  • July 21, 2013
    Morgenthaler
    When it's specifically love interests being turned into family members in the transition, the casting equivalent would be Cast Incest.

    • Kirsty in Hellraiser was originally a neighborhood love interest for Larry/Rory Cotton in the novella The Hellbound Heart. In the movie she becomes his daughter.
  • August 5, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    I like this YKTTW concept, so I'm bumping it. EDIT: If the original poster had been around in a while can I go ahead and add some examples into the body?
  • August 5, 2013
    Duncan
    In the stage musical of Disney's The Little Mermaid, Triton and Ursula are siblings. (This was part of Disney's original concept for the movie, but it was dropped in development.)
  • August 5, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Holding off on adding my clone example and the case of a relative being changed into another relative until someone pipes in with an opinion on if they should count or not.
  • August 5, 2013
    yisfidri
    • The David Suchet adaptation of the Hercule Poirot novel Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie adds a mother-daughter relationship between two of the suspects, partly in order to make the older woman's protection of the younger woman more plausible.
  • October 23, 2013
    TitoMosquito
    For paycheckgurl, you may if you like.
  • December 30, 2013
    Abodos
    • The Doctor Who film Dr Who And The Daleks had Susan and Barbara as Dr. Who's granddaughters (with the surname "Who" no less), with Ian being Barbara's boyfriend.
  • December 30, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe expand the description a bit?
  • January 3, 2014
    Paycheckgurl
    Proposed expansion:

    Reasons for this include (but are not limited to):

    • A pragmatic change to eliminate some exposition; it's easier to introduce Alice and Bob as brother and sister than to introduce Bob as Alice's childhood friend staying at her house while his parents are off being the Hero Of Another Story.
    • The characters have something that makes them very similar (be it Superpowers, appearance, motivations, what have you), and thus linking them together makes sense thematically.
    • By making the characters relatives the stakes are raised and there's a more personal connection between them than if they were just friends.
    • Avoiding the Unfortunate Implications of an adult being One Of The Kids by making said adult a parent to at least one of the kids they're running around with.
    • Adding a twist to a remake of a story that is subject to It Was His Sled.
    • The result of creating a Composite Character.
  • January 6, 2014
    Paycheckgurl
    Oh and an example I forgot about:

    The Sailor Moon English dub rather infamously made Sailors Uranus and Neptune cousin as something of a lazy fix to cover up the Lesbian flirting between the two so it was appropriate for a 90s kid show. Unfortunately for the Moral Guardians the change made them come across as still being lesbians, but also Kissing Cousins.
  • January 6, 2014
    TheTitan99
    Would Brainiac from the DC Universe count. Originally, he was just kind of some alien, but in some adaptations (I think Smallville, but I haven't seen the show), he was built by Superman's father. Would that count as a relative or not?
  • January 6, 2014
    kjnoren
    I'm quite unhappy about using Adaptational here, I read the thing as a relative that adapts, not a relative in an adaptation but not in the original.
  • January 6, 2014
    Paycheckgurl
    ^^ That might be a bit of stretch because Supes never really considers him a "brother" in those adaptations. Anyone else want to chime in though?

    ^ Any ideas for an alternate title then? Maybe Related In The Adaptation (or is that too dialouge-y)?
  • January 6, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ That title's okay.
  • January 6, 2014
    arromdee
    I think there's a bit of a supertrope here that would cover Brainiac in Smallville, and other examples, like the Joker killing Batman's parents in the first modern Batman movie. They're not related in the sense of being relatives, but they are related in the sense of "has a connection to".
  • January 6, 2014
    Paycheckgurl
    ^ Want to go ahead and start a YKTTW for it? (Maybe something like Adaptational Emotional Connection or Adaptational Connection or something?)
  • January 7, 2014
    arromdee
    I think this trope should just be used for it (maybe with a rename). The idea has enough in common and we don't ened to split it yet.
  • April 17, 2014
    Daefaroth
    ^I think if this is going to be expanded it should be renamed to be broader.

    ^^^Perhaps the supertrope could be Connected By Backstory
  • April 17, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    Yeah I'm not sure about expanding this TBH. I'd prefer this to be its own thing as there's obviously enough examples it'd get split eventually anyways. I'm all for a separate Super Trope though
  • April 17, 2014
    acrobox
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Karai in the original Mirage comics was simply Shredder's top agent. In the 2003 cartoon she is his adopted daughter. In the 2012 cartoon she appears to be Shredder's biological daughter, but it's later revealed he kidnapped her in infancy and raised her, but she's actually Splinter's biological daughter (making her the turtles 'step'-sister.)
  • April 17, 2014
    acrobox
    also I think being blood or familially related is a significant enough subtrope to be split from what arromdee suggested. We can YKTTW the Adaptational Connection too.
  • April 18, 2014
    Darthcaliber
    the 2002 He Man series made Man-At-Arms and Fisto brothers. Also there was some implication (though never confirmed) that either Man-At-Arms or Fisto was Teela's biological father. In the original cartoon Teela was Man-At-Arms' adopted daughter and her biological father was an unnamed soldier who had died years before.

    in Xmen First Class Professor Xavier and Mystique are step siblings, meanwhile there's an inversion with Havok who in the comics is Cyclops' younger brother but in the film there is no mention of any relationship. Likewise in X Men The Last Stand there is no relationship between Xavier and Juggernaut while they are step brothers in the comics (with Juggernaut's hatred of Xavier being his major motivation)
  • April 19, 2014
    BaffleBlend
    • Inverted in the V.I. Warshawski film, where Bernard "Boom-Boom" Grafaulk, who was V.I.'s cousin in the original books, was changed to a potential love interest. Considering he was the murder victim in both, it didn't get far enough to start getting weird.
  • April 19, 2014
    TonyG
    On the original The Snow Queen, lead heroine Gerda and the Snow Queen are unrelated. On the Disney adaptation Frozen, the two equivalent characters, Anna and Elsa, are sisters.
  • April 19, 2014
    MercenX
    Subtrope of Adaptation Retcon?
  • April 19, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ we don't even have anything like that.
  • April 20, 2014
    TheWanderer
  • May 11, 2014
    TitoMosquito
    I decide to launch it now.
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