->''"All my life I've played second fiddle to that weakling--why? Because his mother was a princess and mine was not. I'm the eldest son, but ''he'' was the Crown Prince, ''he'' lived in the royal palace, ''he'' dined with kings. Well, today the table is set for Rudolf -- but it's Michael who's going to the feast."''
-->-- '''Black Michael'''[[note]]Strictly speaking, Michael is not a bastard, but the child of a morganatic union[[/note]], ''Film/ThePrisonerOfZenda''

He's the son of the ruler of [[TheKingdom the land]]. Therefore, he's the Prince, next in the line of succession, and a privileged member of his society, yes?

No. RoyalBlood aside, he's a nobody. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin He's a literal bastard]], and the reason for the negative [[ShapedLikeItself connotation of the word]].

Born with the shame of unmarried parents, [[BastardAngst he is marginalized at best, reviled and banished at worst]] (not to mention unable to inherit)--but unlike his more sympathetic counterpart, the HeroicBastard, the BastardBastard is [[ThenLetMeBeEvil not trying to rise above society's expectations]]. Instead, his ParentalAbandonment has created the ultimate FreudianExcuse. He's the JerkassWoobie who's got it in for his father, his siblings, or maybe even [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds the world.]] His issues have driven him to seek revenge, or made him vulnerable to manipulation by the forces of Evil. Generally male, although female examples are becoming more common.

In older works, this can be seen as a SpaceWhaleAesop: Don't cheat on your partner and have bastard children, because they will be evil. In these cases, the bastard's evilness can be a a sort of [[LamarckWasRight Moral Lamarckism]]--that the [[SinsOfOurFathers moral failings of your forebears]] express themselves in a taint on your own soul or karmic bank balance.

This trope can be found in any society where rank or wealth can be inherited, if it also has a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate offspring--making it OlderThanDirt.

While not exactly a DiscreditedTrope, [[HeroicBastard the subversion]] is more common today. Modern audiences have [[ValuesDissonance a less stringent view toward children and wedlock]] and tend to be more accepting of a literal bastard character. While modern settings don't really make use of this trope as plenty of modern fiction deals with settings that draw inspiration from the middle ages--particularly high fantasy, but plenty of other genres too--it'll continue to be relevant for as long as people want to write about aristocracies and so forth.

Stands a good chance of being a ManipulativeBastard. While it's possible, he is unlikely to be a MagnificentBastard. There's nothing magnificent about this quivering pile of daddy-issues. Don't you dare compare him to his legitimate brother TheEvilPrince. '''Subversions belong to HeroicBastard.'''

