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Anime and Manga
- Arsene Lupin III of Lupin III is the grandson of Arsène Lupin, an early twentieth century Gentleman Thief from a series of books by Maurice Leblanc. Goemon Ishikawa XIII is the descendant of Japanese bandit Ishikawa Goemon, 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 Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot.
- Lupin III: Dragon of Doom has Goemon attending a Kabuki Theatre performance of his ancestor's death. Manly Tears follow.
- Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo – Another Page 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 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, who is the direct descendant of Klaus G.S. Ingvalt, the legendary Ancient Belka king known for his extraordinary heroism. Unfortunately, in addition to his powers, she also directly inherited his memories and his will, 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, and she will show the ferocity that her ancestor was famous for.
- Averted with Sieglinde Jeremiah. Her ancestor is Wilfried Jeremiah, the one who taught Saint Kaiser Olivie Saegebrecht fighting techniques that made her become known as "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 the clone of 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 Big Bad recognizes Vivio as Olivie, and when she says that she's Olivie's descendant, the Big Bad points out that Olivie didn't have any descendants.
- In The Kindaichi Case Files, 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 Shōnen Onmyōji 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 Gundam: Usso Ewin from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. 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 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 Master Swordsman 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 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 certain deaf-mute swordsman who couldn't hear his boasting and some offscreen Character Development, Denshichiro grew out of it and into the stoic, stern, honor bound man we see in the present.
- In Aria the Scarlet Ammo, pretty much every important character has a famous ancestor, from Real Life or fictional works (Arsène Lupin, Sherlock Holmes, Jeanne d'Arc, Cleopatra, etc.) A good part of the reveals are about the characters' lineages. Which usually involve inherited superpowers of some sort.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Alex Brisbane is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great.
- In Marvel Comics, Iron Man's foe the Mandarin and the 50s Yellow Peril villain The Golden Claw both claim to be direct descendants of Genghis Khan. It's actually quite possible.
- The DCU has Lance Cpl. David Reid, a grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- In Ultimate Fantastic Four, Victor Van Damme can trace his lineage directly back to Vlad Tepes Dracula. And, since this is Ultimate Marvel, he probably really was a vampire.
- Colossus, a.k.a. Piotr Rasputin, is a direct descendant of the infamous Grigori Rasputin. Piotr doesn't claim kinship with any pride.
- Wynonna Earp is the great-great-granddaughter of Wyatt Earp.
- Some comics state that Bruce Wayne is a descendant of Revolutionary War general 'Mad' Anthony Wayne. (This is also a Development Gag as Batman's surname was inspired by 'Mad' Anthony Wayne.)
- In The Kents mini-series, Lois Lane mentions that she is related to famous abolitionist and Civil War general Jim Lane.
- 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: actually) has a famous ancestor in the Chevalier de Hadocque, Rackham's Arch-Nemesis, and makes it known that his ancestor's bellicose nature sometimes flares up without warning. The Thom(p)sons are crushed by the stampede of claimants running away.
- 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 Crimson, modern-day Knight Templar Barnebeau D'Orense claims to be a direct descendant of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the Patron Saint of the Templars. 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.
- In the The Legend of Zelda fic Blood and Spirit, Sheik is stated to be descended from the original Skyward Sword-era Impa.
- Very common in the Fallout: Equestria universe. Littlepip and her cousin Velvet Remedy are descendants of Applejack, and Blackjack is descended from Twilight Sparkle's bastard daughter.
- Castlevania: Nocturne of Ruin: Oliver of the Order of Ecclesia, and the fic's shopkeeper, is a descendant of Shanoa, protagonist of Castlevania Orderof Ecclesia.
- Power Rangers GPX: 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 Broken Souls is a distant relative of 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 Emael Mosekhesailho two cast members are descendants of characters from the Rihannsu novels. Sahuel t'Khnialmnae is a direct descendant of Aidoann t'Khnialmnae, Ael t'Rllaillieu's Number Two, 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.
- Pony POV Series: Many the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic characters are descendants of My Little Pony 'n Friends and My Little Pony Tales characters, many who were considered great heroes.
