Nibblonian 1: It's a genetic abnormality which resulted when you went back in time and performed certain actions which made you your own grandfather.Simply put, a Stable Time Loop where one is his own ancestor. Of course, this implies an Identical Grandson, and an Ontological Paradox which results in a quarter of one's DNA being created from out of nowhere. The trope namer is not an example, however. The song I'm My Own Grandpa by Lonzo and Oscar in 1947 is about how the singer's character became his own step-grandfather through complicated marriages. This trope is about being one's own biological ancestor. If they're just pretending to be their grandchild, then that's My Grandson Myself. See also Kid from the Future, for more time-travel and offspring-related hijinks, and Time Travel Romance, which could also lead to this trope. See also Grandfather Paradox.
Fry: I did do the nasty in the past-y.
Fry: I did do the nasty in the past-y.
— Futurama, "The Why of Fry"
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Anime & Manga
- Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Following C!Syaoran and C!Sakura's Heroic Sacrifice, they re-incarnate in the past, meet, marry and then comes the WHAM moment of the story, when they become the parents of R!Syaoran, as the reader drops brain dead at this point. This all makes a weird sort of sense when you take into account that the Big Bad of the story has been making an attempt to rewrite the basic laws of reality, screwing up everything and causing things that should not make sense, or are flat out impossible to happen. When reality snaps back to normal, R!Syaoran becomes a walking paradox and is forced to continue wandering the multiverse as payment for his continued existence.
- Pierrot Bolneze in Yakitate!! Japan was abandoned at a circus as an infant, but by Kazuma Azuma's history-changing Taima Ja-pan, he goes back to his childhood and ends up saving his mother from Death by Childbirth. When Pierrot comes back to current time, both his parents are alive in this timeline. In this version of reality, he became a clown and was named Pierrot because his parents were so impressed with their old butler, the adult Pierrot from the future who was abandoned and raised in a circus.
- Played with, but averted, with the Marvel Comics villains Kang the Conqueror and Doctor Doom. Kang, the Ur-Example of the Conqueror from the Future, was for some time believed to be a future version of Doom, and the two worked together (and double-crossed each other) on many occasions, culminating in the Secret Wars maxiseries, in which Doom had Kang disintegrated by Ultron (he got better with the help of a Reality Warper). Later, however, it was revealed that Kang wasn't really Doom's future incarnation. He was actually either Mister Fantastic's father or distant cousin or some such thing (it's confusing).
- What complicates it is that Reed Richards' father and Kang are both named Nathaniel Richards, but are completely separate people. We think.
- That can be explained by the Nathaniel Richards, who is Kang, is named in honor of the creator of the utopian society on Earth he originated from, Reed Richards' father: Nathaniel Richards...who is also a time-traveler.
- Kang is a bit of a mess. There is another character, more or less a good guy, who's a future version of Kang, and there turns out to be a rather large group of Kangs, from different points of their own timeline or from paralleled realities, that cooperate and occasionally congregate for various purposes, then there's a larger group of Kang-analogs that are clearly Kang but have different faces, different genders, different species...
- It is supposed to be impossible in the Marvel universe to become our own ancestor because you can't actually travel into your own past. If you try, you end up in what will already become a different universe than the one you left (for example, Rachel Summers tried to avert the future she came from, only to eventually find out she had arrived in a different timeline).
- In X-Factor, the longstanding question of Shatterstar's relationship with Longshot was finally resolved. Due to a mystical battle, Shatterstar got blasted back to his native dimension Mojoworld, but in the past. The Spineless One scientist Arize used genetic material taken from Shatterstar to create Longshot. At a relative future point in Mojoworld's timeline, Longshot will father a child with the human mutant Dazzler. This child will be Shatterstar. The infant will then be taken even further into the future, to be raised to become a gladiator and leading the life that includes his own involvement in the creation of his "father" and arranging his own upbringing. And we thought Cable and Rachel Summers had messed up origin stories!
- Alan Moore's "Chronocops" strip for 2000 AD sees the time cop narrator arresting his partner, who attempted to marry his own grandmother as a young woman after he suffered a mental breakdown. The narrator himself ends up retiring from the Time Police after this and marries his partner's grandmother himself. His (now former) partner says that he's going to kill him when he gets out of jail.
- DC One Million has the series antagonist Solaris, an evil artificial intelligence, sending a computer virus back to the 20th century, which is stopped by the Justice League by building a supercomputer to contain it, thus leading to the events that caused the rise of Solaris in the 853rd century in the first place.
- A bizarre example in MAD's Gasoline Alley parody, where the characters' disjointed aging rates eventually results in the protagonist's wife turning into his daughter, prompting him to exclaim the trope name.
- Referenced in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, with Kyon recalling someone saying he looked identical to his grandfather at that age. Given how much time-traveling he does...
- At the end of Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, it turns out that Dark is actually his own father.
- Averted in the Worm fanfic Recoil where, while a younger Danny Hebert does form a crush on his alt-daughter Taylor (he doesn't know any better), she introduces him to his future wife at the first opportunity. Also subverted, in that Danny's parents were trying to encourage the match.
- In Memento Vivere, a Final Fantasy X fanfiction, this question seems to rise when Braska starts flirting with Rikku. Although technically they arenít related by blood...
- A Fire Emblem Awakening Crack Fic called Ylissean Bachelor has Lucina claim that she is her own mother. As Robin explains, Chrom's first child will always be Lucina, regardless of who the mother is, meaning that this could be made possible by the mechanics of their game. Luckily for Chrom, Sumia Megaton Punches Lucina out of the studio before he's forced to follow through.
Films — Live-Action
- Spoofed in Detention. "Ione is pregnant with herself?"
- Caesar from the original Planet of the Apes series was born when his parents traveled back in time, and he essentially became their distant ancestor as well as the forefather of the ape race.
- Predestination, the film based on the Heinlein story in the Literature section, except it takes the Mind Screw a few steps further. Got a flow chart? So the time agent is tracking a terrorist, and while doing so recruits a transman who turns out had sex with his female self, who then gave birth to him/herself. Said Time Agent takes the resulting baby to the orphanage to where said transperson was found, THEN is revealed not only to be a future version of the transman, but the terrorist he's tracking is a version of him even FURTHER down the line. No, don't worry, the headache will pass.
- Stanley sings the Trope Namer song in The Stupids.
- The title villain of Terminator is the most famous western case, as its travels back in time resulted in it "fathering" its own master Skynet. Technically, it could be said that it simply caused Skynet to develop sooner rather than being the cause of its existence altogether.
- Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, where the hero went back in time and became his own great-grandfather.
- Chuck Palahniuk's novel Rant - many of the major characters repeatedly go back in time to become their father, grandfather, great-grandfather, etc. with the theory that this eventually allows for an ascent into godhood via killing yourself since things without beginning have no end.
- Not only that, the main character himself is his own
father father and grandfatherentire line of male ancestors. Lots of time travel needed for that.
- Not only that, the main character himself is his own
- Robert A. Heinlein loves this trope:
- Played to the extreme in the story —All You Zombies—, about a man who was both of his own parents. He was born a female, but was really a hermaphrodite and lost his female parts after giving birth. Then he went back in time and had sex with himself, in an attempt to save herself from that man who knocked her up and left her, then kidnapped his baby self, went back in time, and dropped it off at an orphanage. Every single significant character in the story turns out to be that one individual. Lampshaded when the song "I'm My Own Grandpa" comes on the jukebox; he becomes angry and unplugs it.
- "By His Bootstraps" is an example by the same author of the "milder" version described above.
- Time Enough for Love has a blurb on the back cover that claims this trope occurs, but it couldn't have happened in the novel, nor could it have happened off-stage, since Lazarus's arrival date in the past was after his own birth, quite intentionally (and Maureen is already pregnant with a younger sibling of Lazarus when he arrives). The blurb-writer got a few other details of the book wrong, and probably was working from a grossly simplified synopsis.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox's father is Zaphod Beeblebrox II, his grandfather is Zaphod Beeblebrox III, etc. When asked why, he says it was an accident involving a time machine and a prophylactic. His great-grandfather takes to referring to him as "Zaphod Beeblebrox the Nothingth" as an insult because of it. Though The Hitchhiker's Guide does state that becoming one's own grandparent through time travel is nothing that a significantly well-adjusted family can't deal with.
- The Man Who Folded Himself, Dan is his own mother and father. How this is possible when time travel to the past forks into an alternate reality is unclear.
- In a book called "The Mirror", a young woman switches bodies/eras with her grandmother, and then lives her life (in other words, she is the one who has the great romance with the grandfather, who is thought by the family to be psychic, who gives birth to her mother...). At the beginning /end of the book, she dies as her grandmother, while her grandmother then lives the rest of her life.
- Spider Robinson's "Have You Heard The One..." features a visit to Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by a time-traveling salesman, whose plans are foiled by Philip Jose Farmer's daughter Josie, who mentions that she "thinks she's going to grow up to be Mom."
- The first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has Dumbledore stating that Voldemort is the "last living ancestor" of Salazar Slytherin. Among those who realized what that actually means (in context, it's easy to miss), there was some wild speculation, especially since the sequel introduces time travel, although that would be a llloooot of tedious hourglass-turning. Of course, it was simply a mix up with "descendant". Some people use "ancestor" in a sense that includes "descendant", but it's best not to for clarity's sake.
- Possibly to prevent things like this, the movie implies that a Time-Turner can't take you back more than 24 hours at a time.
- Robert Silverberg's time-travel novel Up the Line has a character who is trying to sleep with all his female ancestors, except his mother (as he puts it, "I draw the line at abominations"). He's careful not to father any children, he is just seeking to cuckold all of his male ancestors (except his father because sleeping with his own mom would be sick).
- TheInfected is not precisely this, but after a trip through time, Brian does wind up fathering one of his best friends, Scott.
- Darla sired Liam Angel, who in turn sired Drusilla. After getting staked early on Buffy, Darla is resurrected as a human in the spinoff - but she still has the disease that was killing her before she became a vampire. As a last resort, Lindsey brings in Drusilla to vamp her. On having this "family tree" explained to him, Gunn has this to say:
"That means the granddaughter remade the grandmother. Man, somehow that weirds me out more than the whole bloodsucking thing."
- Charmed: Piper Halliwell's past life, P. Baxter, was the great-grandmother of her present life. Points for being biologically possible, as the soul is the same, not the body.
- In The Flipside Of Dominick Hide Dominick time travels from the future in hope of meeting the great-great-great grandfather he's heard so much about. It turns out to be a journey of self-discovery.
- In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Bashir wonders about this when he meets a woman on Kirk's Enterprise whose last name was that of an ancestor's, but it proved not to be true. Played for Laughs when Bashir argues that he must have sex with the woman after she invites him to her quarters, but Miles O'Brian refuses to let him be Distracted by the Sexy.
Bashir: I can't wait to get back to Deep Space Nine and see your face when you find out that I never existed!
- Layered even further by Sisko insisting to the time police that there were no time paradoxes in play earlier in the episode.
- Red Dwarf's Lister is his own father, through time-travel shenanigans and other convoluted oddness.
- Achron: The alien Grekim are able to pull this off in gameplay (see here for directions how). It has little practical use though, so it doesn't happen often.
- Digimon Tamers: Brave Tamer establishes that a combination of this and Timey-Wimey Ball to Mind Screw levels resulted in the birth of Millenniumon: far in his future as ZeedMillenniumon he released Apocalymon, whose presence came to cause the existence of the Dark Masters. One of the Dark Masters was Mugendramon, who after his appparent death merged with a Chimeramon to form Millenniumon, who would go on to do horrible things, become ZeedMillenniumon, et cetera.
- Oracle of Tao has a version of this that doesn't involve time travel, but rather a God in Human Form situation, where God impregnates her mother, even though God turns out to be her true form. There are so many things wrong with this.
- Shadow of Destiny: In this game the protagonist Eike Kusch gains the ability to travel through time.In the second chapter he meets a friend who owns a museum Eckhart Brum whose cat has just had a large litter of kittens.In a later chapter Eike travels to 1902 and meets Eckhart's grandfather Alfred Brum.Alfred has a daughter Sibylla who is lonely and Eike decides to give her kitten.Eike returns to the present and then gives Sibylla one of Eckhart's kittens which will inevitably become its own ancestor.
- Caeldori from Fire Emblem Fates is an Expy of Cordelia from Fire Emblem Awakening, but several lines imply Cordelia is actually a reincarnation of Caeldori. Where this trope comes in is that, on the Revelation route, it's possible for Caeldori's mother to be Selena... who is Severa, Cordelia's daughter from Awakening. Time-travel and world-hopping does weird things.
- Darths & Droids wrote many versions of the "Luke, I Am Your Father" scene, with one rejected version following this trope.
