"Now, I need to say that he's not actually my uncle. For us Italians, anyone who's allowed to take off his belt and hit you with it you have to call uncle."Your parents' True Companions, though not actually related by blood or marriage, are your uncles and aunts. Conversely, if you're very young, your True Companions' uncles and aunts are likely to be yours as well, through contagion, and their parents may be uncle and aunt to you. Actual relatives, even if they're second-cousins-three-times-removed or some such distant relationship merely simplified to "uncle/aunt", don't count. It goes without saying that they're all guaranteed to qualify for Cool Uncle (or Creepy Uncle) status. Compare Oba-san. This trope is used only in the context of a stronger relationship; as a rule, it would not be surprising to discover that an Honorary Uncle was named as the guardian, if something happened to the parents. This trope does not cover cultures where all older adults are addressed as "Uncle" or "Aunt" — only those with special relationships. In a Babies Ever After ending, the unmatched characters may fall into this role, so they have a place in the Happy Ending. A frequently sardonic invocation is for a character to be referred to, or refer to himself, as "Uncle" to indicate a friendly relationship that nevertheless has elements of authority.
— Santo Cilauro, The Late Show (Australia)
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Anime & Manga
- The girls of Minami-ke have a relative, Takeru, whom they call oji-san ("uncle" in this context). At one point they realize they've forgotten what his actual relation to them is, so Haruka calls someone else in the family to ask; turns out Takeru is technically their cousin. But he's a good ten years older than any of them, and he takes his surrogate-uncle role seriously. At one point we see him grilling the unfortunate Fujioka about his interest in Kana.
- In Dragon Ball Z, Goten sometimes addresses Vegeta as "ojisan" (either "uncle" or "mister," depending on context) despite there being no blood between them. This is likely due to his being best friends with Trunks and the fact that Vegeta was probably the only prominent adult male figure in Goten's early life. This was not maintained in the American dub, however.
- Also, Gohan to Krillin who is one of his father's closest friends. He even calls him "uncle" at least once.
- Piccolo is sometimes called "Uncle Piccolo" by fans later in the series due to his close relationship with Gohan and his somewhat exasperated affection for Goten, Trunks, and Gotenks. In the original Japanese Gohan consistently refers to him as "Piccolo-san," (roughly, "Mr. Piccolo," which is Gohan's usual form of address for him in the English dub). However, Gohan once refers to him as his "big green uncle" in the English dub, and he is called "Uncle Strangehead" in the Malaysian dub.
- In Fruits Basket, Kisa, who is 12 years old when she first appears, calls Hatori, Ayame, and Shigure Sohma "Grandpa" (in the English sub of the anime, although it should be "Uncle") or "Oji-chan" (in the English sub of the manga), despite their being only 15 years older than she is.
- Joseph Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure calls his deceased Grandfather's best friend "Uncle" Speedwagon, considering him just as much a part of his family as his Grandmother.
- Hayate Yagami from Lyrical Nanoha refers to Gil Graham, a friend of her father (his cover story while using her in his plan to fill and then seal the Book Of Darkness) who supports her, as "Graham-oji-san".
- In X1999, Kamui calls his best friend's father "uncle." This led to some confusion among fans as to whether Kamui and Fuuma were cousins (they're not).
- Extremely Squicky example in Kare Kano: Asaba becomes so much this trope from even before the kids are born that Yukino teases Soichiro that he's almost like a second husband and father. The Squick comes in when it's revealed that their daughter Sakura is his "soul mate". He tries to .
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed and Al refer to the Doctors Rockbell, Urey and Sara, as "Aunt and Uncle Rockbell." They're not related to the Elrics in any way but since they are Winry's parents they are still close.
- In Saiyuki, in one of Hakkai's versions of the future he mentions Gojyo will be his children's uncle.
- Katekyō Hitman Reborn! Yuni addresses Reborn (who happens to know both her mother and grandmother) as "Reborn-ojii-sama". Tsuna is understandably shocked.
- In Fate/Zero, Rin and Sakura Tohsaka refer to Kariya Matou as 'Uncle Kariya'. Kariya himself is the Unlucky Childhood Friend of their mother Aoi, and loves Rin and Sakura like (and secretly wishes) they were his own daughters. Kariya becomes Sakura's adoptive uncle before the start of the Fourth Holy Grail War.
- In Fairy Tail, the human Natsu Dragneel was the adopted son of the dragon Igneel. Later, when the dragon Atlas Flame learns of their relation, he ceases his attack on Natsu and joins his side, because Igneel was his best friend. Natsu starts calling him Uncle.
- In the CLANNAD ~After Story~ Recap Episode, Tomoya Okazaki refers to Youhei Sunohara as "Uncle Youhei."
- In My Monster Secret, multiple Grandkids from the Future join the cast in the series' second half, further complicating the Love Dodecahedron. In one chapter, Yuka refers to both Asahi as "Grandpa" and Shiho as "Grandmother". Shiho is distraught since Asahi is dating Youko and she's horrified at the idea that she'd ever do something as despicable as stealing her best friend's boyfriend. Thankfully, Yuka quickly clarifies that Asahi is simply an Honorary Grandfather to the younger members of La Résistance, and that they're not actually blood relatives.