A subtrope of TheResenter.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/ReimeiNoArcana'': Cain, the blond older brother of Caesar, because apparently black hair is very important in the royal country. He's got quite a grudge for it.
* ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' has [[spoiler: Lord Montague himself]]. He's responsible for the series [[HeroicBastard other bastard]] on top of everything else he does.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' has [[spoiler: Jack]].
* [[spoiler: Gremy Toto]] from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'' ''miiiiiiight'' be this. He certainly ''is'' a bastard, but the "''miiiiiiight''" part comes from how it's speculated that [[spoiler: while he claims to be a clone of [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Gihren Zabi]], he may actually be his bastard son.]] Apparently, WordOfGod has said that [[spoiler: Gremy ''is'' Gihren's bastard son with a Newtype woman.]]
* Towards the end of ''Manga/AyashiNoCeres'', we learn that [[spoiler: Kagami]] is this. [[spoiler: His mother was the second wife of his step father and he was her bastard child, meaning that he actually has no blood ties to the Mikage.]]
* ''Anime/FantasticChildren'' Has Dumas. A melodramatic and arguably SissyVillain born out of wedlock and to the king's brother to boot. Subverted in that he doesn't actually want the throne. He just wants his sister to go back to Greecia so they can be together. It's his father, A [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Literal]] BigBad, who wants the throne.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': Part VI has three of Dio Brando's sons working for the BigBad, contrasting with [[HeroicBastard Giorno]], who was TheHero of the previous part.
** The BigBad of said previous part is also an example, given his father's identity is unknown.
* Prince Dmitry in ''LightNovel/HeavyObject'' is knee-deep in corruption and nepotism, including being connected to the assassination of other claimants to the throne of Volga. The suspected reason is that claims of his birth mother being a "surrogate" are a lie covering up the King's indiscretion. As Volga is a matrilineal country this would leave him with no right to the crown unless he can wipe out all the legitimate heirs and make himself the only option for a continuous line. [[spoiler:After his death, his co-conspirators admit they were hiding DNA tests proving his illegitimacy]].
* [[spoiler: Reiner Braun]] from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' turns out to be one of MixedAncestry, with enormous issues stemming from not having a father. Raised by a controlling and resentful mother, they ''actually'' thought they were a HeroicBastard that was going to reunite their broken family through their heroism. These fantasies of a happy family and glory as a champion of good were slowly and systematically ripped to shreds, leading to a downward spiral of SanitySlippage and self-hatred. [[spoiler: While not high-born, he was led to believe that becoming a Warrior would mean getting to live outside the ghettos with his Marleyan father. Instead, Reiner is completely rejected by the man who insists the "Eldian devils" are plotting to kill him and his ''real'' family by exposing his past indiscretion to the authorities]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This trope could just as easily be called The Loki. Son of a powerful ruler? Check. More popular, heroic, half-brother who is heir to the kingdom? Check. {{Freudian Excuse}}s out the wa-zoo? You betcha!
** Though Loki is actually the adopted son of Odin.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Manhunter}}'', it's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:Kate's birth father]] Walter Pratt is one of these, since he's the child of [[spoiler:Iron Munro and Sandra Knight, the original Phantom Lady]] and was given up for adoption after birth. The reason he hasn't been around? [[spoiler:He's been in prison for killing Kate's mother in front of her when she was a baby, and when he shows up in the story it's because he's been diagnosed with blood cancer and needs Kate's blood, so he kidnaps his grandson and tortures Kate's ex-husband]]. Real stand up guy.
* In ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'': [[spoiler: Tomoe's evil, bloodthirsty cousin Noriko is actually her half-sister due to Tomoe's father being in love with Noriko's mother, who happened to be Tomoe's mother's sister. When she confronted Tomoe's father he rejected her so she killed him, and poisoned her "step" father for being a weakling for good measure.]]
* In the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel universe, the ComicBook/RedSkull is the illegitimate child of [[spoiler:Franchise/CaptainAmerica]]--and very bit as horrible as his manistream counterpart.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''FanFic/OneiroiSeries'', Deirdre because she was an accident and her parents were on [[StarCrossedLovers opposite sides of a conflict]]. (They were [[AntiVillain Redcloak]] and [[AntiHero Vaarsuvius]] from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''.)
* ''FanFic/{{Hivefled}}'': [[Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} Gamzee]] was found by his bloodlink (trolls don't raise their own young so he had to be tracked down in later life} and horrifically abused, then found out he was produced when said bloodlink mated with his [[PlatonicLifePartners moirail]], which is strictly forbidden on penalty of death and from Gamzee's point of view akin to finding that one's parents were siblings. Gamzee is now convinced that both his genetic line and his psyche are tainted forever, and is only resisting his AxCrazy urges for the sake of his own moirail.
* ''FanFic/OneLessLonelyGurl'' has the VillainSue C'ren, a bastard child who was abused by her father's wife.
* [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]] with Harris Flowers in ''Fanfic/ForumOfThrones'', being the AntiVillain castellan of Raylansfair.
** Played absolutely straight with Rodrik Stone, who is a kinslayer and rapist on top of being a major {{Jerkass}}.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* [[spoiler:Will]] of ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' is [[spoiler:Robin's illegitimate half-brother, who blames Robin for their father abandoning him and his mother.]]
* Played with by Lord Henry Blackwood in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' who was conceived out of wedlock during a magical ritual. His mother dies during childbirth, he goes on to murder several people (including his father), and tries to seize control of the British Empire by making the world fear him. While Holmes mentions that he's a former member of the House of Lords, it's because his parentage was kept secret. Holmes only figured it out by comparing his facial features to that of the Lord Chief Justice and noticed a family resemblance.
* Freddy Krueger from ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' isn't called "the bastard son of a 100 maniacs" for nothing. He was conceived when dozens of insane inmates in a mental asylum raped his mother Amanda, a nun who was working there. Freddy was a child murderer in real life and became a spectral nightmare killer after his death.
* General Hux from ''Franchise/StarWars'' is the illegitimate son of an Imperial commandant and a kitchen staff member. He's also an arrogant {{Jerkass}} who thinks he's more important than he is. Though, compared to his comrades like [[PsychopathicManChild Kylo Ren]] or [[TheStarscream Captain Phasma]], he's also practically the First Order's OnlySaneMan.

