We've all known a guy like this, you know the guy who claims his great to the Nth grandfather did something famous which via FridgeLogic carries over to him? This is dedicated to any character who invokes a Famous Ancestor to help characterize himself, or ''is'' characterized by his famous ancestor despite his own traits. Expect this as the source of a SecretLegacy or SuperpowerfulGenetics in a family line and expect a poor kid being held up to the ancestors standard.

Commons subversions occur where the character has a Famous Ancestor, but the powers or prowess eludes them and their humiliation is PlayedForLaughs. Being played more seriously may it may have quite an overlap with InadequateInheritor.

This is a common way for writers to grant characters powers or abilities of the famous ancestor. Bonus points if the character claims to be a direct descendant in a case that history clearly contradicts and causes FridgeLogic. HeroicLineage is a subtrope, where the thing the ancestor in question is famous for was an act or pattern of heroism.

Note that while it might seem impressive to claim certain historical figures as your ancestor, anyone who lived more than a few hundred years ago and had more than a few children could very well have millions of living descendants right now. See the entries from RealLife below. On the gripping hand though, while simple descendants of important historical figures may be common, "direct male line descendants" -- presumably, from firstborn son to firstborn son -- probably actually would be unique.

See also TheDescendantsOfCain. Contrast AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]

* ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'' features a team of terrorists who are all descendants of legendary figures from time's past. These include, but are not limited to, [[Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms Cao Cao]], UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc, [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hercules]], Main/{{Faust}}, and that's only the central squad.
* Arsene Lupin III of ''Characters/LupinIII'' is the grandson of Literature/ArseneLupin, an early twentieth century GentlemanThief from a series of books by Maurice Leblanc. Goemon Ishikawa XIII is the descendant of Japanese bandit UsefulNotes/IshikawaGoemon, and Inspector Zenigata is a descendant of Heiji Zenigata, the hero of a series of Japanese novels. Several minor characters on the show also have famous ancestors, such as Literature/SherlockHolmes and Literature/HerculePoirot.
** ''Anime/LupinIIIDragonOfDoom'' has Goemon attending a KabukiTheatre performance of his ancestor's death. ManlyTears follow.
** ''Anime/LupinIIITravelsOfMarcoPoloAnotherPage'' has a character called Grandpa, who is actually Musashiba Benkei the 22nd. This creates a dilemma for Goemon; if he goes after the granddaughter Hiromi, he'll be forced to give up the Ishikawa name to become the 23rd!
* Einhart Stratos of ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'', who is the direct descendant of Klaus G.S. Ingvalt, the [[WarriorPrince legendary Ancient Belka king known for his extraordinary heroism]]. Unfortunately, in addition to his powers, she also directly inherited [[GeneticMemory his memories and his will]], [[TheRemnant which is not exactly suited for the current era of peace]], giving the poor kid some extra burden she didn't really want.
** Another example of this is Victoria Dahlgruen, descendant of "Thunder Emperor" Dahlgruen, and has taken up his title as a combatant at the DSAA Tournament. While she is usually a refined {{Ojou}}, piss her off in combat, [[InTheBlood and she will show the ferocity that her ancestor was famous for.]]
** Averted with Sieglinde Jeremiah. Her ancestor is [[GenderBlenderName Wilfried Jeremiah]], the one who taught Saint Kaiser Olivie Saegebrecht fighting techniques that made her become known as [[WorldsBestWarrior "The Queeen Second to None in Combat"]], and also became friends with Claus Ingvalt. However, Wilfried's connection to both people has been lost through time, with the record of her time spent with Olivie and Claus, can only be found in her personal diary that was hidden deep within the Infinity Library.
** Vivio herself invokes a variant of this. While she is [[CloneJesus the clone]] of [[CrystalDragonJesus Olivie Saegebrecht]], she never considers herself as Olivie 2.0. She'd rather be considered as Olivie's descendant. In the Gears of Destiny video game, the BigBad recognizes Vivio as Olivie, and when she says that she's Olivie's descendant, the BigBad points out that Olivie didn't have any descendants.
* In ''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles'', Kindaichi is the grandson of Kosuki Kindaichi. Kindaichi's grandfather taught him everything he knows about solving mysteries, pickpocketing, and slight-of-hand tricks, but most people are incredulous when they learn about the familial connection. (Primarily because of how lazy Kindaichi is)
* Masahiro in ''LightNovel/ShonenOnmyouji'' is often recognized as the grandson of the great Abe no Seimei, a fact that Masahiro despises.
* Possible in-universe example from the wonderful world of ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'': Usso Ewin from ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam''. His mother's name is Muller Miguel - the same last name as Nanai Miguel, Char's lover from ''Char's Counterattack'', strongly implying that Uso might be descended from Char himself.
* In ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}'', the younger, immature version of Yoshioka Denshichiro seen in flashbacks would often take pains to tell his adversaries how he was the son of the famous MasterSwordsman Yoshioka Kempo, and let them assume that he was a badass they didn't want to cross due to being personally trained by his father with the expectation that he would help carry on the dojo's name. He later publicly admits that he was doing it because he was afraid and hoped that [[VictoryThroughIntimidation intimidating his opponent could get him out of tough situations]] without looking weak or incapable, as he secretly feared that he was. Because of an encounter with a [[UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro certain deaf-mute swordsman]] who couldn't hear his boasting and some offscreen CharacterDevelopment, Denshichiro grew out of it and into the [[TheStoic stoic]], stern, [[HonorBeforeReason honor bound]] man we see in the present.
* In ''LightNovel/AriaTheScarletAmmo'', pretty much every important character has a famous ancestor, from RealLife or fictional works (Arsène Lupin, Sherlock Holmes, Jeanne d'Arc, Cleopatra, etc.) A good part of the reveals are about the characters' lineages. [[SuperpowerfulGenetics Which usually involve inherited superpowers of some sort.]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOhCapsuleMonsters'', Alex Brisbane is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great.


