The rarer and possibly Squickier flipside to Cast Incest, where people who are Real Life Relatives have to play romantic partners. This scenario is more common in community and High School theater productions where there is a limited pool of actors to choose from; while producers may be manipulative and hate filled, they aren't invulnerable to potential Squick reaction from the audience or the cast itself. It also happens a bit in figure skating.
open/close all folders
- In the Lat Am (re)dub of Revival of Evangelion, Shinji is voiced by Víctor Ugarte, and due to Executive Meddling, the voice of Rei (Circe Luna) is replaced by one of Victor's sisters, Gaby Ugarte. Which becomes rather awkward during that scene where Shinji enters Rei's room just after she's finished bathing.
- Mind you, depending how one interprets their relationship in canon, it might actually be rather thematically apt.
- Robotech: Khyron and Azonia, played by Greg Snegoff and his mother Alexandra Kenworthy.
- In the English dub of Wicked City, Gregory Snegoff and Alexandra Kenworthy, who are son and mother, play Taki and Mackie who are lovers.
- They also did this in the Streamline/Fox dub of My Neighbor Totoro as the parents of Mei and Satsuki. Satsuki and the father were a case of Cast Incest in this dub though.
- In the Brazilian dub of Genma Wars, Gin and his love interest Rei are voiced by brother and sister.
Films — Live-Action
- In the Hungarian dub of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers (the girl of his dreams) are voiced by brother and sister.
- In Freaks (1932), the dwarf main characters, who become a couple, were played by siblings Harry and Daisy Earles. To avoid being too uncomfortable, their romance is really downplayed.
- Also true of the dwarf couple in Putney Swope.
- Siblings Christopher Khayman Lee and Chyler Leigh kissed in the 1999 TV series Safe Harbor and in the 1997 movie Kickboxing Academy.
- The German semi-fictional movie about the eponymous Comedian Harmonists has siblings Meret and Ben Becker playing love interests, including a long and dramatic kiss scene.
- Averted at the last minute with Bonnie and Clyde: Warren Beatty initially cast Shirley MacLaine as Bonnie, but replaced her when he opted to play Clyde himself. The reason? He didn't want to have to kiss his sister. (Yes, they're siblings — in this life.)
- "Manos" The Hands of Fate's infamous ending gets even worse when you remember that The Master and Debbie are played by real-life father and daughter.
- Hocus Pocus: "The Master" — no, not the same Master as the one in the example above — and his bickering wife are played by brother and sister Garry and Penny Marshall in uncredited roles.
- In the 1968 anthology film, Spirits of the Dead, Jane Fonda plays a noblewoman who falls in love with her cousin - portrayed by Jane's brother, Peter Fonda.
- Dancing with the Stars: Real-life siblings Julianne and Derek Hough have danced romantic numbers together several times.
- Arrested Development
- Justine Bateman, sister of Jason Bateman, plays a prostitute who propositions Jason's character. It's also played with, where Jason's character believes that Justine's character is his sister — which turns out to be false. Appropriately enough, Michael comes out with this line.
- The original plan was to play the trope straight, but neither of the Batemans were comfortable with that.
- One Life to Live: Real-life siblings Kristen and Eddie Alderson play unrelated characters. A few years back, a storyline involved Eddie's Matthew having a crush on Kristen's Starr. The boy had to pretend to have a crush on his sister. Gross.
- Averted on Rumpole of the Bailey: Mrs. Rumpole occasionally accuses Rumpole (played by Leo McKern) of having an affair with Liz Probert, who for Series 5-7 is played by Abigail McKern (Leo's daughter). However, he never actually does anything of the kind.
- One episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia shows Frank (Danny Devito) in a restaurant openly leering at a waitress played by Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman's real-life daughter.
- In Parallax, the Martin Dunkly from Ben's World (Kasmir Sas) is frequently hitting on the Melinda (Francoise Sas) from Ben's world (and occasionally the one from Katherine's world, when he mistakes her for the Melinda from Ben's world) and trying to get together with her. The two are brother and sister in real life.
- Frank Sinatra, Jr., appeared in an episode of Adam-12 as a police officer seeking the affections of an unrelated woman played by his sister Tina Sinatra.
- Dick and Joyce Van Patten the Diagnosis: Murder episode "Murder at the Telethon". While their characters are divorced, their piano rendition of "Makin' Whoopee" is enough to cue the Brain Bleach.
- Weird sort-of example from Degrassi: Craig's little sister is played by Alex Steele. Alex is the real-life sister of Cassie Steele, who plays Manny. Thus, some viewers were squicked when Craig and Manny started hooking up. Lampshaded in a season two episode when Craig and Manny have their first date and Craig later says Manny reminds him of his little sister.
- There was a similar example in Home and Away when Morgan Weaving, the younger sister of regular Samara Weaving, was cast as Lottie Ryan, the love interest of Dexter Walker... who was the younger brother of Samara's character Indigo Walker. The fact that the two sisters' voices are pretty much exactly the same led some fans to complain that Dexter was dating a girl who looked and sounded exactly like his sister, and pretty much every Fan Fic featuring Lottie feels obliged to have someone point this out.