* Katherine Kurtz's ''Literature/{{Deryni}}'' series. The House of Festil had several of these, notably King Imre's son Marek [[BrotherSisterIncest (by his sister Ariella)]]. King Donal Haldane has several, and Prince Conall Haldane has one born posthumously.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'''s LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters has many bastard children. Nine surnames are reserved soley for the use of natural children born of noble families while natural children of smallfolk are not granted a last name. These surnames differ, depending on the area of Westeros from which the illegitimate child with noble blood is from. While one the series' main protagonists Jon Snow is of the [[HeroicBastard heroic]] variety, there are {{Bastard Bastard}}s out and about as well, such as Ramsay [[strike:Snow]] Bolton. [[spoiler:And also [[TheCaligula Joffrey Baratheon]], although his bastardy isn't common knowledge, but his siblings (also bastard children) seem pretty decent]]. Walder Rivers -- known as "Bastard Walder" --the eldest bastard of Walder [[BigScrewedUpFamily Frey]], is a tough soldier and a bit of a bastard. But compared to some of his relatives--particularly Black Walder--he's positively noble, considering he comes from one of the nastiest Houses in Westeros. It is mentioned that he hates being a bastard and hates anyone who isn't, and Jaime Lannister considers him more dangerous then his trueborn brothers.
** Craster, a wildling North of the wall and [[TokenEvilTeammate uncertain ally]] of the Night's Watch, is the bastard of a Night's Watch ranger and wildling woman from Whitetree. He is called a "kinslayer, liar, raper and craven". Craster is notorious for [[ParentalIncest marrying his daughters]]--and don't get started on his sons. However, calling him a bastard is a BerserkButton for him.
** Quite generally, while a few bastards in ASOIAF are clearly {{Bastard Bastard}}s and a few are clearly {{Heroic Bastard}}s, many are just in the background trying to make the best of their ambiguous social position -- or seriously a mix of both. ASOIAF mortality is always ambiguous.
** Also while Bastard Bastard is listed as an "AlwaysMale" Trope, female bastard children are common in ASOIAF. One, at Shield Islands, is employed by her father as a servant to her legitimate half-sisters and, when the Ironmen conquer her home and take them captive, she sides with the conquerors and enjoys exchanging clothes with her sisters and forcing them to serve her, even having an affair with the Ironmen's King [[spoiler:Euron Greyjoy]]. Though considering how cruelly they were described as treating her, it may be a case of just desserts. However, it can still look harsh considering some of her sisters are just children and some of them get raped while their father is ForcedToWatch. [[spoiler:However her later fate, Euron impregnating her, cutting her tongue out and tying her to his ship's prow as part of a blood sacrifice, wins her sympathy.]]
*** And the Sand Snakes, Oberyn Martell's eight bastard daughters. They're not as bad as most of the other examples (and some of them are little girls with not a lot of time given to them) but they're still not very nice and share most of their father's bad traits. However, it's easy to root for them since their new mission is to infiltrate the other realms in order to bring down the Lannisters, who are planning to kill their cousin and could be considered the primary villains of the series.
** Aurane Waters, the Bastard of Driftmark (his family the Velaryons rule Driftmark). Cersei appoints him to the Small Council as Grand Admiral (Master of Ships), partially as he reminds her of [[TheLostLenore Rhaegar Targaryen]] (the Targaryens and Velaryons are distantly related and both have Valyrian blood). However, when Cersei is imprisoned, Aurane flees King's Landing with the new dromonds and uses them to become a pirate. There are fandom theories that say he has other motives but, for the time being, he just looks like a greedy opportunist.
** The {{Sadist}}ic Ramsay Snow is, [[spoiler: next to Joffrey]], probably the best example ASOIAF offers. Especially notable because his father openly blames this on his 'tainted blood.' It's clear that, though Roose Bolton is cruel and vicious, he's pragmatic about it and doesn't let it affect his plans. Ramsay, however, is just a SerialKiller with a noble title and is threatening his father's own power with his wanton cruelty and is suspected of poisoning Roose's legitimate son Domeric so he could become heir. Ramsay [[BerserkButton hates being referred to as a bastard]] and murders people who say he is. He is considered by many people the most evil character in the series, which is a legitimately impressive feat considering the level of competition.
** The "Great Bastards" of Aegon IV "The Unworthy", who legitimized them all on his deathbed out of spite at his only legitimate son, Daeron II "The Good". Daemon Blackfyre, bastard of Aegon and one of his Targaryen cousins, tried to overthrow Daeron, and may have been persuaded into this by another of Aegon's bastards, Aegor Rivers "Bittersteel", who had a feud with his half-brother Brynden Rivers "Bloodraven" (their mothers were from FeudingFamilies Bracken and Blackwood). After Daemon was killed in battle by Brynden, Aegor continued trying to seat Daemon's descendants on the Iron Throne for the rest of his life. Even a century after his death, and over a generation after the extinction of the Blackfyres (at least in the male line) Daemon is still looked upon as an archetypal treacherous bastard by Westeros. Bloodraven plays with this, being a sinister figure who used ruthless methods to oppose the Blackfyres, the descendants of Daemon, even killing Daemon and two of his sons in battle, executing another of Daemon's sons despite an offer of safe conduct, and turning the Seven Kingdoms into a Police State with his spying methods when he was Hand of the King to Daeron's son and successor Aerys I. He was unpopular among the people and believed to be a sorcerer [[spoiler:which seems to have been true]], but seems to be one of the most morally ambiguous characters in a world full of such figures. [[spoiler:TheReveal he is the Three-Eyed Crow adds to this.]]
** Cotter Pyke, a bastard Ironman and Commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea at the Wall comes across as a bit of a jerk but is still obedient to the Night's Watch.
** Historically there is Ronard Storm, bastard brother of Morden II Durrandon, who usurped his brother and imprisoned them, ruling the Stormlands.
** Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White (or Ulf the Sot) were "dragonseeds" (illegitimate descendants of those of Valyrian blood) which helped them in claiming dragons. They were recruited by Princess Rhaenyra to fight for her claim. However, they ended up betraying her, joining the forces of her half-brother Aegon II, and sacked the town of Tumbleton, performing a mass of atrocities. The stigma against illegitimate children is shown when Rhaenyra declared all "dragonseeds" traitors and ordered their execution, despite others of illegitimate birth having shown themselves completely loyal. Addam Velaryon subverts this, despite Rhaenyra trying to have him arrested, and he ends up dying fighting for her cause at Tumbleton. Hugh and Ulf establish themselves as two of the nastiest characters in the Dance of the Dragons narrative, being selfish, hedonistic war criminals who take over Tumbleton as tyrants. They even try and usurp the crown themselves. As a result, they end up being killed by their own men.
* Eric, bastard son of Oberon and Faiella of Karm in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' [[spoiler: locks his brother Corwin up and burns his eyes out with a red hot iron]]. Though among Oberon's sons, legitimate or otherwise, the ones who ''aren't'' scheming [=SOBs=] stick out. Corwin eventually realizes his rivalry with Eric comes from having a ''lot'' in common.
** Due to a complicated morass of relationships, there are at least three living princes who can semi-legitimately claim that they are the true and proper heir to the throne of, essentially, all of creation:
*** Benedict is the oldest living child of Oberon and was born fully legitimate. Then Oberon had that marriage nullified in such a way that legally it never existed. Is he now retroactively a bastard? If so, then the heir becomes…
*** Eric, who was born to Oberon and Faiella (wife #2, but before she ''became'' wife #2) and was never officially recognized by Oberon as his child (Oberon did officially recognize a later bastard as his child), making him a questionable heir, in which case it devolves to…
*** Corwin, who is Eric's full brother, born ''after'' his mother was married to Oberon. Since she died before Oberon could get around to divorcing her, Corwin is the first in the line whose claim to the throne is absolutely unimpeachable (at least as far as legitimacy goes). He personally seems to think Benedict has the best claim should he choose to press it, but Benedict doesn't seem terribly interested, and Corwin definitely doesn't want Eric (who is a bastard in more ways than one) to have it.
* Sort of Black Michael in ''ThePrisonerOfZenda''. He's a usurper and one of the villains of the novel, but he's more of an AntiVillain, and atypically, he's the [[VillainWithGoodPublicity popular one]]; it's his brother, the King who is an insecure incompetent.
* Abimelech, son of Gideon in the ''[[Literature/TheBible Book of Judges]] [[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%208:29-9:56&version=ESV 8:29-9:56]]'' is the TropeMaker. The good parts:
-->(Judges 8:30 ESV) Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives. 31And his concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he called his name Abimelech. 32And Gideon the son of Joash died…
-->(9:5) And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone.
--> (9:22) Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech.
** Then, after a months-long conquering spree:
--> (9:53) And a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. 54 Then he called quickly to the young man his armor-bearer and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, 'A woman killed him.'" And his young man thrust him through, and he died. 55And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, everyone departed to his home. 56 Thus God returned the evil of Abimelech, which he committed against his father in killing his seventy brothers.
* Cesare Borgia, the illegitimate son of [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope Alexander VI]], who crops up a lot in Machiavelli's ''Literature/ThePrince'', although a lot of what Machiavelli attributes to him was actually the work of his father…
* Female version: Senna Wales, from ''Literature/{{Everworld}}'', who is the daughter of a human man and the witch who apparently seduced him. Definitely illegitimate, and [[EntitledBastard definitely]] [[UngratefulBastard a]] [[ManipulativeBastard bastard]].
* [[spoiler: Brokenstar]] of ''Literature/WarriorCats''. Since his mother, [[spoiler: Yellowfang]], is a [[spoiler: medicine cat who is not allowed to have kits]], he is considered illegitimate. His father, [[spoiler: Raggedstar, who is also the leader of [=ShadowClan=]]] and his mother have to pretend that he is an orphaned kit, so as not to arouse suspicion. [[spoiler: He murders his father to become leader.]]
** Hawkfrost too. He's the son of [[spoiler: Tigerstar]] and Sasha, is a huge {{Jerkass}}, [[spoiler: pinning down Sorreltail, getting Stormfur and Brook exiled, and [[KickTheDog kicking Beetlewhisker's corpse]] come to mind.]] It's quite obvious his father doesn't give a damn about him, but we're never told to feel sorry for him.
* Implied with Vlad Tepes in ''Literature/CountAndCountess''.
* Hadz in ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow'' is the bastard son of the king and he somehow not only becomes something of an underground crime lord, he has probably murdered several people and regularly rapes his own half-sister.
* Laverham, a crime lord from Patricia Wrede's ''Literature/MairelonTheMagician'', was the bastard son of a minor lord.
* The killer in Tamora Pierce's ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic Shatterglass]]'' uses this as his excuse [[spoiler:to murder the yaskedasi.]]
* Rhys ap Llewellynne ap Owain in Fiona Patton's ''[[Literature/TalesOfTheBranionRealm The Granite Shield]]''. Zigzagged by the tug of war between two opposing religions; one considers him a royal bastard, unable to take the throne, while the other sees his birth as immaterial and considers him the legitimate heir.
* ''Literature/BrotherCadfael'' The novel ''Monk's Hood'' uses this trope interestingly: [[spoiler: the bastard son is not on the list of suspects for a squire's murder, as, because he lives with his father but will inherit nothing, he has only to lose by his father's death... until Cadfael realises the bulk of the victim's property is in Wales, which has a totally different law, whereby bastards inherit the same as any other son, so it ''was'' worth poisoning his father before he could sign over his property to the church.]]
* Played with in ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'', where most people suspect late, treasonous consort Gloria Aestia's possibly-bastard son Shannon of monstrous intentions. In reality, while he's far too [[RoyalBrat spoiled]], sullen, and shallow (at least in the first two books) to qualify as a HeroicBastard, his [[PokeThePoodle real]] ambitions are mainly limited to sniping at his ex-lover and [[AllGaysLoveTheater attending every play]] performed in Melusine.
* Achlesydd in ''Literature/TheRealmOfAlbion'' is based on Edmund in ''Theatre/KingLear'', one of the ur-examples. So of course he fits the trope too.