- In the Fantastic Four, Franklin and Valeria Richards, Reed and Sue's children, call Ben "Uncle Ben"; Ben is even Franklin's godfather (and Frank's middle name, Benjamin, was given in honor of Ben, Reed's best friend since college). Spider-Man has also become one of these over the years, thanks to being more and more ingrained in the family. The way he's taken over Johnny's spot recently has been compared to an uncle moving in to look after everyone following a death in the family. Also, their nemesis Doctor Doom is also the official godfather of Valeria and was even the one who named her due to helping Sue give birth to her. The FF has always been just as much a family as a team, so this makes sense.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
- In many (albeit not all) stories, Donald's nephews call his girlfriend "Aunt Daisy."
- In Italian Scrooge McDuck comics, Scrooge's New Old Flame Glittering Goldie has a granddaughter who jokingly calls him "Granddad." A-hem...
- Splinter, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is Shadow Jones' Honorary Uncle, a title he shares with retired superhero "Stainless" Steve Steel. Shadow also collectively refers to the turtles as her uncles.
- Arsenal's daughter Lian of Teen Titans refers to all the other Titans as either "Aunt ____" or "Uncle ____".
- TRON: Ghost in the Machine (follow up to Tron 2.0, Alternate Continuity to TRON: Legacy), Jet Bradley refers to "Uncle Kevin's" trip into cyberspace. An in-game email says that Kevin is Jet's godfather.
- Shazam has "Uncle Marvel," or Uncle Dudley. He was originally a Loveable Rogue who tried to exploit the Marvel family but developed a soft spot for them, becoming their Team Dad. Eventually he was Ret Conned into being Billy's actual uncle, however. In the post-Crisis Power of Shazam series, he was the janitor at Billy's school, but Billy only ever called him "Mr Dudley".
- Astro City
- After Quarrel broke up with MPH, he did find a wife who was a better match for him, and Quarrel became "Aunt Jess" to their kids.
- The female superheroines of Honor Guard are this to Hummingbird II, as they are friends of her mother. They offer her support, training, and advice, especially in matters that she doesn't feel comfortable talking to her mom about.
- Uncle Chuck to most of the cast in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. He's even this post-reboot to Sonic when he once actually was his uncle, as Sega has mandated that characters originating from the games can't have familial relations in the comic.
- In the newspaper comic Cathy, Cathy's friend Andrea encouraged her daughter Zenith to call Cathy "Aunt Cathy" — and when Cathy's mother came to visit, she was declared "Aunt Grandma."
- In Mallard Fillmore, a baby thinks that his uncle really thought he had pulled off the baby's nose and had in it in his hand; he really hopes that it's just an honorary uncle and not a blood connection.
- In The Three Aunts, the women agree to help the heroine in return for this.
"Well never mind, child," said the old woman, "If you'll call me Aunt on the happiest day of your life, I'll spin this flax for you, and so you may just go away and lie down to sleep."
She complained of her trouble, and then they offered her their help and said, "If thou wilt invite us to the wedding, not be ashamed of us, and wilt call us thine aunts, and likewise wilt place us at thy table, we will spin up the flax for thee, and that in a very short time."
- The Three Spinners also want this.
- In the Indian fairy tale The Boy with the Moon on his Forehead, the boy keeps a Rakshasi from eating her by addressing her as this.
[He], approaching the place where the Rakshasas were prowling about, called out, “O auntie dear, O auntie dear, your nephew is here.” A huge Rakshasi came towards him and said, “O, you are the youth with the moon on your forehead and stars on the palms of your hands. We were all expecting you, but as you have called me aunt, I will not eat you up."
- In Asbjørnsen and Moe's The Blue Belt, the boy wins over a troll by calling him grandfather.
"Good evening, grandfather!" said the lad.
"Well, here I've sat three hundred years," said the man who sat on the bench, "and no one has ever come and called me grandfather before." Then the lad sat down by the man's side, and began to talk to him as if they had been old friends.
- Both this and the above Indian tale probably stem from being polite: while in Standard English the polite way to address an older person would be 'sir' or 'ma'am', in many other languages it's preferred to call them as if they're a relative. The moral is, be polite or monsters will eat you.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon and his sister consider Keiichi, Rika, Rena, Mion, Shion, Satoko and Satoshi as their aunts/uncles, despite only being related to the former two.
- Pops up a lot in CSI: NY fics involving the Danny/Lindsay pairing and their daughter Lucy. There's a lot of Lucy and "Uncle Don" and "Uncle Mac" and "Aunt Stella" and sometimes others like Sheldon or Sid get into it as well. Prime example: CTI-Jenn's "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" and "Begin Again" duo. (can be accessed through author page at the same link.)
- Any Emergency! fic Roy's kids are in will have them calling Johnny their uncle. Occasionally it can extend to the other guys too, depending on the writer.
- 'series has Roy tell his kids it's a privilege to call John this, and a couple of times, Chris misbehaves, angers Roy and John, and has to ask John if he can call him this again.
- This fic, "Lost and Found" and its sequel, have Roy and Joanne adopting John's infant daughter after he is kidnapped and presumed dead. Then, John is found alive. John is encouraged to bond with his daughter, though Roy once makes a mistake and calls John Uncle Johnny in front of her. In the sequel, Roy tries to get the baby to call him Uncle Roy as John begins taking her place as her father, but she won't have it, and they end up becoming Poppa Roy and Mama Joanne.
