So, wait, did he hook up with the cat thing too?note
If you're a man, score all the heroines at once! Hayate:
Please hold on. "Score all the heroines at once"? Am I a rapist? Maria:
You don't like it?
In Love Triangles
and more complicated situations
, selecting just one suitor can prove to be a toughie. After all, the situation is there because he usually likes every girl to a degree
and doesn't want to break anyone's heart or make them leave his company. Even if he likes one particular girl, there's little guarantee that the rest will be willing to accept his choice
, especially in long-running harem series. This often happens when the love polygon devolves into True Companions
and infatuations become close friendships instead.
So if First Girl Wins
, Last Girl Wins
, and/or Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends
clearly aren't where the plot is going, there's another way to resolve the situation: Instead of choosing one girl, the protagonist simply marries them all and they all live as one large family
The happiness of those involved depends on where on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
the series is; the only
way (excluding large amounts of Shadow Clone abuse
) this kind of ending will not end in a perpetual warzone of a Dysfunctional Family
with an emotionally-dead Henpecked Husband
(Tenchi Muyo! GXP
) or a bloodbath within the year (School Days
) is if the wives are also close friends who love each other
like sisters (or something else
May require Exotic Extended Marriage
if the marriage is literal. In Real Life
, such a thing is called polygamy.
See also One True Threesome
. Contrast Dump Them All
, where none of the girls get him and/or chooses someone outside the circle and No Romantic Resolution
where there is no conclusion between the love interest and the circle and he remains a (usually) Celibate Hero
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Anime & Manga
- In Secret Six, when it was being brought to a (premature) end due to the Continuity Reboot, Gail Simone had its lead, Scandal Savage, marry both her love interests: an exotic dancer named Liana, and a New God named Knockout. Yes, you read that right, it ended with a polygamous lesbian marriage. A prime example of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- In a variation of this, a Silver Age Superman story that saw Superman be split into red and blue versions of himself allowed one of them to marry Lois and the other to marry Lana.
- A more disturbing version comes in another Silver Age Superman comic where Lois and Lana find that Superman had been changed into a child and both decide to condition the kid into proposing to them when he's older. It turns out that it was actually a version of Superman from another dimension where polygamy is legal, so he wound up marrying both of them. Shown in this Cracked article.
- The concept of the OT3 (or OT4, OT5, etc.) in fanfiction is much like an OTP, but with three or more characters together rather than two. It's quite handy for reconciling opposing ships.
- Played with Shinji And Warhammer 40 K in-universe. Shinji's fan clubs are adverse to the idea ("The four points star was not a valid option, dammit."), the Farseer in his head wants this and Rei is practically shoving the idea down his throat.
- Thousand Shinji: Subverted. For most of the story Shinji clearly considers Asuka his girlfriend, Rei his surrogate sister and Misato her surrogate mother. However, Rei's crush on Shinji (and her willingness to talk Asuka into a threesome) and Misato's proclivity to tease him complicate matters. Shinji did not plan getting married to anyone other than Asuka, but when the four of them ascend to godhood, Shinji takes the three of them as his wives out of a desire to make them happy.
- Played for comedy in DC Nation's Heaven or Las Vegas. The Zamaraons attempt to figure out what makes the Green Lanterns of Earth tick and refine the process behind the Star Sapphire rings. To do this, they take the Earth-based lanterns, and put them in a theme-park version of Las Vegas. While most of the Lanterns wake up in the surreal "test environment" with the woman they're currently dating, Hal wakes up in bed with Carol Ferris, Arisia, "Cowgirl Jill," and Zinda "Lady Blackhawk" Blake — ALL AT ONCE.
- Possibly the only option for Rachel Summers in Marvel Nextgen. Current roster of young men courting her include a Shi'ar Imperial Prince, a Logan, and a non-mutant catboy. Franklin Richards is a recurring joke.
- The Harry Potter Fan Fic "The Issue Of Mine Enemy" ends with Bellatrix, Marietta Edgecombe, Hermione, Ginny and Gabrielle Delacour all marrying Harry. Yes, it's on adultfanfiction.net.