* Hoby, one of Arcamand's slaves in ''[[Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore Powers]]''. He's the son of the family patriarch and a SexSlave, making him automatically a slave. He's mean, violent, resentful, brutally bullies Gav. Then he [[spoiler:participates in the rape and drowning of Gav's sister, Sallo]]. Then, ''late'' in the book, Gav finds out that Hoby is chasing him as a runaway.
* ''Literature/TheStrangerBesideMe'': Ted Bundy is an illegitimate child and a SerialKiller.
* ''Literature/MaledictionTrilogy'': Lessa, [[TheProtagonist Tristan]]'s older half-sister, daughter of king Thibault and a mixed-blood servant. Even though there is little human blood in her veins (she looks like a troll and is very powerful), legally she is still mixed-blood, which means a life of servitude in another troll household. No wonder she hates her father and would stop at nothing to gain what she perceives as her rightful position. At one point she even [[spoiler: proposes a political alliance and marriage to her younger half-brother Tristan - who is already married - and when turned down, tries to kill him]].
* ''Literature/TheDarkWizardOfDonkerk'': Rowan is a bastard, and one descended of the Queen, not the King. Therefore, he is not in the line of succession. However, it is debatable as to whether this actually drives him from evil. He notices that his father does not actually teach him the things he needs to do to rule, and therefore he assumes he is just TheUnFavourite.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': In Westerosi society, bastard children are often mistrusted as they are thought to be be born of lust and deceit and believed to have a vested interest in their trueborn siblings' demise. Although {{Heroic Bastard}}s Jon Snow and Gendry subvert this, Joffrey Baratheon, Ramsay Snow, and the three Sand Snakes play it straight.
* [[BrokenBird Tess]] [[DarkActionGirl Mercer]] on ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' is TheBaroness. She's a cold-blooded BrokenAce CorruptCorporateExecutive and ManipulativeBastard, [[AntiVillain and]] a WellIntentionedExtremist [[IronWoobie who takes no crap from anyone]], even after the reveal that she is [[spoiler:Lionel Luthor]]'s bastard daughter. Her [[AlternateUniverse Earth-2 counterpart]], on the other hand, who was raised by her father in the [[TheUnfavourite shadow of his legitimate children]]? She's a whiny mess of ParentalIssues, who can't decide if she wants to be DaddysLittleVillain or [[BastardUnderstudy stab him in the back]], and is in an [[VillainousIncest incestuous relationship]] with [[spoiler: her adopted brother Clark]]. Jeez. What a difference an upbringing makes.
* [[DrJerk Dr. Gregory]] Series/{{House}}'s parents were married… just not to one another.
* In the ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' episode "Born to be King", Prince Edmund is revealed to have been born on the wrong side of the blanket. His [[IdenticalGrandson identical descendant]] Lord Edmund Blackadder is also canonically a bastard. Both men repeatedly and underhandedly scheme to take the throne of England.
* The series ''Series/{{Merlin 2008}}'' has [[spoiler: Morgana]] as a female partial subversion. The King has treated her as his daughter her entire life but has not told her that she actually ''is'' his daughter. When she discovers the truth, it leads to a rather jarring bit of artistic license when [[spoiler: she attempts to assassinate her father and half-brother so she can claim the throne.]] When [[spoiler: Morgana does claim the throne and crowns herself,]] the people refuse to accept her. So, while she thinks she should have a legitimate claim to the throne (and it's strongly hinted that, to her sister, this is just a bonus and they'd have seized the throne anyway), no one else does.
* ''Series/ThePalace'': [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with [[RoyalBrat Prince]] [[SmugSnake George]]. When his brother King Richard's [[RoyalBlood legitimacy]] is in doubt, all four royal siblings take a [[DaddyDNATest DNA test]] just to be sure. Thinking he might turn out to be the rightful heir to the throne, [[TemptingFate George asks palace staffers for reigning advice with undisguised enthusiasm]]. The show ''really'' makes it seem like he will turn out to be illegitimate, so it's surprising when it doesn't happen.
* On ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney Stinson, CorruptCorporateExecutive and unscrupulous pick-up artist extraordinaire, believes himself to be the illegitimate son of game show host Bob Barker. Barney eventually admits this isn't true. Later, Barney and his brother meet their respective fathers and Barney seems better off for it.
* In ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'', a flashback episode for [[EvilSorcerer Jafar]] reveals he was a bastard son of the sultan, was abandoned, and kept as a servant to a cruel blacksmith. He goes to learn dark magic to get revenge on the Sultan and probably on everyone else.
* On ''Series/OnceUponATime'', Zelena is revealed to be [[spoiler: Cora's illegitimate daughter and Regina's half-sister]]. She is extremely envious of her royal relatives and her main goal is to steal back the life that she believes should have been hers. [[spoiler: This changes at the end of season five when it is discovered Zelena and Regina were once close as sisters but their mother Cora erased their memories of this period in their lives. Zelena and Regina regain these memories and their relationship is, for the most part, restored and Zelena is able to mostly let go of her envy.]]
* Elias on ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' is this. As an adult, he's a cunning and slippery mob boss. As a child, he saw his mother shot to death, and ended up in foster care. He got his StartOfDarkness when he tracked down his Mafia don father, hoping to become part of the family or at least part of the organisation, only to learn that his father was the one who ordered his mother's death--and he learns it from the assassins sent to kill him too. Decades later, he gets his revenge.
* On ''Series/GreenWing'', [[DrJerk Dr. Guy Secretan]], an arrogant jerk and bully, is the illegitimate son of a Swiss ski instructor. [[spoiler: Guy's parentage is revealed to the audience just before he becomes a literal and figurative motherfucker as well.]]
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "The Things We Left Behind", Crowley the King of Hell asks his estranged mother who his father was. Since Crowley was conceived during an orgy long before the invention of the [[DaddyDNATest paternity test]], she doesn't know.
* Ari Haswari from ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' is the illegitimate son of Mossad Director Eli David and a Palestinian woman, born specifically to be TheMole in Hamas. After his mother is killed, he turns on his father and Israel.