[[folder: Comic Books]]

* In Marvel Comics, ''ComicBook/IronMan'''s foe the Mandarin and the 50s [[ComicBook/YellowPeril Yellow Peril]] villain [[ComicBook/AgentsOfAtlas The Golden Claw]] both claim to be direct descendants of Genghis Khan. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghengis_Khan#Descent It's actually quite possible.]]
* Franchise/TheDCU has [[http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/David_Reid_(New_Earth) Lance Cpl. David Reid]], a grandson of UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt.
** Also from Creator/DCComics, ComicBook/{{Zatanna}} The Magician is descended from Creator/LeonardoDaVinci.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateFantasticFour'', Victor Van Damme can trace his lineage directly back to [[UsefulNotes/VladTheImpaler Vlad Tepes Dracula]]. And, since this is Ultimate Marvel, he probably really was a vampire.
* [[ComicBook/XMen Colossus]], a.k.a. Piotr Rasputin, is a direct descendant of the infamous Grigori Rasputin. Piotr doesn't claim kinship with any pride.
* ''ComicBook/WynonnaEarp'' is the great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp.
* Some comics state that [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] is a descendant of Revolutionary War general 'Mad' Anthony Wayne. (This is also a DevelopmentGag as Batman's surname was inspired by 'Mad' Anthony Wayne.)
* In ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} The Kents]]'' mini-series, Lois Lane mentions that she is related to famous abolitionist and Civil War general Jim Lane.
* ''ComicBook/{{Tintin}}'' has an amusing variation in the ''Secret of the Unicorn'' arc. When a newspaper leaks out that Tintin and Haddock are going to hunt for Rackham the Red's treasure, the Captain's apartment is flooded for people claiming to be Rackham's descendant and therefore have a claim on the treasure. Unfortunately for them, Captain Haddock also (or rather: [[ConfrontingYourImposter actually]]) has a famous ancestor in the Chevalier de Hadocque, Rackham's ArchNemesis, and makes it known that [[YouWontLikeMeWhenImAngry his ancestor's bellicose nature sometimes flares up without warning]]. The Thom(p)sons are crushed by the stampede of claimants running away.
* ComicStrip/{{Nero}}: The character Jan Spier is the last surviving descendant of Flemish resistance fighter Jan Breydel, who fought in the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Crimson}}'', modern-day [[UsefulNotes/TheKnightsTemplar Knight Templar]] Barnebeau D'Orense claims to be a direct descendant of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_of_Clairvaux St. Bernard of Clairvaux]], the PatronSaint of the Templars. [[ArtisticLicenseHistory Given that Bernard was a notoriously celibate monk and unlikely to have fathered any children]], the only logical explanation is that D'Orense descends from one of his unrecorded nieces[=/=]nephews, rather than any offspring.


[[folder: Fan Works]]