- This occurs in a large number of Harry Potter fanfics, due to so-called "Pureblood marriage contracts", and almost always to Harry. It even has a ship name: Harem!Harry.
- The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha one-shot "Nanoha's Problem" takes this trope to its logical extreme.
- In Kyon Big Damn Hero, the odd situation in Hinamizawa was resolved this way. This inspired Haruhi to start aiming for it herself, between all the girls in the SOS Brigade and Kyon.
- This is actually deconstructed and then reconstructed in the same chapter. According to Rika, the romantic situation at the end of the Higurashi series turned into a No Romantic Resolution situation for several years until Rika was physically old enough to make her move on Keiichi, but the way she tried to catch Keiichi's notice nearly destroyed her and Keiichi's relationship with Mion and the rest of their friends (and considering that this is Higurashi, it's not hard to imagine how that might've played out). Disaster was only averted at the last moment when a Marry Them All solution was proposed by Rena and Satoko and accepted by the rest of the group. Even then, it's not an easy relationship to have; it only works because the whole group were iron-clad True Companions before they were a harem, and each of the girls has enough self-esteem and love for their partners to not worry about him ever abandoning them.
- In Naruto fanon there's something called the The Clan Restoration Act which forces the last member of a important family to marry many women just to increase the clan population. This is mainly done if Kekkei Genkai or special techniques are present in the clan. This is normally applied to Naruto, but occasionally with Sasuke or Uzumaki OC's
- On occasion, they mention that females just have to have a ton of kids over a short period of time. Who has the best deal?
- The Total Drama Island fanfic Total Drama Luxury Tour is a Egregious example. It's a continuation of the third season, centered on Cody. It had many and many moments of Ship Tease with the other female contestants, and the author even created a poll about which contestant you'd like to see Cody with. Then in the end he gets all five girls anyways: Gwen, Bridgette, Heather, Sierra, and Courtney. And Blaineley also likes him. Even more, the author planned doing the same thing with Noah or Ezekiel as a sequel, although problems with the harem settup in Cody, the author not wanting to break up two of the (three) Beta Couples, and what the remaining girls are like mostly prevent it.
- Discussed in Rosario To Kiva - as Wataru is Fangire royalty, he can legally, by the laws of his people marry all the haremettes.
- Done in BeastBoy's Catgirl, where in the end, BB has four girls who love him (Raven and three Furries). First, the guy has a date with each girl to decide whom he likes more, then he decides to make no decision at all. When he announces that, one of the girls announces she is pregnant. Skip a few years, all of the girls are moms. None are officially married, though.
- Crossoverpairinglover's fanfiction does this, a lot. Out of all his main stories, only one of them lacks Polygamy (It instead points out one character has Polyandry and gets lampshaded in his comments). It's to a point that the characters aware of the Multiverse actively ask why it happens. Though the writer goes out of his way to explain why it happens and give it logic, as opposed to having the characters blindly accept it like most writers.
- Ouran High School Host Club fanfic does this a fair amount, for people who can't decide between the numerous pairing choices offered or just can't see a way for everyone to be happy otherwise. Ranges from Tamaki/Haruhi/Kyoya OT3 all the way up to OT7 fare which includes everyone.
- In the Frozen fanfic Sorry About The Mess, this is how the love triangle between Kristoff, Anna and Elsa is resolved, as the Trolls who raised Kristoff believe in Polyamory
- It sort of shows up in The Familiar of Zero fan fiction Jus Primae Noctis, but is downplayed. He doesn't appear to have anything with Kirche or Tiffania, but he officially married Henrietta, magically married Louise using the Albionese flowers, and married Tabitha in his home world. He also discusses marrying Siesta, and whether he does or not it doesn't stop them from being together.
- The 1926 comedy Hands Up! features Raymond Griffith falling in love with both daughters of a Nevada gold miner. Each sister offers to step aside for the other. Griffith is puzzling about how to resolve the Love Triangle when a stagecoach arrives. A bearded man exits the stagecoach and introduces the sisters to his wife, who exits the stagecoach behind him. Then a second wife emerges, then a third. Five wives come out of the coach before the man is revealed to be Brigham Young. The film ends with Griffith leaving with both sisters in the stagecoach, which has a sign on the back reading "To Salt Lake City".