* "Wrathchild", by Music/IronMaiden.
-->My mother was the Queen, my father never seen, I was never meant to be\\
Now I spend my time looking all around for a man who's nowhere to be found
* "Your Lucky Day In Hell" by Music/{{Eels}} from their album ''Music/BeautifulFreak''.
-->Mama gripped on to the milkman's hand\\
And then she finally gave birth
* The UsefulNotes/WorldWarII propaganda song "Schickelgruber" portrays UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as this:
-->Schickelgruber! Schickelgruber!\\
You were born a child of shame.\\
You have always been a bastard,\\
Even though you changed your name.

* Mordred was the illegitimate son of Myth/KingArthur and [[BrotherSisterIncest his half-sister]], and plotted against his father. Virtually every modern adaptation of the legend has this, though usually in different ways. Special mention goes to the ''Series/{{Merlin 1998}}'' series, wherein Mordred's bastardry was taken UpToEleven. However, in the earliest references to "Medraut" very little is known about him, including his relationship with Arthur and whether he was friend or foe. The earliest myths to assign him a relationship to Arthur place him as a nephew but still don't assign him a BastardBastard role. That came much later.
** While Mallory makes Mordred's mother Arthur's less evil half-sister Margause and the conception an accident (because Arthur didn't know who his birth-mother was at the time), other versions have the conception being done deliberately by his DarkMagicalGirl sister Morgan le Fay in disguise.
* Aigisthos, son of Pelopia, who was raised by Pelopia's uncle Atreus as his own son. He was actually the result of Pelopia being [[ParentalIncest raped by her father Thyestes]] and went on to murder his adoptive father Atreus and later also his adoptive brother Agamemnon, after seducing his wife Clytaimnestra. Later killed by Agamemnon's son Orestes.
** This might be a case of ValuesDissonance, because Aigisthos did these things to avenge his father's suffering and his brothers' deaths at the hands of Atreus.
* Hagen (in Scandinavian versions: Högni), the illegitimate (usually half-elven or half-dwarven) half-brother of Gunther/Gunnar started out as one of the protagonists of the story of the downfall of the Burgundians, but gradually evolved into the major heavy of later retellings as in the context of the ''Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}'', where he no longer is Gunther's kinsman. But even in early versions such as the saga of Atli (Attila), Högni does become responsible for Gunnar's death when he tells Atli that he and Gunnar are bound by oath not to reveal where the Burgundian hoard is hidden so long as both of them are alive. Atli then has Gunnar killed only to have Högni tell him that he is not going to tell him anyway. So Högni ends up dead too, but the secret dies with him.
** He doesn't seem that villainous within context, considering in the Volsung Saga Gunther has him killed the same way. CharacterExaggeration in "Gotterdammerung" turned him into the villain.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* What happens when Wrestling/PaulBearer has an affair with the mother of Wrestling/TheUndertaker? You get Wrestling/{{Kane}}!

* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'':
** One of the rituals in ''[[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho014TheHolyTerror The Holy Terror]]'' is that the Queen always has two sons: one legitimate, one a deformed and evil bastard who will conspire to overthrow the heir.
** The [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoSpecialsIDavrosInnocence first episode]] of ''I, Davros'' reveals [[spoiler: Davros' mother [[EvilMatriarch Calcula's]] husband was sterile when he was conceived and his real father was Counciller Quested. And Davros is about as evil as they come, having created the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Da]][[AlwaysChaoticEvil leks]] and wiped out his own race to do so]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' has a lot, especially Cormyr-related: Obarskyrs tend to be rather passionate in general, but due to the [[HandsomeLech attitude and habits]] of Azoun IV an ''absurd'' amount of Cormyrean young nobles (and not only them) [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20061101a look embarrassingly alike]]. Some joined one of the coups, some are loyal to the official Obarskyr line's rule. ''Champions of Valor'' even had it as one of alternative backgrounds, whereby "Bastard of Azoun" comes across as comparable in spread with "Bardic tutelage" or "Monastery Orphan". Although given that the background was printed in a book dedicated to rules for ''heroic'' characters, [[HeroicBastard the subversion]] is probably far more common.
** Similarly, this is the basic plot of the Baldur's Gate series, with Bhaal fathering thousands of bastards and the main character having to be one or be a HeroicBastard to complete the game.
* A ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' module features a team of supervillains called [[WesternZodiac the Zodiac]]. Aquarius falls under this trope, being the son of King Henry VI and an unnamed peasant woman (who was later [[BurnTheWitch burned as a witch]]). His goal within the team is, naturally, to become king of England.