* In the ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' fic ''[[FanFic/BoundDestiniesTrilogy Blood and Spirit]]'', [[CanonForeigner Sheik]] is stated to be descended from the original ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]''-era Impa.
* Very common in the ''FanFic/FalloutEquestria'' universe. Littlepip and her cousin Velvet Remedy are descendants of Applejack, and [[FanFic/FalloutEquestriaProjectHorizons Blackjack]] is descended from Twilight Sparkle's bastard daughter.
* ''FanFic/CastlevaniaNocturneOfRuin'': Oliver of the Order of Ecclesia, and the fic's shopkeeper, is a descendant of Shanoa, protagonist of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderofEcclesia''.
* ''FanFic/PowerRangersGPX'': Maria Aparicio, the GPX Yellow Ranger, claims to be related to famous Venezuelan Simon Bolivar. Her case is more plausible, however, since she says he's a very distant relative.
* Dunstan Pettigrew from ''Fanfic/BrokenSouls'' is a distant relative of [[Literature/HarryPotter Peter Pettigrew]]. It's implied that he took an espionage mission to Hong Kong in order to get away from his name's reputation.
* In ''Fanfic/EmaelMosekhesailho'' two cast members are descendants of characters from the ''Literature/{{Rihannsu}}'' novels. Sahuel t'Khnialmnae is a direct descendant of Aidoann t'Khnialmnae, Ael t'Rllaillieu's NumberTwo, and it's mentioned she's got a lot of heritage to live up to. Meanwhile Senator Tal'Aura is said to be a member of Kaveth Ship-Clan, another group that fought alongside Ael.
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'': Many the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' characters are descendants of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' and ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'' characters, many who were considered great heroes.
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'':
** The reason why Prince Blueblood is considered a prince is because he is the descendant of Princess Platinum, one of the founders of Equestria.
** Nearly every member of Flash Sentry's family was a legendary soldier, guard, or police officer. This causes him some angst, as he tries to live up to their reputation, but he's constantly late to battles and disasters because he was distracted helping ponies with minor problems. [[spoiler:The Sentry family's ancestor is Commander Hurricane, which the family only lets members know after they have proven themselves, to prevent them from getting swelled heads.]]
* In ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'', Twilight Sparkle is descended from [[BrokenAce Astor Coruscare]], one of the greatest warriors and generals in the history of Equestria.
* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'':
** Cloud Kicker, like all members of her clan, can eventually trace her (admittedly indirect) descent to Shadow Kicker, one of Equestria’s most celebrated heroes and a champion of Celestia’s during the Lunar Rebellion.
** Twilight and her family are direct descendants of Sunbeam Sparkle, Celestia's vizier and the Archmagus of Canterlot during the Rebellion, and another prominent figure in the war, though her [[spoiler: adoptive]] daughter Midnight Sparkle. Sunset Shimmer [[spoiler: can also trace her ancestry to Sunbeam, by means of Sunbeam’s bastard son Daylight Shimmer]].
* Ash, Delia, and Delia's father are all but stated to be a descendant from [[spoiler: Sir Aaron]] in ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'', later confirmed in later expanded stories.


[[folder: Film]]

* In ''Film/SkyHigh2005'', the main character has two very famous superheroes as his parents. It appears to be a subversion of this trope, until [[spoiler:he gains loads of powers.]] The busdriver is a true subversion.
* In the extremely forgettable 1989 DTV skiffy movie ''Arena'', Steve Armstrong plays a short-order cook attempting to win the intergalactic boxing championship; it's mentioned briefly that he's a direct descendant of Neil Armstrong.
* In ''Film/BuffaloSoldiers'', Colonel Berman discovers he's a descendant of a Confederate General named John Bell Hood. His boasting about it doesn't go as he'd imagined.
* According to Creator/QuentinTarantino, [[Film/DjangoUnchained Django Freeman and Broomhilda Von Shaft]] are the ancestors of [[Film/{{Shaft}} John Shaft.]]
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartII'', a video in Biff's Pleasure Palace in 1985-A invites you to learn the amazing history of the Tannen family, starting with Biff's great grandfather Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen, fastest gun in the west. And in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII Part III]]'', Marty ends up going back to 1885 to save Doc from being murdered by Buford over a matter of $80, engaging Buford in a showdown.


[[folder: Literature]]