- The Bridge:
- 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. 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 The Immortal Game, Twilight Sparkle is descended from Astor Coruscare, one of the greatest warriors and generals in the history of Equestria.
- The Life and Times of a Winning Pony:
- 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 adoptive daughter Midnight Sparkle. Sunset Shimmer can also trace her ancestry to Sunbeam, by means of Sunbeam’s bastard son Daylight Shimmer.
- Ash is all but stated to be a descendant from Sir Aaron in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines.
- In Sky High (2005), the main character has two very famous superheroes as his parents. It appears to be a subversion of this trope, until 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 Buffalo Soldiers, 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 Quentin Tarantino, Django Freeman and Broomhilda Von Shaft are the ancestors of John Shaft.
- In Back to the Future Part II, 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 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.
- All the magicians in the Children of the Red King series are descendants of the Red King, from whom they get their powers.
- In Dragon Bones, 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 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.
- Charles Stross' The Merchant Princes Series 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 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.
- 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...
- The Da Vinci Code: 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 The Dresden Files 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 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 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 Mythology Gag 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.
- Sherlock Holmes 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 The World Is Not Enough from the James Bond novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the same as Real Life's Sir Thomas Bond's. The relation is implied but never outright stated.
- Sun Jian from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, along with his children, all claim descent from Sun Tzu.
- Red Dwarf book Last Human has an inversion: Rimmer's one-night stand with Yvonne McGruder led to 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.
- The Reynard Cycle:
- Duke Nobel claims to be descended from Aquilia, the man who delivered the killing blow to 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 slain by a large cat chimera with a mane of snakes.
- The Chronicles of Prydain:
- 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. 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 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 Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Jose Bauer might be the daughter of science fiction author Philip José Farmer.
- In Breakfast of Champions, Eddie Key, the black driver of the Martha Simmons Memorial Mobile Disaster Unit, is a direct descendant of Francis Scott Key.
Live Action TV
- Octavian happily uses this on 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 Star Trek fame claims descent from Arthur Conan Doyle (or perhaps from Sherlock Holmes, depending on how you wish to interpret the quote) through his human mother, Amanda Grayson.
- And 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 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 The West Wing, Pres. Josiah Bartlett is supposed to be descended from the delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the same name.
- In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, Matt pretends for a school report that their family in descended from, among others, Elvis Presley and Davy Crockett. Leads to An Aesop about lying.
- Rose, on The Golden Girls, believed for years that Bob Hope was her biological father.
- Played twice in 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 ZZ Top. Her full name is Angela Pearly Gates Montenegro, "Pearly Gates" being 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 resembles Billy Gibbons."
- Every member of the teams of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (bar sixth rangers) have a famous ancestor - more specifically, they were the original group.
- On 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 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan learns he is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. It triggers some Character Development, as he tries to make a serious film re-interpreting his life on a shoestring budget.
- In Head of the Class, Darlene discovers that is descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.
- Downton Abbey has "Great aunt" Roberta Crawley, who loaded the guns at Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny.
- Bottom: When someone asks Eddie Hitler jokingly whether he's related to Adolf, Eddie enthusiastically answers: "Yeah!"
- D'Angelo from The Wire 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.
- Game of Thrones:
- 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 Jekyll and Hyde (2015) Robert is the grandson of Dr. Jekyll, Max is the grandson of Gabriel Utterson, and Lily is the granddaughter of Sir Danvers Carew.
- Classic radio-serial (and later comic book, movie and TV) hero The Green Hornet (real name Britt Reid) was the grand-nephew of John Reid, better known as The Lone Ranger. 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 The Shadow 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.
- The Legend of the Five Rings 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.
- The whole story of Assassin's Creed 1 - 3 is centered around Desmond Miles learning how to be an assassin from his famous ancestors via Genetic Memory.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, the royal family of the Halidom of Ylisse, including Supporting Leader Chrom, are all descended from Marth of the Archanea games.
- Fred Bonaparte, direct descendant of Napoleon in 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 Ōkami 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: 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 Touhou series claims to be a descendant of Vlad Ţepeş. She's lying.