- In Windfall, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity are all referred to as the aunts of Fluttershy and Big Macintosh's foal.
- The Oranges in the Manehattanverse insist on their friends calling them Auntie and Uncle.
- In The Elements of Friendship, Twilight refers to King Leo of Aquastria, Celestia's cousin, as "Uncle Leo".
- GF Serendipity: Stan is this to Fiddleford's son.
- In The Bridge, Ki Seong is considered Gentle Leaf's aunt because she is best friends with her parents.
Films — Animated
- In Sleeping Beauty, Aurora addresses her three foster-mothers, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, as her "aunts."
- The Pelekai sisters, Lilo and Nani, treat the extraterrestrial Jumba Jookiba and Wendy Pleakley as their respective uncle and aunt figures (even though the latter alien is male), allowing the two move to in with them when the two aliens were exiled to Earth after the climax of Lilo & Stitch. This is especially seen throughout Lilo & Stitch: The Series, with the aliens helping out their niece figures and vice versa.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Sound of Music, the seven Von Trapp children call Max "Uncle Max" even though he's just a family friend.
- The movie On Our Own is about a group of orphaned children trying to make it to their uncle's house. It's revealed later in the movie that he isn't actually their uncle, but a family friend—which complicates their quest in finding someone to take care of them.
- The film Spy Kids features Uncle Felix, who is really a bodyguard assigned to the family. Subverted in the sense that before he reveals the secret life of their parents as spies, the kids really thought he was their blood uncle.
- In the live action film of The Flintstones, an anguished Pebbles cries out "Wake up, Uncle Barney!" after Barney is knocked unconscious. It's not like we shouldn't believe that this was the case in the series, though; Barney and Fred have been friends since fifth grade.
- "Old Wen" from Eat Drink Man Woman is an Honorary Uncle to Chu's three daughters, to the point of being visibly shocked upon hearing of his death.
- In Finding Neverland, the Llewelyn-Davies boys call James Barrie "Uncle James" and "Uncle Jim" after he befriends them and their mother. Given James' personality, though, he's more of an honorary big brother.
- Donna's best friends are Auntie Tanya and Auntie Rosie to her daughter Sophie in Mamma Mia!.
- In the film version of The Who's Tommy, the mother's second husband asks Tommy to call him Uncle Frank. Whether or not he considers him as such (Tommy is mute through most of his life) is another matter.
- Uncle Tadpole in Bran Nue Dae, although subverted at the end, when it turns out he is Willy's father, much to everybody's surprise except Willy's mum.
- Aunt Maggie from Child's Play wasn't really Andy's aunt. She was a close friend and co-worker to his mom.
- In Shrek the Third, Shrek's wife Fiona is pregnant. Shrek's companion Donkey exclaims in celebration that he's going to be an uncle.
- In Kontroll, Bulcsu the ticket inspector calls Bela the train driver "Uncle Bela." They are obviously not relations, because Bulcsu doesn't know that the young woman in the bear suit is Bela's daughter.
- In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Clint Barton's kids call Natasha Romanoff "Auntie Nat", and she interacts with the Barton family as though she and Clint have been siblings all their lives.
- In the The Santa Clause series, there probably isn't a more exact term for the relationship between Scott and Lucy, who is the daughter of Scott's ex-wife by her second husband. The Calvin/Miller family seems to have decided that this trope is the simplest solution. Lucy addresses her half-brother's father as "Uncle Scott", and they obviously have an affectionate relationship.
- In Fire and Hemlock, Tom Lynn, a completely unrelated adult friend is this to the protagonist. When she suggests she could call him "Uncle Tom", he points out that that would have Unfortunate Implications, and recommends that she reads the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to understand why. He doesn't seem to have a problem with being a honorary uncle as such, though. The protagonist develops a crush on him, which he tries to gently discourage; he needs her friendship but has moral scruples about their relationship turning into a romantic one.
- In the Star Wars novels, both the Skywalker and Solo kids refer to Lando Calrissian as "Uncle Lando."
- In the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Dagmer is this to Theon. Completely averted in Game of Thrones, where Dagmer is a younger, utterly treacherous psychopath.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga books, Miles Vorkosigan called Simon Illyan "Uncle Simon" until he entered the military. Cordelia is also viewed as an honorary aunt to the Koudelka sisters.
- In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 Gaunt's Ghosts novel First & Only, Ibrim Gaunt's father's commander featured as his "Uncle Dercius".
- The Importance of Being Earnest: Cecily addresses her guardian Jack as her uncle 'from motives of respect that you could not possibly appreciate'.
- In Jo Walton's Half a Crown, Elvira refers to her adoptive father as "Uncle Carmichael".
- A Mind Screw version in Dragaera. Devera calls Vlad "Uncle Vlad". The thing is, Devera is the not-yet-born daughter of Vlad's Dragaeran friend Aliera, and the father is Aliera's long-dead ancestor Kieron. As Vlad is the reincarnation of Kieron's brother (and Aliera is the reincarnation of their sister), he might be Devera's literal uncle as well. Devera also refers to Aliera's cousin as "Uncle 'Rollan," which probably qualifies as honorary. Well, unless it's because Morrolan, by pledging his soul to Verra, almost qualifies as Aliera's stepfather as well—Verra calls him "beloved," after all. Like we said—Mind Screw.
- The Mouse and His Child lets the mouse adopt their helpful friends the Frog, Kingfisher and Bittern, and even the villainous Manny Rat, now repentant, and toothless as honorary uncles.
- In L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, Marilla has Anne call her "Marilla" and not "Aunt Marilla". However, later, when Anne has children, she's "Aunt Marilla" to them. In fact, many extended families in Montgomery's stories are like this - just ask the Murrys of New Moon or the Leslies of Cloud of Spruce. No matter what your relationship to a member of the older generation, they are "Aunt" or "Uncle." Special cases, however, merit "Cousin" no matter what the age of the person - such as Cousin Jimmy, who "isn't all there."
- At the end of John Barnes's One for the Morning Glory, Sir John is explicitly described as acting as a honorary uncle to Amatus and Calliope's children.
- In A Wrinkle in Time, Meg Murray gives one of the faceless tentacled aliens from planet Ixchel the nickname "Aunt Beast".
- In Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night, Saint George solicits permission to call Harriet Vane "Aunt Harriet" because she knows too many of his secrets. He doesn't get it. (And then she becomes his real aunt.)
- In Tamora Pierce's Daughter of the Lioness, Aly calls all the main characters of the first two Tortall quartets "Aunt" and "Uncle" (except, obviously, for her the ones who are her parents, and Daine's animals.)
- In The Belgariad, Garion always called Polgara "Aunt Pol" growing up. Technically, she's his infinite-great-aunt, but it still applies. He still does in informal situations in the Mallorean; Ce'Nedra (his wife) uses the name for her at one point near the end, a sign of how their relationship has changed. In turn, Polgara refers to the sorcerer Beldin (who helped raise her) as "Uncle Beldin" - when she isn't flinging (well-returned) insults at him.
- In one of the prequels, Polgara comments that most little boys she meets call her "Aunt Pol". Granted, a good number of them are her great-nephews (Garion's ancestors).
- Edgar Rice Burroughs begins John Carter of Mars by describing how Carter has a Direct Line to the Author, recounting his first meeting:
I was then a child of but five years, yet I well remember the tall, dark, smooth-faced, athletic man whom I called Uncle Jack.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Dead Beat, when Harry insists on speaking to Luccio alone, Ramirez tells the other young Wardens, "We have to go sit with Uncle Morgan while the other adults have a serious talk."
- A straighter example would be Harry to Michael's kids.
- Which is kind of creepy considering Molly's one-sided crush on him...
- In C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: Eustace reveals that all the younger Friends of Narnia call the elderly Polly Plummer "Aunt Polly." Professor Digory Kirke is always "The Professor," though.
- In Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr series, David Starr was raised after his parents' death by his father's two best friends, "Uncle Gus" and "Uncle Hector." The three men were so close that as a child, David sometimes got confused and called his father Uncle Lawrence, too.
- Aunt Bertha in The Great Brain books is an unrelated widow who lives with the Fitzgeralds.
- Although Esmerelda Weatherwax in the Discworld series is often called "Granny Weatherwax", there's something more significant about Tiffany Aching being told she can refer to her by that title in A Hat Full of Sky (especially since one of the themes of The Wee Free Men was the loss of her actual Granny Aching). Not that having Esme as an Honorary Grandmother is easy...
- The "character refers to self as 'uncle' to indicate a friendly relationship that nevertheless has elements of authority" variation appears in Monstrous Regiment, since Mal is wiser and (probably, being a vampire) older than the rest of The Squad: "Here's a happy little dream from your Uncle Maladict..." Mal also addresses a squadmate as "kid".
- In the Miss Marple story "The Mirror Crack'd From Side To Side", Inspector Craddock starts calling Miss Marple "Aunt Jane" — which he doesn't in any of the other books he's in.
- Sidney Carton becomes one of these to Charles and Lucie's children in A Tale of Two Cities
- Bridget Jones' Uncle Geoffrey is actually a close friend of her parents'.
- In the Teenage Worrier series, Letty mentions that some divorced parents ask their children to call the parent's new partner "Aunt" or "Uncle."
- In Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, narrator/protagonist Lily overhears Snow Flower addressing their chaperone the matchmaker informally as "Auntie", assumes this trope is the case, and imitates the form of address to beg for sweets. In a later chapter, Snow Flower admits that the matchmaker really is her aunt. Later when Snow Flower is dying, her last request to Lily is that she become this to her children. She agrees.
- In Angie Sage's Septimus Heap books, Aunt Zelda is not only an aunt to all the Heap boys, and Jenna, who was raised as her niece, but to Wolf Boy as well.
- In P. G. Wodehouse's Thank You, Jeeves, Bertie admits that he's always regarded Jeeves less as a valet and more as "a sort of uncle".
- In Michael Flynn's Up Jim River, Zorba is the harper's honorary uncle. The Fudir finds this small comfort in view of the Living Legend status of the man.
- In On the Razor's Edge, the harper is told to listen to her "Auntie Gwen."