* All the magicians in the ''Literature/ChildrenOfTheRedKing'' series are descendants of the Red King, from whom they get their powers.
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', Ward, lacking a male role model (his father is abusive), models his behaviour and principles after what he has read about his famous ancestor, Seleg. When [[Really700YearsOld Oreg]], who has known Seleg, unintentionally reveals a nasty fact about him, Ward has an identity crisis, as he has always tried to be like Seleg, but now doesn't want to be, anymore.
* Creator/CharlesStross' ''Literature/TheMerchantPrincesSeries'' has an example similar to the Charlie Bone series: Worldwalking is enabled a recessive gene which, 300 years ago, was possessed by exactly one man. All the worldwalkers now are therefore not only descended from him, but descended from him through both parents.
* Vimes from Literature/{{Discworld}} is a descendant of 'Stoneface' Vimes, who beheaded the last king of Ankh-Morpork, Lorenzo the Kind (he, emphasis, ''wasn't''.) Vimes seems quite proud of this.
--> '''Rhys:''' You had an ancestor, I believe, who was a regicide?
--> '''Vimes:''' I've always thought that was a bit unfair. I mean, he only killed ''one'' king. It's not as if it was a ''hobby''.
* [[Literature/HarryPotter Voldemort]] is a descendant of Salazar Slytherin, from whom he gets his ability to speak to snakes. Given that Salazar Slytherin was born while the Roman Empire was still a force to be reckoned with, this is either much less impressive than it sounds or the Gaunt family are ''extremely'' inbred even by the standards of British pureblood wizards. If the ring is any indication, he's also the descendant of Cadmus Peverell.
** Similarly, Sybil Trelawney decided that having a seer for a grandmother entitled her to a spot teaching Divination. She did actually have the gift of foresight, but it didn't work that often.
** Harry himself is apparently the direct descendant of Ignotus Peverell.
** In ''Order of the Phoenix'', Sirius tells Harry that most pureblood families are related to each other in some way or another. It's simply a product of having a limited choice in who one's children can marry to keep the bloodline "clean". It's noted that even the Blacks and the Weasleys (who are purebloods themselves) share common ancestors. This explains quite a lot about British magical society, really...
* ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode'': The holy grail, who in this story is actually a bloodline and not an object, is the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
* It turns out in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' that all the Knights of the Cross we've met so far are descended from royalty - Shiro from the last king of Okinawa, Sanya from Saladin and Michael from Charlemagne.
** It's been estimated by genealogists that nearly all persons with European ancestry are descended from Charlemagne.
** In a non-genetic example (but still relevant due to the importance of 'apprenticeship lineage' among wizards), the collection of journals owned by Ebeneezer [=McCoy=] strongly suggests that Harry himself carries magical knowledge originally taught by Merlin. The first one. This may explain why exactly Knights of the Cross keep trusting their swords to him.
* Played for humor in ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' as Mr L. Prosser (the man who wants to build a bypass through Arthur's home) is revealed as a direct male line descendant of Genghis Khan but the blood only shows up as predilection for little fur hats, a preference for axes over the door, and the occasional disturbing visions of screaming Mongol hordes on horses, houses on fire, and fleeing peasants with spears sticking out of their backs.
** Which turns into a MythologyGag in the sixth book of the trilogy, where rich oaf Buff Orpington is a descendent of the Viking hero Sigurd, the only outward sign of which is his fondness for mead and sealskin leggings.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes mentions at one point that his grandmother was a sister of the French artist Vernet (though he does not specify which of the several artists in the Vernet family he is referring to), and attributes his and his brother's unusual abilities to their having "art in the blood".
* The Bond family's coat of Arms ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'' from the ''Literature/JamesBond'' novel ''Literature/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' is the same as RealLife's Sir Thomas Bond's. The relation is implied but never outright stated.
* Sun Jian from ''RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', along with his children, all claim descent from [[TheArtOfWarfare Sun Tzu]].
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' book ''Last Human'' has an inversion: Rimmer's one-night stand with Yvonne [=McGruder=] led to [[spoiler:Michael [=McGruder=]'s birth. To spare her embarrassment, she tells Michael that Rimmer was a magnificent hero of a man (an idea reinforced by the fact that he was the only crewman resurrected as a hologram). Michael tries to emulate his father's made-up achievements and becomes one of the best officers of the Space Corps, freezing himself in time so he can meet up with his heroic father. Needless to say that when they meet, he isn't pleased.]]
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'':
** Duke Nobel claims to be descended from Aquilia, the man who delivered the killing blow to [[EvilOverlord Stormbringer, the Demon King.]] He considers this to be proof of his claim to the throne of Arcasia.
** Tartarin, Count Terrien's heir, will happily tell anyone he meets that he was named for his ancestor, Tartarin the Lionslayer. Both Rukenaw and Hirsent are bored to tears by this during a sea voyage. Later, he is [[spoiler: [[DeathByIrony slain by a large cat chimera with a mane of snakes.]]]]
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'':
** In the first book, Eilonwy (who turns out to be ''Princess'' Eilonwy) happens to mention that hers are the people of Llyr Half-Speech, the Sea King. In later books she self-identifies as "Eilonwy daughter of Angharad daughter of Regat of the house of Llyr." This is a bit of a subversion of the trope, however, because in Prydain it's perfectly normal to introduce yourself as 'son of' or 'daughter of.'
** Fflewder Fflam, a wandering bard (and a king, albeit of a very small, self-sufficient kingdom) is distantly related to the Sons of Don. [[spoiler:This, unfortunately, means that he has no choice but to leave Prydain with the rest of his kin at the end of the series.]]
* The protagonist of J.C. Hutchins' novel ''Personal Effects: Dark Art'', Zach Taylor, is a many times great-grandson of U.S. President Zachary Taylor.
* In Dune, it is revealed that Paul Atredies is descended from Agamemnon. This is part of the trope that good people are descended from good people and bad people from bad people.
** Agammemnon was actually quite the S.O.B. and his family - the House of Atreus - was noted for its murderous proclivities - not to mentions divine curses and general bad luck.
* Ax had this a lot in ''{{Literature/Animorphs}}''. His brother, Elfangor, was an Andalite war hero and his name was instantly recognized by many Andalite characters when it got mentioned (although Ax didn't always say it himself).
* In ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'', Jose Bauer might be the daughter of science fiction author Creator/PhilipJoseFarmer.
* In ''Literature/BreakfastOfChampions'', Eddie Key, the black driver of the Martha Simmons Memorial Mobile Disaster Unit, is a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key.


[[folder: Live Action TV]]

* Octavian happily uses this on ''Series/{{Rome}}''. Even though the father he speaks so highly of was actually his great-uncle, and Octavian found out he was adopted when he read Caesar's will.
** Brutus also has a Famous Ancestor, being descended from the man who rid Rome of its last king. His mother and the men who conspire to kill Caesar often bring it up.
* Spock of ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' fame claims descent from Creator/ArthurConanDoyle (or perhaps from Sherlock Holmes, depending on how you wish to interpret the quote) through his human mother, Amanda Grayson.
** And [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Miles O'Brien]] claims descent from the legendary Irish king Brian Boru. This is at least justified, as Boru is traditionally believed to have founded the O'Brien clan.
** Subverted with [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Kathryn Janeway]] as she was inspired to join Starfleet by the stories of her ancestor, Shannon O'Donnell, an original Mars Colonist who single-handedly pushed through a massive tower project against huge opposition. As it turns out, Shannon was never an astronaut, was only a consultant on the tower and there was no massive opposition and somehow the stories grew over the years to enhance her impact. Janeway's big worry? How she'll break it to her aunt that the great family legend is false.
* On ''Series/TheWestWing'', Pres. Josiah Bartlett is supposed to be descended from the delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the same name.
* In an episode of ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'', Matt pretends for a school report that their family in descended from, among others, Music/ElvisPresley and Davy Crockett. Leads to AnAesop about lying.
* Rose, on ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'', believed for years that Creator/BobHope was her biological father.
* Played twice in ''Series/{{Bones}}''; Agent Seely Booth is distantly related to John Wilkes Booth, and isn't too proud about it, while Angela Montenegro's father is Billy Gibbons of Music/ZZTop. Her full name is Angela Pearly Gates Montenegro, "Pearly Gates" being [[ICallItVera what Gibbons named his guitar]].
** Booth's ancestry is brought up in the episode where they were trying to prove that Lee Harvey Oswald really did act alone. Booth, being an Army Ranger sniper, manages to perfectly copy Oswald's shots with a replica of the assassin's rifle.
** While Angela's father is played by the real Billy Gibbons and is known to be a famous Texas rocker, his name has never been mentioned so it's never been officially established on the show that Gibbons is playing "Billy Gibbons" and not "a fictional famous guitarist from Texas who [[CelebrityParadox resembles]] Billy Gibbons."
* Every member of the teams of ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' and ''Series/NinjaSentaiKakuranger'' (bar sixth rangers) have a famous ancestor - more specifically, they were the original group.
* On ''Series/{{CSI}}'', Doc Robbins' wife looked into his family tree in 'Genetic Disorder' and there's a snippet at the end where he finds he's distantly related to Buffalo Bill Cody.
* On ''[[Series/ThirtyRock 30 Rock]]'', Tracy Jordan learns he is a descendant of UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson and Sally Hemmings. It triggers some CharacterDevelopment, as he tries to make a serious film re-interpreting his life on a shoestring budget.
* In ''Series/HeadOfTheClass'', Darlene discovers that is descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.
* ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' has "Great aunt" Roberta Crawley, who loaded the guns at Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny.
* Series/{{Bottom}}: When someone asks Eddie Hitler jokingly whether he's related to Adolf, Eddie enthusiastically answers: "Yeah!"
* D'Angelo from ''Series/TheWire'' is the grandson of Butch Stamford. We don't know who he was but the mention of his name alone unnerves the hardest Baltimore police.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Deconstructed in the lore found on the Blu-Ray. The Hound points out that his House was founded by his grandfather who was kennelmaster to Tywin Lannister's father while most of Westeros' great noble families trace their lineage back to someone from the Age of Heroes whose existence are often so vague it's impossible to prove or disprove their claims. For example, the Starks are apparently descended from Brandon the Builder, Lannisters from Lann the Clever, Baratheons from Durran Godsgrief & Orys Baratheon, and the Tyrells from Garth Greenhand & Harlan Tyrell.
** Daenerys is directly descended from Aegon the Conqueror, the first king to unite all of Westeros except Dorne.
* In ''Series/JekyllAndHyde2015'' Robert is the grandson of Dr. Jekyll, Max is the grandson of Gabriel Utterson, and [[spoiler:Lily is the granddaughter of Sir Danvers Carew]].

[[folder: Theatre]]

* Theatre/{{Brand}} by Creator/HenrikIbsen spoofed it in one sentence, when some of his townspeople bragged about their famous viking heritage: "A dwarf will get no taller by having Goliath as his great-grandfather".


[[folder: Radio]]

* Classic radio-serial (and later comic book, movie and TV) hero ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'' (real name Britt Reid) was the grand-nephew of John Reid, better known as Radio/TheLoneRanger. The origins of the Reid family fortune could be traced back to the Lone Ranger's original silver mine.
* One of the major enemies of ''Radio/TheShadow'' was Shiwan Khan, who claimed to be the last descendant of Genghis Khan. While he probably was descended from the great Khan, his notion of being the ''last'' descendent of Genghis Khan is almost certainly nonsense - Genghis really got around, as did his sons and ''their'' sons, and as a result of this roughly a twentieth of Asia can trace their lineage back to the man.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* The ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' game relies heavily on this. Each character can roll on heritage tables at character creation, which essentially gives the PC randomly selected bonuses or penalties based on who his ancestors were. Some of the magic calls upon ancestors, including one high-level spell that summons an ancestor to ''scold your enemies into submission''. Finally, one of the Disadvantages is "Haunted", which means that one of the PC's ancestors dislikes him and occasionally shows up in ghostly form to heckle him during the roleplaying session.