- And another semi-example from Switched at Birth. Zoey Deutch plays a character who dates Lucas Grabeel, while her real-life mother Lea Thompson plays Grabeel's mother.
- Another near-example happened in the Spanish sitcom Aida when María León, sister to Paco León who plays the main character Luisma, was given a small recurring part as Luisma's coworker. In one episode, the two characters pretended to have slept together so Luisma's on and off girlfriend would finally break up with him.
- In NCIS: Los Angeles, Kensi Blye and Marty Deeks have a long-running Belligerent Sexual Tension arc and eventually become a couple. Daniela Ruah (Kensi) is married to the brother of Eric Christian Olsen (Deeks), who also works on the show as Deeks' stunt double.
- Although they never have sex (at least on camera), Powers Boothe's character on Deadwood often orders the hooker "Tess" to perform degrading sex acts. Tess is played by his real-life daughter, Parisse Boothe.
- Singer Lily Allen claimed that she turned down a chance to play the sister of Theon Greyjoy, played by her brother, Alfie Allen, in Game of Thrones due to a scene in which Theon fondles his sister before he discovers that they're siblings. Her brother, however, later denied this ever happened.
- In the video for Britney Spears' debut hit "Baby One More Time", her love interest is played by her real life cousin, Chad Spears. Admittedly, the "romance" never amounts to anything but suggestive glances across the basketball court and her singing to him briefly, but still, given the number of guys who appear in the video, did they really have to pick the one she was related to to play the part?
- In the Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney video "Say, Say, Say", Michael's love interest is played by his sister LaToya. (This also almost happened in Michael's The Way You Make Me Feel music video.)
- In the music video for Stuck by Stacie Orrico, her cheating boyfriend is played by her real-life cousin, actor Trevor Wright. He plays her love interest again in the video for "I Could Be The One".
- Barbie and Ken are often regarded as the perfect couple. So long as one doesn't dwell on the fact that the guy who designed the first dolls used his own daughter and son as models.
- In the Gothenburg concert version of Chess, Freddie's and Florence's actors are brother and sister. Granted, most of what Freddie and Florence do onstage is argue, but still...
- Historically, Commedia dell'Arte troupes were often families, so the Lovers could be played by brother and sister.
- Fred Astaire and his sister Adele played romantic roles opposite each other for many years in stage musicals. When his sister, who was more popular, quit to get married he worried his career would be over. Of course, history had another medium for him to become famous in.
- Sisters Charlotte and Susan Webb Cushman played Romeo and Juliet (respectively) in the 1840s.
- In the Hillywood Show's Dark Knight video, The Joker and his girl Harley Quinn are played by real-life sisters Hilly and Hanna Hindi. Yes, that's right. The Joker is a Sweet Polly Oliver and she nearly makes out with her sister.
- In An Akatsuki's Life, the creator of the series, Dante-C, and his sister are voicing Pein and Konan, respectively, who are the Official Couple.
- On Family Guy, creator Seth MacFarlane plays Stewie, while his sister Rachael MacFarlane played his love interest Olivia in a few episodes. Both characters are babies, though, so maybe this is more a meta case of Father, I Want to Marry My Brother?
- Seth does it again in a later episode, with Rachael voicing a one-episode love interest for his character Quagmire.
- And on American Dad!, Seth plays Bill, Stan Smith's body double, and Rachael plays Stan's daughter Hailey. Guess who hook up in one episode... And then it gets grosser when Stan finds out and has to replace Bill on a camping trip with Hailey. But don't worry, nothing happens.
- The Italian dub of Total Drama Island has Heather and Trent voiced by Monica Ward and her son, Alessandro. They kissed in the episode "Search And Do Not Destroy".
- On Lil' Bush, Lil' Cheney is played by series creator Donick Cary, and Barbara Bush is played by his mother Mara Cary. In one episode Mrs. Bush pulls a Mrs. Robinson on Cheney.
- In the German dub of Recess, T.J. was played by Robert Stadlober and Spinelli was played by his older sister, Anja Stadlober. Both characters have been implied to have crushes on each other (Confirmed on Spinelli's side), and they kiss in one episode. Averted in the third season onwards when T.J. got a new voice actor.
- In the pornography industry, it is not uncommon for siblings, cousins, and parents/offspring to work in the business together, and sometimes even appear in the same production. "Performing" together, if you get the meaning, is less common but not unheard of in mainstream productions, though there seems to be some leeway given to twins and confirmed cousins and sisters. There is at least one confirmed instance where a well-known porn actress and a well-known porn actor were accidentally scheduled to do a scene together, the director not being aware they were siblings — obviously, the scene was not shot once the performers pointed this fact out. (Note: please do not add any names here, as while some relationships have been confirmed, many are simply made up for the sake of the fantasy and the performers are not actually related.)