* Edmund from ''Theatre/KingLear''. He gets a lengthy soliloquy on why his bastard status causes him to be treated as a lesser man than his brother Edgar. Unlike most examples, his noble father the Earl of Gloucester acknowledges and loves Edmund, but that's not good enough--he wants to be the heir, and he'll do what it takes to make it happen.
** Though Gloucester can come across as unfeeling sometimes. He calls Edmund whoreson and talks about how he was conceived like it is a joke. It seems that Gloucester is not being mean, he just doesn't understand the hurt he is causing to Edmund. Yet the play is FairForItsDay in Edmund reasoning his actions and showing some good as he dies.
** Thing is, Gloucester doesn't treat Edgar any better, especially when they're both onstage. Even Edmund himself admits that his father loves both of his sons equally. How much love that equates to depends on the interpretation.
* Don John from ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'' is also a bastard and a villain, but since he's in a comedy instead of a tragedy, he's less effective--albeit narrowly. If Hero had actually killed herself, he could have been as vile and [[MagnificentBastard magnificently bastardish]] as Iago from ''Othello.''
* Depending on how you read Prospero's line "unnatural though thou art," his brother Antonio from ''Theatre/TheTempest'' could be construed as this.
* Hagen in Creator/RichardWagner's ''[[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Götterdämmerung]]''--the son of Alberich and queen Grimhild, the mother of king Gunther. The mastermind behind everything in the last day of the tetralogy, who also does not mind murdering Siegfried and Gunther himself to lay his hands on the Ring his father made.
* ''Theatre/MarginForError'' invokes this trope with regard to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, or "Mr. Schicklegruber," as Denny likes to call him:
-->"Schicklegruber, that's Adolf's ''real'' name. His mother's name. His father never gave him one, as everyone realizes intuitively."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking Prince Weiss]] from ''VideoGame/ArcRiseFantasia'' has shades of this as well as shades of HeroicBastard. His JerkAss attitude led to quite a few people who believe that he shouldn't be on the throne because he's a concubine's son and acts war-hungry throughout the game, not hesitating to invade another country without any formal declarations[[note]]killing countless civilians in the process[[/note]], his response to them is "[[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem Up yours]]". On the other hand, he was very protective and caring towards L'Arc, and he also [[spoiler:knowingly got himself cursed trying to save his and L'Arc's mother. Then there's the fact that all of his actions, as horrible as they may be, is ultimately meant to free humanity from the clutches of religion, a goal the the heroes soon pick up after his death.]]
* In the VideoGame/CrusaderKings series, bastards can be quite problematic, although ''any'' of your children or relatives can end up rebelling against you if you do something that makes them angry (including fully legitimate heirs trying to unseat kings in their 70s, [[RoyalBrat apparently out of impatience]]); bastards just have less reason to like you
* [[TallDarkAndSnarky Marcello]] of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' straddles the line between this and HeroicBastard. Born to a philandering rich guy who ''almost'' made him his heir, only to ditch him and his mother after his '''wife''' gave him a son, Marcello ''does'' work tirelessly to claw his way above the stigma of his social station, and ''does'' manage to make a name for himself… unfortunately, he does so by playing into the [[CorruptChurch corrupt factions of the]] [[SaintlyChurch Church of the Goddess]]. Eventually, he goes sailing over the MoralEventHorizon with eyes wide open by [[spoiler: assassinating the Pope and stealing his station]], robbing him of any sympathy... [[DracoInLeatherPants for most people]].
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowHeartsCovenant'', Nicolai Conrad, who first appears as a Vatican exorcist. It turns out that he's the illegitimate son of Russia's Tsar Nicolas, using the resources of a secret society to plot the overthrow of his father. [[spoiler: It gets worse when he makes a contract with one of the universe's three strongest demons.]]
* Kratos from the VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries is born out of one of Zeus many affairs and both father and son are bastards in their own rights.
* Caius d'al Cazarosta, of ''Videogames/SabresOfInfinity'' saw his own aristocratic mother executed before him as a boy because of his country's laws against banebloods [[note]]those who can sense and possibly use the bane, the setting's functional magic[[/note]] and baneless [[note]]those who can't[[/note]] reproducing with each other. As a result of this, he's spent his entire life being a social pariah whose willing to do anything to get a job done. And isn't afraid to destroy anyone who becomes "an obstacle".
* "Black Mask", TheHeavy in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' responsible for all the death and destruction commited by TheConspiracy throughout the story, is eventually revealed to be the illegitimate child of a politician [[spoiler:BigBad Masayoshi Shido]]. Also lampshaded, as he explains being treated like an unwanted child all his life is precisely why he thinks so little of humanity.
* Crow Harbor from ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' was one of the Ryuvian [[GodEmperor Infinite Emperor]]’s three sons, and the only bastard among them. When the Emperor and the crown prince were assassinated (which may or may not have been his doing), Crow went to war against his surviving brother, plunging the entire galaxy into a devastating civil war in order to put himself on the throne.
* In ''VideoGame/CriminalCase's'' Pacific Bay Season, the ArcVillain of the Inner City region is the son of the two leaders of the warring Chinese and Russian factions (they were StarCrossedLovers in the past, and they had to give up their newborn child for adoption, under peer pressure). He hired an unscrupulous BackAlleyDoctor to steal organs from various murder victims throughout the district, then [[spoiler:[[SelfMadeOrphan killed his own father]], the Russian leader]] in a bid to unite the two factions with him as leader.

* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', the Nidraa'chal were a group of demonic summoners who called themselves "[[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=4225 The Bastard Daughters of Sharess]]" and while drow don't have an equivalent of human marriage and in fact [[LineageComesFromTheFather inherit through the mother]] it seems to carry the connotation of "unrecognized" and "unable to inherit" that it's had historically. And one of their leaders, Kalki, is specifically referred to as [[spoiler:Snadhya'rune's]] illegitimate daughter, which seems to refer to the fact that she's apparently not legally recognized as a member of [[spoiler:both]] mother's family.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' history [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090227 offers a nearly endless potential supply]]:
--> '''Zola''': …and I'm allied with the ''Storm King''. A ''direct'' descendant of Andronicus [[EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench Valois]]!
--> '''Gil''': Zola, if the stories are true, ''[[ReallyGetsAround half of Europa]]''--
* Vin Vulpen in ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell''. There are other literal bastards in the comic, but only he was a product of infidelity, and the archnemesis of his half-brother Rudy (years before they found they were related).

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The bastard twin sisters of the Baron Richmond, in ''Literature/{{Twig}}'', are kept from even the Baron's tiny scrap of power by virtue of their illegitimacy. They channel it into creative sadism and madness instead.