- In the final scene of Horse Feathers the College Widow marries Groucho, Chico and Harpo's characters simultaneously. (Zeppo is left out as his character was Groucho's son, and that would be squicky.)
- The film version of Paint Your Wagon has the female lead attempt this during the middle of the movie, living with both of her love interests in a polyandrous marriage. It works for a while, but at the end of the story, she's only living with one of them.
- Older Than Feudalism: In the Mahabharata, our hero Arjuna marries Princess Draupadi and takes her home to his mother, who (not knowing about the wedding) tells him to share whatever he's brought with him equally amongst his four brothers. They go through with it, resulting in one of the few gender-inverted examples in ancient history.
- In Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, Rand al'Thor is bonded as a warder (i.e. more than married...) to all three of his love interests: Min, Elayne and Avienda. This makes for some awkward sexy times, as all three women can telepathically sense one another. Of course, of all the important male characters (and all the important female characters as well except the three love interests), in the end Rand is the only one who doesn't technically get married by the end of the series.
- Happens at the end of M.A.R. Barker's The Man of Gold with Hársan, Eyil, and Tlayesha.
- In the Honor Harrington novels, Hamish Alexander chooses this when faced with his love for both Honor Harrington and his own wife, Emily. Initially, he and Honor were having an affair with Emily's knowledge and permission (she's very ill and physically frail, to the point where marital sex ain't happening). When Honor became pregnant, they went open. It helped that Honor was also a Grayson citizen, where polygamy is the norm.
- Since men are very rare in the world of A Brother's Price, each man not sold to the cribs will marry every sister in a family. This turns out happily for Jerin, since Odelia, Ren, and later and much to his surprise "Cira" are sisters, and he falls in love with their other grown sisters Trini and Lylia after the engagement, too. He also gets along well with and nurtures their younger sisters. This is a world where sisters are raised to be one unit, sort of; for example the country is ruled by the Queens. Jealousy is brought up in the context of the man having "favorites" but doesn't seem to be as big an issue as it would be in our world.
- In Courtship Rite: Sure, six is supposed to be the maximum size for a marriage, but the maran-Kaiel aren't exactly sticklers for tradition. By the end of the book, they have enough power and influence to make their own traditions and add both the girl they've always loved and the new girl they've come to love to their five-marriage.
- Xanth - Variant: The Magician Humphrey was a serial monogamist, but all of his wives meet up with each other in death and strike up an agreement to come Back from the Dead, one each month, in order to spend time with him. They are okay with this because each woman genuinely loves Humphrey in her own way and he's the type of person who's only tolerable in small doses.
- The Kane Chronicles has a variation. Sadie Kane has the hots for two guys - Walt and Anubis. At the end of the series, Walt becomes Anubis' host, and Walt/Anubis enters a relationship with Sadie. This also saves Walt from dying of a curse.
- Sword Art Online has a special sidestory entitled There is but One Ultimate Way where Asuna and all of Kirito's female friends basically pull him into the Underworld VR realm to share him, so that they all can tell him how they really felt about him and get married.
- At the end of Diane Duane's The Door Into Sunset Herewiss, Freelorn, Segnbora, Sunspark (a fire elemental), Hasai (a dragon), Eftgan, and Eftgan's husband Wyn all enter into a group marriage. Some of them have previously been lovers in either the physical or the metaphysical sense. One of them snarks that it will be a wedding where the partcipants outnumber the spectators.
- Judge Dee is pressured into marrying his Third Lady by First Lady, (it's not that he doesn't like the girl it's that he's worried about taking advantage of her). In a latter book the Judge buys out two prostitutes to help him resolve a case. After a rocky start his three wives warm to the girls and indicate they are willing to accept them as permanent members of the menage. This time the Judge does not assent.