- In L. M. Montgomery's Jane of Lantern Hill, Little Aunt Em is this to everyone — Jane's father can't even remember which of her husbands was second and so what her legal name is. Also Uncle Tombstone, whose real name is Tunstone and is described as not having a niece or nephew in the world.
- In Wen Spencer's Elfhome, Chloe tries to talk Tinker into talking, urging her to confide in "Auntie Chloe." Given she's a reporter, this just puts Tinker's back up.
- By the time Scarlett marries Rhett in Gone with the Wind, her son Wade has been calling him "Uncle Rhett" for years.
- In The Phantom Tollbooth, after Faintly Macabre has told Milo and Tock her story and about Rhyme and Reason, she tells them they may call her Aunt Faintly.
- In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels,
- Toby is "Auntie Birdie" to a whole family of children
- In Late Eclipses, she remembers how Sylvester was "Uncle Sylvester" and her Parental Substitute, and Raysel calls Oleander "Auntie", spitefully, while thanking her for her help and killing her.
- In the later Left Behind books, Buck and Chloe have a son. Tsion Ben-Judah, one of the people who lives with them, is referred to as "Unca Zone".
- In C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, Orual calls the Fox "Grandfather."
- In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles, Aelvarim refers to "Grandmother Dickerson."
- In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, Mme. Padva was Tante Padva to Chadresh, whne he was a child.
- In The Mortal Instruments Clary Fray considers Luke Garroway to be like an uncle since he's been around her whole life.
- At the end of A Little Princess, Mr. Carrisford tells Sara to call him Uncle Tom after he adopts her.
- Philip Carey becomes "Uncle Phil" to (most of) Thorpe Athelny's children in Of Human Bondage.
- The Last Dragon Chronicles: Liz and Arthur are this to Alexa.
- Southern Vampire Mysteries: Sookie is known as Aunt Sookie to Hunter, who is actually her cousin once removed. In narration, she notes that where she lives one typically calls "Aunt" or "Uncle" one who is related to you and of an older generation, regardless of what their specific relation is.
- The Poster Children: Mal, Marshal, Ernest, Rosario, and Libby's parents are all friends and they call each other's parents either "Auntie" or "Uncle." The exception being Mal and Marshal's father, Corbin Underwood, (who was estranged when alive) and in Marshal's case, Amira, who started out as an Honorary Aunt but became his stepmother, even calling her Mom after she marries Corbin.
- Ernest frequently refers to Roz and Mal's moms as "the Aunties" and when Zip first met Mal, she heard him talking to Ernest's dad and calling him "Uncle John." When she comments she didn't know The Commander was his uncle, he clarifies that it is "a familiar term, not a literal one."
- In Heidi, Heidi's grandfather is called "Uncle" by the villagers— this is later picked up by Heidi's friends from the city, too. Heidi's mother's family started it because they knew he was a distant relation of theirs, but couldn't quite recall what and wanted to be friendly to him. He's often referred to as "the Alm-Uncle."
- In Wearing the Cape novel Small-Town Heroes, Atifa calls them "Aunt Hope" and "Aunt Jacky" after a trip to the beach. Later, a figure from the future reveals that this is going to develop.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban "Aunt Marge" is actually only Dudley's aunt — though, in a subversion, Harry is forced to call her that.
- In Heroes Fanon, it is generally accepted that Claire knew Claude, her father's old partner, as "Uncle Claude". This was also mentioned on the commentary for the episode "Company Man".
- Arrested Development had Uncle Jack "and remember, he's not really their uncle!"
- In How I Met Your Mother, Future Ted regularly refers to the other characters as Aunt Robin, Uncle Barney, Uncle Marshall, and Aunt Lily when talking to his kids. This has led to a lot of Wild Mass Guessing (more so in earlier seasons, before several possibilities got Jossed) as to whether any of them will, by the end of the series, actually end up related by some sort of Tangled Family Tree or Double In-Law Marriage situation.
- There's an episode of The Golden Girls in which Dorothy's goddaughter is getting married. She calls her "Aunt Dorothy." Fine. Then Blanche appears and the young woman calls her "Aunt Blanche," despite there being absolutely no indication that Blanche even knows her.
- The son of a murder victim on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit called his mom's best friend Aunt Gina. She shortly turned up murdered, too.
- Referenced in Shane's graduation speech in Weeds where one of the groups he named in the introduction was "...people we call aunts and uncles but really aren't..."
- Supernatural: Bobby Singer is definitely Sam and Dean's honorary uncle, considering that he's been a better father figure to them (especially Dean) than their own father ever was. He's also the one who told Dean (in the Season 3 finale): "Family don't end with blood, boy."
- Joey from Full House is the childhood best friend of Danny Tanner. Danny's daughters only call him "Uncle Joey" a few times in early episodes. Despite not being related to the family he acts as an uncle to the kids of the house. Joey usually handles the day-to-day raising of the kids by doing chores like making meals, driving the kids to school appointments, and after school activities, taking care of Michelle as a baby, and helping the kids with their homework. He also becomes their Uncle Jesse's best friend and Jesse insists his children call Joey, "Uncle Joey" as a sign of respect.
- Early seasons of Saturday Night Live had Buck Henry as Uncle Roy, who gets ... a little too friendly while babysitting for his "nieces" (he is a friend of their mother's).
- More recently there is the Weekend Update guest character, Drunk Uncle. He's somebody's uncle, but it's never specified whose, he just shows up drunk and opinionated.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Major Kira became this for the O'Brien's children after being the surrogate for their son and living with them for several months.
- Power Rangers Samurai: Bulk (yes, Bulk) to Skull's son Spike.
- In Frasier, Roz refers to the Cranes as "Uncle Frasier," "Uncle Niles," and "Aunt Daphne" when talking to her daughter Alice.
- In Red Dwarf, Rimmer seems to think he'll be this after Lister gets pregnant in an alternate universe.
- In The Sopranos, the mob guys are all honorary uncles towards their associates' respective children. Tony and Christopher are the most prominent example: as Christopher is Tony's protege, Tony always refers to him as his "nephew", even though he's actually Carmella's cousin.
- On Awkward., Jenna's mother's best friend, Ally, is her honorary aunt. Subverted in that Jenna and Ally can't stand each other and Jenna dislikes having to refer to her as Aunt Ally.
- During JAG's first season, Lt. Meg Austin could get hard-to-acquire information from her Uncle Ollie. Played by Oliver North, formerly a Lt. Colonel in the US Marine Corps who was (in)famous for his involvement in the Real Life Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980's.
- In Friends there's one episode where Rachel is delighted to be "fun Aunt Rachel" to Ben, and Rachel herself often calls Joey "Uncle Joey" to Emma. Conversational Troping when a horrified Monica specualates that her and Chandler's kids will think of Janice as an aunt.
- In Criminal Minds, Hotchner's son Jack calls David Rossi "Uncle Dave".
- Private Pike in Dad's Army refers to Sergeant Wilson as "Uncle Arthur". In this instance, it's because Wilson is in a relationship with Pike's widowed mother. Interestingly, Word of God suggests that Wilson is actually Pike's biological father.
- In American Horror Story:
- On Hawaii Five-0, Steve is this to Danny's daughter Grace, a fact which is openly acknowledged.
Danny (to Grace): We love uncle Steve very much but he knows nothing about baseball.
- One Tree Hill: Jamie Scott has a small army of honorary aunts and uncles, including Karen (the mother of Jamie's (real) Uncle Lucas), Brooke (Jamie's godmother), and Skills and Mouth (both good friends of Jamie's parents and godmother).
- Female example (see Oba-san) in Charles in Charge: The children and Charles' best friend Buddy Lembeck all referred to Charles's mother as 'Aunt Lillian'. In-Universe, this was a show of respect and affection, but the practical reason for it was so the writers could maintain their running gag of not revealing Charles' last name.
- The Bordelon siblings from Queen Sugar consider their aunt's boyfriend Hollywood to be part of the family, even during their temporary break-up.
- On Girl Meets World Shawn is this to Riley and Auggie. Considering his relationship with their father Cory, who sometimes seems to love his best friend more than his wife Topanga, it's a given.
- Cory and Topanga themselves act as this to Maya.
- In Dinosaurs Robbie, Charlene, and Baby refer to Earl's best friend, Roy, as "Uncle Roy" in several episodes.
- In The Who's Tommy, we have Uncle Ernie, who is likely Tommy's uncle (or uncle-in-law in The Movie version, according to Pete Townshend). He becomes honorary later on, however, when he apparently becomes a counselor at Tommy's Holiday Camp; he refers to himself as Uncle Ernie to a group of people who are most likely children.
- In the Harvest Moon games that feature Popuri as a character, the local kids tend to call her "Auntie Popuri". Of course, Popuri insists she's too young to be called anyone's "Auntie". In More Friends of Mineral Town, if you marry Rick, she will even insist that your daughter—who would be her biological niece—not call her Auntie because she doesn't want to feel old.
- Similarly, in Stardew Valley, Jas will start to call you "Aunt/Uncle [Insert Name Here]" if you increase your friendship level with her enough.
- In Beyond Good & Evil, Jade refers to Pey'j as "Uncle," even though they're obviously not related. (Being different species and all.) He's actually more like her godfather.
- In Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the elderly indomitable matriarch of Champa is simply called Obaba ("Grandma") by all. Even by our heroes, who have no relation to her. Even by Kraden, who is at least her age if not older. One of the Champa locals isn't even sure if she has a given name.
- Blink and you miss it in the first game: when Garet and Isaac are leaving town, Garet's little brother refers to Isaac's mother as "Aunty Dora".
- In Mass Effect 2, Tali considers Shala'Raan, a quarian admiral who was a friend of both her parents this, calling her "Auntie Raan", or "Aunt Shala." As a result of her relationship to the Zorah family, Raan is forced to recuse herself during Tali's trial, merely serving as a moderator to the admirals, but tells Tali that she has her support, and hopes Tali will be exonerated.
Tali: You're like the crazy head-butting uncle I never had.
- In the third game, Tali considers Wrex to be this. Wrex seems to serve as the entire team's Honorary Uncle alongside Shepard's Team Dad. He even refers to himself as "Uncle Urdnot" a couple of times, although nobody finds this particularly impressive.