[[folder: Video Games]]

* The whole story of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreed'' 1 - 3 is centered around Desmond Miles learning how to be an assassin from his famous ancestors via GeneticMemory.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', the royal family of the Halidom of Ylisse, including SupportingLeader Chrom, are all descended from Marth of the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight Archanea]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem games]].
* Fred Bonaparte, direct descendant of Napoleon in ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', is a notable inversion as he has all the direct opposite qualities of his ancestor i.e. tall, uncompetitive and strategically ineffectual. He has the same hat though.
* Susano of ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' is a highly ineffectual and ineffective wandering swordsman whose claim to fame is being a descendant of Nagi, the legendary warrior who defeated and sealed away {{Orochi}} 100 years ago. This turns out to be a major plot point in the first part of the game: [[spoiler:Susano, being absolutely sick of everybody constantly reminding him of his ancestry, decides to pull out the sword imprisoning Orochi in order to prove the legend of Nagi wasn't true.]] We also eventually learn Nagi was actually as much of a wuss as Susano is, but, like Susano, got really lucky and had lots of help from Amaterasu.
* Remilia Scarlet of the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' series claims to be a descendant of Vlad Ţepeş. She's lying.
** Sanae Kotiya is [[DivineParentage a distant descendant of the goddess Suwako]], who [[GodEmperor ruled a kingdom]] back at the dawn of Japanese history before becoming one of the two deities worshiped at the Moriya Shrine. The twist is that Suwako [[Really700YearsOld is still around]], so Sanae is a {{Miko}} serving under her own ancestor, [[PalsWithJesus who is also her roommate,]] and who [[SleepModeSize prefers the form of a little girl with]] [[NiceHat a goofy frog hat.]]
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'': Tear (and hence Van, too) are descendants of Yulia Yue who originally read the Score, which is why they know Yulia's Hymns and can sing and understand them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' the PC is TheChosenOne, just because he/she is the grandchild of the original Vault Dweller, the hero of [[VideoGame/Fallout1 the first game.]]
* The sole claim to fame of the protagonist of the original ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' is that he's the descendant of the legendary hero Loto/Roto/Erdrick. The protagonists of the sequel are royalty because they are the descendants of the ''descendant'' of aforementioned legendary hero who married the Princess he rescued. In the third game, you're the descendant of a different legendary hero, [[spoiler:and ultimately receive the title of Loto/Erdrick, making them the Famous Ancestor of the prior games' protagonists]].
* In the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo game ''Ninja Commando'', Ryu Eagle claims to be UsefulNotes/FuumaKotaro the 32nd.
* Nathan Drake of ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' claims to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, despite history stating that Francis Drake never had any children. According to ''[[VideoGame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception Drake's Deception]]'', however, this statement is [[spoiler: simply a ChangelingFantasy]].
* ''VideoGame/TombRaider2013'': Sam Nishimura, Lara's best friend, is descended from [[HistoricalDomainCharacter Himiko]], the Sun Queen of Yamatai, a fact that Sam takes much pride in until [[TraumaCongaLine everything that happens to her and Lara on the island]].
* James Lee Quatermain of ''VideoGame/DeadfallAdventures'' is the great-grandson of Allan Quatermain, [[Creator/HRiderHaggard H. Rider Haggard's]] adventurer. James Lee doesn't have much respect for his forebear, but is quite happy to live off his diaries. His attitude changes when he finds himself amidst the kind of adventure in which Allan would have revelled.
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' franchise the dwarven city of Orzammar has a long history and relatively tiny population, so pretty much everyone there acts this way. Dwarves who live elsewhere will almost always bring it up as a reason they hate going there.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'' all involve descendants of the Sages who in turn become Sages themselves.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', Yunobo is a descendant of the Goron Champion Daruk. His SuperpowerfulGenetics allow him to use [[BeehiveBarrier Daruk's Protection]] just like his ancestor.


[[folder: Web Comics]]

* In ''Webcomic/SwordCatPrincess'', Kathryn is the semi-secret [[http://swordcatprincess.thecomicseries.com/comics/54/ daughter of High King Brian Boru of Ireland]]. Julia and James acknowledge that she is the [[http://swordcatprincess.thecomicseries.com/comics/36/ daughter of Lord Oberon]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', all of the trolls have these. There's Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, Orphaner Dualscar, the Grand Highblood, Neophyte Redglare, The Sufferer, Expatriate Darkleer, The Summoner, Her Imperious Condescension, The Ψiioniic, The Disciple, The Dolorosa and The Handmaid. These ancestors go to Vriska, Eridan, Gamzee, Terezi, Karkat, Equius, Tavros, Feferi, Sollux, Nepeta, Kanaya and Aradia respectively.
** This is actually a subversion though. [[spoiler:The Act 5 trolls are actually the direct parents of their "Ancestors," who were sent back into their distant past to become figures of legend, with the exception of The Handmaid, whose meteor landed in the future.]]
*** Although the above is not quite true, due to the fact that [[spoiler: both ancestors and present trolls were created at the same time through ectobiology.]] Admittedly it was Karkat doing the ectobiology, but still...
* Charlie Blackmane in ''Webcomic/TheStoryOfAnima'' [[http://tapastic.com/episode/95446 is descended from a legendary pirate clan]].