- The most bizarre form yet. John, in the present, finds a cloning station which is locked on to four people: his Nanna, Jade's Grandpa, Rose's Mom, and Dave's Bro. He clones all four of them, using paradox slime. The slime from Nanna and Grandpa is mixed together, as is the slime from Mom and Bro. From the Grandpa/Grandma slime, clones of John and Jade are created, as are Rose and Dave from Mom/Bro slime. The part where it gets weird though, is when these clone babies are sent back in time, to become the regular them. It gets worse: Four "pure" clones babies are also created ... and sent back to become Nanna, Grandpa, Mom and Bro in the first place. It gets much worse. Since John could be considered as "fathering" all the kids AND guardians, (since he did actually physically push the button and create them) John is... his own (second?) father, his grandfather, his half-sister's father, and her great-grandfather, his own great-grandfather, and his father-in-law + his own grandfather-in-law, if he does marry Rose. That's not counting the implications if you consider his being a "father" to Rose, Dave, Mom and Bro, which just makes it all the more convoluted.
- This also happened with the trolls, with Karkat performing John's role. In this case, owing to the fact that troll parentage sure is weird, he also created the trolls' famous ancestors, who are actually their decendants. The fact that he was the one who cloned them in the first place means that, by some definitions of parent, he is their collective father.
- And now, in the Alpha Universe, the kids and their guardians switch places, but presumably keep their old biology. Don't ask what that does to everyone's relations.
- Even weirder, Lord English decided to name himself after Jake English after his young self, Caliborn, was defeated by Jake's hope powers. Jake's last name comes from his grandma naming herself after Lord English, the one thing that the Condesce (the troll empress who raised her) feared.
- The simplest way to describe the relationships between the characters in Homestuck is that everyone is everyone's grandparent.
- Irregular Webcomic!: Adam and Jamie from MythBusters attempt to do this. They screw it up, becoming each other's grandfather, and therefore their own great-great-grandfathers. Which, incidentally does prove that this trope can happen, which was the whole reason they attempted this in the first place. Myth confirmed!
- Wicked Powered: Taken to its natural extreme. The main character was sent back in time twice (once as a woman and once as a man). He arrived in the same time on both occasions. The two instances met, fell in love, got married, and conceived a child. Take a guess as to who this child was. Oh. And the 'aunt' he was living with was actually his pet monkey. And apparently, being your own parents makes you immortal. Or something.
- Averted on Count Duckula, in which the character only claims he's his own father, grandfather, etc. He really means that each time he comes back from the dead, he remembers nothing and is effectively reborn with a fresh personality.
- The Fairly OddParents! has an example. In the Crash Nebula episode, Wanda says that there is an episode where Crash discovers he's his own great grandfather after traveling through time.
- Family Guy has Stewie taking the place of his ancestor Leonardo da Vinci when he is killed by Bertram and managing to pass his own genes down before freezing himself and taking The Slow Path back.
- The episode "Peter's Sister" had a cutaway gag showing an alternate ending to Back to the Future where Marty figures that since he's about to fade into oblivion, he might as well have sex with his mother in the past. The result is that in his picture of himself and his parents, they're replaced with an inbred Marty and the "To Be Continued" card is replaced with "To Be Contondered".
- A well-known example is the Futurama episode, "Roswell That Ends Well", where Fry unwittingly becomes his own grandfather by the direct expedient of doing, as he puts it, "the nasty in the past-y". Surprisingly, this actually became a major plot point in some later episodes. And in a previous episode, it turned out.
- To clarify, Fry meets his grandfather, Enos, in 1947 Roswell and becomes so afraid of getting him killed (and thus not existing) that he winds up causing him to die. Later, Fry (still perplexed that he is alive) comforts the woman he believes to be his grandmother. She drunkenly propositions him, and Fry deduces that since he's still alive after accidentally killing Enos, Enos must not really have been his grandfather, and therefore she must not really be his grandmother. He's half-right.
- This trope is why Fry's the only one capable of saving the universe and also explains why Fry not going into the future in "Anthology of Interest" causes the universe to self-destruct. By not getting frozen, he couldn't end up becoming his own grandfather, and thus caused a major paradox. And by being his own grandfather, he lacks a certain brain wave making him immune to psychic forms of attack, leaving him the only one able to stop the Brainspawn, and later, the Dark Ones, from destroying the universe.
- By the same token, this makes Yancy Fry Sr., Fry's son/father, his own grandfather. Time travel's like that.
- In the I Am Weasel episode "My Friend, the Smart Banana", Weasel and the banana have an intellectual discussion and conclude that if you travel faster than the speed of light, you become your own grandmother.
- In an episode of Xiaolin Showdown, Dojo warns Omi that by using the Sands of Time, "You can end up becoming your own grandpa." It can't actually happen, as time travel in this series operates on a "change the past you change the future" type deal.