- In Dragon Age II, Hawke admits in Act III that they've come to see Bodahn Feddic as a member of their family and that, not matter what, Bodahn and his son Sandal always will have a place in their home.
Alistair: And this is Teagan, my uncle. Sort of.
- Alistair was raised by Arl Eamon (Bann Teagan's brother) despite not being related to him, which leads to...
Teagan: I'm actually Teagan, I'm only "sort of" his uncle.
- He's his late father's late wife's brother.
- Kula considers Maxima as this in The King of Fighters. While they're members of a True Companions group alongside K', his sister Whip and Kula's caretakers Foxy and Diana, he isn't exactly pleased to be referred to as "uncle."
- In Grand Theft Auto V, Trevor Phillips is this to Michael's kids. They're very fond of him and in return he's quite protective of them, stating that ever since Tracey sat on his lap when she was two years old, he swore that he would tear the skin off of the faces of anyone who wronged her.
- Shantae has her Uncle Mimic, who was friends with her genie mother.
- In Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy is the long-time on-off friend and rival to Ky Kiske. In Overture, Ky's son Sin refers to Sol as "Oyaji" in the Japanese dub and "old man" or "pops" in the English dub, and prefers Sol as a Cynical Mentor over his father Ky. Sin is care-free, informal and occasionally foul-mouthed, much like Sol and in stark contrast to his prim-and-proper Knight in Shining Armor father, but because Sol half-asses everything, it's had a hugely detrimental effect on Sin's intelligence. Subverted after it was revealed that Ky's wife and Sin's mother, Dizzy, is actually Sol's daughter, which would mean that Sol actually has a grandson in Sin.
- In Gears of War the surviving members of Delta Squad have taken this role to protagonist James 'JD' Fenix. He refers to Cole and Baird as 'Uncle' in casual conversation but drops the honorific in serious situations.
- This is the case for the real life Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade. In the fifth print volume for the strip on the date of the birth of Gabe's son, Tycho says that he strives to be the weirdest uncle possible for him. And in the reality series, whenever the two talk about each other to their children, they say "Uncle Mike" and "Uncle Jerry." Of course, given the two are Heterosexual Life-Partners, this makes sense.
- Friendly Hostility has Uncle Rafi.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: James Eglamore was a friend of Donald and Anja Donlan since they were in school together. So their daughter, Kat Donlan, knew James as "Uncle Jimmy" long before she knew him as "Mr. Eglamore, the games teacher".
- The Order of the Stick:
- In Start of Darkness, Roy is surprised to hear about his father's real history with an uncle who was actually a former fellow adventurer.
- Nale asks "'Aunt' Laurin" to read his mind to confirm what he said. Whether he used it non-sarcastically as a child is not indicated.
- Even more sardonically, Xykon calls himself "Uncle Xykon" while lecturing V.
- The narrator of You Damn Kid once says that "Everyone has an uncle who's not really your uncle but you call him that anyway."
- Bob is this to Molly's clone Galatea in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, making her part of his extended Tangled Family Tree.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, Red asks the children (whom they have just met) "What's it to be, lambs? Stay with Uncle Fuzzielumps, or Auntie Red?" Perrault is a cat, but Red has an axe and a smile: "I love cats." "Me, too"
- The Dreamland Chronicles: one fairy is Uncle Pistacho to the children.
- Bob and George: Mega Man wants this.
- Dominic Deegan: Uncle Pinkie
- Footloose: She says I have to call her 'Aunty'
- In Thistil Mistil Kistil, Loki took this on toward Coal -- while telling Hedda about his family, without telling Hedda that it was not a blood relation. Leading to some discussion of another honorary uncle, explicitly contrasted with his actual Evil Uncles.
- In Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, she has a friend -- actually more like a family member. An uncle, maybe.
- Davan and PeeJee are this to Aubrey and Jason's adopted daughter Pamela in Something*Positive.
- In Faux Pas, a frequent bunny to fox usage — plus sometimes fox to chicken.
- a little bunny calling her "Aunt Cindy" is when Cindy gives up trying to eat them.
- Randy is, of course, Uncle Randy
- Later, a young bunny explains that Aunt Cindy isn't really her aunt, just her uncle's girlfriend.
- Dusk finds being Aunt Dusk a shock to the system.
- April is surprised at Auntie Myrtle, and Randy urges her to just go with it.
- Then she gets Aunt April herself.
- In Questionable Content, Marten regards most of his parents' friends this way.
- Shelley Winters of Bobbins does not approve of this trope, preferring kids to know which adults are and are not actually their relatives. Her friend Amy considers her "weirdly militant" about it.
- In Stand Still, Stay Silent, Sigrun is once seen calling Trond "uncle". They are not actually related, Trond being the son of two good friends of Sigrun's great-grandparents.
- Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Agents who rescue child bit-characters and place them in the Nursery (specifically set up to take care of such children) often become honorary Aunts and Uncles. One good example is Oscar Henson, one half of the Department of M Preg, whose job is to rescue the unnaturally existing M Preg-created babies, and was in fact warned by his mentor Trojanhorse that he was likely to end up "Uncle Oscar" to an increasing proportion of the Nursery's inhabitants over time. In general, agents become parents (or aunts/uncles for that matter) by adoption more frequently than by blood.