- Sanae Kotiya is a distant descendant of the goddess Suwako, who 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 is still around, so Sanae is a Miko serving under her own ancestor, who is also her roommate, and who prefers the form of a little girl with a goofy frog hat.
- Tales of the Abyss: 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 Fallout 2 the PC is The Chosen One, just because he/she is the grandchild of the original Vault Dweller, the hero of the first game.
- The sole claim to fame of the protagonist of the original Dragon Quest 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, and ultimately receive the title of Loto/Erdrick, making them the Famous Ancestor of the prior games' protagonists.
- In the Neo Geo game Ninja Commando, Ryu Eagle claims to be Fuuma Kotaro the 32nd.
- Nathan Drake of Uncharted claims to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, despite history stating that Francis Drake never had any children. According to Drake's Deception, however, this statement is simply a Changeling Fantasy.
- Tomb Raider (2013): Sam Nishimura, Lara's best friend, is descended from Himiko, the Sun Queen of Yamatai, a fact that Sam takes much pride in until everything that happens to her and Lara on the island.
- James Lee Quatermain of Deadfall Adventures is the great-grandson of Allan Quatermain, 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 Dragon Age 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.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds all involve descendants of the Sages who in turn become Sages themselves.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Yunobo is a descendant of the Goron Champion Daruk. His Superpowerful Genetics allow him to use Daruk's Protection just like his ancestor.
- In SwordCat Princess, Kathryn is the semi-secret daughter of High King Brian Boru of Ireland. Julia and James acknowledge that she is the daughter of Lord Oberon.
- In 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. 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 both ancestors and present trolls were created at the same time through ectobiology. Admittedly it was Karkat doing the ectobiology, but still...
- This is actually a subversion though. 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.
- Charlie Blackmane in The Story of Anima is descended from a legendary pirate clan.
- Subverted in "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind", the intro novel for Phase in the Whateley Universe. 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 Fate/Nuovo Guerra combines this with Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. 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 Nasu Verse operate, direct descent is the norm, and so her claims are more valid than most.
- In 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 Famed In-Story teammate Pyrrha ends up secretly training him to help him catch-up to his classmates.
- Staci from Total Drama: Revenge of the Island brags about her ancestors' feats. They're Blatant Lies.
- Family Guy:
Brian: Wait, that means you're Italian.Stewie: Of course! My love for Spaghetti-Os and smoking on the toilet! It all fits!
- Played for laughs when Peter claims to be descended from Adolf Hitler's brother, Peter Hitler. (Although given that it's Peter, the legitimacy of this claim is questionable)
- In a later episode, Stewie finds out that's he's the descendant of Leonardo da Vinci.
- The Venture Bros.:
- 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 (Hank not so much) to be a super scientist as well.
- Phantom Limb is the grandson of Fantômas.
- The titular character of Milo Murphy's Law is a descendant of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the man who Murphy's Law was named after. In the show, said law is a Hereditary Curse that has given Murphy and all of his male descendants ridiculously bad luck.
- There is a scientist fellow who claims that 0.5% of the world's males have a genetic lineage traceable to Genghis Khan, or his close male relatives, but this is disputed too.
- Several US presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and both Roosevelts, plus other famous Americans such as Robert E. Lee and Humphrey Bogart, 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 a king of England while Bill Clinton was descended from a man executed by said king. Several rather fanciful articles were published speculating that De Montfort's revenge had finally been avenged.
- The Bible
- The Bible states that Jesus Christ is a descendant of King David as this was one of the requirements to be the Jewish Messiah, making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- Given that the Bible tells us that David's son Solomon had 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 Toy Story 2 when the first thing Jessie the cowgirl says upon meeting the Hanks-voiced Woody is "Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln!"
- And John Scalzi 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).
- Julius Caesar 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.
- Alexander the Great claimed descent from 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.
- Barack Obama is said to be a descendant of CSA president Jefferson Davis.
- Christopher Lee was a direct descendant of 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 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 King Arthur. 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 a rather more famous Tudor.)
- Frank Zappa 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: Francesco Zappa. 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 Brooke Shields is Dona Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi. Through her, Shields is a descendant of: