Mixed Ancestry
aka: Half Breed

So, you just happen to be the child of that army guy who went native and married The Chief's Daughter? Or perhaps the reverse applies and dear mum left home and joined dad on the ancestral family homestead back in rural Smalltownington. This of course is assuming both your parents are alive and love each other, (Star-Crossed Lovers have a tendency to have it rough), or you might be the product of less than consensual sex. Or perhaps two people from different parts of the world (or, sometimes in fiction, different species) happened to meet in the course of day-to-day life, fell in love while spending time together, married and decided to start a family. And then you were born.

To describe story elements, this trope encapsulates both mixed ancestry in the sense of ethnicity (real-life and fictional ones) and mixed ancestry with human and/or non-human beings (for example, a half-human half-elf) despite the difference between the two.

Please note that in Real Life, the term "half-breed" is a highly offensive slur, which is why this trope got renamed. Also note that being of mixed ancestry can be depicted as a good or a bad thing in fiction, there's nothing wrong with it in the case of real-life ethnicity (despite that some people may disagree with it).

Subtrope of Liminal Being

These tropes all relate to the concept of Mixed Ancestry:


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Sound of the Sky, it is implied that Rio is of mixed heritage since she lacks the Phenotype Stereotype looks of her blonde, green-eyed half-sister and her last names are Japanese/Slavic. Most probably a very common thing in Helvetia and no one seems to care.
  • Urd from Ah! My Goddess is half-demon on her mother's side. Off course, the only one the really seems to be affected by it is her as most goddesses are nice enough not to bring it up (or simply don't care) and most demons, well they don't really want to mess with the beloved daughter of the ruler of Hell herself.
  • Blue from Wolf's Rain is a wolf-dog. Upon meeting Cheza, the dog side of her virtually disappears and she joins the other wolves.
  • Area 88 manga:
    • Saki and Rishar are the sons of an Asranian prince and his Greek wife. Fortunately, Saki and Rishar have suffered no stigma in Asran on account of their mixed heritage.
    • Not so for Josie, an orphan of mixed French and Japanese ethnicity. After her parents' deaths, her Japanese grandparents refuse to take her in because they disapprove of her parents' marriage.
  • Maka from Soul Eater is the daughter of a Meister and a Weapon. Being a Weapon is a genetic trait that Arachne created by mucking around with witch and human souls 800 years ago, so they aren't really a separate species.
  • Maria, Shouya's niece from Koe no Katachi, has a Japanese mother and an Afro-Brazilian father.
  • Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan had a white father and an Asian mother, and unfortunately her Asian heritage was the reason they were targeted by human traffickers and her parents both killed due to the fact that Asians have almost entirely died out in the worldsetting. Mikasa was actually not considered as valuable as her mother due to her mixed heritage, but the traffickers settled for her after accidentally killing her mother.
  • Quite a few members of the Joestar family in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are this:
    • Holy Kujo is part British, part Italian.
    • Jotaro Kujo is part British, part Italian, and part Japanese.
    • Josuke Higashikata is part British, part Japanese.
    • Giorno Giovanna is part British, part Italian, and part vampire. It's complicated.
    • Jolyne Cujoh is part British, part Italian, and part Japanese.
  • Ira Gamagoori from Kill la Kill. A Darkskinned Blond, bonus material reveals that he is the son of a Japanese woman and an American soldier, who abandoned them. He was raised by his maternal uncle, and frequently bullied as a child — while not outright stated that his mixed heritage was the cause, it's very likely.
  • Jun Hono from Great Mazinger is the daughter of an African-American father and a Japanese mother.
  • Miyuki Ayukawa from Basquash! is presumably half-black and half-Japanese.
  • In Tensai Bakabon, this is given as the origin story of Unaginu ('Eel-Dog', which is what his parents were). The story Unaginu tells Bakabon Papa of how his parents met is a send-up of the 'gangster rescues girl from life of prostitution' story popular in Japanese period dramas. After hearing how they met and fell in love, Bakabon Papa comments, "International marriages are great!"
  • Mizuhara Max from Beyblade has a white American mother and a Japanese father.
  • It's speculated that the protagonist of Azumi had a European ancestor due to her brown hair and dark-blue irises setting her apart from the black-haired and black-irised Japanese.
  • It's implied Rin from Bunny Drop is biracial. She has blond hair while everyone else, including her parents, do not. Rin isn't really biologically related to Daikichi's grandfather so it's left ambiguous who her biological father is.
  • Sentarou from Sakamichi No Apollon is half-white. His hair is lighter than his half-siblings and when he had longer hair it's shown to be wavy. When he was younger he faced bullying due to his background.
  • Chizuru from Kimi to Boku is half-Japanese and half-German. He has blue eyes and blond hair. His hair is referred to as resembling a straw hat several times. As a child Yuki and Chizuru were friends however they couldn't communicate due to Chizuru not speaking Japanese at the time.
  • Besides all the human-alien hybrids, several characters in Macross are implied to be of multi-racial ancestry, judging from their names. This makes sense, considering the One World Order setting.
  • Saki and her older sister Teru are this, since their mother was the daughter of a famous foreign mahjong player.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Supervillain Cheshire (Vietnamese/French), who basically went insane.
    • Cheshire has a daughter, Lian, whose father, Roy Harper, is mostly white but identifies with his Navajo heritage.
    • Mongrel, a.k.a. Josh Xan, was half-Vietnamese as well. He died in Infinite Crisis.
    • Hawk, Son of Tomahawk was the son of the Caucasian Tomahawk and the Apache Moon Fawn.
  • In Gold Digger, the platinum dragon D'bra is actually a hybrid between two differing tribes of dragons, platinum on her mother's side and iron on her father's. This is notable as full dragons are rare enough between two partners of the same tribe (most eggs hatch into less drakes or wyrms), and hybrids are thus extremely powerful. However, not only are they extremely rare (six have been recorded in the entirety of draconic history), but also card carrying demonstrations that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. D'bra's own explosive temper is a considerable worry to the other dragons who are afraid of her snapping like all the others.
  • In Shaman's Tears, Joshua Brand was half-Sioux, half-Irish.
  • Miles Morales, the second Ultimate Spider-Man, is half-African American and half-Puerto Rican.
  • For a brief period, the Black Panther was replaced by a half-black, half-Jewish cop named Kasper Cole. Cole later became the White Tiger.
  • Beetle from The Superior Foes of Spider-Man is half-black, half-Dominican, her father being the Evil Albino Tombstone.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a half-witch and half-human girl raised by her witch aunts.
  • Kenton of White Sand is half-Daysider and half-Darksider, making him a Dark-Skinned Blond.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The titular character of Balto is a wolf/Husky mix and receives Fantastic Racism because of it (though in real life wolf-dogs are much more dangerous than dogs). In the sequel one of his pups looks more wolf than dog and doesn't get adopted because of it. The actual Balto was 100% dog.
  • Dr. Sweet from Atlantis: The Lost Empire has a black father and a Native American mother.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, this is heavily implied with Dr. Facilier, who is lighter in skin tone than any other black character, has a French last name, and has purple eyes.
  • Hiro from Big Hero 6 is half-Japanese, half-white. His comic version is completely Japanese but the movie takes place in a Tokyo-California mashup.
  • Word of God confirms that Joaquin from The Book of Life is half-German on his mother's side.
  • Tip from Home is Half Italian, Half Barbadian.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Lo Dorman, the eponymous protagonist of The Half-Breed, is half-white and half-Native American, and as a consequence lives alone in the forest, not really welcome in either community.
  • Elvis Presley plays a man with a white father and an Indian mother in Flaming Star.
  • Frank Hopkins in Hidalgo is half Native American and half white, and has a foot in both cultures.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one of the treasure hunters in the prologue is credited as "Half Breed".
  • The main character, Zen, in Chocolate is the child of a marriage between a Japanese Yakuza and an enforcer in a Thai mob.
  • In White Comanche, William Shatner plays a pair of (fairly stereotypical) half-white, half-Comanche twins.
  • In Billy Jack the main character is half-white, half-Native American (played by a fully white actor).
  • Darwin from X-Men: First Class, is Black/Hispanic.
  • In Within Our Gates, one of the oldest surviving films made by a black director with a black cast, the hero, trying to figure out why the heroine won't marry him, eventually discovers that it's because she is ashamed about having a white father.
  • Thunderheart: Ray Levoi is a quarter Lakota, and his ancestry features heavily in the plot. Also the tribal council president Jack Milton (Fred Ward), though it isn't outright stated. Both he and Val Kilmer (Levoi) really do have native ancestry (though Cherokee, not Lakota) so Fake Mixed Race is thankfully averted.
  • Free State of Jones: Newt and Rachel's son Jason. Rachel herself is mixed race too. It's also the issue at Davis Knight's trial as to whether his great-great grandmother was Rachel or Serena Knight. Assuming the former, he would be "colored" under Mississippi state law and thus forbidden to marry a white women. If the latter, he would be white and thus freed. The prosecutor lampshades how unusual this is, as generally it would be the father whose identity isn't clear. Eventually the Knight family Bible is uncovered, revealing that it was Rachel.
  • Dear White People: Sam, whose father is white, though she identifies only as black.