- In RWBY, Yang Xiao Long's maternal uncle Qrow Branwen is not related by blood to her sister Ruby Rose because she has a different mother. Ruby is treated as his niece every bit as much as Yang is.
- Danny Phantom. Vlad Masters somewhat ironically insists on being called Uncle Vlad by his best friends' (one of which he hates and is constantly trying to kill, the other he has a stalkery crush on) children (again, one of which he hates and is constantly trying to kill when he isn't trying to make him his apprentice).
- DuckTales: Scrooge McDuck tells Webby - the granddaughter of his grand-nephews' nanny - to call him Uncle Scrooge. Like in the comics, Gladstone Gander also calls him "Uncle" even though they're only distantly related (Scrooge's sister was married to Gladstone's mother's brother).
- Taken Up to Eleven in the sequel to the video game, where pretty much every character calls him "Uncle Scrooge", even Launchpad McQuack and Gyro Gearloose. Launchpad also called him that in the first game, but only in the beta before the mistake was fixed. (Presumably, the sequel wasn't beta tested.)
- In the 2017 reboot, Huey, Dewey, and Louie call their uncle's (and mother's) first cousin "Uncle Gladstone" for the first time (in all previous American material, he was always "Cousin Gladstone" to them).
- Sonic The Hedgehog: Tagalong Kid Tails calls Sally "Aunt Sally."
- Also, everyone else refers to Sonic's uncle as "Uncle Chuck."
- Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures may be this. Apparently, neither Jackie nor Jade nor anyone else in the family is entirely sure how he's related to them - or if he is at all!
- In the second season of The Critic, Penny, the young daughter of Jay's girlfriend Alice, calls him "Uncle Jay."
- When Bart from Young Justice first meets the Garricks he refers to them as his "honorary great-grandparents," since they're the sort-of mentors of his grandfather. Word of God also says they hold the "uncle/aunt" role for Wally.
- Inverted in the first season South Park episode "Volcano". When Stan's Uncle Jimbo spends some quality time with Kenny, he declares Kenny to be his honorary nephew.
- Over the Garden Wall has Auntie Whispers and Lorna; just the two of them live together and Lorna says Auntie Whispers isn't her actual aunt. Subverted because Auntie Whispers keeps Lorna in Cinderella Circumstances through Mind Control, and Wirt actually seems to take them not being related as confirmation that Auntie Whispers just wants a slave. Double Subverted because Lorna is a victim of Demonic Possession, and Auntie Whispers is using Brainwashing for the Greater Good.
- As with almost all tropes, this one was parodied by The Simpsons. When Moe and Marge are leaving for a convention Bart asks "Where're mom and Uncle Moe going?" As Homer was worried they were having an "emotion affair", he replies "He's only your emotional uncle, I'm your REAL uncle!"
- Even if culture does not demand it, family friends of your parent's generation regularly come to be called "Uncle" or "Auntie", if only because it's easier to teach a child two words than a plethora of names.
- In Russian culture, children refer to any adult as that.
- Chilean writer Isabel Allende has told in all of her biographies that she calls her stepfather Uncle, but that is part the long tradition of calling Uncle/Aunt to every adult the age of one's parents regardless of filial relationship, part the fact that he and her mother weren't legally married (long story). Similarly, Salvador Allende was actually her (natural) father's cousin and thus actually "Uncle Salvador."
- Godmothers and godfathers are often referred to as Aunt or Uncle by their godchild and other children in the family. But then again lots of families use an aunt or an uncle as godparents, so the two end up being interchangeable sometimes.
- In Filipino family culture, close family friends are always given this honor, thus it is not surprising for children to call older people (about the same age as their parents) "Tito" and "Tita" (Uncle and Aunt respectively) or "Ate" and "Kuya" (older brother and sister respectively if the person being referred to looks like a teenager or a young adult) even if they are not related by blood. Calling total strangers "ate" or "kuya" is considered a sign of respect, equivalent to somebody referring to a stranger as "Sir" or "Madam."
- Addressing a family friend as "Uncle" or "Aunt" is a given in Sri Lanka
- In many indigenous cultures, the term used for a father's friend is also "father". But in this case, it's also used for the father's brother.
- This used to be common in the Netherlands, but lately the sense of formal speech in general is considered old-fashioned and elitist, and thus family-related titles like uncle, aunt, mom, dad, grandpa, etc. are considered old fashioned as well.
- This was apparently the case with Walt Disney himself to the original stars of The Mickey Mouse Club.
- In one of his Evening With DVDs, Kevin Smith says that his hetero-life mate Jason Mewes is referred to by Kevin's daughter Harley as "Uncle Jay".
- Director Mel Stuart's daughter approached him about making what would eventually become Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. She suggested that "Uncle Dave" (producer David Wolper) come up with the money for it.
- Dhani Harrison, George Harrison's son, calls Ringo Starr "Uncle Ringo".
- Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr's son, similarly referred to Keith Moon as "Uncle Keith".
- Younger students in Brazil tends to refer to school teachers as "tio/tia (uncle/auntie)", especially at kindergarden, instead of calling "Professor/Professora" all the time. As they grow older, they start dropping the "auntie", especially if they have taken to disliking certain teachers or school in general.