- In Y: The Last Man, the protagonist mentions him and his sister being cast as Romeo and Juliet, respectively, in the school play. However, they both decide they want to avert it, and his sister is selfless enough to drop out of the production.
- During Marvel's Civil War storyline, Johnny Storm and Susan Storm Richards, brother and sister members of the Fantastic Four, assumed undercover identities as husband and wife. Sue considers it the most disturbing thing she's ever done.
- In Ashes of the Past, when the events of the third movie come around in this timeline, the Unown not only make Molly an Entei "father", but also a Suicune "mother" and a Raikou "older brother". All three are perfect doppelgangers to the Beasts of Ecruteak, even to other Pokémon who can tell the difference between individuals of their species (though when they become real Pokémon, they're made Shiny to differentiate), and the three Beasts of Ecruteak all see themselves as siblings. Suicune admits to being a bit unsettled whenever she sees her own doppelganger being affectionate with her brother's doppelganger.
Films — Live-Action
- The movie musical Royal Wedding is about a brother and sister team who play lovers on stage. Fred Astaire and Jane Powell were of course not related.
- In High School Musical, it's said that Sharpay and Ryan always got the lead roles in all the productions before Troy and Gabriella, and one character remarks that if Sharpay could find a way to play both Romeo and Juliet, Ryan would be out of a job, so it's safe to assume at least one of these would be a romantic pairing.
- In The Family Fang, the siblings who play romantic leads together are rightfully horrified when they find out their parents set this up. It's... complicated.
- Inverted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: when Voldemort takes over the Ministry and begins persecuting Muggle-borns, Ron offers to help Hermione pretend to be one of his cousins.
- The Saturday Night Live sketch "Red Ships of Spain" had the in-show version of Robert Goulet (played by Will Ferrell) starring in a broadway show where Goulet's romantic interest is played by his own daughter. The daughter seems very disturbed about the situation, but Goulet is totally oblivious to the implications.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The gang is putting on a musical Charlie wrote and he casts Mac in the lead role. Dennis and Mac end up switching parts forcing Dennis and his sister Dee to play romantic partners. They end up cutting their romantic kiss down to a firm hug because of it.
- Used at least twice in Neighbours: Twins Brett and Danni Stark were cast as the romantic leads in a school play, freaking out both of them, and managed to convince the teacher to let Danni swap roles with Libby Kennedy. In another storyline, Anne Wilkinson won a competition that required her and her boyfriend to take part in a photoshoot but her boyfriend Billy wasn't available so her brother Lance was persuaded to stand in. They just about held it together until they were asked to kiss at which point they blurted out the truth.
- In the Arrested Development episode "Bringing Up Buster", George-Michael Bluth attempts to Invoke this in order to kiss his cousin Maeby as part of the school play. He succeeds at being Incestuously Cast. Unfortunately for him, the cousin he has to kiss is Steve Holt.
- In Hope & Faith one episode has the two sisters pretend to be a lesbian couple.
- Done strangely in Raising Hope where Burt and Virgina (a long-married couple) pretend to be brother and sister, and Virgina pretends to have a crush on their son.
- Justin and Alex from Wizards of Waverly Place, who are brother and sister, pretend to be married and have three kids in the episode, "Max's Secret Girlfriend."
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, siblings Katara and Sokka are able to visit a school in the Fire Nation by posing as a married couple, Wang and Sapphire Fire. And to add to the subtext, Katara's disguise makes her look heavily pregnant.
- Doug: Doug got a role in a school play opposite his crush, Patty. Instead, Patty had to drop out for some reason, forcing Doug's sister Judy to take the role.
- In The Simpsons episode "Realty Bites", Marge wants to become a real estate agent, so Bart and Lisa help her study for the big test. The kids create a game where they are a married couple looking for a house and Marge is their real estate agent.
Marge: So, you're married, and you're looking for your house, Mr. and Mrs...Bart: Superman!Lisa: Oh! Don't listen to my husband, he's just an idiot. Now, I'm a vetinerarian, and I need to keep lots of sick animals in my house! Is that permitted?Bart: Not in my damn house!Marge: Well, this neighbourhood is zone R3, which allows dogs, cats, phone answering monkeys, and... ohhh... [checks book] I'll never memorize all this!Lisa: When I had to learn about the Magna Carta, I made up a song! [singing] In 1215 at Runnymede, do da do da, the nobles and the king agreed, oh da doo da day!Bart: We should have lived together first!
- In Young Justice, Superboy and Miss Martian infiltrate Belle Reve disguised as a pair of twins. It ends with them having a Big Damn Kiss (to Icicle Jr.'s horror).
- Minor example in the Gravity Falls short "Mabel's Guide to Fashion," where Dipper is called on to play "guy amazed at how good Mabel looks."
- There is a popular joke about Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Supposedly there was a production where Prince Gremin and Tatiana were played by siblings, and hilarity ensued when during the performance, as Onegin asked who Tatiana was, Gremin replied "My sister" (instead of "My wife") and Onegin was so shocked that in response he sang "So you are sistered?" (instead of "So you are married?").