  • Rehv, from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, is half-vampire and half-sympath.
  • Oliza in Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' Kiesha'ra series is a half-snake shapeshifter, half-hawk shapeshifter. She has the forms of both a hawk, a cobra, and a combined form referred to as a wyvern. Her cousin, Hai, is half-falcon and half-cobra and suffers from unstable magic that allows her to see several possible timelines (making her a Waif Prophet) but leaving her starkly out of touch with reality. Oliza and Hai are also both example of All Genes Are Codominant.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Black Sun Dead Sky, Honsou is termed a half-breed. In Storm of Iron, it is revealed that this is because he has gene-seed stolen from Imperial sources as well as the Chaos ones; the Warmaster exploits this to develop rivalries. Honsou's gene-seed isn't just from an Imperial source - it's from the Imperial Fists, the Iron Warriors' arch-enemies. As a result, calling him "half-breed" remains his Berserk Button for quite some time.
  • A number of characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings are mixtures: Lúthien (half Elf, half Maia), her son Dior (half Human, 1/4 Elf, 1/4 Maia), Eärendil (half Elf, half Human) and their various Heinz Hybrid descendants (Elwing, Elros, Elrond, Aragorn, etc.). All seem to be well loved and respected by both sides of their respective families.
  • H.P. Lovecraft has the Whateley Twins, Wilbur and OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Tends to happen when the mother is human and the dad is an Outer God.
  • The Ysabel Kid, from The Floating Outfit novels of J.T. Edson, is half Kentucky Irish, a quarter Commanche, and a quarter French-Canadian.
  • The Ewu in Who Fears Death, being born from the union of Okeke and Nuru people. Looking surprisingly like neither tribe, the Ewu are sand-colored, skin and hair, with light eyes, like albino Africans.
  • Some totally non-human examples from Animorphs:
    • Jara Hamee and his daughter Toby (named for Tobias) are descended from an Andalite female who married a Hork-Bajir, though, again, she used morphing technology to actually become a Hork-Bajir.
    • The Ellimist had children while living among the Andalites in a genetically engineered body millions of years ago, so a great deal, if not the entirety, of modern Andalites should be his descendants. Which means Tobias and the Hamee family are his descendants, too. And indeed, it is implied the modern Andalites inherit their built-in Translator Microbes (i.e. "thought-speak") from his artificial body. The primitive Andalites he lived amongst had only sign language.
  • In Everworld, Vikings have a tendency to raid other lands for women, resulting in the number of Black Vikings the protagonists see (as well as Asian ones, Amerindian ones, etc.) The Amazons apparently do the same thing with men; their queen, for example, seems to be a hodgepodge of everything.
  • In Remnants, Yago is the son of the first African-American female president and her white husband. His skin tone is noted to be a perfect bronze color, though it's likely not natural, given how much cosmetic surgery he's known to have had.
  • Terry Brooks's Magic Kingdom of Landover series has Willow, born of two different kinds of faerie, whose status complicates both her relationship to Ben Holiday, and later their child's gestation and birth — as the child of a wood nymph, she has to spend part of the time as a tree.
  • There are a few examples of hybrids in Terry Brooks's Shannara books (the Urda, for example, are Troll/Gnome hybrids). Justified, in one sense, by the fact that dwarves, gnomes, and trolls are simply different subspecies of human mutated by the apocalypse. Less explicable is how humans can interbreed with elves, who are just fae evolved into humanoids...
  • Divine Blood Novels:
    • In Smoke Over Grimsvotn]], the Demoness of Smoke, Lilitu Geisthexe is strongly implied to be the daughter of the Goddess Urd Jotundottir. Urd herself refers to the Queen of the Demons as Mother, making Lilitu 3/4ths Demon biologically.
    • More central to the plot of the actual novel, the children of Mao Semezou are Demi-Gods.
  • Technically anyone of note in both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Shadowhunters are half-angel half-human, Warlocks are half-demon half-human, Faeries are half-angel half-demon, etc etc.
  • In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Injun Joe is a "half-breed" and evil (Mark Twain stated his only race prejudice was a dislike of Native Americans, which is reflected in works like this).
  • Dove and Sarai in Daughter of the Lioness are half-raka and half-luarin (the latter being the conquerors of the Copper Isles). They were the product of a happy marriage but they're subject to a lot of snide and flagrant discrimination outside the family. It also makes them subjects of The Prophecy, which stipulates that the rightful queen will be descended from both the raka and luarin royal lines.
  • In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, Beatrice Löwenström had a Swedish father and a French mother. And hers and Seth's kids will be 1/2 Norwegian, 1/4 Swedish and 1/4 French.
  • Annals of the Western Shore
    • In Gifts, Orrec is the son of an Uplands brantor and his wife from the lowlands, who still experiences some culture shock from all the "witchcraft." It's why Orrec has no gift at all, resulting in his father faking that he does.
    • Memer of Voices is one of many "siege brats" resulting from the rape of Ansul women by Ald soldiers. She's subject to some Half-Breed Discrimination over this.
  • Plenty of characters in Warrior Cats have been descended from cats that came from the mountains. After that, they split apart...though inter-Clan relationships can make this trope happen. Examples are Windflight, Lionblaze, Flametail, and Mistystar.
  • The eponymous villain in Brokenclaw is half Chinese and half Native American, which gives him what is described as striking and charismatic features.
  • Laura from Sarny is a rich multiracial, one-eight black, woman living in America right when slavery is being abolished. She passes herself off as White however the newly freed protagonist learns about her heritage when a part of her curly hair pokes out. Sarny is the only one who knows her secret.
  • Nathan from The Half Life Trilogy is half white witch and half black witch.
  • In Harry Potter, there are pure-bloods, and Muggleborn. Then there are half-bloods, with ancestry of both types. In particular, there are Harry Potter himself and Voldemort.
  • It's suggested (but not confirmed) in The Discworld Companion that the Ogg family might have a bit of dwarf in them (they live in a country known for dwarf mines, tend to be skilled at magic or metalwork, and are sometimes rather short). However Raising Steam suggests that dwarf/human crossbreeding is uncommon (in the context of a mixed marriage that will probably have to adopt).
  • In The Goblin Emperor, Maia, the titular character is actually half goblin, half elf. His mother had been forced into a loveless political marriage with the elven emperor. Of course, to the elves the fact that he is part goblin is more relevant than his elven half.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Charmed Paige is a half-witch, half-whitelighter. She gains whitelighter powers such as orbing and healing without having to actually die though she has to learn how to use them while whitelighters know them automatically. Wyatt and Chris are also the same though stronger because their mother is a Charmed One.
  • Abed Nadir in Community is the son of a Palestinian father and a Polish mother.
  • JAG: Sarah “Mac” Mackenzie has, other than presumed ancestry from the British Isles given her name, Cherokee and Iranian ancestry. The Native American ancestry is only mentioned in "The Return of Jimmy Blackhorse", while the Iranian part is mentioned in several episodes.
  • Kung Fu: Kwai Chang Caine is half Chinese, half white American, played by David Carradine.
  • Beauty and the Beast (2012): Catherine and Heather's mother was Asian-American, while their father is white though Catherine's biological father turns out to be someone different than she thought, reflecting Kristen Kreuk's actual ancestry.
  • Duncan's friend Charlie Desalvo on Highlander was half Italian, half black, and got picked on a lot for it.
  • Hell on Wheels: Elam Ferguson, due to being conceived by his black slave mother's rape by their master.
  • In Revolution, Jason Neville is the son of a black father and white mother (his actor is actually Hispanic though).
  • John Gage on Emergency! is half white/half Native American, like his actor Randolph Mantooth.
  • Heroes: Micah Sanders, the child of a black father and white mother.
  • On Grimm Renard is the illegitimate child of a Hexenbiest and a Royal. This gives him a fair amount of clout in both Wesen and Royal circles but it also means that neither group really accepts him as one of their own. It is not clear if the Royals are human or a special type of Wesen. Marriages between different Wesen races were taboo until very recently and used to be punishable by death. Children of mixed Wesen ancestry will generally assume the Wesen characteristics of one parent or the other thus avoiding Hybrid Power. A third possibility is mentioned but it is not elaborated on.
  • Quantico: Main character Alex Parrish is the child of an Indian mother and white father. This was enforced by fully Indian actress Priyanka Chopra: the character was originally written as a white woman, but when Chopra was cast instead she refused efforts to have the character act more stereotypically Indian, including changing her surname.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Daisy Johnson is the daughter of a Chinese (and Inhuman) mother and a white father, and is portrayed by Chloe Bennet, who has the same ancestry (except for the Inhuman part, of course).
  • Teen Wolf: Scott McCall is half-Hispanic on his mother's side, just like his actor, Tyler Posey.

     Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 


    Video Games 
  • This trope is played up in the video game Red Dead Revolver with Red, the main character, being the offspring of a white settler and a Native American.
  • Connor, the main character in Assassin's Creed III, has a similar background.
  • The Final Fantasy series falls into this:
    • One of Reveals in ''Final Fantasy IV is that Cecil Harvey and his brother Golbez are half-Lunarian. Cecil's son Ceodore is a quarter-Lunarian, owing to Cecil's marriage to the human Rosa.
    • In Final Fantasy V Bartz is fully human, but his parents hail from different halves of the world that existed as separate planets for centuries.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Terra Branford is half-human and half an esper, a race of powerful magic beings who are not always humanoid. Most of the first half and her character arc revolve around her powers and identity struggle.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith had a human father and a Cetra mother. This is also highly significant to the plot.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Yuna is the daughter of a normal human and an Al-Bhed, a human ethnicity distinguished by their green eyes and spiral irises. The mixture manifested itself as Yuna's heterochromia.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, a book called "Notes on Racial Phylogeny" states that children of interracial unions typically resemble the mother more, with some traits from the father still persisting. In Oblivion, the Gray Prince, a champion gladiator is part human, part orcnote . The entire race of Bretons descend from hybrids between nedes (ancestral race of men) and Aldmer (ancestral race of elves), when the Elves took concubines. The Bretons are considered a race of men, but their elven ancestry manifests as having the highest racial aptitude for magic of all men races. A few aristocratic Breton lineages still retain a slight point to their ears.
  • Rexxar in Warcraft III is a Mok'nathal, the union of orcs and ogres. The first orc guard he sees greets him with "You've got the look of an ogre, half-breed. What's your business here?"
  • Persona 5: Party member Ann Takamaki had a white American grandparent, resulting in a girl with blond hair and blue eyes who's otherwise entirely Japanese.

    Web Comics 
  • Banquo of Goodbye Chains. His character profile proudly describes him as "half-Mexican and half-Swedish, and also a colossal dick." He was the result of a one-night stand between an actress and a mestizo Mexican man, and faces quite a bit of racism because of his background. His Distaff Counterpart and part time lover, Cordelia, is half-Ute, but there are certainly no parallels between them and how they treat their companions, no siree.
  • Antimony Carver from Gunnerkrigg Court is a (mostly human) human/fire elemental hybrid, which is lampshaded by Coyote.
    Coyote: What an interesting first union that must have been...
  • Half-Identical Twins Walky and Sal of It's Walky! and Dumbing of Age. Their mother is all-white, their father is half-black. Lampshaded by Walky:
    Walky: "Well, my sister is black, but I'm generically beige."

    Western Animation 
  • From The Boondocks, Jazmine Dubois is the daughter of a black man and a white woman. She has some issues, such as disliking her curly hair and wishing it was straight like her mother's.
  • Young Justice:
    • Both Cheshire and Artemis are half-Asian, half-white. (In fact, they're sisters.) Interestingly, Cheshire comes across as much more Asian than Artemis in terms of appearance, style, weapons, and voice. Semi-justified by the fact that Cheshire has explicitly rejected her white father; she goes by "Jade Nguyen," while her daughter is "Lian Nguyen-Harper."
    • Kaldur has a white Atlantean mom and a black human father.
    • M'gann is a White Martian with a Green Martian mother. Apparently Not All Genes Are Codominant.
  • Increasingly common in The Legend of Korra. The original series had very few mixed-race couples and no mixed race children, but in Korra, due to the nature of Republic City many characters are of mixed race. This is most interesting since Bending is partially genetic, and one person can only have access to one type of bending, leading to brothers with completely different abilities.
  • According to Word of God, Ambiguously Brown Mike Chilton from Motorcity is of mixed race.
  • On Gargoyles the main human character, Elisa Maza, has a Native American father and a black mother.
  • Nadine from Hey Arnold! is a Dark-Skinned Blonde. Her parents appear in one episode. One is black and the other white.
  • Jake and his sister from American Dragon: Jake Long are half Chinese and half white.
  • Witch:
  • Sidekick has Mandy Struction who is Persian from her mom and Italian from her dad.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has its main heroine Marinette Dupan-Chang who is French on her father's side and Chinese on her mother's side.
  • Sanjay from Sanjay and Craig is Indian and white.
  • Alex from Totally Spies! has a white father and an Ambiguously Brown mother (implied to be Latina or Filipina).
  • The Rocket siblings from Rocket Power have a white father and a Polynesian mother. This isn't revealed until late into the series as their mother is deceased.

Alternative Title(s): Mixed Race, Half Breed