[[folder: Web Original]]

* Subverted in "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind", the intro novel for Phase in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. Trevor, a scion of one of the richest, most powerful families on the planet, scoffs at the filthy rich Walcutts:
-->'''Trevor:''' Oh sure, the Walcutts have made similar claims, but in my opinion they're a bunch of poseurs. "We're descended from one of the signers of the Constitution!" Oh, big deal, I mean, who isn't?
* Lenneth Archimedes from ''Roleplay/FateNuovoGuerra'' combines this with BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy. As her last name implies, she is descended from Archimedes, who turns out to have been a magus, and was able to pass his magical research to a son (who continued the bloodline) before the Romans caught and killed him. Given how magi from the Franchise/NasuVerse operate, direct descent is the norm, and so her claims are more valid than most.
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', Jaune Arc comes from a famous, heroic lineage, and his great-great-grandfather was a war hero. Ironically, while he may have great leadership potential and tactical instincts, his actual combat skills or Huntsman knowledge were so lacking that he had to run away from home and forge his transcripts to get into Beacon Academy and gain a chance to live up to his family legacy. His FamedInStory teammate Pyrrha ends up secretly training him to help him catch-up to his classmates.


[[folder: Western Animation]]

* Staci from ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Total Drama: Revenge of the Island]]'' brags about her ancestors' feats. They're BlatantLies.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** Played for laughs when Peter claims to be descended from UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler's brother, Peter Hitler. (Although given that it's [[TooDumbToLive Peter]], the legitimacy of this claim is questionable)
** In a later episode, Stewie finds out that's he's the descendant of Creator/LeonardoDaVinci.
-->'''Brian:''' Wait, that means you're Italian.
-->'''Stewie:''' ''Of course!'' My love for Spaghetti-Os and smoking on the toilet! It all fits!
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'':
** Rusty Venture (father of the titular brothers Hank and Dean) comes from a long line of super scientists. It's subverted as he's not a very good scientist and is constantly shown to be living in the shadow of his much more famous father. Later episodes show him grooming his son Dean ([[TheUnfavorite Hank]] not so much) to be a super scientist as well.
** Phantom Limb is the grandson of Literature/{{Fantomas}}.
* The titular character of ''WesternAnimation/MiloMurphysLaw'' is a descendant of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the man who MurphysLaw was named after. In the show, said law is a HereditaryCurse that has given Murphy and all of his male descendants [[BornUnlucky ridiculously bad luck]].


[[folder: Real Life]]

