Created By: animeg3282May 29, 2012 Last Edited By: ArivneOctober 11, 2014

Parent Child Love Triangle

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Trope
In this Love Triangle, two of the participants are parent and child. Common flavors are the mother who steals all her daughter's boyfriends, the father and son competing for the same woman, and the fantasy of a mother and daughter threesome. Family ties can cause dramatic tension if the love triangle is the parent and child as romantic rivals, and it can have an Incest Is Relative flavor if the triangle involves a threesome, either invoked or onscreen.


Examples

Film
  • Wicked 1998 (the movie starring Julia Styles, NOT the Broadway play) revolves around a budding young girl who murders her mother for cheating with the neighbor and starts seducing her father. She is slowly gaining control over everything when he falls in love with a lifelong friend. Things come to a head the night after the father remarries.

Live Action TV
  • CSI
    • The episode "Jackpot" has a gay one of these, though a one sided one. Both the killer and his dad were in love with the victim, and the son killed the victim because he was jealous of the father having a relationship while the victim wasn't in love with him.
    • There was another ep with a mother-daughter one; the daughter killed the mother because she was in love with the stepfather.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of Family Guy Lois, feeling old and unattractive, seduces Meg's boyfriend.

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • May 29, 2012
    Koveras
  • May 29, 2012
    animeg3282
    More like contrast. An example: Akito, Ren(Akito's mom) and Shigure have a love (more like a sex) triangle in Fruits Basket

    This trope also is to replace Mother Daughter threesome, btw.
  • May 29, 2012
    MiinU
    question: would claudette, leina, and elina count, despite being sisters/half-sisters?

    The reason I ask is, there isn't a love triangle trope (that I'm aware of) which would apply specifically to their situation. With this one, being the only one I've seen which calls for two or more family members to be involved.
  • May 29, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    There's an emotional version in Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence in which Miriam and Paul's mother both want his affection for themselves.

    Obviously this is a different permutation of the triangle to Like Father Like Son, is that allowed?
  • May 29, 2012
    chicagomel
    The CSI episode 'Jackpot' has a gay one of these, though a one sided one. Both the killer and his dad were in love with the victim, and the son killed the victim because he was jealous of the father having a relationship while the victim wasn't in love with him.
    • There was another ep with a mother-daughter one; the daughter killed the mother because she was in love with the stepfather.
  • May 30, 2012
    animeg3282
  • May 30, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@animeg3282 - I see we don't have that one.

    Of course the triangle between those three is a bit complicated, since it's incestuous.

    • Elina (youngest sister) lusts after/is in love with Leina (middle sister).
    • Claudette (eldest sister) is jealous of Leina, for the above reason, and wants Elina for herself.
    • Leina avoids Elina, for the above reason, and may or may not have feelings for her friend, Risty.

    Simply put: I don't think there's a triangle trope that covers their particular situation.
  • May 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Family Guy Lois, feeling old and unattractive, seduces Meg's boyfriend. Then when Meg walks in on them Lois cries rape. Does That Count?
  • May 31, 2012
    animeg3282
    The my mom banged my bf sounds like an internal subtrope :D
  • June 30, 2012
    planswalker
    • Wicked (the movie starring Julia Styles, NOT the broadway play) revolves around a budding young girl who murders her mother for cheating with the neighbor and starts seducing her father. She is slowly gaining control over everything when he falls in love with a lifelong friend. Things come to a head the night after the father remarries.
  • July 27, 2012
    polarbear2217
    Do step-relatives count? If so, then. Anne and Henrick in A Little Night Music.
  • July 27, 2012
    animeg3282
    Ok, let's see, who is the parent, who is the child, who is the other leg of the triangle and what happened?
  • July 27, 2012
    polarbear2217
    Fredrick is about forty. His first wife gave birth to Henrick and died. Then, Fredrick married an eighteen-year-old girl, Anne. At the end, Anne runs away to marry her stepson. (who is now nineteen- a year older than his stepmother!)

    Edit- just realized that it works regardless- as Fredrick and Henrick are father and son.
  • July 27, 2012
    karstovich2
    • 30 Rock: While his wife Avery was off in North Korea arrested and forcibly married to Kim Jong-un, Jack Donaghy meets his mother-in-law Diana--who is exactly like Avery, except middle-aged and brunette. Cue several episodes of UST.
  • July 27, 2012
    Rognik
    @MiinU First, the link is Sibling Triangle. Second, I think your triangle is A->B->C. Don't know if that particular format is listed there, but that's what I interpreted of it.
  • July 27, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Soap: Mother Jessica has an affair with Peter the Tennis Pro, whom her daughter Corinne is dating. Jessica breaks off the affair when she finds out. Later Corinne moves in with Peter; Jessica threatens Peter with bodily harm if he cheats on Corinne, and then he gets murdered. For Bonus Points, unbeknownst to any of them at first is that Peter is the son of Jessica's sister's second husband, making him their step-nephew/cousin.
  • July 30, 2014
    XFllo
    • Mini arc on Ally Mc Beal had Ally casually date older guy and younger guy at the same time. Older guy wanted to introduce her to his family over dinner — turns out younger guy is his son. Luckily she hasn't slept with either, so it was not too squicky. Son and father agreed to compete for her affections... but it was too much to handle and Ally dumped them both.
  • August 1, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Sorted examples by media and added media section title(s).
      • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).
    • Corrected improper Example Indentation in the CSI example(s).
    • Welcome To TV Tropes - Editing Articles
      • Put a episode title in quotes.
    • Capitalized (broadway).
  • August 1, 2014
    Illemar
    Often involves Stacys Mom.

    Also, the song Stacy's Mom includes this triangle.
  • September 23, 2014
    Pichu-kun
    Used ever so slightly in Musume no Iede. When Mayuko's mom introduces her to her fiance she falls love in first sight for him thanks to her being a Chubby Chaser.
  • September 24, 2014
    SvartiKotturinn
    • Palestine/Syria folk wisdom has it that a man had a fight with his father in the field (some varieties say it was about a girl), which lead to the son killing his father, spraying his blood on a nearby tree. That tree was the arburus (ktalavHebrew , lit. 'father-slay'), or, more specifically, the arbutus unedo (qatala abuhiSyriac , lit. 'slew his father').
  • September 27, 2014
    XFllo
    Anyone maintainging this draft?
  • September 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Doesn't seem like it.
  • October 8, 2014
    MercenX
    • An episode of CSI (again) had a girl kill her mother (again) after falling in love with her father (again... but he's not her stepfather and her mother is a falling-down drunk who abandoned the family and only recently came back to reconcile for whatever reason).

    Note (actual notes don't read in this format): I don't recall the precise details, but:
    • An episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent (I think... it could have been Without A Trace) has a young female celebrity who has had a sexual relationship with her father (so she could blackmail him... she had gotten him drunk... I don't know who the third party was, if there was one, or where the mother was in all this, but somebody was murdered... I think... yeah, I'm very helpful)
  • October 10, 2014
    anniemayhem
    Go ye forth and look up the plot to "Desire Under the Elms."
  • October 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In The Mentalist 3rd episode "Blood Tide" the Victim Of The Week is a high school girl who was dating a boy her age but also having an affair with his father.
  • October 11, 2014
    StarSword
    TV:
    • One episode of Law And Order Special Victims Unit had a teenager who was having an affair with his teacher, and the father blackmailed her into having sex with him, impregnating her. The son poured lube into his father's motorcycle helmet as a prank, but somebody else sabotaged the bike, and the dad died in a crash.

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