Live Action TV
- Parodied in a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, where due to a series of Accidental Proposals all the men end up marrying the Registrar of Marriages.
Narrator (Terry Jones): (over a black and white picture of the five British Pythons, arm-in-arm-in-arm-in-etc.) Well, things turned out all right in the end. You mustn't ask how, 'cause it's naughty.
- In Plain Sight: When a witness is caught out as a bigamist, he seems to want both of his families to merge into one big happy one. The wives and kids do not agree. Pretty much everyone agrees that they don't want to see the dad very much, if at all, but the end of the episode shows the moms letting the kids play together.
- In Doctor Who, Amy is dead set on getting both Rory and the Doctor as her "boys". This includes her commanding the Doctor to be her squeeze while she's marrying Rory. Neither the Doctor nor Rory agree. It takes some serious Character Development, though, before she stops flirting with the Doctor and finally starts seeing him as just a friend.
- One pathway in Shojokyuu Kurige No Shiofuki Shoujotachi involves Schoolgirl Lesbian Haruna, getting together will all the girls who've crushed on her plus some others totalling a harem of eight.
- As mentioned above, while the School Days anime does NOT go this route, if you work for it you can potentially get Makoto to score and stay with both Kotonoha and Sekai.
- In Sharin No Kuni if you refuse to enter Sachi or Touka's routes, fail to get enough points with Hinata and finally choose not to reform society with Ririko the girls team up and decide that since none of them could make Kenichi enter a relationship with them, they should just make him follow the path of his father and have multiple lovers. Despite being that sort of game, though, there is no sex scene for this.
- Many of the hentai variety will reward the player for getting a happy ending with every girl by making it possible to get an ending where they get all the girls.
- The Yoru route for If My Heart Had Wings actually involves Aoi realising that he can't choose between Asa and Yoru... only for the two of them, being extremely close twin sisters who were both prepared to do an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, to suggest that he just date them both. Aoi is skeptical at first, let alone everyone else, but the situation goes forward with extremely minimal drama or jealousy.
- In Fans!, after much teasing regarding the Veronica, Alisin, and Rumy, the Betty, our Archie, Rikk chooses them both, helped along in no small part by the sexual tension between the two romantic rivals themselves.
- A version of this is the solution for Guenevere's affair with Lancelot in the Space Arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space, and seems to be leading to that in the Modern Arc, especially as it seems Guenevere's second child (named Galahad) is Lancelot's.
- Mob Ties, it is suggested here.
- During the later acts of Homestuck, Jane and Jake go insane as a result of Jane engaging Trickster Mode through Caliborn and Calliope's combined Juju. The two of them are very ecstatic about the idea of a polyamorous relationship with Roxy. For her part, Roxy goes so far as to ask Her Imperious Condescension to put her back in jail to get her away from the two, only to fall to it as well.
- Girl Genius: The Castle repeatedly suggests this as an alternative to Agatha choosing between Gil and Tarvek. And the castle includes harem quarters. It's implied that this might be the default solution to things for the old Heterodynes: the castle also casually mentions that the Master's bedroom "only sleeps six."
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures movie "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," Buster and Babs encounter a family of alligators living on a Louisiana plantation. The rotund father explains that all 3 of his (equally corpulent) daughters wish to marry Buster.
I can't marry all of them! That's bigamy! Daddy Gator:
Naw, son, that's big of ME
- Not a marriage, but in Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs Fry falls for Colleen and moves in with her only to discover that she has four other boyfriends who all live together as one big, happy(ish) family. Fry tries to accept the situation but can't take it for long.
- And of course, the same movie has Yivo marry the entire universe (or at least, its biological inhabitants).
- Parodied in The Simpsons episode "The Front": An Imagine Spot shows Grandpa Simpson as a Western showgirl, preventing a gunfight between two cowboys by proclaiming, "You can both marry me!"
- Parodied and reversed in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Trio's Company" which ends with Gigi marrying Harvey, Peanut, Phil, her friends Vince and Terry, and a bear. Of course, Gigi has a habit of flirting/sleeping with every man she comes across...except Harvey.