* There is a scientist fellow who claims that 0.5% of the world's males have a genetic lineage traceable to [[ReallyGetsAround Genghis Khan]], or his close male relatives, but this is disputed too.
** Timur/Tamerlane claimed descent from UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan, but this was probably false. However, he did marry a Genghid princess, so his descendants--the most famous of whom being the Mughals of India--were descended from UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan.
* Several US presidents, including UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson, and both Roosevelts, plus other famous Americans such as Robert E. Lee and Creator/HumphreyBogart, claimed descent from European royalty. George W. Bush is known to be a descendant of Edward I, who ruled England from 1272 to 1307.
** Genealogists had a lot of fun with the 1992 presidential election, since George H. W. Bush was descended from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_III_of_England a king of England]] while UsefulNotes/BillClinton was descended from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_de_Montfort,_6th_Earl_of_Leicester a man executed by said king.]] Several rather fanciful articles were published speculating that [[InsaneTrollLogic De Montfort's revenge had finally been avenged.]]
* Literature/TheBible
** The Bible states that UsefulNotes/JesusChrist is a descendant of King David as this was one of the requirements to be the Jewish [[TheChosenOne Messiah]], making this trope OlderThanFeudalism.
** Given that the Bible tells us that David's son Solomon had ''[[ReallyGetsAround over 700 wives and 300 concubines]]'', it's quite safe to say that David has a ''lot'' of descendants. Jesus's mother Mary was one of them is very plausible. In fact, by the time Jesus was born, it's likely that most Jews were descended from King David. In fact Jesus is given two completely different lines of descent from David in different books, which could be read as Mary and Joseph's different bloodlines or as different parts of the same family tree. (One other interpretation is that one of these genealogies actually traces the succession rather than strict generational descent, thus establishing Jesus as both a descendant of King David and the rightful heir to the kingship of Israel.)
** Ancestry in general was a big deal to the Jews in the Bible, given that each of the 12 tribes was named for the son of Jacob/Israel who was the patriarch of the tribe. On top of that, members of the tribe of Levi were destined to work in the temple, and only the descendents of Aaron could be priests.
** Fun fact: the word "Semite" means one who is descended from Shem, who was one of the three sons of Noah. He was an ancestor of Abraham, and thus of all Abraham's descendants, Jews and Arabs both (remember, the Arabs claim descent from Abraham through Ishmael).
* Tom Hanks is a relative of Abe Lincoln by way of Abe's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Referenced in WesternAnimation/ToyStory2 when the first thing Jessie the cowgirl says upon meeting the Hanks-voiced Woody is "Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln!"
* And Creator/JohnScalzi is distantly related to John Wilkes Booth. He's joked about getting a twitchy feeling around five-dollar bills.
* The Queen of England and the rest of the current British royal family is probably descended from the Prophet Mohammed (via Arab kings of Spain).
** Also, in 2011, Prince Charles publicly claimed that heredity proves that he is a descendant of UsefulNotes/VladTheImpaler, the Romanian tyrant who was the inspiration for {{Dracula}}. The claim accompanied his announcement of a pledge to help conserve the forested areas of Transylvania.
* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar claimed descent from the Greek mythological hero Aeneas. Or more accurately, Roman poet Vergil claimed Caesar was descended from Aeneas. Aeneas is also the son of Venus.
** Descent from the heroes of Troy was a common claim of medieval royalty. Aeneas is said to be the ancestor of both the kings of Rome (through his dependent Romulus) and the kings of Britain (through his great-grandson Brutus). The Merovingian dynasty claimed descent from Hector, which for starters Hector's son to have actually survived the war in defiance of the actual myths.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat claimed descent from [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hercules]]. This was the traditional claim of the Argead dynasty of Macedon, but he also claimed descent via his mother from Achilles. If badass is hereditary, his claims weren't far-fetched. Since Hercules' father was Zeus and Achilles' mother was a minor goddess, this means Alexander also claimed to descend from the gods of Olympus.
* Marjane Satrapi, author of ''Persepolis'', is a descendant of Nasser al-Din Shah, Shah of Person from 1848 to 1896. She herself puts it down, noting that kings of that time period had hundreds of wives and thousands of children, so there were plenty of others with similar claims.
* UsefulNotes/BarackObama [[{{Irony}} is said to be a descendant of]] [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar CSA president Jefferson Davis]].
* Creator/ChristopherLee was a direct descendant of [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi Charlemagne]], and had the documentation to prove it. This inspired him to record the symphonic metal concept album ''Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross''.
** Of course since Charlemagne had lots of children with several wives and concubines and lived twelve centuries ago (which would roughly correspond to 40 generations until the present day) he has many descendants. German genealogists already joked that "every German is descended from Charlemagne" at least a hundred years ago, and the same probably also goes for the French. The fact that Lee was able to document it was the impressive part.
** Lee had a further connection to notable medieval ancestry: his mother's family (through whom he claimed descent from Charlemagne) were loyal servants of [[UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire Frederick Barbarossa]], and given the title of count for their trouble. Descendants of Barbarossa almost certainly married into the Carandini comital line.
* It was common during the Middle Ages for English kings to claim to be descended from KingArthur. [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfTudor Henry VII]], who besides being King of England was also Welsh (and therefore had a particularly strong reason for emphasising Arthur, whom the Welsh considered one of their own and was thus especially popular in Wales) hired Welsh genealogists to "prove" that he was a lineal descendant of the legendary king, and named his eldest son Arthur to shore up the connection. (Poor Prince Arthur died young, leaving his position as first in line and his bride to [[UsefulNotes/HenryVIII a rather more famous Tudor]].)
* Music/FrankZappa discovered in 1984 that there actually lived a composer in 18th century Italy called ''Francesco Zappa''. Despite the fact that they weren't related in any way Zappa did feel they were some kind of kindred spirits, as this composer also wrote music that was a little bit eccentric and faded away in obscurity after his death. Seeing that Zappa's own music was also overlooked and ignored by people in his own era he decided to bring this music out on record: ''Music/FrancescoZappa''. Despite explaining in the liner notes that Francesco Zappa was not some kind of pseudonym and the man wasn't an ancestor of him many listeners still assumed it was.
* The paternal grandmother of actress [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Shields Brooke Shields]] is [[OldMoney Dona]] [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Torlonia_di_Civitella-Cesi Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi]]. Through her, Shields is a descendant of:
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_II_Gattilusio Francesco II Gattilusio]]
*** In turn, he is descended from [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire Rhomaios Basileus]] [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andronikos_III_Palaiologos Andronikos III Palaiologos]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_of_Savoy Anna of Savoy]].
** [[UpToEleven On top of that]], Dona Marina is [[LongList also descended from]] the [[BlueBlood noble families]] of:
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Grimaldi Grimaldi]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperiali_family Imperiali]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Carafa Carafa]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doria_(family) Doria]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doria-Pamphili-Landi Doria-Pamphili-Landi]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chigi-Albani Chigi-Albani]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Torlonia Torlonia]].